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Study pegs “single-minded” iPad buyers, opportunities for competitors

by David Needle

December 22 2011

Maritz Research survey results breaks out tablet buyers into four categories
Maritz Research survey results breaks out tablet buyers into four categories

Although the iPad is riding high as the best-selling tablet, a new study suggests most buyers are open to other options. The study says that while a majority of tablet consumers purchased an iPad in the last three months, only 16% had only an iPad in mind before ultimately making their purchase.

A new Maritz Research Holiday Tablet Poll projects who will be purchasing tablets in the next three months (December - February, 2012) and the results include some surprises. 

"Based on purchase profiles, we can conclude there is definitely room for non-iPad brands to capture market share," said Michael Allenson, Senior Strategic Consulting Director of the Technology/Telecom Research Group at Maritz Research, in a release.

Based on the results, the research firm breaks out tablet buyers into four categories: 

Single-minded buyers 

Maritz places 21% of those surveyed into this category of folks who really want to buy an iPad. While they’re familiar with other brands, Maritz survey indicates 78% of this segment buy an iPad and 40% buy one within two weeks of realizing they want an iPad.

Tablet-committed buyers 

The largest segment at 44%, this group is committed to buying a tablet but undecided on a brand. These buyers are aware of three or more brands and are willing to consider brands other than the iPad; however, 58 percent of these consumers end up buying an iPad. Once in the market for a tablet, 34 percent of these purchasers make their decision to buy within two weeks.

Newcomers 

Reflecting the growing awareness of tablets, Newcomers are the smallest of the four key segments Maritz identified at 13%. Newcomers may know a few tablet brands in the market but do not have familiarity or affinity toward any in particular. Among this group, 58% prefer/buy an iPad, but they take longer to make a decision to buy, with only 28 percent purchasing within two weeks.

Low-end buyers 

Price rules for this 22% part of the breakout of consumers who want to spend less than $250 on their tablet purchase. As you might expect, Maritz says this segment is dominated by the Amazon Kindle Fire, which enjoys a commanding 45% share of the market. Thirty-nine percent of this group make their purchase decision within two weeks, demonstrating what Maritz says is a rise in impulse buying.

Who are these tablet buyers?

The Maritz study breaks out a demographic profile of the different segments, identifying the single-minded buyers as having an average age of 41, skew female, with an average household income of $75,000. Tablet-committed buyers have an average age of 38, skew more male, and have an average household income of $72,000. Newcomers have an average age of 46, skew more female, and they have an average household income of $70,000. Low-end buyers have an average age of 41 years, are consistent with all tablet buyers on gender, and have an average household income of $62,000.

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