Consumer tablet interest is huge for the holidays, so who are the winners?

Consumer tablet interest is huge for the holidays, so who are the winners?
A new survey has come out trying to figure out what tablet people are intending to buy this holiday season, and while some of the information is pretty easy to guess (the Apple iPad is the most popular tablet on the list), there were some surprises when it came to the Microsoft Surface and Google Nexus 7. The biggest surprise was that consumer interest in the Microsoft Surface dropped 53% after the price announcement, but Microsoft's tablet still had more interest than the Nexus 7.

The survey was performed by Parks Associates, first to find consumer interest in holiday tech purchases in Q3 of 2012, then again more recently. Not surprisingly, the Apple iPad was the top device with about 44% of consumers intending to purchase an iPad during both sessions of the survey. What is surprising is that in Q3, the Microsoft Surface also had about 44% of consumer interest, then a few things happened: Microsoft announced the price of the Surface, the Google Nexus 7 started gaining attention, and Amazon announced a new line of Kindle Fire tablets. After all of that, interest in the Microsoft Surface dropped to around 21%, just behind the Kindle Fire, which was at 24%. And, the Google Nexus 7, which didn't even register on the Q3 survey, rounded out the Q4 numbers with about 12% of consumer interest. 

Consumer tablet interest is huge for the holidays, so who are the winners?
Of course, as with most surveys, we have some questions about the data. First, are all 3 Kindle Fire tablets counted under the same heading? Because there is only one listing there. Similarly, it doesn't seem as though the Google Nexus 10 was part of the survey, and the graph oddly shows the Apple listing as the "iPad 2", but it seems that includes the iPad 4 as well. Then, the big question is: what's the correlation between intent to purchase, and the actual act of purchasing? So far, projections are mixed on the sales of the Microsoft Surface, but given how many retail stores carry the Surface, the sales do not seem to match the survey's results for intent between the Surface and the Nexus 7. The Nexus 7 has been projected to sell 1 million units in December alone, while it's unclear if the Surface will get to that number for the entirety of Q4. 

It's no surprise that the iPad has the top spot, because for better or worse, it is still seen as the de facto purchase choice for a tablet by most media outlets and casual consumers. The more a consumer knows about the options, the more likely that price and feature set will become a factor, which then skews the choice towards the Nexus line. Of course, the Nexus line also doesn't get the same amount of in-store visibility that other tablets do; and, given that fact, having 12% of consumer interest is actually quite impressive. 

The survey had other interesting findings like the fact that for the first time, more U.S. broadband households plan to purchase a tablet during the holidays than a laptop, netbook or Ultrabook. This seems reasonable, especially with the rise of inexpensive tablet options like the Nexus 7, Kindle Fire, and iPad mini. In that vein, when the Apple iPad mini was added to the survey, 40% of those who had said they planned to buy an iPad changed their minds and said they would go for the lower cost iPad mini instead. Also, 33% of U.S. broadband households now own a tablet, and that number is expected to double to 66% by 2013. 

That means a lot of tablet sales over the next couple of weeks. It should be very interesting to see the Q4 earnings calls when they roll around next year. 

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55 Comments

1. wendygarett unregistered

Too bad kindle fire and surface are only in US, only nexus 7 and iPad left :/

12. JonBjSig

Posts: 176; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

All 4 are available here in Iceland.

13. Nadr1212

Posts: 741; Member since: Sep 22, 2012

I'm totally getting an Xbox 360 WITH Kinect (yay!!)

20. linneti15

Posts: 49; Member since: Sep 26, 2012

Well in Australia, they're all available... but yes the ipad is available in a lot more countries

23. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

I'd buy a Surface if it were cheaper. Great product, just not as competitively priced, even if it is the benchmark for the system

33. wendygarett unregistered

Same with me...

28. nando2do

Posts: 53; Member since: Nov 10, 2011

actually not even nexus 7.. only the ipad and others.. like samsung, asus (other tan nexus) etc

34. Peter98

Posts: 119; Member since: Aug 01, 2012

Where r u from Wendy?

43. sarb009

Posts: 322; Member since: Jun 15, 2011

He is from Trolland

51. .MISTER.H.

Posts: 11; Member since: Dec 14, 2012

Lmfao that was funny and true!

37. jstahl

Posts: 79; Member since: Sep 03, 2012

are you chinese?

47. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

dude, you asked that before...are you? Good..who cares.

52. .MISTER.H.

Posts: 11; Member since: Dec 14, 2012

No he's, she's a she€p....

2. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

Don't you hate when you make a stupid household resolution like, "No gifts over $50. Presents this year have to be thoughtful and from the heart." BAH!!! What a stupid sentiment. I needs my tech fix man! :-\

3. snail3

Posts: 2; Member since: Dec 12, 2012

I dont see ipad3, 4 and mini on the chart?

6. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

Yeah, that graph label was odd, but it seems that both the iPad 2 & 4 are part of that same listing.

10. wendygarett unregistered

The survey is came from CNN? Their survey looks very messy and confused to me...

22. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

The survey is from Parks Associates, CNN was just the first major media entity to report on it.

49. nak1017

Posts: 328; Member since: Jan 08, 2010

Is there any info behind the survey (where it was conducted, time-frame and sample size)? I gotta agree with wendy, this thing is a hot mess...

50. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

The full info behind the survey costs $5,000, so we certainly don't have it.

9. cripton805

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 2012

You just stepped into.... the Twilight Zone

4. parkwaydr

Posts: 572; Member since: Sep 07, 2011

IPad and nexus 7/10 will probably sell the most. Kindle fire will get some decent sales. Im sure win8 tabs will sell, just not the surface.

5. imkyle

Posts: 1111; Member since: Nov 18, 2010

Funny most people still want the iPad 2.

7. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

See comment #6

8. MeoCao unregistered

I read too many times that MS winning the rumor war. But they alway lose the sales war.

11. wendygarett unregistered

I don't understand why you hate ms so much :(

14. MeoCao unregistered

is what I say true, if yes then it doesn't matter I hate some1 or not. But frankly I hate monopolies: MS, Apple, Intel you name it.

16. wendygarett unregistered

The android is already the monopoly now, what's your point? These are all business dude...

18. MeoCao unregistered

Android is not monopoly b-c it's open source. Any1 can make something else from Android, but can they do the same with Windows or iOS? I guess u r young and don't understand the bad things that monopoly brings. It's business, you bet. but do you know it's bad when some big players come together and agree on prices? That's business too, right? It's in fact called price fixing and if caught those companies can be fined heavily. If you a a monopoly you can raise price almost at will w/o any punishment at all.

27. pongkie

Posts: 663; Member since: Aug 20, 2011

android is a monopoly. they don't make money on their services but they make money on adds. having a free platform and services is just a strategy to spread their adds everywhere.

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