iPad Users An App-Less Bunch

One-third of all owners of Apple's hot-selling tablet have never downloaded software from the company's online software store.
Apple regularly touts the rich selection of applications available through its App Store as one of the main selling points behind the success of the iPad, but it turns out a significant chunk of the tablet users don't even bother with third-party software.
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32% of iPad users, or almost one-third, have never downloaded an application from Apple's online cache, according to a new survey by market researchers at Nielsen. 5%, meanwhile, have only downloaded free apps, while 63% have downloaded paid applications.

The most popular category of downloads, not surprisingly, was games, as 62% of users who grabbed software from the App Store reported selecting a gaming application. 54% downloaded books, 50% selected music, and 45% picked a shopping application.

Nielsen based its survey on interviews with 5,000 tablet, netbook, smartphone, or eReader users. "The growing popularity of connected devices—especially Apple's iconic tablet, the iPad—is starting to change how people consume media," Nielsen said in a statement.

The market researcher said the iPad and other gadgets could be the sole bright spots in what it expects to be an otherwise "lackluster" holiday shopping season. Apple is doing its part to ensure that the iPad is prominent in the minds of holiday shoppers. The company recently struck deals with mass merchandisers Target and Wal-Mart, under which the retailers are stocking the iPad in their nationwide chains of department stores.

Apple boss Steve Jobs said he doesn't believe smaller tablets from competitors like Google and Samsung will catch on with consumers. "They'll be dead on arrival said Jobs," who spoke Monday on Apple's quarterly earnings call.

Strong iPad sales, in addition to robust performance by the iPhone and iPod, helped Apple beat analysts' expectations for its fourth quarter. The company reported a 70% increase in profits, to $4.3 billion, compared to the same period a year ago. The company also posted a 66% gain in revenues, to $20.3 billion.