Survey Finds iPad Demand May Be Shrinking



A new survey out indicates people are still interested in buying an iPad, but possibly not in the same numbers as before the tablet device was a known quantity. The figures seem to echo those released earlier this month showing a drop in demand for the new Apple product after the Cupertino, Calif. company’s public announcement.

The latest survey conducted by ChangeWave Research for RBC Capital says 13 percent of people asked are either very or somewhat likely to purchase an iPad. A September survey by ChangeWave for RBC found demand for an unspecified Apple tablet priced between $500 and $700 at 21 percent.

Earlier this month, another survey found a similar drop in demand after the iPad’s introduction. Prior to the iPad’s unveiling, 26 percent of people surveyed said they wouldn’t buy an iPad. That figure rose to 52 percent after the device was introduced.

“While we do not expect feverish initial launch lines like the iPhone,” RBC analyst Mike Abramsky said Tuesday, “the data portends well for healthy initial iPad uptake.” Part of that initial enthusiasm could be prompted by the iPad’s $499 base price. In 2007, when the iPhone was launched, just 9 percent said they were likely or very likely to buy the handset. That compares to the 13 percent for the iPad.

Consumers surveyed don’t seem dissuaded by the iPad’s price. Unlike the 28 percent of survey participants in 2007, just 8 percent of people said they would not buy an iPad because of the price.

Although the lack of a camera, Flash and other technology has been criticized, the missing features didn’t cool enthusiast for the iPad. Surfing the Web was the use most frequently cited, at 68 percent, followed by checking e-mail and reading e-books.

The survey also found most interest is focused on the $499 16GB Wi-Fi only iPad and the $829 64GB iPad with Wi-Fi and 3G.

Abramsky continues to predict Apple will sell 5 million iPads this calendar year.