1-in-5 U.S. consumers plan to buy Apple's iPad

Current owners report satisfaction numbers in the 'nose-bleed' range, says pollster

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When tablet owners were asked to name their pet peeves, they tagged the lack of support for Adobe Flash, which received 17% of the vote, as the number one gripe.

Close behind at 9% each were problems with Internet connectivity -- ChangeWave conducted its poll before the 3G model arrived, so all current owners were commenting on the WiFi-only tablet -- and keeping the screen clean of smudges and fingerprints.

Apple and Adobe have waged a very public war over Flash on the former's mobile devices, including the iPad, so it's no surprise that the omission of one of the Web's most popular media formats made the top of the complaint list. Nor is it a shock that connectivity received votes: Users have complained about weak wireless signals, dropped connections and slow surfing speeds since the WiFi-only iPad started shipping.

Apple has promised to issue a fix for the connectivity problems, but has not set a delivery timetable.

"But there's no smoking gun," said Carton, referring to the low numbers of iPad owners who had a complaint about Apple's tablet. "There's nothing here reaching the 25%-30% mark, nothing here that stands out."

Even so, Apple would be smart to add a camera to the next iPad, if ChangeWave's survey of existing owners is accurate. Nearly a third -- 29% to be exact -- named a camera as the feature most missed. Those polled tagged a lack of USB ports as the No. 2 AWOL feature (14%), while the omission of Flash and lack of printing capability tied at No. 3 with 10% each.

"The one thing jumping out is the lack of a camera," said Carton, who added that the high number may translate into a camera-equipped iPad "sooner than most people might thing. That's an important piece missing."

According to a pair of reports on leaked next-generation iPhones, Apple's expected summer smartphone upgrade will feature a pair of cameras, including a front-facing one that will be instrumental in boosting video telephony and video chat.

Parts of the reports on the two ChangeWave iPad surveys are available on the firm's site.

IPad chart
: The "smoking gun" of missing iPad parts is a camera, according to polled owners. (Image courtesy of ChangeWave Research)

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His e-mail address is gkeizer@ix.netcom.com.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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