Customers who bought Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPads when the table was first introduced loved the machines. People who have bought them more recently–not so much.
NPD research shows that “almost 80 percent of early adopters were very satisfied with their iPad versus 65 percent of those who bought it after launch.” Early adopters used their iPads 18 hours a week and that numbers grows over time. It is not clear that people who bought the tablet later are as enthusiastic in their usage.
NPD also found, as might be expected, that the portability of the machine is its most appealing feature.
The research results are not particularly good for Apple. Less use almost certainly means few App Store downloads. These software modules are a major reason that people become tethered to Apple devices and apps promote long-term loyalty.
People whose use of the iPad is not above 20 hours a week are probably people who are willing to use laptops, desktops, and netbooks. Apple may have been able to push its share of the sales in these markets, but the early adopter behavior may not keep the momentum there.
And, there is another piece of good news for Apple competitors–only 13 percent of iPad owners surveyed bought an iPad instead of a PC.
The tablet does not appear to be killing off the netbook and other PC products, which means that the may still stage a comeback against Apple.
Douglas A. McIntyre