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iPad demand high and rising

Apple iPadAs Google lays the smack down against Apple at day two of its I/O conference, a series of positive reports show us Apple's runaway success with the iPad.

Apple is currently selling more iPads than Macs every day, recent analysis states -- and is rapidly approaching the same level of sales as the iPhone.

Freshly-published research from ChangeWave suggests this pattern is set to continue. The analysis -- based on a May survey of over 3,000 consumers and a second survey of 153 new iPad owners -- suggests that future demand will be even stronger.

"Consumer demand for the Apple tablet going forward is even stronger than the extraordinary pre-launch demand we recorded back in our February ChangeWave survey," the report notes.

A total of 7% of respondents now say they're Very Likely to buy an iPad and another 13% say they are Somewhat Likely -- the highest level of consumer interest to date, and far surpassing February's pre-launch demand survey (4% Very Likely ; 9% Somewhat Likely).

Apple is impacting the ereader market, the report confirms. 245 Changewave respondents identified themselves as currently owning an e-Reader, 62% own a Kindle. However the iPad is "already registering a 16% share of the e-Reader market just weeks after its initial release," Changewave tells us.

Speaking to the new iPad owners, Changewave saw a 74 percent chunk of the 153-person sample group saying they're Very Satisfied with their new tablet, with another 17% saying they're Somewhat Satisfied.

These ratings almost approach the level of satisfaction iPhone users have expressed in previous Changewave surveys, the researchers said.

The ratings also seem set to tear apart IDC's figures, published today, which predict 7.6 million media tablets will be sold worldwide this year.

"The availability of apps unique to media tablets and that differentiate the experience of using one compared with a PC or smartphone will be crucial for driving consumer demand. As the category matures and more media tablet-optimized apps become available, IDC expects that media tablets will evolve beyond nice-to-have devices and become necessities for many consumers," said Susan Kevorkian, program director, Digital Marketplace: Mobile Media & Entertainment.

RBC Capital Markets analyst, Mike Abramsky this morning predicts 2010 iPad sales to reach eight million, up from the five million originally.

"We believe Apple is now selling >200k iPads/week, greater than US Macs (est. 110k Macs/week) and just below US iPhone 3GS first quart (246k/week)," the analyst said.

Meanwhile, mutterings from the Google I/O keynote today suggest Apple's former ally is becoming ever more serious in its attack on Apple.

See also: Can you use the Apple iPad as a laptop?

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