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October 25, 2012

Trouble in Appletown: Near Majority of Apple Users Not Happy about New iPad Launch

By Steve Anderson, Contributing TMCnet Writer

Apple's (News - Alert) launch of the iPad Mini was a big deal indeed for several reasons, but according to a recent survey done by Toluna QuickSurveys--completed just 24 hours after the launch of the new device--Apple may have done itself some serious harm with the new device's launch. More specifically, users weren't happy about the timing involved in the new device's arrival.

The Toluna QuickSurveys survey covered 2,000 U.S. consumers, staged online for easy access, and made some very interesting discoveries in its own right. Those who actually owned an iPad were actually more likely to purchase an iPad Mini than those who weren't, with 30 percent "definitely" planning a purchase and 39 percent "probably" going to purchase. The iPad Mini with 3G / 4G capability is set to be just slightly more popular among those who plan to purchase, with the slimmest of majorities--51 percent--planning to buy the cellular version. Nearly a quarter of respondents--21 percent--plan to buy the iPad Mini as a holiday gift. 

Image via Shutterstock

Driving demand for the iPad Mini was a variety of separate factors, including the environmental friendliness of the whole affair. 35 percent cited the recyclable materials would "positively impact" a decision to buy. 25 percent cited size as the most important feature, with 22 percent calling it for "speed and performance", and an equal number throwing the choice to "battery life".

However, there's plenty of trouble lurking beneath the positives. Those surveyed were asked which of three devices they'd prefer to have: the iPad Mini, the Google (News - Alert) Nexus 7, and the Amazon Kindle Fire. The Kindle Fire actually won the day with 46 percent of respondents, 40 percent claiming the iPad Mini, and 14 percent interested in the Nexus 7. That's not the news Apple likely would have wanted to hear, but the news only got worse when 45 percent of iPad owners responded that they were "disgruntled" with the timing of the iPad Mini releasing, since it came out just seven months after the newest iPad emerged.

Their reason for being disgruntled is clear, but the total impact is unclear. While plenty of them aren't happy that the iPad they would have liked to buy came out just months after the iPad they bought, it's worth remembering that Apple's been on track to release a new one every year anyway. That five month lag may make some unhappy, but just how unhappy? It's also not surprising that a small majority would be interested in the Kindle Fire, not so much owing to the tech packed within the device, but rather due to the ecosystem it supports. Amazon has a lot of great offerings in e-book and video and more, so why not have an interest in the Kindle Fire?

The survey is not overwhelmingly positive for Apple. That suggests important points that Apple needs to consider to keep its incredibly loyal user base intact and buying for releases to come. Customer service is a vital part of any business, and Apple proves no different on that front. The ultimate question, though, is just what will Apple do to respond to this survey?

Edited by Brooke Neuman
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