LONDON: UK iPad owners are interested in branded apps, but are less enthusiastic about being exposed to app-based advertising.

Trade body the Association of Publishing Agencies commissioned research firm Npoll to survey 952 iPad owners, of which 82% use the gadget several times a day.

Over 80% of interviewees dedicated from 50% to 100% of their activity on the device to apps.

Gaming apps were the most popular, with an 85% penetration rate, measured against 69% for social networking, 62% concerning entertainment and 51% in relation to magazine articles.

It reported that 73% of contributors would prefer to download a free application directly associated with a specific product or company than pay for a non-braded equivalent.

Elsewhere, 68% of those polled also favoured official apps containing no advertising, beating the 30% supporting non-branded alternatives featuring marketing messages.

This suggested a "relatively low" level of tolerance for commercial communications on tablets, the study argued.

However, 81% of individuals questioned had sought out further information about a brand after using an app, 33% visited official websites, 29% considered buying goods, and 19% actually acquired a product.

Another 67% of the sample wanted companies to deliver more engaging or exclusive content for this medium through applications.

When identifying particular areas of interest for such output, 38% cited lifestyle-led material, 23% mentioned games and 23% named entertainment.

Upon being asked if they would exchange the iPad for a different brand, 71% of respondents were unlikely or unwilling to do so.

Just over a third of participants bought their iPad between three and six months ago, while 22% bought it in the past seven to nine months.

But just 16% had purchased the tablet earlier than nine months ago.

A 61% majority of the panel also owned an iPhone, standing at 45% regarding the iPod Touch and 39% for a Macbook.

"Technologically savvy consumers welcome contact with brands via apps," said Julia Hutchison, chief operating officer of the APA.

"Consumers who interact online are more likely to buy if the company offers additional branded content, which is extremely compelling for brands."

Data sourced from Association of Publishing Agencies; additional content by Warc staff