Concerns about the Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad heating up to alarming levels seem to have little impact on the tablet’s consumer satisfaction ratings, implying that the heating issues are probably a rare occurrence. A market survey by ChangeWave Research revealed that the new iPad’s users seemed more satisfied with the tablet than those using its predecessors.  About 82% of the new iPad users said that they were “very satisfied” with the new tablet as opposed to about 74% that had said so about the earlier iPads. Moreover, only 6% of the respondents cited the heating issues to be one of the things they disliked about the iPad.
At the outset, it must be clarified that one should not attach too much importance to surveys as they usually do not take the opinions of a huge demography in their calculations; so there is room for error. When the iPhone made its way to Verizon (NYSE:VZ) last year, breaking the exclusive hold that AT&T (NYSE:T) had on the popular smartphone, many surveys showed that subscribers would defect to Verizon in large numbers.  But that hasn’t happened over the past year as AT&T has consistently racked up more number of iPhone activations than Verizon every quarter.
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Overheating issues not as big as the “Antennagate” scandal
But an important takeaway from this survey, at a time when the iPad’s heating problems seem to have caught the fancy of the blogosphere which is abuzz with concerns that the tablet’s bigger battery is causing it to heat up ominously, is that the problem is not wide-spread. Analogies drawn with the iPhone 4’s antenna and reception issues, which had created a huge uproar forcing Apple to eventually offer a refund or a free case that corrected the flaw, may just be a tad far-fetched.
In a ChangeWave survey held then to gauge the impact of the infamous “antennagate” scandal, only about two-third (64%) of the respondents had found it to be a non-issue. This time, however, the survey shows that a vast majority of the new iPad owners (89%) aren’t experiencing the overheating issues. This implies that the problem may only be limited to only a few users and should therefore not have a material impact on the new iPad’s sales.
In any case, the iPad accounts for only about 13% of Apple’s value and any issue raised with the tablet is hence not as big a concern as a similar one raised with the iPhone, which is over 50% of Apple’s value. But considering the halo effect that Apple’s products have on each other, a recurrence of such issues on a consistent basis across the iPad’s user base could have a much larger impact on the entire Apple portfolio than just the iPad.Notes:
- ChangeWave Survey: New iPad Owners Weigh In on Latest Apple Tablet, ChangeWave, April 2nd, 2012 [↩]
- Survey Claims 26% of AT&T iPhone Customers Planning to Switch to Verizon, MacRumors, January 13th, 2011 [↩]