Wednesday, January 27, 2010

iPad – Another Revolution?

Let’s talk technology for a moment.

I just watched most of the unveiling of Apple’s new iPad.

During the presentation I did get excited. Quite excited. In large part because Apple does such a beautiful job when it comes to user experience on their devices. There is absolutely no doubt the user experience on the iPad is brilliant and elegant. Art married with technology. My instant response is I want one.

But then my rational side (and wallet) start chiming in, attempting to drown out my impetuous, artistic, aesthetic and gadget loving enthusiasm.

And so I step back and attempt to look at this as a marketer.

I do the instant quick take: comparing product to market, looking for the opportunity versus challenges. Who would buy this? Is there a market for a portable device that sits between a laptop and cell phone?

Previous attempts to market tablet computers by Dell, Sony, HP, Microsoft, etc. failed. The MBA response would be no, there is no room in the marketplace for this, regardless of how beautiful and elegant it is. It has been shown that people do not want to carry a third device. The iPad is not sophisticated enough to replace a laptop, especially for business users. The MBA analyst will probably tell you that it will fail.

Ah, but there is another category. Forget tablet computers; let’s talk eBook readers aka eReaders. Forrester reports that an estimated 3-million eReaders were sold in the U.S. in 2009. 30% of those sales just in November and December. They predict that over 6 million eReaders will be sold in the U.S. in 2010.

There clearly is a market, and a fast growing market at that, for eReaders.

Folks the iPad is the Cadillac of eReaders, and at $499 I predict that most people wanting to buy an eReader will do the small jump up to an iPad, because when you compare an iPad to the Kindle or Nook, well, it’s like comparing a Toyota Yaris with a Ferrari California, but without the big price jump. So you have an instant fast growing market for the iPad simply as an eReader.

But the iPad is so much more than an eReader.

Though not designed to replace a laptop it does have a significant suite of work tools. Now add the total Internet functionality of the iPad (advanced browsing, email, chat, etc.) extensive multimedia entertainment functionality (who needs a portable DVD player), big screen color gaming capability (no need to carry a separate portable gaming device anymore), advanced photo management, everything iTunes, mapping, the most elegant user interface on the planet, plus add in the 140,000 iPhone apps that will port to the iPad, and of course the already huge market demand for eReaders, and my friends you have a device that if properly marketed, clearly has potential for sales in the multiple millions.

Now if Apple can just execute some good marketing.

Yeah, like I said. I want one.

A la votre,
Le Capitaine

The Apple iPad:


  1. My only comment on this is that they should of made it available for purchse "right away" so it doesnt give people time to think about it. I want one personally and will get one because its just seems like a brilliant toy to me. And i'm looking forward to the music producing apps that will come out for it.

  2. I love it! another market (and i don't think im the only one) is, for me, I can get the iPad instead of getting a new macbook! I don't use my computer for anything more then what the iPad does! :) It's brilliant and i'm excited to get one!

    oh and i love the blog! <3

  3. Frantz - in an ideal world they probably would have, but too much info, and disinformation was leaking, so they had to make a move. By doing the announcement now, you can bet the day it is available at stores there will be a line down the block, which is another opportunity to get a lot of PR and exposure, basically all the hoopla of a product launch, twice, for one product.

    Briana - You're right. These days many people use their laptop primarily as a web tool and an entrtainment center. Two things the iPad does very well. And thanks for the compliment!

  4. Yes, I have to say I was totally captured when I heard about iPad & saw the pictures. Do I need one? No. Do I use an eReader? No. Do I want it? Absolutely.
    I agree with Frantz about it the availability. There has been a lot of buzz about the Apple tablet coming. So stop "coming" and arrive please. Don't tease us so! :)

  5. I thought this video from Apple did a good job of quickly touring you around the iPad:

  6. I went and looked at the iPad today. Played around with it for a while. The feel is very nice. Lighter than expected. Elegant. Simple. Intuitive. Great web browsing functionality. Nice screen. OS screams.
    PRO: It is the ideal portable media consumption device: music, film, books, Internet, email, looking at pictures, games, etc. Does those things exceptionally well.
    CON: Not a portable media creator's device - for that you need to stick to your Mac Book Pro.