• One in Five Users Surveyed Wants an Apple Tablet

    image via Innosight

    A product that exists only as a persistent rumor has already generated a lot of buzz, according to a new survey done by an international corporate and investment bank.

    RBC Capital Markets talked to 3,100 people, and more than a fifth - or 20% - said they would be interested in the hypothetical Apple device, as reported by AppleInsider. By comparison, only 9 percent said they'd be interested in an iPhone when RBC conducted a similar survey a few months before its release in 2007. Remember that at that point more was known about the iPhone, which was an announced product, than is now known about the Apple tablet, which is imaginary. Also, the survey asked about a tablet in the $500 - $700 price range, which is quite a bit less than the $799 - $999 suggested by recent rumors.

    At the same time, though, if Apple is actually able to deliver a tablet to market and capitalize on some of this demand, it will be a boost to the brisk business it is already doing in this down economy. RBS conjectured a successful tablet launch would boost Apple's stock to $250 (AAPL is, at the moment this is being written, slightly up from an opening price of $185.40).

    While the iPhone sold into a market that was already well-established (smartphones), it remains to be seen what customer base exists for an Apple tablet that will be something like a hybrid of an iPod touch and a MacBook. Most tablet PCs are sold into "vertical applications:" specific uses in fields like healthcare, insurance, government, and floor sales, where people have to stand or walk around and enter things into handheld devices. If Apple is able to create demand for what will essentially be an entirely new class of consumer product, it would be a marketing coup unlike anything since the original Mac.
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