When Apple Inc. (AAPL) formally unveiled its groundbreaking iPad tablet computer in January, gadget junkies were agog with the device and high demand was anticipated. It was supposed to be a laptop, an e-reader like the Amazon (AMZN) Kindle, a multimedia platform for movies and music and a video game console like the Nintendo (NTDOY) Ds all rolled into one. Every geek wanted one.
Now a month after the Apple iPad initially hit stores in the U.S., it appears that demand is even stronger than ever. Perhaps the key question is whether iPad sales outpace Apple inventory.
Back in March, a ChangeWave research survey predicted a huge wave of demand for the iPad. Specifically, the survey showed 4% of consumer respondents saying they were “very likely” to buy an iPad and 14% “somewhat likely” to buy one for themselves or someone else. (Get full details of that previous Apple ipad report here).
A month after the device went on sale, the demand is even stronger. A May survey of 3,174 consumers by ChangeWave showed 7% of respondents now say they’re “very likely” to buy an iPad and another 13% say they are “somewhat likely.”
As of May 3, 2010, Apple reportedly had sold 1 million iPads. And judging by the new ChangeWave survey results, it’s reasonable to expect momentum to build as the device becomes even more popular and consumers get to experience them up close.
But before investors go out and buy Apple stock, it’s important to note that the time frame for these anticipated purchases is a bit drawn out. ChangeWave asked likely buyers when they plan on purchasing an iPad and only about 1 in 3 (36%) said they’ll do so in the next 6 months. About 1 in 4 (26%) said it would be at least a year and possibly two before they made their planned purchase.
Still, the survey demand trends strongly suggest Apple is outpacing the already lofty 2010 sales estimates of Wall Street and industry analysts. With an astonishing one-in-five respondents saying they’re “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to buy an iPad, it’s clear large numbers of consumers believe Apple has come up with an exciting convergence device.
As of this writing, Jeff Reeves did not own positions in any of the stocks named here.
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