iPad Possibly Too Pricey: NPD

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Port Washington, N.Y. - The iPad may be the apple of the Mac enthusiast's eye, but potential sales of the multimedia device may be hindered by price and no clear need.

A study of 2,000 consumers by The NPD Group found 66 percent were not likely or not likely at all to purchase an iPad in the next six months. This compared with the 9 percent who indicated they were extremely or very likely to do so. This figure went up slightly to 10 percent among the coveted 18- to 34-year-old demographic. Sixty percent of current Apple-product owners were not likely or not likely at all to buy an iPad.

This is despite the fact that 82 percent of Apple owners were aware of the iPad. Many of these were also interested in owning an iPad, if not necessarily willing to pull the trigger and make a purchase.

The study found 18 percent of all consumers expressed a real interest in the device, with this figure growing to 27 percent among 18 - to 34-year-olds. About 24 percent of Apple owners were extremely or very interested.

Apple owners were particularly interested because the iPad came from Apple and has a multitouch screen.

Steve Baker, NPD's industry analysis VP, said those most interested see the iPad primarily as a music device or for its Internet access capabilities. However, he pointed out that these usage models are part of the reason why people may not make an immediate purchase.

"Considering what people are planning to use the iPad for, it's not hard to understand why people who have these capabilities on other devices, such as the iPod Touch or a notebook/netbook, may not want to spend $500 or more on a similar device," he said.

Fifty-seven percent of the 18- to 34-year-old crowd cited the $500 price tag as the primary reason for not buying an iPad. This figure fell to 43 percent among Apple owners.

To placate these potential customers, Apple needs to close the content deals that will deliver high-quality media to the iPad, he added.

Another issue mentioned by those surveyed was that they considered the iPad a netbook or notebook replacement, and the majority of those questioned said they would rather use a netbook or notebook instead of an iPad.


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