Likely iPad Buyers: Young, Rich, Or Apple Fans

NPD, which between February 24 and March 3 surveyed about 2,000 consumers aged 18 or more, said in a new report that overall, 18 percent of consumers are interested in purchasing an iPad.

NPD also reported that 9 percent of all consumers are extremely or very likely to purchase an iPad in the next six months.

Consumers between 18 and 34 years of age are the most likely to buy an iPad, with 27 percent of them saying they are interested or very interested in owning the device, according to NPD's Apple iPad: Consumers' Perceptions and Attitudes report.

They were followed closely by consumers who currently own another Apple device, 24 percent of whom are interested or very interested in the iPad.

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About 82 percent of current Apple owners, 80 percent of consumers with $100,000-plus incomes, and the 18-to-34-year-old consumers have the highest awareness about the iPad among all consumers, NPD found.

Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at NPD, wrote in a statement that the findings of the survey point to the need for Apple to ensure it has as much content lined up for the release of the iPad as possible in order to satisfy consumers' requirements.

Baker said that potential purchasers in the 18-year-old to 34-year-old bracket are more likely to see the iPad as primarily a device for playing music or accessing the Internet, Baker wrote.

However, many of those potential purchasers already have an iPod Touch or a portable PC which provides these two key functions, and so many may not want to spend $500 or more when the iPad is released.

"This points to the need for Apple to close the content deals that focus the iPad on what is likely to be its best long-range value proposition around high quality media consumption," Baker wrote.

Closing those content deals seems to already be happening.

This week's release of the Apple iPad is expected to be accompanied by subscription offers to magazines such as Time, Wired, Sport Illustrated, and the New York Times, which according to reports are commanding payments $200,000 and more.

The Apple iPad is expected to start shipping on April 3.