From March through May of 2010, online research firm MyType surveyed more than 20,000 of its users on Facebook about Apple’s iPad to determine the personality traits, values, demographics and interests that drive differences in opinion about the high-profile tablet computer. After weighting the responses to reflect the composition of the general Internet-using U.S. population between the ages of 13 and 49, it appears iPad owners possess the qualities of sophistication, intellect, snobbery and selfishness.
While the survey found 54 percent of those asked weren’t even interested in buying one, the 3 percent who were interested or had already bought one and the 11 percent who thought the product “silly” yielded an interesting portrait of iPad opinions. Though the iPad is billed as a leisure and entertainment device, people interested in business and finance are significantly (greater than 50 percent) more likely to be owners of the iPad than those interested in movies, music, books and literature, the arts, or the Internet.
The survey also found people who plead guilty to sins of indulgence are more likely to own an iPad. Those who identified lust as their biggest sin are 70 percent more likely to buy one, while self-professed gluttons are 88 percent more likely to purchase an iPad. Ethnic minorities in the United States are in general much more likely to know what the iPad is than whites, according to survey results. Koreans and Chinese in the United States are over eight times and five times more likely, respectively, and U.S. residents of both Middle Eastern and African descent are more than twice as likely.
iPad owners are also more likely to be extroverts and assertive, and would describe themselves as sophisticated and imaginative. Owners also describe themselves as motivated, driven and possessing of low altruism and low benevolence. High income, in the $75,000 to $200,000 or over range, is also a key characteristic of iPad owners. “iPad owners are best characterized as selfish elites,” the report noted. “Wealthier, older and more educated, they are sophisticated, highly value power and achievement, and are not very kind or altruistic.”
Critics of the iPad, in contrast, were perceived to be independent geeks unwilling to bow down to the House of Apple. “iPad critics, on the other hand, tend to be independent geeks: self-directed young people who look down on conformity and are interested in video games, computers, electronics, science and the Internet,” the report stated. “These results suggest that the iPad is seen more as a power tool for elites than as the newest gadget for technology geeks.”