How much is an iPad worth?

December 2, 2010, 12:49 PM UTC

A couple hundred dollars less than Apple charges, according to a new consumer survey

This one is a little hard to follow, so you might want to mute your TV for a minute.

Gene Munster’s team at Piper Jaffray recently ran a small survey of 65 consumers who don’t presently own tablet computers.

They were shown a pair of  competing devices — a $629 Apple’s (AAPL) iPad 3G and a $599 Samsung Galaxy Tab running Google’s (GOOG) Android OS — and asked not just which one they preferred (the iPad won that bake-off 85% to 15%) but what they thought a reasonable price for each would be.

That’s where it got interesting.

In a note to clients issued Thursday, Munster reports that his sample group thought the iPad was worth about $417 — $212 (34%) less than its suggested retail price. The Galaxy Tab, by comparison, was worth about $283 — $316 (53%) below its retail price.

Apple can take some comfort in the fact that although this model iPad costs $30 more than a comparable Galaxy Tab, its perceived value was $134 higher.

But the truth is, these consumers didn’t think either tablet was worth its sticker price.

Below: Piper Jaffray provides a bit more detail about the survey.

In response to a request for more information about how the survey was conducted, Piper Jaffray’s Andrew Murphy responds:

The respondents were chosen randomly on their way in/out of a large
national retail chain. After spending time with each device, they were
asked which they’d prefer and what a reasonable price for each would be.

To be clear, it was a small survey, which is why we wanted to be
transparent about that, and we mention that in the first sentence.

[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]