Consumer interest in e-readers and tablets has risen dramatically, fueled largely by the publicity surrounding the iPad.
Internet users have learned about the iPad at "breakneck" speed and already have as much awareness about the Apple tablet as they do about Amazon's popular Kindle e-reader, according to a new survey.
The survey of 2,176 Internet users was conducted by ComScore, whose executive VP Serge Matta was impressed enough to say that the tablet and e-reader market has "the potential to be incredibly disruptive to the way consumers currently access digital content."
Scheduled to be available for purchase April 3, the iPad has generated initial excitement among both Apple aficionados and people who don't own any other Apple products.
The survey found that consumer interest in e-readers and tablets has risen dramatically, and the recent publicity surrounding the iPad has fueled the interest. One particularly surprising result of the survey was that the iPad rated even higher than the Kindle among consumers seriously considering a purchase over the next three months. Of those Internet users, 15% said they are considering purchasing an iPad while 14% said they were thinking of buying a Kindle.
"The tablet and e-reader market is developing at a breakneck pace right now, and Apple's entry into the market is sure to accelerate mainstream consumer adoption," said Matta in a statement. "These devices have the potential to be incredibly disruptive to the way consumers currently access digital content."
The survey respondents generally indicated they plan to use the iPad and the Kindle for different tasks, although there are some common plans for use of the two devices by consumers. iPad enthusiasts tend to see the iPad as something of an extension to their existing Internet devices and plan to use the device for browsing the Web, conducting e-mail functions, listening to music, and reading books. Kindle and other e-reader owners use their devices chiefly for reading books and other publications.
Because people who already possess an Apple device are familiar with purchasing digital content over iTunes, those owners appear to be more comfortable than others in purchasing digital content on the iPad. Existing Apple product owners also seemed to like certain iPad attributes like its multi-app use, its build-in camera, and the fact that its screen is the same size as a laptop or desktop computer.
The survey indicated the iPad could impact Apple's iTouch market, because 37% of respondents indicated they could substitute an iPad for an iTouch.
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