Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

Interest in the Surface fell 53% after its price was announced

December 13, 2012: 5:10 PM ET

Meanwhile, 44% of tablet shoppers plan to buy an iPad versus 24% for Kindle Fire

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FORTUNE -- Consumer preferences in one of this holiday's hottest categories -- tablet computers -- shifted pretty dramatically between the third and fourth quarters, according to a new survey of U.S. households with broadband access published Thursday by Parks Associates.

Among its findings:

  • For the first time, more U.S. broadband households plan to purchase a tablet for the holidays than a laptop, netbook or Ultrabook.
  • 33% of U.S.  broadband households now own a tablet, up from 15% last year, and Parks forecasts 66% of U.S. broadband households will have one by 2013.
  • 44% of holiday tablet shoppers plan to purchase an Apple (AAPL) iPad versus the 24% opting for Amazon's (AMZN) Kindle Fire.
  • When presented with option of buying an iPad mini, 40% of those who had said planned to buy an iPad changed their minds and opted for the mini.
  • 12% said they planned to buy a Google (GOOG) Nexus and 21% a Microsoft (MSFT) Surface.

"Apple continues to gain strength in key product categories," said Parks' John Barrett in a press release, adding that "The iPad mini launch could cannibalize some iPad sales."

The most dramatic shift, however, was the fall-off in potential Surface buyers.

"Consumers initially expressed interest in the Microsoft Surface," Barett said, "but once pricing and product details were announced, holiday intentions to purchase a Microsoft Surface dropped to 21% in Q4 from 45% in Q3."

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Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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