NEW YORK: The iPad looks set to retain a dominant position in the US tablet sector, as the vast majority of consumers considering making a category purchase are keen on Apple's device.

Baird Insights & Research, the wealth management company, surveyed 1,114 adults in America, a panel slightly skewed towards male and affluent respondents.

Some 28% of the company's interviewees already owned a tablet, of which 93% possessed either the first or second generation version of the iPad.

Overall, 48% of contributors were considering purchasing a tablet, with 75% of people hoping to do so entering the category for the first time, and 25% picking up a replacement device.

When choosing between the possible options, 94.5% of those polled agreed they would be interested in obtaining an iPad, followed by HP's TouchPad, claiming second position on 10.4%.

Samsung's Galaxy Tab and Motorola's Xoom both posted scores of over 8%, the HTC Flyer yielded 4.3%, BlackBerry's PlayBook recorded 3.8%, and the Nook Color, made by Barnes & Noble, generated 3.6%.

Participants in the 40-50 year old and 50-60 year old demographics showed the highest rate of uptake thus far, on 37% apiece, with 30-40 year olds logging 35%, while penetration was lowest among 18-22 year olds, on 12%.

Two-thirds of existing users said web browsing, email and social networking constituted the number one use for this appliance, well ahead of viewing photos and video in second, and reading eBooks in third.

For 39% of current or potential tablet owners, buying this gadget did not mean they were less likely to obtain alternative electronics products, such as a laptop or desktop computer.

Elsewhere, 61% of this group believed they would otherwise have opted for a PC or smartphone instead of a slate, rising to 69% for individuals planning to make their first category purchase.

However, 83% of people questioned said they could not do without a computer at present, and only 11% could foresee a time in the future then they were unlikely to require one.

Across the entire panel, 94% of consumers suggested tablets would primarily be used for personal purposes, with 67% fulfilling personal tasks via this route and 21% undertaking academic activities in this way.

Data sourced from Baird Insights & Research/PC World; additional content by Warc staff