Survey: Jobs' Departure Not Weakening Demand for Apple Products14 Sep, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel
More than 80% of consumer respondents said they plan to buy an iPad tablet in the next quarter
If there is a silver lining in Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ recent resignation to fight a rare form of pancreatic cancer, it’s that consumer demand for Apple products has only strengthened.
In a survey of nearly 2,300 consumers from Sept. 6 to 12, Bethesda, Md.-based ChangeWave Research found that just 4% of respondents said they would be less likely to buy Apple products in the future, including the much-rumored iPhone 5.
Indeed, 89% of respondents said Jobs' departure would have no impact at all. That’s quite a shift from 2008, when nearly 20% respondents in a similar survey said they would less likely to buy Apple should Jobs step down. The percentage of detractors declined in subsequent surveys to 7% in the previous survey conducted in February.
“The results suggest that Jobs’ previous absences have had an ‘inoculating’ effect that over time has allayed consumer concerns on whether the company could operate at the same level without Steve Jobs at the helm,” according to the report.
Tablets such as the iPad are considered to be big drivers of transactional and subscription video-on-demand movies and TV shows — despite some data reports suggesting tepid demand among tablet owners.
Separately, a survey conducted from Aug. 10 to 29 of more than 1,600 corporate respondents found that 80% indicated a strong desire to buy an iPad tablet computer in the next quarter — a stat that has not changed since the previous survey. That survey also found a 1% increase in demand (to 7%) for the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, a 1% decline (to 5%) for the Dell Streak, a 6% decline (to 4%) for Motorola Xoom and a 5% decline (to 3%) for the RIM/Blackberry Playbook.
Interestingly, the HP TouchPad, which was favored by 10% of respondents, subsequently was discontinued by HP — setting off a consumer frenzy when the computer giant dropped the unit’s price to $99 from $499.
Among consumers, 85% of respondents said they would buy an iPad, compared with 4% (up 2%) for the Galaxy Tab, 2% (down 1%) for the playbook and 1% (down 3%) for the Xoom. A key point of differentiation according to the survey: 70% of iPad owners said they were very satisfied with the tablet, compared with 42% of all other tablet brand owners indicating satisfaction for their devices.
Samsung’s (albeit small) uptick in consumer demand for the Galaxy Tab might be short-lived after a German judge found reasonable cause in an Apple patent and copyright infringement case against Samsung and upheld a sales ban of the Galaxy Tab in the country.
Finally, ChangeWave asked respondents about their preference toward the much-rumored rollout of a Kindle tablet by Amazon. About 2% said they would be very interested (12% somewhat interested) in the device, which is said to offer a 9-inch color screen, Web browser and eReader functionality, among other features.