A recent analyst report shed light on just who is buying the iPad, and some of the trends are startling.
For example, the study estimated that 90 per cent of the iPad's customer base is from users who already own at least one Apple device. And research firm Strategy Analytics suggests that the trend will continue. Only two per cent of users who don't own an Apple product plan to buy the iPad in the coming year, compared to 18 per cent of current Apple customers.
On the surface, you can chalk this up to the notion that Apple's loyal customers will buy just about anything the company puts out. The statistics in the past have shown, to various degrees, that Apple customers do make up a large portion of sales for new devices.
But there's also the fact that Apple has greatly expanded its reach in recent years. A base that used to be limited to Macintosh computers and iPods has now extended by several million new users into the phone market. When you add the flood of new users that came under Apple's tent with the iPhone, you have a much larger base of existing customers.
Then there's the nature of the tablet market, which has thus far been something of an early adopter platform. Many tablet sales have so far targeted the high-end and enthusiast crowds who have been long been characterised by brand loyalty.
Regardless, the report doesn't exactly predict gloom and doom for Apple. As Strategy Analytics director of connected home devices Peter King puts it, "Apple can mop up plenty of iPad demand from its loyal customer base before it needs to start focusing on the 50 per cent of people who do not yet own one of its products."
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