oDesk news

By Emma Thomas

The Apple iPad is highly desirable, new Ball State University research suggests, but will consumers fall in love enough to warrant a purchase?

That’s the question posed by Ball State researchers in a new white paper, entitled “Touching Consumers?” According to the researchers, consumers found the iPad desirable but seemed ambivalent about its real-world benefits.

Suzanne, a 44-year-old, called the device “more of a luxury at this point.” And 31-year-old Rebecca admitted that it could enhance her life, but said an iPad wasn’t something she would “race out and get.”

One interesting finding, Ball State Center for Media Design project manager Jennifer Milks said, is that consumers said they would be inclined to own an iPad and a basic cell phone, rather than a smartphone. “[The iPad] could save the cell phone,” MediaPost quoted her as saying.

No doubt, the device will be popular. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster believes Apple will sell every iPad it builds this year, All Things Digital reports. But software developers for the platform – many of whom can be found on oDesk – should keep consumers’ ambivalence in mind and consider building apps that add value.

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