Vision Critical

Vision Critical

March 31, 2010 08:19 ET

Consumers See Near-Limitless Potential for the iPad

Vision Critical releases three-country benchmark study that tracks the impact of Apple’s iPad on global digital media consumption

­­­NEW YORK, NEW YORK--(Marketwire - March 31, 2010) - Apple's new multimedia tablet, the iPad – due to hit shelves in the US on April 3, has captured significant consumer awareness in the US, UK and Canada and is well positioned to play a role in consumers' increasing appetite for a wide variety of digital media content. According to a new survey by global interactive research firm Vision Critical, consumers most commonly selected "Smartphone" when asked to choose a device they believed the iPad was similar to, in terms of how someone might use it (42% in the US, 37% in the UK and 46% in Canada). Slightly fewer (39% in the US, 35% in the UK and 38% in Canada) selected "Netbook" and more than a third of those surveyed selected "MP3 Player" (33% in the US, 30% in the UK and 44% in Canada). A notably significant proportion of consumers also chose E-Reader, Portable Gaming Device, GPS Device and Digital Media Hub.

"Which of the following devices do you think iPad is similar to in terms of why and/or how someone might use it?"

  % Yes
  US UK Canada
Smartphone 42% 37% 46%
Netbook 39% 35% 38%
Desktop or laptop PC 38% 33% 39%
MP3 Player 33% 30% 44%
E-Reader 28% 23% 39%
Portable Gaming Device 23% 21% 30%
GPS Device 19% 16% 27%
Digital Media Hub 19% 16% 19%
Television 18% 15% 20%
Portable DVD Player 18% 14% 24%
Video Game Console 16% 12% 18%
Video-On-Demand 11% 10% 14%
DVR 7% 4% 3%
Don't Know 25% 31% 25%
None of these 5% 2% 2%

Base: All respondents ages 18+ in US (1,009), UK (2,011) & Canada (1,011)

"The fact that the iPad is nearly equally associated with both a PC and a mobile phone, as well as a large array of other digital media devices, suggests this product has the potential to become a major portal for a wide range of digital content such as music, books, games, maps and video," says Matt Kleinschmit, Vision Critical's Senior Vice President of Emerging Media. "This could be the device that breaks down the walls between mobile, PC and TV."

Roughly three-quarters of each country's populations have heard of the iPad (75% in the US, 71% in the UK and 78% in Canada), with strong awareness across both age and gender. Nearly 70 percent of the 55-years or older crowd surveyed knew of the device. However, fewer than 1 in 10 consumers actually plan to purchase the iPad in the next six months. Nine per cent of Americans and six per cent each of Britons and Canadians report they "Definitely would or Probably would" buy an iPad in the next six months, with the greatest interest coming from American's aged 18-34 (16% "definitely would or probably would"). Top reasons consumers said they probably wouldn't buy an iPad in the next six months include concerns over the price of the device (48%) coupled with a perceived lack of need (43%). (Note: The iPad retails between $500 and $850 USD.)

iPad Awareness

  % Yes
  US UK Canada
TOTAL 75% 71% 78%
Male 81% 79% 83%
Female 69% 64% 74%
Ages 18-34 82% 80% 87%
Ages 35-54 73% 71% 78%
Ages 55+ 71% 65% 71%

Q: Before today, had you ever heard of the Apple iPad?
Base: All respondents ages 18+ in US (1,009), UK (2,011) & Canada (1,011)

Interest in Purchasing an iPad in the next 6 months

  Definitely would' / 'Probably would buy'
  US UK Canada
TOTAL 9% 6% 6%
Male 10% 8% 7%
Female 9% 3% 4%
Ages 18-34 16% 9% 6%
Ages 35-54 9% 6% 7%
Ages 55+ 3% 3% 3%

Q: Based on the description provided, how likely would you be to buy an Apple iPad in the next six months?
Base: All respondents ages 18+ in US (1,009), UK (2,011) & Canada (1,011)

"The strong awareness of the iPad is quite significant, indicating that consumers are closely watching this new product and actively looking for compelling reasons to buy," adds Kleinschmit. "However, the moderate near-term purchase interest suggests that these reasons may still be a bit too abstract for some consumers; they may need more concrete examples of the types of content, applications and usage scenarios that will make the purchase of this device worthwhile."

This is the first of Vision Critical's quarterly benchmark studies that will continue to track the impact of the iPad on digital media consumption. Data for this release is based on online fieldwork collected between March 3 and 7, 2010, involving 5,000 randomly selected adults in the US, UK and Canada.

With a total sample size of 1,003 adults in the US and 1,009 in Canada, it's with 95% certainty that the results are accurate to within +/- 3.09%. With a total sample size of 2,002 people in the UK, it's with 95% certainty that the results are accurate to within +/- 2.19%. 

About Vision Critical®

Vision Critical is a strategic interactive research company combining technology, researchers and global panels. We help companies reduce research costs while generating engaging and insightful relationships with consumers. Vision Critical uses a visual approach, panel technology and our own global panels to embrace markets with the click of a mouse. The company has offices across North America, Europe and Australia and a Global Partner Program that provides other research companies and consultants with access to our technology.

Angus Reid Public Opinion is the company's global public affairs practice, specializing in the analysis and understanding of "citizen markets" and the public commons. Its Global Monitor contains over 20,000 published surveys.

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