Shoppers want their iPads sharp and cheap, survey says

U.S. iPad buyers want Retina Displays but are willing to give up storage capacity and data plans for a better price point, Consumer Intelligence Research Partners finds.

Richard Nieva
Richard Nieva Former senior reporter
Richard Nieva was a senior reporter for CNET News, focusing on Google and Yahoo. He previously worked for PandoDaily and Fortune Magazine, and his writing has appeared in The New York Times, on CNNMoney.com and on CJR.org.
The percentage of people buying iPad 2s went down at the expense of models with Retina Display. Apple
Here's something that shouldn't come as a shocker: Retina Display is really important to more and more iPad buyers.

A survey released by the Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, a Chicago-based research firm, notes that almost half, 46 percent, of iPad buyers in the United States nabbed one with Retina Display during the quarter that ended in September. That's up from 32 percent in the previous quarter. Not surprisingly, that bump in sales of iPads with the higher quality display came at the expense of the iPad 2.

If the trend continues, the amount of buyers opting for Retina Display should come up even further, since Apple on Tuesday introduced the feature on iPad Minis -- the main absent element from Apple's smaller tablet.

The survey also notes that buyers are more interested in cheaper models that have lower storage capacity and are Wi-Fi-only. Sales of the 128GB and 64GB versions of the product -- the two largest storage capacities -- dropped from 30 percent to 13 percent.

One reason for the change away from data plans could be the prevalence of free Wi-Fi, Mike Levin, founder of CIRP, said in the study. "The share of the lower-priced Wi-Fi-only model is the highest in the past year. This could reflect the growing access to Wi-Fi networks."