Consumers Looking at iPad More than Kindle, Says Survey
A new survey of consumer sentiment toward the Apple iPad hints that Amazon.com may be right to worry for its Kindle sales.
Among the 2,176 Internet users surveyed in a March 22 report from comScore, 6 percent already owned an Amazon Kindle, 4 percent had a Sony Reader, 2 percent a Barnes & Noble Nook, 1 percent a Samsung Papyrus and still another 1 percent had already pre-ordered an Apple iPad. However, when the group was asked which e-reader they were seriously considering buying over the next three months, 15 percent named the iPad, while 14 percent said the Kindle.
"The tablet and e-reader market is developing at a breakneck pace right now, and Apple's entry into the market is sure to accelerate mainstream consumer adoption," Serge Matta, comScore executive vice president, said in a statement.
When asked about the features they would like on an iPad, consumers made it clear that they don't consider the iPad a traditional e-reader - and neither has Apple marketed it as one.
While 37 percent of respondents said they'd be likely to use the iPad to read books, and 34 percent said they'd use it for reading newspapers or magazines, 50 percent said they'd use it to browse the Internet, 48 percent were likely to use it for email, 36 percent were likely to use it for watching videos or movies and 38 percent would use the iPad to listen to music.
Between 26 and 38 percent of respondents said they'd also use the iPad to download apps from the iTunes store, store and view photos, take advantage of the calendar feature, and maintain an address book and contacts list.
"These devices have the potential to be incredibly disruptive to the way consumers currently access digital content," said Matta. "While only time will tell exactly how consumer behavior will change, our research suggests that not only will a variety of markets be impacted by the introduction of these devices but also that there are substantial opportunities for those in the digital content ecosystem."
comScore also accounted for " iOwners," consumers who currently own an iPhone or iPod touch. While iOwners and non-iOwners expressed an equal intention - 15 percent - to purchase an iPad in the next three months, iOwners were otherwise a separate breed.
According to the survey, the iOwners were more aware of the iPad, with 85 percent having heard of it, versus 61 percent of non-iOwners, and the degree to which they were interested in certain features varied.
When asked about the most important iPad attributes, 43 percent of non-iOwners said the ability use applications; 37 percent said having a screen the size of a laptop or desktop; and 34 percent said a built-in camera. Among iOwners, those totals rose to 56, 66 and 51 percent, respectively.
Other factors affecting attitudes toward the iPad, comScore found, were age - with younger consumers indicating they were more willing, than older peers, to pay for news content - and current wireless carrier service. While 25 percent of AT&T customers who were aware of the iPad said they were planning to purchase the device in the next three months, only 10 percent of Verizon Wireless customers said the same.
It's been estimated that Apple could sell in the neighborhood of 7 million iPads before the year's close.