The usual image of someone waiting in line outside an Apple store on the first day of an iPad release is of an extreme Apple fanboy, but a survey released by UBS shows that a full 46 percent of those waiting in line had never previously owned an iPad.
The numbers were released in a research note by Maynard Um with Swiss global financial group UBS, according to the Mac Observer. The informal survey was taken of people lined up at Apple stores across the country on Friday, the day of the new iPad release.
The website Dealnews also released a survey on March 15 of first-time tablet buyers and found that the vast majority of them – 78 percent – planned to buy the new iPad. And of the 22 percent who were going with another model, more than half were going with the now-discounted iPad 2 model.
Apple has noticeably higher customer retention rates than other hardware manufacturer, meaning that new customers are likely to continue to buy Apple products, making these numbers especially promising for the Cupertino-based technology company's long-term prospects.
Perhaps even more promising for the company, Um said that the iPhone 5, which he expects to be announced in October, may be an even bigger coup for Apple. Although supply chain constraints are difficult to assess at this point, we expect Apple to be prepared for a big launch, he wrote in the note. While the iPad 3 reception and dividend are important, we believe the iPhone 5 will trump both as a catalyst.
The UBS survey also revealed that customers are far more interested in the high-resolution Retina display than the 4G LTE wireless broadband. Only 10 percent chose the faster connection as the feature they're looking most forward to in the new iPad, with a full 77 percent choosing instead the higher screen resolution.
Maynard Um, in a different research note, bumped his target share price for the company to $675, from his $550 previous estimate. Shares traded at $585.57 on the NASDAQ at the end of the day on Friday.