Coleridge's Ancient Mariner had nothing on Apple's (AAPL) much-rumored tablet.
Without even a prototype -- like Microsoft's (MSFT) -- to look at, 21% of 3,100 respondents in a RBC Capital/ChangeWave survey said they'd be interested in buying an Apple tablet computer in the $500 to $700 price range. That's better than the 9% who said they would be interested in buying the original iPhone in an April 2007 survey -- after Steve Jobs had unveiled it, but before it had been released.
"The promising early interest illustrates the market opportunity for a Mac-based Tablet," writes RBC analyst Mike Abramsky in a Wednesday morning note to clients.
Among the other findings in the survey:
- 25% of respondents bought a Mac laptop in the last 90 days, up from 18% in July
- 17% bought a Mac desktop in the last 90 days, up from 12% in April.
- 30% of 4,200 respondents in a separate survey already had an iPhone, up from 20% in June
Given what he calls the "surging Mac and iPhone sales momentum," Abramsky has raised his Apple price target to $250. Shares opened Wednesday at $185.35 and were up 3.7 points (2%) in mid-afternoon trading.
[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]