Study: Consumers Want iPad Retina Display

Prospective buyers of Apple’s latest iPad tablet are mainly interested in the high-resolution Retina display new to the device, according to a survey from Baird.

According to the results of the online survey, 24 percent of US respondents plan to purchase the new iPad in the next three months, with 29 percent of international respondents planning to purchase it. When asked about reasons for purchasing the new iPad, 28 percent cited the Retina display as the top reason, followed by the A5X processor at 26 percent and Long Term Evolution (LTE) wireless capability at 17 percent.

Multiple iPads

Among existing iPad owners, 48 percent indicated they plan to purchase the new iPad, with 35 percent of those already owning an iPad 2.

The survey also indicated consumers new to the tablet market are flocking to Apple: 42 percent of those planning to purchase the new iPad have never owned an iPad or other tablet. The previous version of Apple’s tablet is still in high demand, with 15 percent of respondents planning to purchase the discounted iPad 2.

More than a quarter (28 percent) of respondents suggested they were purchasing an iPad instead of a laptop, though close to 50 percent overall suggested the iPad purchase wouldn’t delay the purchase of other electronic purchases.

High price was the largest reason for not purchasing an iPad, cited by 60 percent of non-buyers.

“We think that this could speak to an opportunity for Apple to introduce a lower priced 7-inch tablet,” the report noted. The second and fourth cited reasons for not buying a new iPad were that customers didn’t perceive a need for an iPad because they already own a laptop and smartphone, respectively.

Thirty-six percent of respondents said they plan to purchase an LTE-enabled version, with previous industry estimates suggesting 80 percent or more of iPad sales have been Wi-Fi only.

Cellular wireless usage

In addition, a majority of the respondents claim they plan to use the cellular connectivity daily. Though 81 percent of respondents claimed to understand 4G, only 41 percent claimed to understand LTE, with actual results much lower.

In addition, 78 percent of 4G iPad buyers said that they plan to use the service daily: 13 percent said that they plan to use weekly, 4 percent said that they plan to use the device at least monthly, and another 4 percent said at least once per year.

One percent said that they plan to use 4G service infrequently, or less than once per year.

Slightly under half 48 percent of the survey’s US respondents said that the currently own a tablet. The iPad 2 was the most commonly owned device, followed by the Amazon Kindle Fire and the original iPad.

Google Android-based tablets (excluding the Fire and Barnes & Noble Nook) had a 5 percent share. The international sample was somewhat less penetrated, and had no HP TouchPad or Nook representation.

iPhone overlap

A quarter of the 59 Kindle Fire owners Baird surveyed said that they plan to purchase an iPad in the next three months. The report noted that the Kindle Fire was released in mid-November, marking a “fairly quick” turnaround.

Though perhaps not a surprise, iPhone owners disproportionately said that they plan to buy the new iPad. BlackBerry owners were also disproportionately represented, which the report attributed to higher income levels and corporate iPad adoption.

Seventy-eight percent of the US sample said that the own a smartphone. Android had a 39 percent share among respondents, with Apple’s iOS at 32 percent.

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Nathan Eddy

Nathan Eddy is a contributor to eWeek and TechWeekEurope, covering cloud and BYOD

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