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Apple iPad demand exceeding pre-launch iPhone buzz?

A new survey has found that 13 percent of respondents are likely to buy Apple's forthcoming iPad, a number greater than the 9 percent who planned to purchase an iPhone before its launch in 2007.

Details of the survey from RBC/ChangeWave were released Tuesday by RBC Capital Markets analyst Mike Abramsky. He said the responses from 3,200 participants show strong pent-up consumer demand for the iPad, which could bode well for Apple's new product.

One of the strongest assets for the iPad is its $499 starting price. While 28 percent of respondents in 2007 said the iPhone was too expensive, only 8 percent in 2010 said they would not buy the iPad based on its price. In addition, while 19 percent said they are interested in the $499, 16GB model, another 19 percent said they would opt for the high-end, $829, 64GB model with 3G.

The survey also found that lack of a camera, support for Adobe Flash, or multitasking have not had a significant impact on buyer interest. Most consumers plan on using the iPad for a variety of functions, suggesting it will serve as more of a netbook than e-reader. Of those surveyed, 68 percent said they would surf the Internet with the iPad, 44 percent would check e-mail, and 37 percent are interested in reading e-books.

The survey also found the iPad will also have an effect on sales of other Mac products: 25 percent of respondents said they will delay planned purchases of one or more Apple products due to the iPad. MacBook purchases will be delayed by 9 percent of respondents, while 10 percent were prospective iPhone buyers that will now postpone their purchase.

The survey's positive outlook for the iPad led Abramsky to maintain its prediction of 5 million units sold in the calendar year 2010, resulting in $2.4 billion in revenue and 33 cents earnings per share.

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"This data, while preliminary, suggests iPad may have greater potential than expected, to expand Apple's addressable PC, iPod markets and to capture a segment of the home PC market," Abramsky wrote.

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RBC Capital Markets has reiterated its outperform rating for AAPL stock, and has maintained a price target of $275.