Steve Jobs resignation has little impact on consumer demand; iPad stays red hot

The resignation of Steve Jobs as CEO of Apple is having little impact on the demand for Apple products, according to a new survey from ChangeWave Research, a division of The 451 Group.

The September 6-12, 2011 survey of 2,297 consumers shows only 4% say Jobs’ resignation makes them Less Likely to buy Apple products in the future, while 89% say it’s having No Effect on their purchasing of Apple products.

When asked a similar question during Steve Jobs first leave of absence back in 2008, nearly one-in-five respondents (18%) said they would be Less Likely to buy Apple products if Jobs stepped down.

Since then ChangeWave has asked this question on several occasions, and over this time period the impact of Steve Jobs stepping down has clearly lessened in the minds of consumers.

ChangeWave: Impact of Steve Jobs' resignation
Note that in the current survey (Sep ’11), 1% said More Likely to buy, and 6% said Don’t Know

The results suggest that Jobs’ previous absences have had an ‘inoculating’ effect that over time has allayed consumer concerns on whether the company could operate at the same level without Steve Jobs at the helm.

Two recent ChangeWave surveys on tablet demand provide additional evidence that Apple product demand has not been affected to date by the loss of Steve Jobs.

iPad Continues to Dominate Business Tablet Demand

An August 10-29 ChangeWave survey of 1,618 corporate IT buyers shows the Apple iPad remains the overwhelming choice for planned tablet purchasers,

Among companies planning to purchase tablets for their employees next quarter, 80% say they’ll buy iPads – unchanged since the previous survey.

ChangeWave: Corporate tablet demand, May -August 2011
The H-P TouchPad was preferred by 10% of future buyers but was subsequently discontinued.

The survey results show no new major breakthroughs among Apple’s competitors in the corporate market. But with H-P now exiting, Samsung (7%; up 1-pt) shows the most promise.

The findings for Motorola (4%; down 6-pts) and RIM (3%; down 5-pts) are particularly disappointing – each having declined in terms of planned corporate tablet buying.

iPad Dominates Consumer Tablet Demand As Well

A second ChangeWave survey of 2,969 consumers during August also looked at tablet demand trends. And even as competitors flood the market with their own tablets Apple continues to dominate, with 85% of planned buyers saying they’ll get an iPad.

ChangeWave: Consumer tablet buying plans, August 2011
The H-P Touchpad was preferred by 2% of future buyers but was subsequently discontinued.

Samsung (4%; up 2-pts) is currently the next closest competitor followed by the BlackBerry PlayBook (2%; down 1-pt) and the Motorola Xoom (1%; down 3-pts).

A key reason for the iPad lead is found in its customer satisfaction rating – 70% of consumer iPad owners say they’re Very Satisfied with their tablet device. That dwarfs the Very Satisfied rating of all of the other manufacturers combined (42%).

ChangeWave: iPad vs. other tablets user satisfaction, August 2011

The complete ChangeWave Consumer Tablet, PC and eReader Demand report is available here.

The complete ChangeWave Corporate Tablet, PC and Smart Phone Demand report is available here.

Source: ChangeWave Research


  1. Do you think Changwave would ask the same question concerning Steve Ballmer? Didn’t think so.

    Additionally, I really don’t think that most iPhone, iPad purchasers even know who Steve Jobs is. His products just speak for themselves.

  2. Why would it make a difference on consumer demand for products that already existed (before the resignation)?

    Also, Steve Jobs has “rock star” status within the business community (and with Apple “fans” like me), but most “consumers” don’t really care if he is or was Apple CEO; they care about Apple’s products and their experience with using them every day.

  3. Do people actually get paid to come up with this nonsense? Or perhaps they are only justifying their insanely pointless jobs.
    The reason Apple will continue to sell is that the majority of its customers don’t even know who Steve Jobs is. That’s a geek thing and so very 90’s.
    It just shows how tech companies and their hangers on don’t even know who’s buying the products these days.

  4. And in other news, George W. Bush has invited ex Congressman Weiner to a GOP appreciation dinner for single-handedly getting a Republican elected in a New York district that has voted Democrat since 1920.

  5. Changewave stinks. As i’ve pointed out numerous times, Changewave surveys led Abramsky and Huberty to downgrade Apple twice in one week a couple years ago. Remember that? Changewave concluded that Mac sales were going to be soft one Xmas shopping season, based upon their surveys. I saw it as an outlier. Of course, the next survey showed I was right that their data was a statistical outlier, Apple’s Mac sales were strong, and Changewave never issued a mea culpa. Instead, they congratulated themselves.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.