Tablet market continues to see growth thanks to the iPad and despite a lack of any real competition
(March 7, 2012) San Francisco, CA – Apple’s announcement of the iPad 3 today marks another milestone for the company’s dominance of the tablet market. Despite increasing numbers of competitors entering the market space, Apple iPad 3 ownership and purchase interest has continued to grow, according to a new study from Vision Critical, a leading global technology and research firm.
The study surveyed a representative sample of over 5,000 people across the United States, Canada, Britain and Australia. Part of Apple’s ongoing market domination could be attributed to brand awareness. Nearly half of respondents in the four countries were aware of the imminent launch of the iPad 3.
Furthermore, the study shows that tablets, and the iPad specifically, have moved beyond early majority and reached all demographics:
- Females are just as likely to own or be interested in an iPad as males.
- Adults aged 35-to-54 years are almost as likely to own or be interested in an iPad as those aged 18-to-34 years.
- Respondents aged 55 years and older remain less enthusiastic.
Tablet ownership has surpassed the netbook device, and come on par with other mobile devices such as e-readers and portable gaming systems.
Purchase intent for the iPad 3 is strong in total, with an emphasis on the younger male early adopter profile. Despite the strong growth and purchase intent for the iPad 3, there is no single outstanding feature among those rumored to be announced driving consumer excitement. Some of the anticipated improvements—such as retina display, increased processing power, and 4G LTE connectivity—do generate some interest, but it is likely that they are seen more as logical improvements to the existing device rather a revolutionary change that Apple fans will hope for when Tim Cook takes the stage in San Francisco. The situation is perhaps similar to the iPhone 4 and iPad 2 announcements. Consumers have become so accustomed to ground-breaking devices and improvements from Apple, so simpler, yet logical and effective changes, seem mundane.
Price is also a key barrier to purchasing an iPad. The iPad currently costs from $500 USD to $800 USD, making it a significant purchase for most consumers. At this price consumers need to have very specific needs in mind that they will fulfill with the device, but well over half of those not interested in a tablet state they just simply don’t know what they would use it for (60% US, 57% Britain, 70% Canada, 67% Australia). General Internet browsing is actually the number one use/reason for interest in or owning a tablet, over any specific features.
This study was conducted by Vision Critical as a part of an ongoing research series tracking evolving consumer adoption and attitudes towards tablet computers. Based on online fieldwork collected from March 1 to March 4, 2012, the study involved representative samples of 1,001 adults in the US, 2,000 in Britain, 1,002 in Canada, and 1,003 in Australia. The study was run on Vision Critical’s Springboard America Panel in the US, Springboard UK Panel in Britain, the Angus Reid Forum in Canada, and with sample partner Nine Rewards in Australia.