Here's an interesting bit of information compiled by Retrevo.com. They recently polled over 1,000 shoppers (distributed across age, gender and income level) who were either considering buying netbooks and iPads or already own them. The results were telling -- although, as Jeremy Toeman of Stage Two points out, this is the same research firm that played down consumer demand for the iPad in the first place, so bring your own grain of salt.
When asked, "Did you hold off on buying a netbook when the iPad was announced in January," a full 70% answered yes -- with a qualifier. Only 30% went ahead with the purchase, while 40% bought a netbook (the remaining 30% purchased a netbook without considering an iPad). Of course, grabbing 30% of a market with a 1.0 device is impressive by any reckoning.
In another question, Retrevo asked, "Are you planning on buying a netbook or an iPad?" Here the response was very clear cut, as 78% claimed that they were leaning towards an iPad.
There was more to the survey, of course (you can read all of the results here), but for me the most interesting finding was the following. When asked, "What was the main feature that attracted you to a netbook," the majority of respondents -- 54% -- answered "Small and light." I always assumed that cost was the deciding factor, but price was identified by only 20% of subjects (battery life pulled 19% and "other" grabbed the remaining 7%). If weight and portability are the most sought-after criteria, the iPad will win that battle hands down.
It would be interesting to see what type of functionality most consumers want (internet access, email, etc.). Most of us are biased Apple fans, but what would push you away from an iPad and towards a netbook?