I love it! I thinks it’s the future and I’m absolutely sold! It’s simple! Easy to use, nifty, stylish, light, prestigious and techno blingworthy.
It’s Apple’s iPad. And if you haven’t read about it or seen one you should.
It’s estimated that it sold between 300,000 and 400,000 in the US on its first weekend release and it will sell 600 million in its first year*. If you think that’s pretty good and you’re pondering the profits it will make, you’re probably thinking, “How do they do it?” That my friends makes interesting reading.
Once upon a time a very wealthy man stood on a big stage and held up a new computer. It was flat and it didn’t have a keyboard. He tried to convince the assembled massed that in five years his very flat unit would be the next big thing and that it was the future. Some of them believed it. The year was 2000, the man was Bill Gates.
The same year Microsoft launched what it called a tablet PC and in 2001 featured it again. It was as thin as a piece of paper, it was expensive and it broke when you dropped it. It flopped! Now,10 years later Apple offers us a tablet computer called an iPad; we didn’t want it then. Why do we want it now?
Apple comes with hype and sometimes the hype is true. In this case, was it hype that was the difference? Is the secret of iPad in the spin and the marketing? Is the spin and marketing true? Maybe Steve Jobs did just chop off a keyboard, squash a computer and make it more powerful – a 1 gigahertz A4 processor is big, but it all works really well. It’s light, 680 grams, it’s thin, 1.25cm at its thickest and its touch screen is as much a novelty as it is efficient. In its demos it never missed a beat.
So the product did have changes, but we’re still left asking why is it a hit today, when it failed so magnificently 10 years ago?
I believe the answer lies in the marketing philosophy of Apple as a corporation. It doesn’t hold focus groups and it doesn’t ask consumers what they want – it tells them. And in Apple’s world they are right on the money because futuristic concepts don’t arrive from today’s consensus thinking, neither do they come from assuming that what we want now is good enough for tomorrow.
Jobs and his crew use their futuristic thinking to produce products consumers don’t know they need yet and that’s the secret. If you asked the consumer you get dragged back to the present and the Apple boys want to work in the future so they don’t ask – they tell you.
You can call it spin or hype if you like but it’s got substance and it’s the substance that makes it a winner.
I guarantee you’ll care about it. Why? Because whoever designed its stylish lines and intuitive interface, cared enough about you. And if you think this is the end, you’ll be wrong. It’s just another bite out of the very big Apple. Watch this space!