Channel puts 188k iPads into Aussies' hands: GfK

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Channel puts 188k iPads into Aussies' hands: GfK

If your reseller business was in the city and had a high proportion of generation Y customers you were in the sweet spot this year to pitch an estimated 188,000 Apple iPads into the market, a researcher found.

Consumer products researcher GfK has claimed that between 156,000 and 219,000 iPads were sold in Australia since it went on sale at the end of May.

Its survey of 12,084 Australians aged 14 to 65 found that 1.2 percent bought a tablet PC in that period - almost all of them from Apple - leading it to conclude about 188,000 iPads likely found their way through the IT channel and into customers' hands subject to a margin for error.

The sampling method that has a 95 percent confidence level was chosen because Apple doesn't release sales information about its products. Apple wouldn't comment on the research and didn't break out its sales figures for Australia.

GfK found 80 percent of Australians were aware of tablets and 12 percent were likely to buy one in the next year especially as competition heated up from rival platforms running Windows 7 and Google's Android operating systems, said researcher Phil Burnham.

"A lot of other companies will come into this market in the next two to three months," Burnham said." We'll see a lot more competition especially from the mobile phone contingent; LG, Samsung, RIM, Dell , HP all have tablet PCs coming out."

He said buyers had a spectrum of needs that the iPad met: the top three uses among those surveyed were web browsing (91 percent), email (89 percent) and social networking (77 percent).

"We asked if people would use tablet PCs for 18 different uses and even at the bottom of that list we suggested the last was stocks and shares information and trading and still 58 percent said they wanted to use it for that.

"People are wanting to use these tablet PCs for a lot of differenct applications."

The commercial version of the report will also reveal Australians' willingness to sign on to 3G mobile operators to access data on their iPads on the go and which iPads were most favoured based on how much they paid, he said.

GfK will start retail tracking of tablets in January, sampling sales through the channel from a panel of resellers and mass-merchant retailers.

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