Apple (NAS: AAPL) iPhone fans might seem to have a natural affinity for the iPad, which runs the same operating system as the iPhone, but according to a new consumer research survey, even smartphone users on Google's (NAS: GOOG) Android platform and Research In Motion's (NAS: RIMM) BlackBerry prefer the iPad to other tablets.
According to the market researcher Maritz Research, which polled about 2,500 people across the country in mid-to-late November, clear pluralities of Android and BlackBerry users chose the iPad. According to a Forbes report on the survey, respondents were asked which of 14 tablets (from 11 different manufacturers) they would choose if they were to buy a tablet -- and the iPad was the clear favorite. While not entirely surprising -- the iPad widely remains the most established and popular tablet in terms of sales figures -- the survey does point to the challenges other tablet makers face in cutting into Apple's market lead.
The survey found that 53 percent of survey respondents who identified themselves as BlackBerry users said they would prefer an iPad if they were to buy a tablet. According to the survey, 12 percent of BlackBerry users would prefer Amazon's Kindle Fire and 11 percent would prefer Samsung's GalaxyTab line. Both of those tablets run on Android (though the Kindle Fire runs a highly customized version) and were the next two most popular tablets in the survey. Perhaps most concerning to RIM, only 8.5 percent of BlackBerry users said they would prefer the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. RIM said earlier this month that it will book a pretax charge of $485 million for its fiscal third quarter related to weaker-than-expected sales of its PlayBook tablet, and the company said it will slightly miss its revenue forecast for the quarter.
Despite RIM's struggles, the survey found that Android tablets are also not that popular, even among Android users. According to the survey, 41 percent of Android smartphone users favored the iPad, compared with 19 percent support for the GalaxyTab and 15 percent for the Kindle Fire. Android tablets have gained a fair amount of market share over the past year, capturing 26.9 percent of the global market in the third quarter, according to research firm Strategy Analytics, but the survey makes clear that the iPad is still the tablet to beat.
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