Apple's new iPad is even better than the last -- ChangeWave

By Jonny Evans

The first iPad satisfaction survey is in and it confirms that claims Apple [AAPL] will lose leadership of the so-called tablet market are based on wishful thinking, rather than substantial evidence.

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You can get satisfaction

The latest ChangeWave data shows us that user satisfaction is even higher with the new iPad than the last -- and that's despite problems with 4G outside of North America and that the new tablet can be warm to the touch in use.

82 percent of new iPad owners say they're very satisfied with the new device, while another 16 percent claim to be somewhat satisfied. None of the 200 owners approached for the survey claim to be very unsatisfied. In comparison, 74 percent of iPad 2 owners were as satisfied in last year's survey.

What are they liking best? The high-res Retina Display is the feature appreciated by the most (74 percent) of users. No one else in the industry has yet been able to match the display at that price, and this seems unlikely to change.

[ABOVE: iPad user data suggests you can actually get satisfaction. Though I suspect Mick was referring to something more existential.]

Retina Displays for Macs?

It seems likely Apple intends extending the advantage by rolling out Retina Displays across its other products, including the Mac. This may be why Foxconn took a slice of Sharp last week, in order to secure display production in future.

ChangeWave also looked at the Consumer Reports "hot iPad" issue, in order to see if it is actually impacting customers. In brief: it isn't. 89 percent of new iPad owners say they haven't experienced any problem. No one calls it a very big problem.

"In comparison to the 2010 iPhone 4 Antenna/ Reception issue, the new iPad heat issue hardly registered a concern among the 200 new iPad owners in this ChangeWave survey.

"Simply put, the heat issue does not appear to be a perceived problem for the overwhelming majority of new iPad owners,
" ChangeWave said.

Top of the table

Consumer Reports today published a report in which they lavished praise on the tablet: "The high-resolution screen of the new iPad establishes a new benchmark in excellence, providing the best rendering of detail and color accuracy we've ever seen on a tablet display. As a result, the iPad tops our new tablet Ratings, posted today."

The biggest problem? The need for apps and content developers to catch-up with the features available to them now with use of the new display.

What does this all mean? In a nutshell the theme for 2012 remains the same again: it's a whitewash.

No other manufacturer offers a device to match Apple's new iPad. This advantage becomes harder to break with each successive generation of the device. The move toward mobile devices in the workplace also means Apple's securing a foothold in a market it has traditionally found impossible to crack -- the enterprise.

Real advantages

Meanwhile, soaring satisfaction rankings across its product lines mean that with each product release the company secures higher launch sales with personal recommendation driving most consumers to favor Apple above other brands. That's confirmed by recognition that in Japan these days, Apple has become the most popular brand.

With Japan a clear bellwether for the entire global gadget market, it's clear Apple's competitors need to set their sights extremely high if they truly want to compete. And each highly-publicized introduction of a competing device which then fails in the market tarnishes perception among consumers that there is a credible alternative to iPad.

Apple's competitors have so far hoped that product marketing is enough to take-on the Cupertino giant. What they forget is that if you boost awareness of a product that turns out to be second-rate, you effectively damage your company's link with consumers.

In order to truly compete, the onus today is on other firms to deliver. And in this they have singularly failed, at least until now.

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