Although analyst predictions of how many iPads would sell on the first day varied widely from Apple’s own 300,000 figure, we are getting some intriguing insights into why consumers are buying the new tablet device. For Apple, maybe the most comforting bit of data is that the iPad is not a cannibal.
“We believe that Apple has successfully carved out a new category of mobile devices between the smartphone and the laptop,” Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster told investors Monday. That feat was accomplished “apparently without cannibalizing its own iPhone and Mac sales,” he added.
Although 78 percent of the iPad buyers Munster interviewed Saturday said they had not considered another gadget, 10 percent had thought about purchasing a Kindle, while 6 percent were thinking of buying a netbook. When it came to buying an iPad or another Apple product, there was only a 1 percent chance an iPad buyer had previously thought of buying an iPhone or an iPod touch.
The survey also revealed those in line to purchase an iPad were already Apple faithful. Nearly three-fourths of iPad buyers already owned a Mac, versus 26 percent who owned a PC. More than 60 percent of iPad buyers also owned an iPhone. However, just 4 percent of Mac owners said the iPad would replace their Apple computer, and a tiny fraction – 1 percent – of iPhone owners see the iPad as an alternative to the iconic handset.
As a result of judging the crowds waiting to snap up an iPad this weekend, Munster more than doubled his projected iPad sales for calendar 2010 to 5.6 million, up from a previous 2.7 million.