back to article iPad launch raises awareness, boosts disinterest

A follow-up survey from Retrevo has found that while a lot more people have heard of the iPad since the launch, fewer of those people are planning to buy one. Just prior to the launch of the iPad Retrevo randomly asked a thousand of its users if they'd heard of Apple's new tablet thing, and if they thought they'd be buying one …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nice Idea

    but needs to be cheaper and less proprietary.

    1. ThomH

      I think the opposite

      It doesn't need to be cheaper or less proprietary, judging by top-selling gadgets such as the iPod and the Wii. However, it's also not a terribly nice idea.

      1. M Gale


        The Wii is a toy, and the Ipod little more than. The Ipad on the other hand, is supposed to be.. well, what is it supposed to be? A big Ipod? A Tablet PC?

        If it's the former then fine. If it's the latter, then before I buy it I want to know that I can scrub whatever is on it, install my own choice of OS and use it as.. well.. a real computer. Anything else is just a toy.

        C'mon Jobs, I'm heading for University soon. Give me something that'll last a whole lecture on battery and won't take a big chunk out my my student loan. With a bluetooth keyboard, the Ipad could have been it, and what's more is it could have been my first bona-fide, fruity-logo Mac.

        As it is, I guess it's the EeePC for me.

  2. Anonymous Cowherder
    Jobs Horns

    Quelle SurpriSE

    The only people who could have avoided the blanket media coverage/ free apple advert are the dead or the remaining undiscovered amazon tribes.

    1. codemonkey
      Big Brother


      Or the likes of me that don't have a TV :) And I never click Apple links in the tech press. Apples belong or orchards :)

      1. Goat Jam

        Nice trick

        "And I never click Apple links in the tech press. "

        So, how'd you get here then?

  3. Lockwood

    Yep. Makes sense.

    "That still leaves five per cent of respondents saying they will be buying an iPad, up from three per cent who stated an intention to purchase despite having no idea what the iPad could do, what it was for or even what it was called."

    Such an old poster, such a true statement

  4. Hollerith 1

    or even uninterest...

    ...given that 'disinterest' is a synonym for 'altruism' or, more exactly 'not having an interest in' the same way one not benefiting from something derives no interest from it.

    I know I am fighting a lonely fight here.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Fun with statistics

    'three per cent who stated an intention to purchase despite having no idea what the iPad could do, what it was for or even what it was called'

    Which I think we can all agree means they are morons.

    So, if we extrapolate the figures 5 people in every hundred want the iPad, but 3 of those will be morons. So statistically 60% of all iPad early adopters will be morons.

    They probably shouldn't put that on the box.

    1. Michael C

      false logic

      By your logic, the correct statement is 60% of all people who buy an iPad without researching the specs are morons. A remaining 21% have researched the specs, and are considering purchase anyway, meaning 25% of iPad purchasers are decidedly not Morons by your analysis.

      This is in contract to anyone who buys a Dell machine for any reason, a full 100% of Dell purchasers, since anyone who looked at the specs and priced vs. the competition at all would never buy a Dell. So, 40% of Apple fanboi's are still smarter than anyone who owns a Dell.

      (I state this in complete jest, I just love throwing false logic at people who don;t understand logic or statistics yet like to make statements as if they do).

  6. Brangdon

    Possible bias

    "The service ... probably attracts more than its share of early adopters who'll rush to have the latest Apple tech." - Those people are also more likely to be computer-friendly enough to have netbooks, and as such would not be the target audience for the iPad. It's aimed at people who don't like computers and just want a simple domestic appliance.

  7. Rolf Howarth


    Well, another survey suggested that 20% of doctors in the USA would almost certainly be buying one, just to use the Epocrates app to help with prescription calculations. Surveys like that tell us very little until the device is actually available in people's hands and you can walk into an Apple Store to play with one in person.

    Other than among the relatively small minority of technonerds, "specifications" have very little to do with the desirability or otherwise of a gadget to the populace as a whole. Design, usability and image are FAR more important to most users.

    How many people have seen Avatar and thought "I know I don't need one but I REALLY want one of those cool tablet devices they were all using"? Apart from the fact that it's not transparent (after all, where would the Apple logo go??) the iPad is basically it. Make no mistake, iPad will sell by the million.

  8. Michael C


    Per the survey results, the number of people "committed" to buying one went from 3% to 9%. Thats' 3X the number of people who claim they WILL buy one on launch.

    The category of people "Interested but NOT considering buying one" did in fact double, however, the results clearly indicate that the doubling came mostly from the "never heard of it" and "completely disinterested" categories, which went from 35% to only 18%. Essentially, half the people completely disinterested have become people interested but still not committed. Also, the "Interested but I need more data" group dropped from 36% to 21%. It appears 6 of the 15, or about a third, moved into the "I'll buy" column, and the rest to the "interested but no or not yet" column.

    The survey fails to differentiate between a "no never" and "no not yet" group of people, shedding some negative light. A lot of those people, as I've found elsewhere, are incorrectly informed about the specs, and especially most think it does a) nothing more than an iPhone (it edits documents in full, can run presentations, can output HD to a TV, can manage documents in your iDisk and iWeb sites, and much more), b) it has no SD card slot (there's an adapter), mostly C) there's no camera (there's full bluetooth support and UI bits in the SDK to fully support video conference, and finally D) it has no phone features (it clearly does and with VoIP over 3G, or paired with a regular phone over bluetooth, is a complete communications platform.) Corrected of the actual specs and capabilities, almost every one of the people I've spokent to (well over a hundred) who were naysayers, turned tail and began considering it, especially when they were reminded there are clearly sacrifices between a $900 device and a $500 device to be had. (with almost all of the sacrificed features coming in the form of a $20-30 dongle adapter or a $50-60 bluetooth camera add-on).

    1. Rob


      I think Apple have lost a lot of market by having all these add-ons, most poeple want an all-in-one device without having to buy loads of add-ons to get the functionality they want.

      Will no-one think of the bag/pocket space/children

      (The fail is for Apple not your comments)

  9. I know better

    Missing the point of the iPad

    This iPad is *perfect* (OK, it needs a web cam) for my parents or my wife who just wants to surf *or* play a game *or* do something else. They can't cope with the concept of switching between apps. And as for lack of tweakability, BRILLIANT! That means as near as zero support will be required from me. Yes it's a closed platform but for them it does the job perfectly. For the tinfoil-hat brigade and the freetards there'll be android equivalents that you can tweak and ruin to your hearts content. Best of luck with that!

    BTW, I'll still be using my beat up eee....

    1. Bill Gould
      Gates Halo


      You can buy them a cheap little netbook for less than 1/2 the price of the iPad and just lock it down. Oh, and they can see all the things on websites they go to.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Missing the point

        Can your wife take a netbook into the kitchen and browse recipies on it? (or does it get flour between the keys and in the fan vent, turning it into an unusable mess?)

        the iPad is NOT aimed at the same market as netbooks. If you haven't realised that yet then you either haven't read a single article about it or you're retarded.

  10. Chris 28

    Form factor

    Make a form factor where the keyboard folds in/out to alternate between tablet and laptop and I'm sold.

    1. Lockwood


      Like a PC Tablet?

      Lift lid, swing 180 degrees, lower lid, done?

    2. Rolf Howarth

      Slidable keyboard?

      You mean like those rather naff TV remote controls with fiddly flaps or sliding panels that hide some of the buttons? Most people hate that sort of thing, a remote with fewer buttons but a menu system that's coherent and easy to use is MUCH better in most cases.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Bill, will you *ever* learn..?

    Retrevo? Really?! To quote John Gruber; "Keep in mind that back in August, Retrevo released survey results showing that Apple’s MacBooks were getting killed by netbooks in the back-to-school market. That didn’t exactly pan out." (

    Bill, you failed to mention the following:

    " Due to the interest this study, Retrevo's editorial department would like emphasize and clarify a few points. First, we should have emphasized the positive side of the results more, where the number of respondents indicating interested in an iPad tripled from 3% to 9%. Also, at the end of the day, having 30% of respondents as potential iPad buyers is not a bad thing for Apple. Second, we should say that it was not so much Apple that created the "hoopla" surrounding the tablet, as much as it was the media; so much so that consumers may have been underwhelmed when the product was finally announced. Furthermore, Apple should be given more of the benefit of the doubt for being able to drive sales of their iPad when it actually goes on sale. Given the media hype around the launch, our study offers conclusions that some may disagree with but we feel our data suggests the iPad may have to prove itself before becoming as popular a product as the iPhone."

    The tripling of those that will 'definitely be purchasing' has already been highlighted, what is of interest to El Reg's hacks is this; "Second, we should say that it was not so much Apple that created the "hoopla" surrounding the tablet, as much as it was the media; so much so that consumers may have been underwhelmed when the product was finally announced." Some of the predictions about this device were just dumb! Oh and Bill, let's have a little claim check, eh? What happened when you last predicted an Apple failure..?

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  13. Anonymous Coward

    well gee folks...

    Given the amount of press it received at launch and still receives now I'm not surprised.

    Disinterest levels are rising because everyone is getting sick of the press coverage. You either love the iPad or your hate it and you will vote with your hard earned cash appropriately.

    Enough said, now which pocket did I leave my keys in on my Scottevest jacket ;)

  14. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

    Wot no Flash

    I will know in a week. I just switched Flash off on my tablet PC. If I can manage a week without missing it then I'll probably buy an iPad, if not then I'll wait for a Win 7 slate or just upgrade the RAM and OS on my HP Tx2000 tablet.

    To all the fanbois who are rude about it, Vista makes a pretty good tablet PC OS, though it's a bit slow. Windows 7 would probably cure that, has multi-touch and is a bit nicer too. My tablet cost £650 and can do a lot more than an iPad of a similar price, but I've noticed that I rarely use it for any of this, and just use it to surf t'interwebs while sitting in comfy chairs, or bed.

    The iPad is going to beat any slate PC on battery life (I get 4 hours on my heavy battery and 2 on the light one), and weight and probably shinyness too (I suppose this matters in what's a 'nice to have' rather than 'must-have'). Also price is important. £400 for the cheapest is a lot nicer than the current prices of slate PCs (all over £1,000). I want around a 10" screen.

    On the downside for the iPad I love my stylus. On a tablet it's a full size pen, not like the nasty things on phones/PDA's. It's comfortable and natural to hold, much easier to point at small hyperlinks than my fat fingers, and handwriting recognition is a lot better than any onscreen keyboard. Although if you can really type on Apple's I may take that back. My tablet works with the mark 1 finger, but I usually prefer the stylus. I have a DVD drive (often removed to save weight) but much easier for watching films, whatever Apple claim. Sure I could buy all my films AGAIN on iTunes, or I could spend hours and hours ripping them to a portable format, but it's a bugger of a job. Also my tablet runs a full OS, but I'll happily ditch that flexibility to save weight and battery life. Multi-tasking is also important. That will make me sad, at the moment I listen to the BBC iPlayer while reading websites, and I can also take the odd note if I'm researching, rather than just browsing. I guess the only listening that Apple will allow is iTunes, which is a shame, but I guess that means I'll listen to my music more and I can always get podcasts.

    I think I'd prefer Flash to no flash, but I can cope with the rest of Apple's lock in - although I've never used Safari, so I hope it isn't hateful. On balance I think they got the iPad about right. I'd have liked GPS though. I'm not sure about ebooks, but it will certainly make a lovely PDF reader.

  15. sleepy

    9% will buy, up from 3% - wow

    It's called "qualifying sales leads", and the survey shows it's been done brilliantly. Tyre kickers turned away in droves, keen buyer numbers tripled. All from one media event. Apple could only be disappointed if they had expected 40% of the population to buy within 3 months.

    FUD overlayed on positive figures. Just like the unexpectedly low price, now overlayed with "don't buy it yet, Apple will slash the price within 2 months".

    Just accept that it's going to succeed, and like iPhone, it's not going to be easy for competitors to copy properly.

    Apple could do an Xbox and subsidise with billions to get it started at $249. But they won't need to. It's faster, thinner, lighter, brighter, safer, easier, more fun and twice the battery life of a netbook.

  16. Jazz Kilkullen

    Apple's strategy is right on.

    Brangdon and I Know Better are right. If you are even here reading the Reg, you are not Apple's target market for the iPad. It's for people who are intimidated by computers, but would like to do a few basic things like email and Internet searches. Perfect for my parents--and it's a huge untapped market.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    Uninterest - disinterest

    Hollerith1 - I'm with you on this one. I don't know why it bugs me, but it does.

    The public are largely uninterested. The media SHOULD be disinterested.

    To be fair it is right in the article, but the headline writer got it wrong (you would think they would know better)

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    I live in London and use the Tube daily. Nearly every other person seems to have an iPhone, so wait until a few iPad's start appearing and watch the sales rocket!

    I want one, but I'll wait to see what Apple do before Christmas. Judging by past moves they will have dropped the price and/or upped the spec, although I don't fancy showing my nasal cavities to anyone with a webcam on my lap.

    Don't forget the specialist markets like medicine, engineering and education. I bet a lot of software engineers are wetting their undergarments thinking up apps for those areas, and a lot of 3rd part accessory manufacturers are busy designing ruggedised cases and tools to add on.

    The whole thing will gain a momentum just like the iPod did (eventually) and the iPhone did straight away.

  19. GrandpaChris

    iT's The iStore Silly ("I think Apple have lost a lot of market by having all these add-ons, most poeple want an all-in-one device without having to buy loads of add-ons to get the functionality they want.") WRONG. 5% or 92 % will use the iStore to make a personal use for any device.

    10 years from now it will still be the iStore. Would you go to Wallymart or a small local store for common consumer items?

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