Survey: Who Wants a Tablet? Gimme an iPad!

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Some 50% of consumers surveyed by Bernstein Research want an iPad, and the rest want something that’s very similar to an iPad, leading the researchers to conclude what this reporter has said frequently and often: Apple is likely to dominate the tablet market with its iPad the same way it dominated the “MP3 Player” market with the iPod.

“Fifty percent of respondents preferred Apple over all other brands,” the research firm wrote in a report, which was obtained by AllThingD. “There is a remarkable degree of unanimity in consumer’s preferences for the iPad over competing products. … In the US, we find that Apple has more than double the brand appeal of BlackBerry, HTC, Motorola, Nokia and Samsung combined. These manufacturers have a very high level of brand equity and visibility in adjacent categories. It is striking that they hold so little appeal for consumers in tablets.”

The companies listed by Bernstein Research in its results represent the bottom four companies plus Research In Motion, the company with the third best showing (at 9%). Even looking at the top three also-rans, however — Dell (12%), RIM (9%), and Samsung (7%) — Apple is still almost double their combined showing in the survey.  As you can see in the chart below, even “No Preference” scored higher than the bottom five brands.

Part of the problem for would-be competitors, the firm found, is that Apple has defined the sweet spot for specs. Only 15% of respondents prefer the 7” form factor that has represented the bulk of competing tablets that can come close to matching Apple’s iPad on price.

“Over 50 percent of respondents are firmly in favor of the 10” screen,” the company wrote, “which leads us to conclude that the 7” tablet models recently launched, like the BlackBerry PlayBook, are destined for failure. Consumer’s preference for the 10” form factor explains the lukewarm response to Samsung’s 7” Galaxy tablet and the rapid introduction of larger screen models in that series.”

Bernstein Research Data

Data by Bernstein Research, chart by The Mac Observer
(There are similar results for the UK you can in AllThingsD’s report)

The researchers concluded that the tablet market is likely to break in one of two ways. In one scenario (the one predicted by yours truly) Apple maintains at least 60% market share leaving the rest of the market fragmented. the other scenario leaves Apple as the largest competitor competing alone at the high end of the market.

Either way, Bernstein Research concluded that there is “minimal upside for handset manufacturers in both scenarios.”

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Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

How does this chart jibe with Asus making 300K Eee PC Transformers (10” IPS screen, $399, Honeycomb) this month to keep up with demand? That’s at least 3% in market share. Perhaps respondents weren’t given the option, as there is no “other”, just “no preference”. Weird.


looks an interesting product line, it ticks a lot of boxes.
There are a lot of port holes on the tablet…more chances of crud entering the unit.
I think I would prefer all the ports like SD card, HDMI, USB etc being all on the keyboard/dock. Just to keep the tablet looking good.
Also, good idea to have an extra battery in the dock.


?Over 50 percent of respondents are firmly in favor of the 10? screen,? the company wrote, ?which leads us to conclude that the 7? tablet models recently launched, like the BlackBerry PlayBook, are destined for failure.

Lets see. I seem to remember someone saying essentially that last October. He was talking about the iPad and why they went with a 10” and had no plans for a 7” model. He said 7” tablets would be DOA Hmmm. Who what that. Who was that.

Oh that’s right. I remember who it was now.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Whoever he was, he was wrong about the 7” Nook Color, as recently revealed by the New York Times. CrunchGear estimated 3 million of the devices in channel and 600K sold per month as of end of March.

Again, it’s funny how this survey doesn’t include another significant contributor to actual units sold.


Again, it?s funny how this survey doesn?t include another significant contributor to actual units sold.

They weren’t including anyone coming at tablets from an angle. Asus is the netbook angle, Nook is the eBook reader angle. So is Amazon.  You’re right that they should have included those, but I can see why it might have slipped their minds, or why they might have rationalized those out of their survey.

I think the 7” form factor makes more sense in an eBook reader, so users who want a device primarily for that purpose but with the extra flexibility to be a tablet too might choose 7”. Users who just want a tablet as a portable computing device would do better with the larger 10” screen.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

More like they didn’t include anything that didn’t support their pre-conceived conclusion.

And there is the Acer Iconia ($450), which is doing quite well at big box discounters such as Costco.

It’s funny that some are claiming/receiving credit for predicting that competitors who try to make iPad clones will not make a dent in the iPad and clone market, while when I said that real competition would come from unexpected angles, nobody wants to recognize that yet. Oh well. I have a prediction. Apple will continue to hold onto 100% of the “iPad made by Apple” market.

Bryan Chaffin

More like they didn?t include anything that didn?t support their pre-conceived conclusion.

Paranoia doesn’t become you, Brad, and I say that not to try and pick a fight. There is simply no evidence at all that Bernstein Research had an agenda, one way or another.  It would be just as easy to say that “only 50%” identifying Apple as their tablet maker of choice must surely indicate bias in the question considering the fact that Apple has something more akin to 70%+ market share, and that’s being generous in defining the Nook Color as an actual tablet (note that I am a fan of B&N’s Nook products).

Most surveys aren’t perfect (or are far from perfect), but that doesn’t mean that the researchers in this survey were necessarily pursuing an agenda.

In the case of the missing Asus (or any other brand), I would personally imagine that Asus is NOT a brand that folks in the U.S. leap towards when thinking “tablets.” The survey was conducted in the U.S. and UK, not Asus’s stronger markets in Asia.

In summary: Sometimes a candle is just a candle.


I think it all comes down to brand marketing. Most people are probably not even aware of other tablets.  All they know is what they see on TV and since there’s no Asus, Toshiba, Samsung or other tablet makers running commercials, all they know is Apple.

I have an iPad 2 and love it, but honestly, if Honeycomb was capable of streaming Netflix and Hulu right now, I would have went with an Android tablet.  Since I knew that Netflix and Hulu Plus works perfect on my iPhone, I know that it would work just as well on the iPad and the added benefit of Apple TV.  But now that I see that Android can link up with Apple TV and Netflix streaming IS coming, I will defintely be looking at an Android tablet soon.  I love how you can customize the crap out Android where as every iPhone and iPad will look EXACTLY the same minus the background.  I want the freedom to customize and make all the changes I want.  Apple doesn’t give me that same freedom.  Walmart supposedly will be offering an 8gb Asus tablet for $349 and I think I will pick one up to complement my iPad.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Bryan, It’s not paranoia if they were lazy, or something like that. All they had to do was avail themselves to one of the major tech blogs or look at top sellers in the category on Amazon to get those brand names. We’re probably talking 10% give or take of this year’s tablet market in my examples. Also strange that they don’t invoke Android, which has a 3:2 advantage over iOS in smart phone installed base. Powerful brand.

Bryan Chaffin

Brad, it was a tablet survey, where Android is, at best, a would-be bit player. Its strength in smartphones is not relevant.

You’re accusing Bernstein Research of bias, but it sounds to me like you are wanting a biased survey of your own.

They asked:

1.) What brand do you think you would choose for your tablet.

2.) Which form factor do you prefer?

We don’t know what else was asked.

Where is the bias applied in what we do know was asked? How would invoking Android’s smartphone share not add actual bias?

Furthermore, there’s nothing in this survey that I can see that invalidates, or even addresses, Android as a tablet OS. Instead, the results are much more about the iPad’s mind share, plus a bit about that backs up Steve Jobs saying that people don’t want a 7” display in their media tablets.

The market itself has also backed that up, for what that’s worth.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Bryan: It’s not bias. It just indicates that iPad fans have no idea what’s actually hitting them. Now that is just like phones, December 2009.

I have a friend who is looking at tablets, saw an iPad that a cow-orker has, saw a couple Android tablets at Costco (Xoom and Iconia), and decided that she wants one like her phone (an HTC Evo). She wants an Android tablet, not an HTC. That little piece of anecdotal evidence is why I’m skeptical about this survey measuring anything terribly meaningful.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Alright, so long as we’re talking about well-known brands and not who is actually selling tablets right now… Where is Vizio? They are the number 1 TV brand in America and had a Super Bowl commercial touting their tablet. Why wouldn’t this research firm put them in the brand list? They launch a Gingerbread 7” device in July. Visit your local Costco.

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