updated 02:45 pm EDT, Mon July 11, 2011
iPad study shows satisfaction higher year later
A new study by the Reynolds Journalism Institute suggests that iPad ownership happiness was even higher than it was just this fall. Having already understood that 94 percent of a group of 1,6000 iPad owners were either somewhat or very satisfied late last year, about 70 percent of a 561-person follow-up group was more satisfied again. Only four percent were less satisfied, and 81 percent said they didn't expect to buy a rival tablet in the next six months.
The analysis also gave a view into what kind of devices owners had. More than half (55 percent) already had an iPod, and nearly as many had an iPhone. Mac users were only slightly more likely to have an iPad. An unusually high 36 percent had a Kindle, but only 14 percent had a Nook, the same percentage of which had a netbook.
Validating views that Android tablet makers were overly dependent on carriers, the study found that 48 percent of owners had an original Wi-Fi iPad where 37 percent had the original in 3G form. iPad 2 ownership was still young but showed a roughly even balance where seven percent had Wi-Fi models and eight percent opted for 3G.
The largest portion of iPad owners have at least 15 apps, and 23 percent had more than 75. The most popular apps were news aggregators like Flipboard or Pulse at 51 percent of users, but more than a third counted newspapers and books as some of their most important apps.
As a media institute, RJI focused on individual reading habits and noted that 24 percent of those asked expected to cancel their print newspaper subscriptions within half a year. Five percent had already done that after they bought their iPads. Among regular news readers, the New York Times and USA Today apps were the most common where iPad-specific apps were smaller. News Corp's The Daily was used by 19 percent and was eclipsed by Flipboard's 28 percent.
The study sample is small and isn't completely reflective of the public but does suggest that Apple is unlikely to lose many followers to Android, the BlackBerry PlayBook, the HP TouchPad, or another competitor in the near future. It also makes reading an increasing factor but hints that a substantial if still minority number of users are turning to non-mainstream sources for their news.