Last week, Sarah Shearman wrote for Marketing Magazine (syndicated to BrandRepublic) about how the iPad is only reaching the “converted” (emphasis mine):
In the two months since the iPad launched in the UK, YouGov has found that 96% of the 713 iPad owners surveyed owned products such as an iPod, iPhone or Mac.
Russell Feldman, YouGov’s technology and telecoms research manager, said: ‘By Christmas this is expected to be a much more crowded marketplace, with a number of consumer goods brands providing alternatives to the iPad.’
This gives you the idea that the iPad marketplace is somehow limited, that it’s only appealing to those people who have been subjugated to worshipping at the golden throne at Cupertino.
But check the facts:
On 9 April 2007, it was announced that Apple had sold its one-hundred millionth iPod.
On 21 October 2008, Phil Schiller announced total cumulative sales of iPods exceeded 220 million. – Source: Wikipedia
So, in 18 months they sold 120 million iPods. And that was two years ago – all of it during the iPhone market – which I know has cannibalised the iPod market. Apple also announced that by the end of 2010 they will have shipped 100 million iOS (iPod touch, iPhone, iPad) devices. And then there’s the legions of Mac users over the years who may be new or old to the platform.
I foresee the market as growing exponentially. There are some folk who have given up and sold their iPads but I think it is probably down to two things.
- the relative immaturity of the iPad software market. It is still heavily biased towards consumption and the lack of multi-tasking on the device is frustrating for people who are heavier users. iPhone 4 does not have this issue.
- the need to tell everyone you’re selling your iPad. This is pretty much like every NMD who tells us all why they’re switching to $platform because of $whatever. We don’t care but it’s what people want to talk about. My household could easily manage four iPads.
I don’t know about the risks of being limited to a market that size. Especially one that’s growing so fast it has everyone else spooked.