By Philip Elmer-DeWitt
November 15, 2012

FORTUNE — The day after the iPad mini was unveiled, Cowen’s Matthew Hoffman wrote that he expected Apple’s (AAPL) latest tablet to be “largely cannibalistic” — eating directly into the sales of Apple’s 10-inch iPad — and he trimmed his iPad sales estimates accordingly.

But to be certain, he ordered a survey of 1,225 Americans to gauge their interest. Now, having analyzed the results, he’s changing his tune. His key findings:

  • 73% of respondents were aware of the iPad mini — an extraordinarily high penetration due almost entirely to media reports
  • 12% were interested in buying an iPad mini sight unseen — a percentage Hoffman expects will grow once consumers get their hands on the device
  • Of the 65% who didn’t already own a tablet, 50% said they had no use for one and 28% said they were too expensive.
  • Of those who said they plan to buy a tablet in the next 18 months, the full-size iPad was their No. 1 choice (25%), Amazon’s (AMZN) Kindle Fire was No. 2 (24%), the iPad mini was No. 3 (18%) and another Google (GOOG) Android tablet was No. 4 (12%)
  • Most (83.4%) prospective iPad mini buyers said it would not replace another computing device
  • Of the small number of respondents (16.6%) who said it would, the device most often replaced was a Microsoft (MSFT) Windows PC (42%). See charts above.

“We now believe,” Hoffman concludes, “the iPad mini is slightly less cannibalistic to the fourth-generation iPad “4” than we previously modeled.” And he’s raised his holiday quarter revenue estimates accordingly.

Note, however, that by the time Hoffman had drilled this deep into his survey results, he was drawing his conclusion from a field of 24 respondents.

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