Watching Apple Play the iPad Roll Out is Something to Behold

I and many others have said more times than can be counted that Apple is a master at marketing its products, creating hype and turning us all into drooling idiots willing to go into hock. That said, I’m marveling at the mastery they have demonstrated and continue to do so when it comes to rolling out the iPad.

Here we are just a few days away from the devices being delivered and Apple is essentially crowing out most other tech news. The main stream media is jumping along for the ride as well. It’s only Tuesday of iPad delivery week, and Apple has made sure for the last five days or so that it has been at the top of the news cycle in the tech world each and every day. If it isn’t showing off the iPad App Store, it is releasing new videos of the how the device and its UI work with your feet propped up. Today they released the latest version of iTunes (9.1) that you’ll need to make the iPad do its syncing thing. App developers are showing off screen shots of what they will be offering. Today even brought news that Seton Hill U is going to put an iPad in every student’s hands. Everyone from the pro sports leagues to political campaign managers should be paying attention, much less Apple’s competition in the tech sector.

And all of this on a device that no one, including Apple, knows how it is really going to play once consumers start, well, er.. playing with it. I’m guessing the remaining 3 days of this week will also yield more of the same as the hype machine keeps on churning.

Note also, that we’re starting to see some rumors begin to appear this week about the new iPhone. Also keep in mind, Apple is, in the view of many pundits behind in releasing updates for its other lines of hardware. Apple has dominated the tech news coverage since the announcement in January and looks poised to do so right up through the start of the holiday shopping season in 2010. Of course it could get rocky if the iPad starts getting negative reviews on launch, or worse yet starts seeing those “on second thought” posts about 30 to 45 days out.

In any case it is more than fascinating to watch, and I think Apple’s iPad roll out will become a text book case that marketeers will study for the foreseeable future, regardless of the eventual success of the device.

4 Comments

  1. Tai-Pan

    03/30/2010 at 10:07 pm

    Warner,

    I agree completely. Initially it will be all good, but 30 to 45 days out when people have really had a chance to see if they’re still carrying the devices with them will be the real test… which I suspect the iPad will still pass.

    However at that same time around 50 or so cheap Chinese competitors leveraging the Android OS and application infrastructure will flood the market at about USD 150 and attempt to crash the market before it begins. So the iPad will have to withstand another test… is it good value for money or would a significantly cheaper less polished device suffice?

    Never has the me too products been launched so close on the heels of of the latest innovative product. We’ve covered the first of these devices yesterday on our site here:

    http://www.shanzai.com/index.php/bandit-gadgets/32/851

    I think the real losers will be the Dells and HPs who won’t have the time this time around (the way they did with netbooks and Asus) to see how the market plays out before diving seriously in.

    All very interesting.

    Reply

  2. Doctor_Roe

    03/30/2010 at 10:15 pm

    I also remember the Windows 95 roll out. Yes, it was revolutionary over 3.11 Workgroups but …. same hype, etc. I even remember standing in line outside of Computer City waiting for the doors to open at Midnight so that I could get my hands on one of the first copies!

    Apple is riding the wave but the jury of *life* has yet to deliberate! I think that it’s cool to get all caught up in the excitement, even though I will probably not ever get one. Quite honestly, I think it improves the breed. Look at the X200 / 201 that you reviewed. What a killer tablet. And look at all the new and exciting PC based tablets about to hit. I remember having the Newtons (both of them) and wishing that it would *catch on*. I walked around DC, seeing clients, and scribbling notes on my then-state-of-the-art device, only to watch it dry up a year later.

    Yep, Apple is rolling the dice, but I think that they are taking all of us PC Tablet users with them in hopes that this is, indeed, the year of the *tablet*. And think how much these first generation iPads will be worth next year when the next-gen iPads roll out with all the things they forgot!

    Reply

  3. double_o_don

    03/31/2010 at 7:07 am

    I propose that the marketing of the iPad is driven primarily by the previous market success (dominance) of the iPod and then the iPhone.

    Without the those two predecessors the iPad would be just another Apple computer, and in the “public’s” eye, a strange one at that.

    Reply

  4. Dennisvjames

    03/31/2010 at 12:30 pm

    Get serious. Apple has a built-in audience that already knows how to use it. How many of us have played around with an iPhone or iPod Touch and thought “if it was only a little bigger?”

    The geeks with their gotta have multi-tasking (I am one) will be left in the dust. As soon as people get their hands on one they will say, “I want it.”

    Schools are going to jump on this bandwagon like you wouldn’t believe. They are being hammered into offering digital books by the government and by their supporters and the Apple iPad fits that bill. All those DRM books in a 1.5 lb tablet. Students might actually use them for some studying as well :-).

    The lucky few of us that resist will only do so until they come out with a multi-tasking, note-taking version with 4G.

    Reply

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