Thursday, March 8th, 2012 - Vision Critical

Tablet market continues to see growth thanks to the iPad and despite a lack of any real competition

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- Apple's announcement of the iPad 3 today marks another milestone for the company's dominance of the tablet market. Despite increasing numbers of competitors entering the market space, Apple iPad 3 ownership and purchase interest has continued to grow, according to a new study from Vision Critical, a leading global technology and research firm, and online community Nine Rewards.

The study surveyed a representative sample of over 5,000 people across the United States, Canada, Britain and Australia. Part of Apple's ongoing market domination could be attributed to brand awareness. Nearly half of all respondents in the four countries were aware of the imminent launch of the iPad 3.

Furthermore, the study shows that tablets, and the iPad specifically, have moved beyond early majority and reached all demographics.

Tablet ownership has surpassed the netbook device, and come in on par with other mobile devices such as e-readers and portable gaming systems.

Purchase intent for the iPad 3 is strong in total, with an emphasis on the younger male early adopter profile. Despite the strong growth and purchase intent for the iPad 3, there is no single outstanding feature among those rumored to be announced driving consumer excitement. Some of the anticipated improvements-such as retina display, increased processing power, and 4G LTE connectivity-do generate some interest, but it is likely that they are seen more as logical improvements to the existing device rather a revolutionary change that Apple fans will hope for when Tim Cook takes the stage in San Francisco. The situation is perhaps similar to the iPhone 4S and iPad 2 announcements. Consumers have become so accustomed to ground-breaking devices and improvements from Apple, so simpler, yet logical and effective changes, seem mundane.

Price is also a key barrier to purchasing an iPad. The iPad currently costs from $500 to over $900, making it a significant purchase for most consumers. At this price consumers need to have very specific needs in mind that they will fulfill with the device, but well over half of those not interested in a tablet state they just simply don't know what they would use it for (60% US, 57% Britain, 70% Canada, 67% Australia). General internet browsing is actually the number one reason for interest in owning a tablet, over any specific features.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab is Apple's strongest contender in Australia, reaching 76% awareness (62% US, 66% UK, 58% Canada). This is a 27% lift compared to last year, and the media attention about the controversy with Apple may have contributed. 9% intend buying a Galaxy Tab, compared to the category-leading iPad at 22% (Definitely or Probably will buy).

Big brand names prove to be very helpful in establishing awareness for tablet computers: 40% are aware of the Blackberry Playbook, Lenovo's IdeaPad/ThinkPad closely follows at 39%. The LG Optimus is known to 30% of Australians, the Sony Tablet S to 29%, the Motorola Xoom to 27%, and Acer Iconia to 23%. However, all these brands struggle to convert awareness to purchase intention as no more than 2% of Australians would consider buying any one of these brands.

Global brand Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet computer has an awareness of 41% locally, despite Amazon having yet to announce their rumoured launch of an Australian site. The Kindle Fire's strong presence is testament to the Australian penchant for overseas internet shopping, helped by the strong Australian Dollar. Purchase intent for the Kindle Fire is already 4% (Definitely or Probably will buy), indicating this could become a strong contender in Australia once launched locally.

Methodology

This study was conducted by Vision Critical as a part of an ongoing research series tracking evolving consumer adoption and attitudes towards tablet computers. Based on online fieldwork collected from March 1 to March 4, 2012, the study involved representative samples of 1,001 adults in the US, 2,000 in Britain, 1,002 in Canada, and 1,003 in Australia. The study was run on Vision Critical's Springboard America Panel in the US, Springboard UK Panel in Britain, the Angus Reid Forum in Canada, and with sample partner Nine Rewards in Australia.

Contact Profile

Vision Critical


Vision Critical pairs the world's leading market research specialists with the most innovative software developers, marrying the precision of market research with the speed and power of online technology. Serving over 600 global brands through offices across North America, Europe, Asia and Australia, Vision Critical creates powerful software and research solutions including the world's leading community panel platform. For more information, please visit www.visioncritical.com and follow Vision Critical on Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/visioncritical

About Nine Rewards

Nine Rewards, part of the Nine Entertainment Co., manages online panels in Australia and New Zealand to promote products, acquire customers and gather insights.

With over 1.4 million permission-based members across Australia and a growing panel in New Zealand, Nine Rewards has large online communities with a unique recruitment source mainly across Nine Entertainment Co. such as Ticketek, Magshop and ninemsn.


Vision Critical Australia, Peter Harris, Managing Director
P: +61 2 9256 2001
W: www.visioncritical.com

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Tablet market continues to see growth thanks to the iPad and despite a lack of any real competition

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