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Punters out to buy an e-book reader seem set on Apple's iPad, a survey of 3171 US consumers has revealed.

According to market watcher ChangeWave Research, 40 per cent of folk planning to buy an e-book reader in the next three months said they'll go for the iPad.

Amazon's Kindle was the second most popular device, selected by 28 per cent of would-be e-book reader buyers. Poor old Sony, which has been offering its Reader range longer than either Amazon or Apple, was favoured by a mere one per cent of potential buyers.

Bookseller Barnes & Noble's device, the Nook, got the thumbs-up from six per cent of people who plan to purchase a digital reading device, ChangeWave said.

That said, some 25 per cent of such folk said they had yet to make up their minds, so there's plenty for the vendors to play for.

But Apple seems likely to grab the lion's share of the undecided. More than a quarter - 27 per cent - of consumers who already own an e-book reader said they would have bought an iPad had it been available at the time of their purchase. Only 45 per cent said they would buy the same device that they already own had the iPad been on sale.

Many potential iPad owners are keen not to appear to be part of the customary fanboy rush of Apple early adopters. Only six per cent of respondents who said they'll buy the gadget claimed they will do so in its first week on sale. Ten per cent said they'll wait two to four weeks, while 23 per cent said they may wait up to six months before making a purchase.

Web browsing, email and e-book reading are the top three favoured applications, chosen by 68 per cent, 44 per cent and 37 per cent of potential iPad buyers, respectively. ®

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