March 1, 2012, 9:36 AM

A key demographic anxiously awaits Apple’s iPad 3

48% of consumers surveyed by electronics site TechBargains.com plan to buy the new tablet.

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It seems consumers in Apple Inc.’s demographic sweet spot are ready for the new iPad.

48% of consumers plan to buy an iPad 3, according to a new online survey from TechBargains.com, a web site that aggregates deals on consumer electronics products. That number certainly would be high for the general population. However, 88% of the 1,305 consumers surveyed were men, 85% were college educated, and 38% make $100,000 or more a year. And of course, any visitor to TechBargains.com is going to be fond of consumer electronics.

But the survey results shed light on one of Apple’s key iPad customers: affluent, well-educated men that like the latest consumer gadgetry.

Of those who plan to buy an iPad 3, which Apple is expected to introduce March 7, 58% want to upgrade their current tablet and 74% contend that no tablet compares to an iPad. The anticipated high price tag of Apple’s next iPad is the main reason 16% of shoppers will not buy the iPad 3 and why another 35% remain undecided.

One finding of note: More than half of owners of the recently released Amazon.com Inc. Kindle Fire will buy an iPad 3, the survey finds. 85% of Kindle Fire owners who will buy the iPad 3 want to upgrade their current tablet and 73% agree that no tablet compares to an iPad, the survey finds.

“When it comes to tablets, Apple’s iPad will continue to remain the leader,” says Yung Trang, president of TechBargains.com. “But what’s very interesting is that Kindle Fire was released just three months ago and yet more than half of Fire owners already know that they will, in fact, buy the iPad 3. This could be a commentary on consumer dissatisfaction with Amazon’s product or simply a message that the iPad’s user experience remains unparalleled.”

36% of survey respondents do not own a tablet, the survey finds. 31% own an iPad 2 tablet, 20% an iPad 1, 8% an HP Touchpad, 7% a Kindle Fire, 5% a Nook Color, 4% a Samsung Galaxy Tab, 2% an Acer Iconia, 2% a Motorola Xoom and 8% another type of tablet. The total of those who own and do not own a tablet adds up to greater than 100% because many of the survey respondents own multiple devices.

Apple customers are nothing if not loyal. Of the survey respondents, 66% of iPad 1 owners and 56% of iPad 2 owners plan to purchase the iPad 3,  a sign of  strong Apple loyalty and these consumers’ eagerness to have the latest products available, TechBargains.com says.

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