iPad subsidies will prove a big hit with consumers, claims research

Offers just announced by European operators to subsidise Apple's iPad will trigger a consumer sales rush, claims market research conducted by Vision Critical.

Recently flagged as the likely top selling gadget for 2010 by several large UK retailers, the major stumbling block stopping consumers from purchasing the iPad has been the high price--around €650 depending on configuration.

However, the research claims that 13 per cent of those surveyed would be tempted to sign-up to a 24 month contract at €55 per month in return for a free iPad, 10 per cent would pay €250 upfront and €30 per month for a two year deal, but less than 5 per cent would pay the full price for the Apple tablet device.

Commenting on the survey results, Gina Lagos, senior research director for Vision Critical, said: "The iPad has generated enormous mindshare among UK consumers, but uptake has been constrained by its premium price."

"In our research," said Lagos," more than 50 per cent of consumers agreed with the statement 'I'd love an iPad but they're too expensive'. Contract-based subsidies by mobile operators can reduce this barrier and help accelerate growth in the emerging tablet category."

UK operators are already furiously juggling their prices and contract conditions in attempts to establish an early lead in the build-up to the Christmas selling period. The leader, at present, is 3UK which would appear to have undercut Everything Everywhere (EE) by offering 15GB of data a month for the same price as 1GB per month from EE. However, things are sure to change over the coming weeks.

Elsewhere, Softbank in Japan is offering a free iPad to consumers that sign up to a 25-month contract. The catch, and be sure to expect one, is the 4,725-yen (US$56) monthly 3G data fee. This would mean that users taking advantage of the "free" iPad would pay out 118,125 yen, or about US$1,400, during the 25-month contract.

For more:
- see this Marketing Magazine article

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