A new ChangeWave survey proves what many suspected: The iPad is contributing to a serious decline in the demand for netbooks. Not only that, but it’s also the tablet device most likely to be on customers’ wish lists going into the holiday season.
Survey respondents who said they planned on buying a netbook within the next 90 days dropped drastically over the course of the past year. It accounted for 20 percent of laptop-buying consumer’s intentions in Oct. 2009, and now represents only 14 percent. Netbook demand has been dropping steadily since its peak in June 2009.
The iPad fills the hole many were looking to fill with a netbook, specifically, that of a portable device for web browsing and media consumption. Pricing on the iPad is comparable to higher-priced netbooks, and Apple’s introduction of the MacBook Air should reel in consumers who want the portability of a netbook with a little more power, and have slightly larger budgets.
iPad Demand and Satisfaction
ChangeWave found iPad owner satisfaction among respondents to be very high; 72 percent replied that they were “Very Satisfied” with Apple’s tablet, while another 23 percent said they were “Somewhat Satisfied.” The next largest group, representing only 3 percent of those surveyed, answered that they either didn’t know either way.
Going forward, the prospects are good for the tablet market: 26 percent of all respondents say they’re planning a purchase in the future. Apple will reel in the majority of those customers, if current sentiment remains the same; 80 percent of those likely to buy a tablet are planning to get an iPad. RIM’s PlayBook is the next closest in terms of anticipated demand, with 8 percent of respondents choosing the BlackBerry solution.
The iPad’s success in the survey shows it has two major advantages over its competitors. First, it’s far and away the first thing consumers are thinking about when considering a tablet computer purchase. Second, its very high customer satisfaction means that once customers do opt for an iPad, it will take a lot to convince them to switch device makers for future purchases.
Apple is sitting pretty atop a market that should show a lot of growth in the coming year. Whatever the future brings from the competition, it’s very unlikely Apple won’t emerge the winner once again in 2011.
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