Most US tablet shoppers considering an iPad

Two new surveys show that Apple tops the list for US consumers planning to buy a tablet this holiday season.

Just in case there was any doubt remaining about the growing popularity of tablets, Parks Associates published Friday the results of its latest survey into the buying habits of the US public this holiday season.

As well as highlighting which tablets will be the biggest sellers as 2012 draws to a close, the report shows that for the first time since Apple invented the market segment with the original iPad back in 2010, more US households with a broadband internet connection plan on purchasing a tablet than a notebook, netbook or ultrabook computer. The company's figures suggest that 33 percent of what it calls US broadband households already have a tablet (up from 15% in 2011) and that by the end of 2013 this figure will stand at 66 percent.

In terms of which tablets will be the most popular over the holiday season, Parks Associates has combined research from Q3 and Q4 of 2012 to see if consumers' intentions have changed as new tablets have rolled out onto the market, initial reviews have been published and retail prices confirmed.

Apple comes out on top with 44 percent of shoppers planning to buy an iPad 2 before the end of the year. Amazon's Kindle Fire is second with 24 percent and Microsoft's Surface is in third place with 21 percent, one place above the Google Nexus, with 12 percent.

"Apple continues to gain strength in key product categories," said John Barrett, Director, Consumer Analytics, Parks Associates. "In the tablet market, consumers initially expressed interest in the Microsoft Surface, but once pricing and product details were announced, holiday intentions to purchase a Microsoft Surface dropped to 21% in Q4 from 45% in Q3."

The report follows a conflicting survey published last week, commissioned by Thompson Reuters, that revealed only 4 percent of US shoppers considering a tablet purchase intended to buy a Microsoft Surface. But, like Parks Associates' research, it found that 42 percent of shoppers were interested in an iPad, 16 percent wanted a Kindle Fire and 14 percent were interested in a Samsung Galaxy tablet.

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