Retrevo possibly performed this research in order to help retailers decide how many iPads they should stock. However, having spoken to more than 1,000 Americans, yes, perhaps even 1,001, its conclusion seems to be "not so many."
In interpreting their data, Manish Rathi, Retrevo's co-founder, told Computerworld that all the twitching of mouths and tremors in tingly parts that accompanied the launch actually put people off.
Before Steve Jobs took to his armchair at Yerba Buena, 26 percent of those surveyed said that they had heard of the iPad, but wouldn't be buying one. This positively leaped to 52 percent immediately after Jobs revealed his new plaything.
These figures immediately led Retrevo's Rathi to tell Computerworld: "I don't see this as a game-changer."
You see, if you're worried about where to put your money just put your mouth, filled with searching questions, to more than 1,000 Americans' eyes and ears.
Rathi's thesis was, in the tablet of his own mind, confirmed even more powerfully by another of the survey's questions. Before the launch, 49 percent of respondents declared they didn't need an iPad. But after the seated soliloquy of Steve Jobs, this figure ballooned to 61 percent.
Some, perhaps those more dedicated to Apple's core, might respond that they don't need to date Megan Fox, but they still might choose to, given the opportunity. Still, Rathi believes that purchasers are rational beings: "There's just no killer app that goes on the tablet."
He points to his inquiry's result that 59 percent of people said they wouldn't pay the $130 in order to enjoy the bountiful excitement of AT&T's 3G. "There's also an overwhelming discomfort with signing up with another data plan," he told Computerworld.
So the co-founder of the "ultimate electronics marketplace" has decided that "This will not be in line with the iPhone launch."
Before those in the Apple firmament begin to rend their garments and head for the hills in search of wild boar to assault, might I point to what some might see as an equally significant result of the survey?
Those who said they would definitely buy an iPad before the launch numbered a meager 3 percent. However, after the announcement, this soared to 9 percent.
Here's another little statistic that I have secured from Retrevo's pie chart of muted colors: 21 percent of those surveyed after January 27 said they were "interested, but would need more information before they buy one." Which might mean that a little nudging, accompanied by a little keeping up with the more adventurous Joneses, could generate enormous sales.
I have no idea how typical Retrevo users are of America's vast and multi-natured population--well, yes, Retrevo only surveyed its own users.
But I know there will be a statistically insignificant few who will think that such a pessimistic interpretation of data will encourage any retailer who decides to order, say, 90 iPads on the basis of these findings, to get a little discount.
(Edited to reflect the fact that the "Ultimate Electronics Marketplace" is not actually a retailer)