Apple’s done a great job selling the iPad to the masses and I’ll probably end up with one someday, but the hyperbole in all of their marketing messages is really starting to tick me off. As the saying goes, you’re entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts.
It’s one thing for Apple to tout its device as magical, amazing, spectacular, etc., but I completely disagree with how the company is telling consumers that the iPad has ‘the best’ device for a number of tasks without any qualifications or disclaimers.
Yesterday, we mentioned Apple’s new iPad Guided Tours, which are full of claims that I think Apple will have a hard time backing up.
A family member wanted to learn more about the iPad, so I visited Google to find some links for her. To my surprise, the description of Apple’s iPad features page states that the “iPad can do thousands of things a tablet PC or e-reader can’t.”
I assume Apple’s lawyers vetted the statement about Tablet PCs well and came to the conclusion that the iPad can run iPhone OS apps and therefore DOES do a bunch of stuff that Tablet PCs can”t, but I find it disingenuous. Apple’s statement about Tablet PCs is only found in the iPad Feature’s page metadata, which means it only shows up in search engine results and is invisible to visitors to Apple.com.
If Apple’s going to attack tablet PCs with a strong marketing message I wish the company would have the nerve to back up its claim, or at least make the claim visible to people that are shopping for iPads. I’m all for highlighting features and tangible consumer benefits, but making bold claims and then ducking away from them when users click through from Google to Apple is just lame. How about some solid examples of what the iPad can do that a tablet can’t?
There are going to be some very happy Apple customers this Saturday when they finally get their hands on their very own iPads, but there are also going to be some very disappointed individuals who find that their iPads aren’t living up to impossible expectations. They’ll see that the web just isn’t the same without Flash, that their Mac or PC is a much better device for writing email and that the iPad will not run for 10 hours on a single charge while playing video.
Using Apple’s logic, the Tablet PC can do millions of things the iPad can’t. But that doesn’t mean a tablet, much less a high-end tablet, is the right choice for everyone. Consumers should be presented with facts and not baseless claims when making major purchases.