Handicapping the iPad

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.

Developers and publishers of all kinds are preparing (or considering whether to prepare) for its release into the market.

I think it’s ultimately going to be a hit but what do you think? Do you think it will succeed or fail?

13 Responses to “Handicapping the iPad”

  1. Malcolm Lewis Says:

    My 2c: Because they priced it smart, I think it’ll be a hit. It’s perfect for couch cruising, where you’re consuming info (touch screen better) more than generating info (keyboard better), and where peripherals are not desired/required. If you’re willing to drop $2k+ on a TV, then chances are you’re willing to drop $499 on a gorgeous iPad that lives on the coffee table for you and the kids to grab and use anytime in the family room. If nothing else, think of it as an investment in your kids’ education 😉

  2. naynotes Says:

    Nice Nice Nice…Blog

    Thank You

  3. Jim Sommers Says:

    It looks like a fantastic traveling device allowing me to leave my laptop at home. The email capability is vastly superior to my phone. I love the ability to use the web with my phone but do it sparingly because the small screen makes it too cumbersome to read longer articles. With the larger screen I think it’ll be a lot more useable. The book reader is something else I think I’ll make use of, as are the schedule & contact apps. Most of my traveling is business oriented but it’s probably as good or maybe better for vacation travel. I bet version 2 has a camera added! I’m about due for a laptop upgrade but I’m seriously considering trying an iPad instead. It does most of what I need to do on the road plus it’s smaller, lighter, cheaper & the battery even lasts longer. If I do take the plunge I’ll probably wait for the 3G.

    • alam Says:

      i agree with you. ipad is very portable, simple, and design for human being. compare to other competitor like laptop, which is not user friendly. ipad is a leading human friendly device.. 🙂

  4. JMMX Says:

    The retrevo posting manipulated their data display and interpretation horribly in order to attract web hits. It also is of little value overall. But even if the numbers were significant, does it meant that 9% of adults in the USA are ready to buy an iPad at launch? As a stock holder, I would LOVE that!

    I think the one key word in Jobs’ presentation was “intimate.” Additionally, reporters who got a few minutes to play with it at the announcement, all said that you really have to hold it to see how incredible it is.

    I am betting it will be a smash, sold out in the first weekend.

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  10. Jeramy Milligan Says:

    The affect this product will have on the electronic world is big. It will give us a somewhat larger excuse to spend time messing around on the interweb. I would be tempted to buy the ipod if it cleaned up my room and did my wash!

  11. Ipad Case Review - Danny Says:

    I think this question has already been answered by the sheer number of ipads shipped. Got to love all the graphs you used – you should have made this into an infographic – people would have loved to see this on their ipad 🙂 I think thats the whole point – the ipad works amazingly at presenting info in a easy to digest way – compared to a laptop which is great for creating content but not so much for display.

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