CUPERTINO, Calif. ( TheStreet) -- Apple ( AAPL) iPad users are "selfish elitists," according to a survey recently conducted by Internet research firm MyType. MyType, which conducts Web-based psychology research, recently surveyed 20,000 Facebook users to find out what type of person is most attracted to Apple's popular tablet device. The provocative results paint a less than flattering picture of iPad early adopters, one that is somewhat at odds with Apple's fun, family-oriented, iPad marketing campaign.
"iPad owners are an elite bunch," explained MyType in a blog posting, adding that fans of the tablet tend to be wealthy, highly educated and sophisticated, valuing things like power and achievement more than others. The survey also turned up evidence that iPad users skew toward being selfish and score low on measures of kindness and altruism. People with these qualities, said MyType, are six times more likely to own an iPad than an average person. MyType goes on to categorize iPad critics as "independent geeks" who prize self-direction, shun conformity and who typically are interested in video games, computers, electronics, science and the Internet. MyType's findings are sure to agitate Apple's many fans, especially since the iPad has breathed new life into the ailing tablet market, with Apple selling more than 3 million iPads since launching the technology four months ago. Analyst firm Forrester recently reported that iPad awareness is incredibly high. The firm found that only about 5% of U.S. online consumers said that they had never heard of the iPad, while three years after the launch of Amazon's ( AMZN) Kindle, some 25% of U.S. online consumers had never heard of the online retailer's e-book reader. With Apple enjoying explosive demand for the iPad, Forrester is also preparing to raise its estimates for the tablet. The research firm had initially forecast U.S. iPad sales of 3.5 million this year and 8.4 million in 2011, with some 59 million American consumers owning some form of tablet by 2015. "We think our initial forecast was conservative, especially in the short term, and we plan to publish an update later this year," explained Forrester analyst Sarah Rotman Epps in a recent blog posting. "The iPad isn't behaving like other consumer devices -- it has a steamroller of momentum behind it that indicates incredibly strong demand." Avi Cohen, an analyst at Avian Securities, said that iPad early adopters are probably not massive techies. "It's not necessarily geeks that have gone out and bought it -- if you already have a laptop, do you really need this?" he told TheStreet. "The one exception is marketing people in customer-facing roles who want to show you, for example, a Web-based presentation." -- Reported by James Rogers in New York Follow James Rogers on Twitter.