Retrevo survey shows likely iPad buyers tripled after Jobs’ unveiling [UPDATED]

A follow-up study from Retrevo, an online electronics marketplace, looks at Retrevo users’ interest in buying the new Apple iPad. Retrevo conducted two surveys, one before the iPad unveiling (Jan. 16-Jan. 20) and one after (Jan. 27 – Feb. 3).

The study indicates good news for Apple, with respondents who replied “Yes, I think I would like to buy one” tripling from 3% to 9%. And, this is two months before the device ships, before any real reviews have been conducted and published, and before people begin to see what iPads can do in Apple Retail Stores and, most-importantly, in the hands of their friends, family, and co-workers.

Respondents who were asked if they’ve heard of rumors about or, post-unveiling, the “new Apple tablet” [iPad], declined from 35% prior to Apple’s iPad event to 18% after. These people were “not interested in buying one.”

The number of respondents who said they were “interested, but need more information” held steady, rising only slightly from 19% before to 21% after seeing iPad onstage, in videos, and via Apple’s website. Those inclined to by an iPad (“Yes, I think I would like to buy one” and “Yes, I’m interested, but will wait and see what it looks like”) rose from 22% before the iPad was unveiled to 30% after.

“Yes, definitely” responses to a different question that was also asked before and after the announcement, “From what you’ve heard about the tablet, do you think you need one?” nearly doubled from 3% to 5%. “Maybe” moved up slightly from 18% to 19% of respondents.

Again, these results are two months before iPad begins shipping, before any real reviews have been conducted and published, and before people begin to see what iPads can do in Apple Retail Stores and, most-importantly, in the hands of their friends, family, and co-workers.

Read Retrevo’s blog post for a quick lesson on how surveys, the wording of the questions asked and the multiple choice responses offered, and the interpretations of results can be pretty much whatever the pollster/interpreter desires here.

Erik Sherman writes for BNET, “One problem is that because the survey respondents were all users of the Retrevo site, at best the survey would only predict how the group of all Retrevo users might react. However, it likely isn’t even that meaningful. One of the factors that is important in survey work is the percentage of people approached to take the survey that actually do. If the percentage is low, then you’re getting less of a random sample, which is critical to statistical analysis, and more of a self-selecting group. The methodology description doesn’t even mention this number. In addition, ‘most’ questions had a 4 percent confidence interval at a 95 percent confidence level. Which ones? How about the ones they mentioned? Why not say what the confidence interval and level of those were?”

Sherman writes, “Even if the sampling was meaningful, Retrevo focused on a negative interpretation that would likely give it the most play in the press. One number it didn’t emphasize was that the percentage of people who said that they wanted to buy an iPad went from 3 percent before the announcement to 9 percent after. Given the anticipation and the fact that those who wanted to buy were probably the Apple loyalists, this would suggest an extensive expansion of potential customers. Apple has made a strong business out of the core alone, so if anything, you might equally point to this study as suggesting that the iPad would be a hit. That is, if the study were something you could take with a grain of mathematical seriousness, which it doesn’t appear to be.”

Full article here.

[UPDATE: 1:40pm ET: Added excerpts from and link to Sherman’s BNET article.]

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Robert S.” for the heads up.]


  1. You guys are all fools. The Ipad is useless. HTML5 will not be out for another 10 years. No flash, which 75% OF THE INTERNET USES. You cant multitask, the ported apps from the iphone will not be FULL SCREEN. Apple said they designed their own CPU and they didnt. The gpu is essentially a Nvidia tegra, which in turn makes the ipad a Microsoft zune. On top of that Apple had Samsung make it for them. To add, it cost Apple less then $300 to make the $799 model. Are you fanboys that blind to see that you are getting ripped off? This is essentially a OVERPRICED ebook reader. And because apple entered into the EBOOKS now.. all of the ebooks are going up in price. Apple! Keep your Apple tax on your OWN SIDE OF THE ROAD.

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