According to research company NPD Group, and its recent Apple Ecosystem Study based on 3,000 consumers in an online survey, about 37 million United States households own Apple products. The details specify that 69 percent of those consumers own iPods, but ownership of the iPad is growing. In fact, one-in-four iPad owners claimed the device as their first Apple product:

“iPad sales are growing much faster than any other Apple product has this soon after launch,” said Ben Arnold, director of industry analysis at NPD. “”In fact, one-in-five Apple owner households has one— nearly equivalent to the number that own an Apple computer. This demonstrates the appeal of both the new form factor and Apple’s app ecosystem.”

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook put iPad sales into context during Apple’s Q2 2012 conference call yesterday:

“Just two years after we shipped the initial iPad, we’ve sold 67 million. To put that in some context, it took us 24 years to sell that many Macs, and five years for that many iPods, and over three years for that many iPhones, and we were extremely happy with the trajectory on all of those products.”

Think about that for a moment: Apple’s two-year-old device/segment is now likely its biggest ambassador. With Macs traditionally at mid-single digit growth rates, most new Apple customers are being introduced to Apple through the iPad.

(Press release)