Ball State University’s Center for Media Design recently released a followup study to “Touching Consumers? The Promise of the iPad,” where they interviewed fifteen “average consumers” to get their reaction to the iPad before its launch. Ten of the original participants took part in the subsequent study, called “A Play Date with the iPad: Real People Experience Apple’s New Tablet.” Authors Jen Milks and Mike Bloxham wanted to answer the question, “Does owning the device for 24 hours change the opinions expressed in round 1? If so, in what way(s)?”
Participants were loaned an iPad, docking station and external keyboard for 24 hours. They were also offered a mini-tutorial. The iPads had the standard suite of apps plus iWorks, iBooks and several general lifestyle apps. Participants were also given $10 to spend on media or apps of their choice. In general, results of interviews showed the iPad ideal for content consumption, for use in the home and while traveling, better for leisure than working activities, and superior to other e-readers given the additional functions and features. The iPad was appealing and valuable, but when considering the price, these participants did not currently see it as a must-have device.