Interest in the iPad mini could be weak: survey

Interest in the iPad mini could be weak: survey

Summary: A survey suggests that consumers are not as interested in the iPad mini, and that consumers want features such as USB ports that Apple traditionally has never included on the iPhone or iPad.

TOPICS: iPad, Apple, Hardware, Tablets

It's easy to think that given the dizzying success of the iPhone and iPad, that Apple could draw its logo on a napkin and sell millions. But when dealing with fickle consumers, there are no guarantees.

A survey carried out by deal aggregation website TechBargains suggests that interest in an iPad mini -- a device that so far exists only in the mind of pundits and fanboys -- could be weaker than Apple is traditionally used to.

Of the 1,332 respondents, only 18 percent planned to purchase the iPad mini, while 50 percent said they were not interested in the iPad mini, and the remaining 32 percent were undecided.

In a similar survey, results of which were published last month, 45 percent of those who participated said that they planned to buy an iPhone 5. This suggests much stronger interest in the iPhone 5 than the iPad mini.

Of those who said they planned to buy an iPad mini, 14 percent said they would wait in line the day it is released to get one, and a further 20 percent said they would buy it online as soon as it was available. The remaining 66 percent who said they were interested but didn't have an idea as to when they would pull the trigger on the purchase.

Those who already own an iPad are most likely to buy an iPad mini, but even those already in the ecosystem aren't overly enthusiastic, with only 27 percent expressing an interest in a cut-down iPad. Those least likely to buy an iPad mini were Kindle Fire owners and those who do not yet own a tablet, with 16 percent in each category showing interest in an iPad mini.

As to what people expect from the iPad mini, it seems many are setting themselves up for crushing disappointment. More than three-quarters want to see a USB port and a memory card slot. If the iPad mini does ever make an appearance, the chances of either of these features being present are practically zero.

When it comes to price, about one in four think it will cost $299, while almost one in five believe it will cost $399, which is what a 16GB Wi-Fi iPad 2 currently retails for.

"Given Apple's recent success it would be easy to assume that all new Apple products will be wildly popular.  Our survey results indicate that theory is no longer the case," said Yung Trang, president and editor-in-chief of TechBargains.

"According to our survey respondents, the so called iPad Mini will not be highly coveted because consumers are questioning the necessity of a smaller iPad, especially if they own an iPad or an iPhone".

Image source: Nickolay Lamm/InventHelp.

Topics: iPad, Apple, Hardware, Tablets

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  • eh..

    Personally I'm already much less interested as soon as it's prefixed with a lowercase 'i', but that's just me :P *nonconstructive apple joke*
  • Line extension

    An iPad mini would just be another line extension item, it'll give consumers more choice, but it's all gravy to Apple.

    It'd be hard to gage any actual market response until the product actually hits and people can begin holding and comparing them with the larger version. Despite what many Apple watchers may think, Apple customers tend to quite discerning in their tech choices. More stand-offish on vapour-ware items. It makes a lot of sense that the majority of pro-iPad mini respondents would be iPad users, they know the product through it's larger version and need simply consider it in terms of the benefits of a smaller form factor, but as to the larger market response, I wouldn't bet on this survey. iPad Mini might just hit a chord and become another huge hit for Apple.
    • Apple users are claimed to be "tech illiterate",

      so I can't help but to snicker over "quite discerning in their tech choices"... especially as Apple's lineup of offerings has, historically, been very few... Never mind half of these "discerning" people think Macs are immune to malware (uh, NOT...) and half of them think it's peachy-keen their their $2500 MacBook Pro gets to 100C under load... (um, the CPU can handle the temperature but that doesn't mean you really want to it to run that hot for any length of time, and Apple's "superior design" does not allow (a) proper cooling unlike cheaper Windows plastic PCs (which rules out the 'aluminum cools the unit better' meme) and (b) when or if the auto-poweroff engages to prevent damage, the fans shut off at the same time so the cloud of heat continues to affect the CPU... neat... NOT...
      • Small minded hater debating who is literate or not, pretty funny

        For the most part your list is hyperbole and not based in actual average stats. Of course my experience the complete opposite to what you are willing to acknowledge. Most people I know that are technical prefer iOS and those that are non technical are on Android. Is this the overall breakdown of everyone, of course not but unlike you I am not trying to lump all users of a particular OS or manufacturer in one group.
  • So what's your take, Adrian?

    Yesterday you posted the article that the iPad mini will destroy the competition
    Then this one today. Just curious as to which article should carry more wieght.
    • Arrgghh...weight

      not wieght...sure need an edit button...
    • Same

      You're right. Please post on iPad mini news articles that $250 is the price they said it would be. Articles like this only aim to push the price up.
      David S. Green
    • Errr....

      Because Adrian Kingsley-Hughes doesn't know what he is doing from one day to the next and/or prefers sensationalism. I think he is getting the ZDNet bonus at the end of the year with the most posts by people in all of his "blogs" [note the quotes] combined.
      • Re: Because Adrian Kingsley-Hughes doesn't know what he is doing...

        So if he sticks to one side, he is accused of being biased, but when he tries to give both sides of a story, now he "doesn't know what he is doing"?

        Somebody certainly doesn't know what they're doing, but it's not AKH...
  • I'm always wary of consumer surveys.

    One of the most astute observations Steve Jobs every made was about focus groups when he said "people don't know what they want until you show it to them." Let's see what what happens when (I doubt it's an issue of "if" anymore) a 7.85" iOS tablet is released.
  • What did Steve Jobs say?

    "A lot of times, people don't know what they want until you show it to them"

    Not sure if consumers were polled before Apple introduced the iPhone in 2007, but if they were I bet an overwhelming majority would have liked to have physical keyboards.
    • Agreed

      You're completely correct. This "survey" obviously has flaws.
      David S. Green
    • Steve was a marketer

      And most people don't know what they want, unless you show it to them in a way that excites them.

      "Free will" tends to be an illusion, but to manipu... help them along is okey-dokey...

      Customers probably would have wanted physical keyboards... the tactile, responsive keyboard is better for ergonomics than tapping glass all day as well...
      • At the time they probably would have wanted a physical keyboard

        and Apple showed them a different way. Today how many phones are sold with physical versus onscreen keyboards.
        • NEED AN EDIT BUTTON HERE!!!!!!

          BTW, not claiming Apple was the first to do on screen keyboard.
  • Fake!

    I'm sorry, but I've been following the iPad mini like a hawk and NO ONE out there believed it would be $299 or $399. Those numbers are an obvious push to let it be known that the price they were aiming for $250, which it should be, isn't going to be hit.
    I, like many others, will not buy this product for more than $250. I suggest others do the same for once and have a backbone and not buy it if they intend it to be more.
    David S. Green
    • also

      Sorry, no edit button, but ALSO this price and survey come after Apple doesn't send out invitations to the iPad mini release party that was supposed to be yesterday. They obviously have a "withdraw date" which means if they don't feel it will sell 100% then they won't make it and everyone will think they just followed a trail of rumors, without Apple losing any money.
      That's my 2 cents, which is how much more than $250 I'm spending on an iPad mini!
      David S. Green
      • And where was this so-called 'release date' published by Apple?

        I read lots of hype and hyperbole, but Apple itself is saying nothing about such a project short of one engineer saying, "I told Steve Jobs it would work!"

        I'll believe it when Apple announces it, and not one minute before.
        • It's all about the wind-up and manipulation

          And the keywords such as "may", "rumored to", etc...

          their joke is wearing thing.
          • No proof that Apple is doing it and quite a lot of evidence that they don't

            What people are calling an "iPad Mini" might be the remote for the new Apple TV instead.