Monday, February 8, 2010

It's all in how you read the numbers...

Retrevo Blog has a big post up where they proclaim Apple iPad Hoopla Fails to Convince Buyers. As proof, they site their survey on “consumer interest” in the iPad, where they found that in answer to the Question: “Have you heard about the Apple iPad” the answer “Yes, but I’m not interested in buying one” had gone from 26% to 52% after the announcement.

An impressive number, and I know I’m a fanboy, and so my complaints will be met with skepticism (as they should be, and as should the results of any survey), but I want to point out a couple of things that are overlooked, or ignored, in the presentation of the results. Things that could easily be used to write a very different headline:

Firstly: The “Yes, I think I will buy one” category has gone from 3% to 9%. Also, the “I’m interested, but need more info” went up from 19 to 21%. Taken together, that could be interpreted as an increase in interest in the device, which went from 22% to 30% (a 36% increase!)

Secondly: The total number of people who answered “No, and I’m not interested” and “Yes, But I’m not interested” only went up from 61% to 70%, which is a 14% increase, not a 50% one. A not insignificant number, but not nearly as startling.

Thirdly: Who are these people who - the week of Jan 16th, the week before the announcement - hadn’t heard that Apple was going to announce a tablet. More importantly, what rock are they hiding under?! Is anyone surprised that these people end up trending away from being interested in the device?

My point is this; these numbers could be interpreted to mean almost anything, but I don’t think they point to a blanket statement: that the iPad failed to impress buyers.We'll have to wait until it's out in the wild and actually in the hands of customers to really get an answer to that question.

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