Survey says pre-release demand for iPad exceeds iPhone

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Thirteen percent of consumers are either somewhat or very likely to purchase Apple's forthcoming iPad tablet device, compared to only 9 percent who expressed comparable interest in a 2007 survey gauging demand for the computing giant's original iPhone, according to a new study published by RBC/ChangeWave Research. Nineteen percent of prospective iPad buyers say they are most interested in the 16GB, WiFi-only version, priced at $499--interestingly, another 19 percent indicate their preference is the 64GB iPad with both WiFi and 3G access, priced at $829. Twelve percent of respondents favor the 32GB, WiFi-only iPad ($599), 10 percent want the 32GB WiFi/3G version ($729), 9 percent are purchasing the 16GB WiFi/3G unit ($629) and 8 percent are targeting the 64GB, WiFi-only model. A third of respondents tell ChangeWave they still don't know which version they'll purchase.

Among planned uses for the iPad, 68 percent of respondents say they are most interested in surfing the Internet--44 percent are looking to check email, 37 percent plan to read ebooks, 28 percent will read magazines and newspapers, and 24 percent will watch video content.

"While we do not expect feverish initial launch lines like iPhone, the data portends well for healthy initial iPad uptake," writes RBC analyst Mike Abramsky in a research note accompanying the survey. "This data, while preliminary, suggests iPad may have greater potential than expected to expand Apple's addressable PC, iPod markets and to capture a segment of the home PC market (est. 35M+ units/yr)." Abramsky forecasts Apple will sell 5 million iPad units this year, translating to revenues of $2.4 billion.

For more on the RBC/ChangeWave survey:
- read this AllThingsD article

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