Independent research boutique ChangeWave surveyed 3,171 consumers and found that consumer pre-launch interest in the iPad is high.

Data demonstrates that consumers are more interested in purchasing an iPad than they were the iPhone prior to launch. Also, 27% of existing e-reader owners indicated they would have purchased the iPad over the model they own now.

The study — which was conducted after the iPad announcement — also shows that 40% of respondents in the market to purchase an e-reader in the next 90 days say they will buy an iPad.

That number is quite remarkable on its own, but when compared against the respondents who indicated preferences for the Kindle (28%), Nook (6%), and Sony Reader (1%) the bigger picture starts to become clear. If these numbers are reflective of the larger population, Apple is most certainly a threat to Amazon and the e-book/e-reader industry as a whole.

Some other interesting highlights from the ChangeWave study include:

– Prospective iPad buyers are likely to wait a few months before they make their purchase. 20% will buy two to three months after release, 23% four to six months after release, and 19% seven to 12 months after release.

– 68% of prospective iPad owners are most interested in using the iPad to surf the internet.

– 25% of consumers buying iPads may cut back on previous plans to purchase other Apple products. 10% are putting their iPhone purchase plans on hold, while 9% are saying they may not buy the laptop or iPod they had previously planned to.

Given that the iPad launch date is just a few weeks away, we should soon be able to tell how accurate some of these findings are and whether or not the iPad will put a significant dent into Amazon Kindle sales.

[via TUAW]

Tags: amazon kindle, Apple iPad, Apple Tablet, ereaders, Kindle, stats