I’ve been in a number of conversations of late where people are pretty polarized over the question of whether the iPad will be a hit or a bold swing-and-a-miss. My view is that it will start slow and then eventually become a big hit as people actually get a chance to hold them, see the screen resolution and want one for themselves.
Many people are disappointed that the iPad wasn’t simply a flat-screen version of a Macbook. And to that end many computer OEMs are putting PC operating systems and chips on slate computers.
I think that Apple is being smarter with its approach to the iPad. A touch-screen slate computer that isn’t aggressively discounted is just going to be a disappointing or weaker version of a laptop. What Apple may have created in the iPad is distinct category that has distinct use cases and functionality — this is what Apple clearly argues — although it’s missing some of the features and capabilities that some had hoped for.
Lots of survey data have come out and can be read in a half-full or half-empty way. For example, AdMob’s recent survey data show “only” 16% of iPhone users are interested in buying the iPad.
Alternatively one can argue, using ChangeWave data, that there positive indicators for Apple in that there are more people interested in the iPad today than were interested in the iPhone at launch in 2007:
Those somewhat or very likely to buy the iPad vs. iPhone in 2007 before release:
Source: RBC Capital Markets/ChangeWave, 2/10 (n=3,200)
And an earlier Retrevo survey showed 30% of respondents (n=1,000) were interested in the device, although the Retrevo post about the data plays up the “negative” side of results.
I think it’s ultimately going to be a hit but what do you think? Do you think it will succeed or fail?