Hot on the heels of Apple’s financial results for the first quarter of 2012 comes analysis by NPD Group showing the increasing importance of iPad for the company. It notes that the tablet is starting to become the first Apple product owned by many people – a role traditionally held by the iPod. “While over 70% of long-standing Apple owners begn their relationship with the brand by way of the iPod, this number declines to just 57% among those entering the Apple franchise in the past two years,” notes NPD. “Newcomers to the brand increasingly turn to the iPhone or iPad as their first Apple device, which combined account for one-third of first-time Apple purchases since 2010.” These gateway products are important: the average Apple-owning household has 2.4 of the company’s devices, so the first purchase often leads to another, then another…

EarPods and phone

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