iPad Buyers not convinced

Retrevo’s new study about the Apple iPad — before and after launch — doesn’t bode well for Apple. Yet, Apple has never tried to be the Chevrolet of technology.

Before Jan 20th, only 26% of people said they were NOT at all interested in buying an Apple tablet. That number jumped to 52% after the announcement.

Before Jan 20th, 49% of people said they didn’t think they needed an Apple Tablet. That number jumped to 61% after the announcement.

59% of buyers wouldn’t pay extra for 3G coverage

A follow-up Retrevo Pulse study looking at consumer interest in buying the new Apple iPad indicates a failure to convince any new buyers to consider the iPad. Not only did Apple fail to convince new buyers, it may have lost many potential buyers who now say they don t think they need an Apple tablet computer.

Consumersn Lose Interest after Announcement

Retrevo’s study asked consumers whether or not they had heard about the tablet before the tablet was introduced and again after the announcement. The word definitely got out as the number of respondents saying they had heard about the tablet rose from 37% shortly before the announcement to over 80% after the media

Unfortunately for Apple, the number if respondents saying they had heard about the tablet but were not interested in buying one, doubled from 25% before the announcement to over 50% following the announcement.

The World Was Abuzz Over the Tablet

There is no question whether or not the word got out on the Apple iPad. Retrevo even created a new tool called the Retrevo Buzzmeter to measure Twitter activity around the announcement and also for the State of the Union Address that evening. Not surprisingly the 7,000 Tweets Per Minute (TPM) peak rivaled the 9,000 TPM peak value for President Obama.

Most Consumers Don’t Think They Need an iPad Responses to a more direct question that was asked before and after the announcement further reinforced the bad news for Apple. When asked before the announcement if they thought they needed the tablet, 49% of respondents answered “no” with 30% saying they needed to know more about it before they could decide.

After the announcement the percentage of respondents indicating they needed more info had dropped by half but the overwhelming majority of those who felt they now had sufficient knowledge, decided they didn’t need a tablet. This raised the total number of respondents saying “no” to the iPad, after the announcement, to 61%.

Buyers Don’t Want to Pay for 3G Apple will be adding an extra $130 to the price for adding the optional 3G connectivity. This doesn’t appear to be a very popular option as more than half the respondents to the study, after the announcement, said they wouldn’t pay extra for 3G.

Software Sells Hardware

As we like to say, it’s the apps that sell smartphones like the iPhone and it could very well be those same apps that motivate buyers to run down to the Apple Store and get in line to buy a shiny new iPad. Whether this device becomes a big hit is anyone’s guess but based on this study it sure looks doubtful.

by Andrew Eisner (Retrevo’s Director of Content)

The full report with graphics

Data for this report came from a study of more than 1000 randomly selected Retrevo users. A first random sample of users were surveyed between Jan 16-20, 2010 before the Apple Tablet was announced. A second random sample of users were surveyed between Jan 27 – Feb 3, 2010, after the announcement. The sample was distributed across gender, age, income and location in the United States. Most questions had a confidence interval of 4% at a 95% confidence level. Retrevo is the ultimate electronics marketplace, that helps people decide what, when, and where to buy.

Retrevo is one of the top three consumer electronics review and shopping sites in the world, helping people decide what to buy, when to buy, and where to buy. Retrevo uses artificial intelligence to analyze and graphically summarize more than 50 million real-time data points from across the web to give shoppers the most comprehensive, unbiased, up-to-date product information they need to make smart, confident purchasing decisions for electronics. Retrevo is a Silicon Valley based company that was founded in 2006 and has recently been featured in SmartMoney, The Motley Fool, MacWorld, PC World, Fox Business, The UK Register, and more.