Apple dominates consumer sentiment for Tablet PCs - with 48% share of positive customer comments online

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Online market research specialist DigitalMR releases latest findings on what customers are saying about tablet PCs on the internet.

Michalis Michael

“Tablets seem to have launched on a wave of consumer optimism and currently the iPad is dominating online conversation. It is critical for brands to leverage their goodwill online, to create greater impact as the battle for second place intensifies”

Customers’ views on tablets are overwhelming positive. DigitalMR measured over a ¼ million positive comments for slate devices across Jan-Jun 2011, compared with just over 100,000 negative ones. Apple has a commanding 48% share of these positive comments and 52% of the smaller group of negative comments. Next placed is Motorola with 16% of positive mentions and 18% of negative.

Results are based on comments posted by consumers on the major tablet brands made by: Apple, Motorola, Samsung, Blackberry, HTC, LG, Barnes and Nobles, ASUS, Archos and Viewsonic, across Jan-June 2011.

DigitalMR’s analysis (powered by SocialNuggets) is based on comments posted via a range of relevant websites and open access social media platforms. It measures, not only the number of comments posted by consumers on the internet, but also their sentiment – whether posts are positive or negative in nature.

Managing Director of DigitalMR, Michalis Michael commented: “Tablets seem to have launched on a wave of consumer optimism and currently the iPad is dominating online conversation. It is critical for brands to leverage their goodwill online, to create greater impact as the battle for second place intensifies”.

The popularity of tablets shows no sign of abating. For example according to the Consumer Electronics Association, 17 million were sold in the US alone in 2010 and its latest prediction is 42 million units to be sold in 2011. Source: http://www.twice.com

With sales booming, and many more consumers intending to buy, what do consumers actually think about slate devices?

1)    Net Sentiment
All the brands measured, achieve a positive Net Sentiment Score (NSS) for Jan-June. NSS provides an overall percentage score of net positive posts. A positive score means a tablet attracts a higher proportion of positive than negative posts.

The average NSS taken across all brands measured is 41% - very high compared with other industry sectors. This is very encouraging for the tablet PC industry as it shows customers are generally very happy with their devices and are keen to share the good news online.

Apple has an NSS of 38%, slightly below average, but given its dominant position in the market customer expectations are likely to be higher. However it still generates more than twice as much positive online buzz as negative. New entrants to the market (with a much lower base of online conversation) achieve higher NSS, such as Viewersonic 78%, Blackberry 65%, LG and HTC both with 57%.

2)    Positive and negative posts
Apple accounts for 48% of all positive posts among consumers on the internet across Jan-Jun 2011. The next highest performers are Motorola 16%, followed by Samsung and Blackberry, both with 9%.

Of all negative posts measured, Apple accounts for 52%. Motorola is next with 18%, followed by Barnes and Noble with 11%.

3)    Features
DigitalMR measured thousands of customer posts across Jan-June regarding the features that tablets offer. The overriding negative feature is “Size” of device. As seen in the customer quotes below, this can include weight, overall size and screen size. Devices that can be too large for some users are often not big enough for others, because of the way size preference is related to type of use. This is likely to become a key differentiator for tablets as the market develops.
Size attracts 20% of all negative comments but only 9% of all positive ones. Conversely the feature of “Video” on slate devices is well received, attracting 15% of all positive comments, but only 9% of negative ones.

Customer comments on tablet size:
“Blackberry Playbook is surprisingly heavy for its small, 7-inch size. It needs apps, badly. It needs core apps, including email, calendaring and contacts at the very least, because webmail doesn't seem work properly. It needs to be fewer buggies, in general”.
http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/blackberry_playbook_a_work_in_progress.php

“I hesitated to acquire a Slate 500 due more to lead time than anything else, but I was not happy with its screen size - too small for actual productive use. I have to read drawings and documents on the screen and can not be zooming in and out with the compromised graphics processing power on these devices”.
http://www.gottabemobile.com/2011/02/21/when-does-size-matter-on-your-tablet/

“Just because something is more expensive and bigger does not make it better! I've been digitally inking/drawing and doing all of my artwork digitally for like the last 2-3 years and I definitely prefer the smaller tablets. I use a 8x6 genius tablet and it works wonders for me. I heard people give horrible reviews of tablets like 12x8- saying its way to huge to use and I believe them”.
http://www.smackjeeves.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=7345

4)    In their words – positive customer comments
"Very pleased with my iPad. Light, portable and so easy to use. Holds its charge for about 10 hours of general use. Turns on instantly (unlike my old laptop). The app store makes is much more fun than a laptop”.
http://www.reviewcentre.com/Tablet-Computer/Apple-iPad-review_1359289

“The Blackberry Playbook is one of my favorite tablets in term of user interface, I enjoy swiping through the screen and the bezel to interact with the operating system and the applications, it is very intuitive and effortless. The ability to make the navigation bar and the keyboard appear by touching the bezels is great, and going to the home screen from any application is easy”.
http://www.ubergizmo.com/2011/05/blackberry-playbook-review/

“I bought the 32 GB model from pc world a month ago and I can tell you right now the battery-life is awesome and I can’t put the thing down. The only thing I have to say I am bothered about is that it has a locked boot loader which Acer Iconia Tablet is resisting to unlock (I can see their reasons) but apart from that I am definitely keeping the tablet and it’s my new best friend at the moment”.
http://forums.reghardware.com/forum/1/2011/06/01/review_acer_iconia_tab_a500_android_tablet/

“The quality of the Motorola Xoom display is great, apps run without issues and overall it must be said that if you are a Gmail or Google Apps user, this is the device you need for everyday use. The Gmail, maps, docs et al interfaces are far superior over that of the iOS devices. The battery life is fantastic and the apps sync beautifully if you are already an Android user”.
http://www.reviewcentre.com/Tablet-Computer/Motorola-Xoom-reviews_1358811

“Although Ipad 2 was a tad expensive, it was worth it. I'm taking it with me wherever I go and it's very easy to use. The battery lasts more than a laptop; the apps are easy to install and to use. The new iPad is obviously faster than its predecessor”.
http://www.reviewcentre.com/review846375.html

5)    How can tablet brands use social media to their advantage?
Tablets can use analysis of data from websites and other social media in the following ways:

  •     Engage in a one-to-one dialogue with their customers and respond to negative comments.
  •     Invite some of the customers to join online forums and chat groups to further express their views
  •     Positive sentiment can be leveraged in advertising
  •     Operations can learn about and fix specific retail and product performance issues
  •     Products can be adjusted, and new ones designed to meet customer needs

About the syndicated tablet report

DigitalMR produces a monthly tablet report which monitors thousands of customers’ online conversations through comments posted on open-access social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, forums, blogs, microblogs and commercial websites, for comments regarding tablet services.
The report is available on annual subscription with updates provided on a quarterly, monthly or weekly basis. Results will be updated to the press on a monthly basis.

Contact
For regular reports and more information:
Michalis A. Michael
mmichael(at)digital-mr(dot)com
tel: +44 751 571 0370
http://www.digital-mr.com

About DigitalMR
DigitalMR is a specialist agency which provides a holistic approach to web based market research. It specialises in utilising social media research, especially web-listening, and sophisticated technology platforms to enhance its business consulting approach.

DigitalMR’s solutions also include community panels, access panels, web usability and a distinct focus on qualitative research online. The agency has pioneered new methods in online focus groups alongside tools such as video diaries, bulletin boards and online ethnography.

The agency operates in affiliation with international market research company MASMI http://www.masmi.com. DigitalMR is headed by founder and MD, Michalis Michael and is headquartered in London, UK and Nicosia, Cyprus.

About SocialNuggets
SocialNuggets technology delivers real-time market intelligence for fast moving industries by analyzing data from various social media sources with a mission to liberate social media data and sentiment analysis for use in real-time research of brands, products and features. SocialNuggets delivers ready to use market intelligence for various industry verticals including consumer electronics and banking. SocialNuggets data is delivered in bite size, ready-to-consume, infographics and is also available in the form of a full access to our data warehouse for analysis and integration with customers’ data. SocialNuggets, a Serendio company, was founded in 2011 with headquarters in Santa Clara, CA. For more information, please visit http://www.SocialNuggets.net

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Michalis A. Michael
DigitalMR
+44 751 571 0370
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