updated 08:40 am EDT, Thu April 26, 2012
NPD shows iPad as gateway device
A new NPD Group study has shown that the iPad is serving as a lure to the Apple ecosystem as a whole. Over 25 percent of those buying an iPad in the US are completely new to the company. With a typical Apple-owning household having 2.4 devices, it was possible that many of these were about to buy further into the ecosystem.
The iPad was helping lead a transition away from the iPod as the introduction to the company. Where 70 percent of those who had been using Apple devices for three years or more had started with an iPod, that shrank to 57 percent when only including those who had leapt in within the past two years. A third of those coming in had bought either an iPad or iPhone.
As a whole, a fifth of US homes that had any Apple products had an iPad, or almost as many as those that had a Mac. A third of all American homes, or 37 million, were estimated to have at least one Apple device. Usage wasn't exclusive, however: 58 percent had at least one Windows PC, and 30 percent of those using Apple hardware were using an Android phone or some other smartphone besides an iPhone.
The halo effect, where a positive experience with an initial purchase leads to more from the same badge, was both important to Apple and something it was taking advantage of. About 40 percent of those asked considered it important to have multiple products from the same company, and Apple's emphasis on tight integration between devices was working in its favor as customers were more likely to favor Apple than keep a heterogeneous platform mix.