Wondering just who put in a pre-order for the coveted iPad? The NPD Group just released a new market research report assessing consumer awareness and interest in Apple’s iPad.

Unsurprisingly, current Apple owners are most excited about the product — 24% of Apple owners said they were very interested or extremely interested in buying an iPad, compared to 18% of all consumers.

We spoke with Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at NPD, about the report, which was compiled from a survey of individuals over the age of 18 from February 24 through March 3. The sample size was about 2,000 consumers.

Those who show the most interest in buying the iPad, per the report, look a little something like this:

Income: More than $100,000/year

Age: 18-34 (27% of people in this age range expressed an interest in buying the iPad — again, that’s compared to 18% overall)

Time of Purchase: In the next six months (9% of all consumers surveyed indicated it was likely that they would be purchasing an iPad in the next six months. While that figure may seem small, consider that that could easily be more than 20 million users, if just applied to U.S. consumers over the age of 18.)

Reason for Buying: A tie among 18-34 year-olds between brand loyalty and the multi-touch screen

Brand Loyalty: Apple (37% of interested consumers as a reason they want an iPad. That figure “really speaks to how well Apple is able to mine its customer data,” says Baker. “Apple owners are willing to try new products and trust that the company will get it right.”)

How They Will Use It: To play music or access the Internet

Of course, there are those who are not as keen on buying an iPad; among tech-savvy 18-34 year olds, 57% cite price as the only reason they aren’t ready to buy, which is interestingly 25% higher than the overall percentage of non-interested buyers. Owning or wanting to buy a netbook was also a popular reason not to buy an iPad for both Apple and non-Apple owners.

With more than 130,000 iPad units thought to be pre-ordered in just the first day of availability, it will be interesting to see how this study aligns with sales figures.

Does owning (or not owning) other Apple products affect your iPad plans? Let us know!

Tags: apple, ipad, npd