iPad survey: 4.6% 'extremely interested'April 14, 2010: 6:46 AM ET
Another 16.4% "somewhat interested" in buying Apple's tablet computer
From the day the iPad was introduced, Katy Huberty's estimates of how many units Apple (AAPL) would sell -- 6 million in calendar 2010 and 7 million in the first 12 months -- were significantly higher than The Street's. (See How many iPads will Apple sell?)
In a report to clients Wednesday, Morgan Stanley's chief Apple watcher trotted out the results of a proprietary survey that suggest that iPad sales could even beat her numbers.
The survey of 2,500 American consumers found that 4.6% were "extremely interested" in buying an iPad and 16.4% were "somewhat interested." (iPad skeptics will be happy to learn that nearly 80% were either "somewhat not interested" or "not interested at all.")
Applying what Huberty calls a 77% discount rate on those forecasts (based on previous surveys of consumer interest in the iPhone and the iPod touch) and excluding non-Apple product owners (who are significantly less likely to buy an iPad), the survey suggests 4-5 million iPad sales in the U.S. over the first 12 months and 7-9 million worldwide.
Among the survey's other findings:
- Evidence of strong "halo" effect. "20% or more of current Mac desktop, iPod Touch and iPhone owners are extremely interested in purchasing an [iPad] vs. 4.6% overall."
- Trouble for the Kindle. "Owners of smartphones and eReaders are also more likely to buy an iPad."
- It's mostly a guy thing -- for now. "Similar to our pre-launch iPhone survey in March '07, iPad extreme interest skews towards males but the current iPhone installed base is about half males and females."
- It helps to be young and rich. "We see broad iPad demand across age groups but the highest demand from the 25-34 (29%) age group. Almost half (47%) of iPad users will have annual incomes $90K+, a number that is similar to the current iPhone installed base." (See charts below.)
[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]