Home No Surprise: Most People Want to Use the iPad to Surf the Web

No Surprise: Most People Want to Use the iPad to Surf the Web

According to a new study by market research firm ComScore, the majority of U.S. Internet users would use the iPad to surf the web (50%), send and read emails (48%) and listen to music (38%). Only 26% of respondents told ComScore that they were likely to download apps from the iTunes store and only 22% plan to play action, strategy and role playing games.

We have to keep in mind that peoples’ responses to these questions often conflict with how they actually end up using devices like the iPad. Chances are that in 2007 only a small number of respondents would have said that they were planning to play games on their iPhones, too – yet games are now the bestselling category in the App Store. The iPad is a different kind of device that most people have never used. It makes sense that the respondents to this survey imagine that they will use it just like a laptop (surf the web, send email), even though their real usage patterns may turn out to be completely different.

Also, ComScore posed this question to everybody who responded to the survey, including those who weren’t planning to buy the device and maybe weren’t even really aware of it. This explains why only 26% answered that they would download apps from the iTunes store while 30% said that they would play arcade and puzzle games – which, after all, they would have to download from the store. Given these caveats, it’s worth taking this data with a grain of salt, even if it does point towards some interesting conclusions.

iPad vs. Kindle

For publishers, the fact that around 35% of respondents said that they would use the iPad for reading magazines and books should be encouraging. With regards to activities on the iPad that would involve e-commerce, e-books and e-magazines rank higher than playing games and are on par with listening to music and watching videos.

Even though the iPad is getting all the hype today, that doesn’t mean consumers aren’t still considering dedicated e-readers like the Amazon Kindle, B&N Nook and Sony’s line of e-readers. According to ComScore’s data, about 15% of U.S. Internet users are seriously considering to buy an iPad within the next 3 month and 14% are considering to buy a Kindle. Interestingly, when it comes to awareness about these devices, 65% of respondents were aware of the iPad and just as many were aware of the Kindle. It’s worth noting, though, that the iPad isn’t even available yet, while the Kindle has been around for a few years now and has become synonymous with “e-reader” for a lot of people. We should also note that ComScore’s numbers refer to “aided awareness.” It would be interesting to see these numbers for “unaided awareness” as well.

For a closer look at what magazines on the iPad could look like, also check out this survey by our own Sarah Perez.

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