iPad Takes iPod's Halo, Driving Mac Sales

The iPod has long had a "halo effect," turning iPod users into Apple users. Now, says NPD, more than 25 percent of iPad users say the tablet is their first Apple device.

Apple would seem to be petitioning for sainthood, given how many of its products have halos. The latest of these is the iPad, NPD Group reported April 26.

Traditionally, it was the Apple iPod that created a €œhalo effect,€ familiarizing and endearing users to the brand and the platform to the point of encouraging them to consider purchasing other Apple products€”following the launch of the iPod, Mac sales soared.

Macworld recently dug up these stats: Apple shipped 746,000 Macs during its 2002 fiscal first quarter, when the iPod began shipping. By the fiscal first quarter of 2009, with iPod sales at their peak, Mac shipments had risen to 2.5 million units.

The decline of the iPod coincided with the rise of the iPhone, however, and soon it was the halo-wearing iPhone driving Mac sales.

Now, NPD found, more than 25 percent of consumers say their first Apple product was an iPad. The firm€™s Apple Ecosystem Study additionally found 33 percent of U.S. households€”or 37 million€”own Apple products.

By comparison, iPods were owned by 69 percent of those surveyed, but they arrived in those homes at a more gradual pace than iPads did.

€œiPad sales are growing much faster than any other Apple product has this soon after launch,€ Ben Arnold, NPD director of industry analysis, wrote in the report. €œIn fact, one-in-five Apple owner households has one€”nearly equivalent to the number that own an Apple computer. This demonstrates the appeal of both the new form factor and Apple€™s app ecosystem.€