By Jared Newman | Friday, October 1, 2010 at 2:32 pm
When we conducted the State of iPad Satisfaction survey last June, the results were overwhelmingly positive. Maybe we should’ve waited a little longer.
The NPD Group surveyed iPad owners in August, and separated them by date of purchase. Of the people who bought iPads within the first two months of launch, almost 80 percent said they were very satisfied. High satisfaction was at 65 percent for folks who bought the iPad after the two-month mark.
This is not damning evidence by any stretch; it merely confirms Harry’s earlier conclusion that early adopters love their new gadgets. Our early Windows 7 satisfaction survey revealed similar levels of enthusiasm. NPD’s methods are more scientific, but the conclusion isn’t much different.
NPD notes that the first iPad owners use their tablets for 18 hours per week on average, and climbing for nearly a third of those users, but doesn’t say how the later buyers differ. Early adopters are more likely to use “advanced multimedia features” like YouTube, TV shows and e-books. Interesting stuff, but I wish NPD provided a better explanation of what caused lower satisfaction among later adopters. Are the folks who line up at Apple Stores — and those who saunter in days and weeks later — blinded by enthusiasm for new gadgets, or are they smart buyers who know exactly what they want?
Oddly enough, 51 percent of NPD’s respondents said lack of USB ports was their main reason for dissatisfaction, while roughly two-thirds of our respondents said USB ports were either a minor omission or better left off the device entirely. (They pined most for printing capabilities, which are coming with the next iOS update.) Maybe USB’s benefits — photo transfers, keyboards and wired headsets — aren’t obvious right away. Incidentally, I suspect that a front-facing camera is the kind of feature people want in theory, but rarely use in practice, which might explain why NPD’s respondents didn’t list cameras as major omissions.
On an unrelated note, NPD’s iPad survey debunks the idea that the tablet has already wrecked computer sales, finding that only 13 percent of iPad owners bought the device in lieu of a PC. I’m not surprised.