Since its introduction just over two years ago, the iPad from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) has either been the only tablet device on the market or the biggest seller by a very wide margin. According to the latest survey results from ChangeWave, that domination is not going to end anytime soon.
Among those surveyed who plan to buy a tablet in the next 90 days, fully 73% plan to purchase an iPad, while tablets based on the Android operating system from Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) from Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Samsung Electronics (OTC: SSNLF) manage to rack up just 8% and 6% of buyers, respectively. The Nook e-reader from Barnes & Noble Inc. (NYSE: BKS) doesn’t even make the chart.
ChangeWave calls out the reason for this massive preference:
Note that in previous ChangeWave surveys we’ve found that the percentage of tablet owners who say they are Very Satisfied with a particular device is highly predictive of future demand.
So, how does the iPad fare in customer satisfaction? A whopping 81% of new iPad buyers are Very Satisfied, and 71% of iPad 2 buyers also claim to be Very Satisfied. That compares to 46% who say they are Very Satisfied with their Samsung Galaxy Tab and 41% who are Very Satisfied with their Kindle Fire tablets. When the Very Satisfied users are combined with the Satisfied users, the Kindle garners a 94% reading, compared with 96% for the new iPad and 97% for the iPad 2, a much more competitive number. The Galaxy Tab gets a combined rating of 87%, still not bad.
ChangeWave also asked those surveyed how likely they would be to purchase an iPad-mini (with a 7-inch screen) should one be announced by Apple. Some 3% said they were Very Likely to buy and another 14% answered that they were Likely to buy a small iPad. The research firm called that response “highly encouraging” for Apple and “worrisome” for other tablet makers.
Because the combined Satisfied and Very Satisfied ratings are nearly equal between Apple and Amazon, with Samsung trailing fairly closely, Apple’s huge lead in Very Satisfied buyers could well be attributable to the company’s brand and its reputation for innovation and craftsmanship. The iPad is the top-of-the-line, the best there is — how can a buyer say that he or she is not happy with what is widely acknowledged as the best tablet available? Of course the buyers are Very Satisfied — if they weren’t they’d be fools for paying a premium for an iPad and nobody wants to be thought a fool.