iPad 3 buyers don't care about price

iPad owners tend to be wealthier and older than average, while half of prospective iPad 3 buyers don't care how much the third-gen tablet will cost them, according to independent research by NPD Group and SlashGear. NPD found more than 40-percent of current iPad owners had a household income of $100,000 or more, compared to 26-percent of non-iPad owners. In a survey run by SlashGear, meanwhile, half of those expressing a strong intention on buying the next-gen iPad – expected to be unveiled in early March – said they planned to do so without consideration of either price or specifications.

9,549 SlashGear readers answered the question "Are you excited about the iPad 3?" over a seven day period this month. Of that number, 32-percent expressed a strong intention of buying the iPad 3 when it was launched, half saying they intended to "wait until specs & pricing before deciding" while the remainder said they intended to "definitely" buy one as soon as possible.

Interestingly, 24-percent – the largest single response to any one category – of respondents said that they would "rather have an Android tablet"; 11-percent said they were holding out for a Windows 8 based tablet, with models expected to arrive sometime in the second half of 2012. 12-percent of those completing the survey said they did not want a tablet at all, and 11-percent indicated they were content with their existing iPad or iPad 2.

While the survey is non-scientific, NPD's stats could be seen to fall in line: the company says a growing number of tablet early-adopters in more recent months are in fact younger and have a lower household income, skewing the demographic in the process. In fact, buyers at the end of 2011 were 50-percent more likely to have a $45,000 or below household income, and 33-percent more likely to be aged under 34.

The third-gen iPad – potentially the iPad 3 or the iPad 2S, a more evolutionary variant on the current model – is expected to be unveiled officially at an event on March 7. Tipped specifications include a new processor, the Apple A6, along with a so-called Retina Display screen with twice the resolution of the iPad 2.