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Netbook demand sinks as 80% of tablet buyers want Apple's iPad

A new survey has found that consumer demand for low-cost, low-power netbooks remains low, as touchscreen tablets continue to gain popularity. And Apple's iPad still dominates mindshare, even as competitors like Samsung and Research in Motion tout their own tablets.

The results of the October survey of 3,108 customers were released Tuesday by ChangeWave. Respondents were asked about devices they plan to buy in the next 90 days, and the results show that just 14 percent of laptop buyers are eyeing a netbook, a full 10 points below the peak of netbooks in June 2009.

"The decline of netbooks is attributable to a combination of factors including the end of the recession and the mounting penetration of tablet computers — notably the Apple iPad," wrote Paul Carton, vice president of research with ChangeWave. "Moreover, in a close-up look at tablet demand trends for the holidays, our ChangeWave survey finds continuing momentum for the iPad."

Netbooks have been on the decline in 2010, as PC makers have reduced shipments since the iPad launched in the U.S. April. In the last quarter, Apple sold 4.19 million iPads, and the company has ramped up distribution for the upcoming holiday buying season.

The survey found that despite a slew of announcements from competitors, consumer interest in the iPad remains far above its peers. Of those polled,80 percent said they are most likely to purchase an iPad, while 8 percent opted for RIM's Playbook, and 3 percent prefer the Samsung Galaxy Tab.

The Playbook is expected to launch in early 2011, while the Galaxy Tab debuts this month in the U.S. Both will sport a 7-inch screen smaller than the 9.7-inch multi-touch display on Apple's iPad.

ChangeWave 2

Those will also have to overcome the overwhelming satisfaction iPad owners have expressed with their purchase. Nearly three-quarters — 72 percent — of iPad owners polled by ChangeWave categorized themselves as "very satisfied" with the iPad, while another 23 percent said they are "somewhat satisfied." Just 1 percent labeled themselves as "somewhat unsatisfied" with the iPad.