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164 iPad Owners Are “Very Satisfied” With Their New Tablet

April 2nd, 2012 by · 2 Comments · surveys & polls

ChangeWave Research released a new set of polling data today, and it tells us the same old tale: people like the iPad. This story is so old that for once I won’t report the same story as everyone else; instead I will report on the facts.

What’s the difference? Most stories about this poll will say something like “82% of new iPad owners” like the iPad. That is  not a fact. It is an extrapolation from the poll results. A total of 200 iPad owners were polled, and 164  liked their purchase (a lot). The 164, as well as the other specific numbers from the poll, is the fact. Interpreting the facts to say something about all iPad owners is an extrapolation, not a fact.

The survey also showed that 150 of the 200 new iPad owners fell in love with the retina display. Given all the hype I’ve heard about it, I’m not surprised. But I am still convinced it’s hype. I mean, for all that you’ve heard about the new screen is better than on any other tablet, how much kvetching have you read about the comparison to laptop and desktop screens? Those have much lower screen resolutions, and yet I haven’t read any  diatribes about what a terrible experience they are now.

Other results from the poll include 52 owners who didn’t like the high retail price of the iPad, 46 who were appalled by the cost of a data plan ($20 for 1GB), and an overwhelming 188 who hadn’t noticed the overheating problem being hyped in the tech blogs right now.

Now, I might choose to be difficult about the facts, but all the stories written about this poll are probably going to be correct when they extrapolate from 200 to all iPad owners.  People really do like the iPad more than other tablets, and that is especially true for Android tablets.

I know this because of the refurb market. Have you ever compared the discount for Apple’s refurb prices vs what you can find for Android tablets? There’s a noticeable difference.

Refurbs mostly come from people who didn’t like the device, and the price of each device reflects how many have been returned and the speed at which they are being resold. Apple does sell refurbs, but their discount is small and almost nominal. For example, Apple is selling all refurbished iPad 2 models for only $50 off retail (10% or less of retail).

Contrast that to any refurbished Android tablet. The KF refurb goes for 15% off, while the Nook Color is selling for over 20% off. Also, the bigger and pricier Android tablets get an even steeper discount, which I’ve noticed time and again in my deals posts.

What’s more, refurbished Android tablet regularly go on sale with steep discounts, which suggests that there’s a backlog of unsold refurbs.  The KF had a one day sale last week for 35% off of retail. I got my refurbished Samsung Galaxy Tab for over 40% off retail.

You’d never see Apple offer those kind of sales, would you? The reason for that is simple. They don’t need to.

Personally, I find that the refurb market tells me more about user happiness than any poll ever has. Actions speak louder than words, always.

ChangeWave Research

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2 Comments so far ↓

  • Guest

    For the new iPad Apple can’t do that because they don’t have that many iPads available. Supply seems to be very short as in Germany there’s no way to get the 64GB/black model. Not even Apple is able to deliver this one…

  • monopole

    The same logic could be applied to diamonds, very little resale, focus on new product, single source, believed to be very rare and valuable. In reality, diamonds are actually quite common in comparison to other gems and have little or no resale value due to the DeBeers cartel.

    How often do you see outlet sales of genuine Coach bags or refurbed fountain pens? Even though a genuine Coach bag costs $10 to manufacture, selling the product at anyting short of list price would dilute the value of the product as a Veblen good.

    In the same manner, iPads are a Veblen Good and Apple needs to keep it that way to achieve the incredibly high margins they have. Given that Apple controls the refurb market for iPads they are likely to make considerable efforts to prevent price dilution. Apple sticks religiously to the introductory price until a new model comes in. Apple must maintain the perception that tablets are expensive and iPads are a premium product.

    Android tablets and phones are commodity goods, vendors factor in discounts and refurb sales into the MSRP and drop prices over the lifetime of the product. Despite the lower margins, there is more profit per unit for the components manufacturers and assemblers.

    The danger for Apple is the innovators dilemma of low end disruption and overshoot. As a product is commodified with “more than good enough” products from other vendors, the market leader will attempt to retain a high margin by adding additional features. This often results in overshoot, where the resulting product exceeds the needs of the average user and becomes overpriced and overspecced. I think the new iPad is the first stage of overshoot, with the frantic rationalization of the retina display as a quantum leap, where many individuals are having trouble seeing the difference.

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