iPad dominates tablet purchasing plans

While rival manufacturers have been scrambling to put out their own tablet computers, it seems that none of them has captured the public imagination as Apple's iPad has.

A survey of more than 3,000 consumers released by ChangeWave on Thursday found that 27 per cent of consumers have plans to buy a tablet, and that 82 per cent of them plan to purchase an Apple iPad. The Motorola Xoom, Research in Motion's BlackBerry PlayBook (soon to be rolled out) and the Samsung Galaxy Tab - each accounted for less than five per cent of planned tablet purchases.

In an analysis of its survey data, ChangeWave said iPad competitors face a steep uphill climb against Apple, especially since Apple is already releasing the second generation of its popular device this week. ChangeWave said this could be particularly daunting because 95 per cent of all iPad users in its survey said they were either "very satisfied" (70 per cent) or "somewhat satisfied" (25 per cent) with the tablet. A mere two per cent of users said they were "somewhat dissatisfied" with the iPad while 0 per cent said they were "very unsatisfied."

ANALYSIS: iPad competitors face rocky road, Forrester says

When looking at whether tablets are cannibalizing other device markets, ChangeWave found that 17 per cent of users said that they had put on hold or cancelled plans to purchase an Amazon Kindle in favor of buying tablets, up significantly from the 12 per cent of users who said they had held off on plans to buy a Kindle in favor of a tablet in ChangeWave's November 2010 survey. Eleven percent of users surveyed said they had put off plans to buy a laptop in favor of a tablet, while 10 per cent surveyed said the same thing about netbooks.

In terms of wireless services for the iPad, ChangeWave found that 17 per cent of users who planned on buying tablets said they would get their service from Verizon, vs. 24 per cent of users who said they would get their service from AT&T. ChangeWave says that Verizon's showing is "a significant achievement, considering Verizon has only been selling the iPad for four months."

ChangeWave's findings are largely in line with findings from other surveys and studies that have found the iPad in firm control of the tablet market. IDC Thursday released a report showing the iPad accounted for 83 per cent of all tablets shipped in 2010. Research released by ChangeWave last year, meanwhile, found that the iPad dominated corporate purchasing plans, as more than three-quarters of the businesses that planned on buying tablets reported plans to buy the iPad.

The iPad 2 is slated to be released March 11, less than two weeks after Apple announced its existence at a media event in San Francisco. The tablet will feature a dual-core 1GHz processor, a 9.7-inch diagonal screen with a resolution of 1024x768 pixels and battery power that will support 10 hours of Web surfing over Wi-Fi networks and nine hours of Web surfing over 3G networks. The iPad 2 will also be a thinner and lighter version of the original iPad, as it measures in at 0.34 inches thick and 1.35 pounds.

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Brad Reed

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