NPD: iPad Satisfaction Drops Among Later Adopters

By  |  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.



5 Comments For This Post

  1. Andre Da Costa Says:

    Personally, I wouldn't mind owning a iPad, its a casual computing device, its not meant as a replacement for a PC. Its for those moments, you are relaxing on your sofa in your living room, you are watching one of your favorite Sunday night series, you see something you want to tweet or post on Facebook, opening up a laptop lid or having it in your lap is not as convenient as an iPad would be.

    The iPod Touch can do this, but the larger screen is of course the plus of the iPad. I think a lot of persons who are dissatisfied were hoping it could actually be a laptop or desktop replacement, no its a complimentary device. Maybe with version 2 and iOS 4.2 it will be a more capable competitor to the Netbook, but that is just more complexity being added, unless Steve Jobs works his magic and doing it in a seamless way.

  2. TechT20 Says:

    Thanks for giving info about NPD
    iPad Application

  3. John Says:

    This doesn't surprise me in the least; early adopters are either fanboys or technophiles – both categories that are more than willing to overlook or minimize any deficiencies for the benefits, real or imagined. These are also the ones who are most vocal in promoting their device as anything less than a glowing recommendation would, in their minds, be construed as them admitting they made a mistake in becoming an early adopter. This is not something that they are able to admit.

  4. Tech Says:

    It's an oversized iphone of couse people aren't happy with it.

  5. Paul Smith-Keitley Says:

    Of course early adopters would love it, they were the Apple psychophants, now ordinary people are looking at it and it comes up lacking.