A near-record 81% of owners of Apple's newest iPad said that they were "very satisfied" with the tablet in a survey conducted by a market research firm last month.
Noting that "Apple sets the bar," ChangeWave Research posted results today from a poll of more than 2,900 U.S. consumers that illustrated the Cupertino, Calif. company's lock on the current tablet market.
Along with the one in five who agreed that they were very satisfied, another 15% said that they were "somewhat satisfied," putting the total satisfaction rating for the March version of the iPad at 96%.
Those numbers were slightly lower than those from March when ChangeWave polled new iPad owners. Then, 82% said they were very satisfied, while an additional 16% said they were somewhat satisfied.
Apple's earlier-generation iPad 2, which the company continues to sell in a 16GB Wi-Fi configuration for $399 and a 3G model for $499, reaped a 71% very satisfied result, with another 26% of owners saying that they were somewhat satisfied.
Rivals were again also-rans in ChangeWave's consumer satisfaction survey.
The nearest iPad competitor, Samsung's Galaxy Tab -- an Android-powered tablet that comes in multiple screen sizes -- garnered 46% very satisfied and 41% somewhat satisfied. Amazon's Kindle Fire, last year's hot tablet whose sales have fallen dramatically since, rated 41% very satisfied, with another 53% respondents saying they were somewhat satisfied.
Paul Carton, ChangeWave's research director, pointed out the plummet of the Fire's satisfaction score since the 7-in. tablet debuted last November. "Amazon's 'very satisfied' rating has declined by 15 percentage points since our February 2012 survey -- a downward trend they'll need to overcome in order to regain their previous firm footing in the tablet market," Carton wrote in a blog post today.
According to IDC, Amazon sold 4.8 million Kindle Fires in the fourth quarter of 2011, capturing 16.8% of the overall tablet market. But its share swooned during 2012's first three months, falling to just over 4%.
Apple's dominance will continue and rivals will struggle, Carton asserted, citing other data from the May survey.
Of the 7% of those polled who said they planned to purchase a tablet in the next 90 days, 73% reported that they would buy an iPad.