iPad2: public perceptions

March 09, 2011, 9:35 PM GMT+0

Last Wednesday, Apple boss Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad 2, a revised design for the already vastly popular tablet that will become available in the US next week and in 25 other countries a fortnight later.

The announcement led to an immediate rise in buzz score in the UK based on our YouGov BrandIndex measures; from +20 on the day of the announcement to +37 by Monday of this week. Buzz measures how much people are talking about a given brand, and subtracts negative comments from positive ones to obtain a net score. Looking at this in combination with the attention score, which simply measures how much people have heard about the brand, either negatively or positively, we can see that over half the population have heard something about the iPad in the last two weeks and a vast majority have heard something positive.

Score rises in the US less stark

Interestingly, the rise in the US was much less marked (admittedly from a higher starting point); going up from +30 to +35, and is already showing signs of declining again.

In contrast, in Germany, there is lower base excitement about the new product, but we have seen a rise there from +13 to +21.

Price drags iPad down

The biggest drag on the index score (which combines the sentiment and perception scores on six key measures) is people’s perception of value – in the UK, Apple even has a negative score.

This is further developed by the YouGov TabletTrack, a quarterly survey of a nationally representative and tablet owning audience on tablet perceptions, which shows that price is a key block to the iPad becoming a mass market product with 31% of rejectors saying it is too expensive.

Apple will want to turn the positive buzz it has created into an improvement in value perceptions if it wants to overcome that barrier to purchase.

Overall, all three countries there has been a rise in the index score but that increase has been much less dramatic than the increase in buzz (from 17 to 21 in the UK for example).

This suggests that excitement has been created but most people are waiting for more evidence before they deliver a verdict.

Index score for Apple in the UK, US and Germany

Buzz score for Apple in the UK, US and Germany

Go to BrandIndex

A version of this article originally appeared in City AM