Apple iPad tablet commands top US consumer satisfaction

29 Jul 2011

The Apple iPad commands the highest satisfaction rating of all tablet sellers among U.S. consumers–along with the vast majority of sales and a high degree of loyalty among owners – according to the new IHS iSuppli US Tablet Consumer Preference study.

To measure consumer satisfaction, US tablet owners surveyed were asked how likely they would be to recommend their tablet to friends or family members.

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 0 indicating the owner would not recommend it, 10 indicating the owner is very likely to recommend it, and 5 being neutral, iPad owners gave an average rating of 8.8 to their Apple iPads, the highest rating of all the 11 top-ranked brands mentioned by consumers surveyed, as presented in the table below. More than 80 percent of Apple owners rated their tablet at 8 or higher on the recommendation scale. Fewer than 1 percent gave a rating of less than 5. 

In a surprise, China’s Shenzhen Zenithink Technologies Co. Ltd came in a close second at 8.75, although the overall sample for that model was comparatively small, while Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., with a much larger respondent sample, was third, scoring an average of 8.5.

“Apple’s competitors in the tablet market already are facing major challenges in offering products that can match the iPad’s combination of optimised hardware, software, operating system, applications, content and app store,” said Rhoda Alexander, director of monitor and tablet research at IHS.

“Now they are facing the reality that consumers in the key US market really love their iPads, with owners expressing satisfaction with Apple’s products in a variety of key measures.

Owners not only said they would be more likely to recommend the iPad than a competing product, they also indicated that they will look to Apple for future tablet purchases. With the iPad dominating tablet sales in the United States and worldwide, this high level of consumer satisfaction commanded by Apple represents a major barrier to entry for new competitors.”

Apple’s advantage

Among US tablet owners surveyed, 79.2 percent indicated they possessed an Apple-branded product that was either an iPad or iPad 2. A full 61 percent of the US owners surveyed said they would stick to the same brand for their next tablet purchase. More than half of owners indicated that they were considering a purchase, planning a purchase or would definitely purchase another tablet during the next 12 months.

These findings indicate that current owners are likely to continue buying iPad and iPad 2 devices in the future, helping Apple to maintain its market share advantage.

Among likely purchasers of tablets, more than 50 percent said they probably would buy an Apple-branded product. In this regard, Apple massively outperformed all the competition, with Dell Inc. coming in a distant second at just 11 percent.

IHS says this validates its forecast that Apple will account for the majority of tablet sales through the year 2012, and that it will remain the top-ranked seller of such devices at least through the year 2015.

IHS iSuppli

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years