Thursday, October 7, 2010

Is the iPAD an iFad??...

Is the iPad a fad?  Will things go back to normal after people get tired of them?  This is what some are saying in the media.  We shall examine this fad here today.

There certainly has been a lot in the press about the iPad recently. Not just about its features or even about its stellar sales, but about the impact it is having on the sales of laptops.  
Let's examine some of the headlines of the last few days.  
iPad Craze Cuts Into Laptop Sales, Cripples Netbook Market
iPad, Tablets Cannibalizing Laptop, Netbook Sales
iPad vs Netbook: The Battle Continues
Netbook Sales Go Negative, Firm Says.  iPad to Blame?

This last article was posted in September of this year and an interesting chart was added.
But I think we need some more headlines to make the point even stronger. From Australia come this headline dated October 7, 2010:
iPad smashes adoption records as Aussies get app fever
Apple iPad Has Fastest Tech Adoption Rate Ever, Report Says
..."The iPad did not seem destined to be a runaway product success straight out of the box," Colin McGranahan, retail analyst at Bernstein Research, told CNBC. "By any account, the iPad is a runaway success of unprecedented proportion."...

Apple sold 3,000,000 iPads in the first 80 days.  That number is greater than the iPhone sold in its first 4 months.  It is a greater number than the number of DVD players that sold for the first year that they were out (350,000). ****  It is the fastest adopted electronic device in the history of the world. *** 

Yet there is more.  Some analysts do not think this fad is going away anytime soon.  One predicted that sales would jump to 21,000,000 in 2011.  This same Wall Street analyst predicted that Apple would control 94% of the tablet market in 2010.  Another analyst from UBS Investment Research predicts that Apple will sell 28,000,000 iPads in 2011.  He called this a "conservative" estimate.**  The next fact should send shivers down RIM's back.  The RIM PlayBook is targeted primarily at corporate America.  Well here is a quote from the first Wall Street analyst that was cited: "He noted that the company revealed in June that more than 50 percent of the Fortune 100 are deploying or testing the iPad."  RIM may be about to make an excellent device with corporate America, but it seems corporate America is bored with corporate equipment.  Besides, we think since the distinction between work and personal life is breaking down with the advent of the digital revolution the distinction in equipment will also vanish.  This would be bad news for RIM.

The latest and most astounding prediction of iPad sales, made by a Forbes analyst in East Asia is that they will reach 45,000,000 by 2011.  The report also states that there will be a new iPad coming out in the first quarter of 2011 just time to blunt the sales of the Samsung Galaxy and the RIM PlayBook.  This new iPad will have a smaller screen about 7" and will have a front facing camera, as well as the new "retina" screen the iPhone 4 has. **
Three million iPads were sold around the world in 80 days or one every 2.3 seconds. **  

Nicholas Coldridge, the managing director of Conde Nast UK predicted that in the future as many as 40% of the publisher's sales will come from apps for Apple's iPad and similar devices. ***

If this is a fad, then it should make Steve Jobs take up the Hoola hoop or the twist.  We wish we experienced such fads.  But that the critics of the iPad do not see is the way the owners of them feel about the devices.  They seem to LOVE them.  Beneath this sociological phenomena is something much more significant.  The tablet represents an evolution of the computer to its next logical step.  Why should anyone think that this rapidly-changing and massively-progressing invention should stay still in its present manifestation of laptop and desktop and netbook??  Do they really think that this will not change.  The huge dinosaurs and yes we include laptops in this category are like their counterparts from the Jurassic era giving way to the small versatile mammals which in this case are mobile devices.  The truth is that seen in this light all manifestations of computer are "fads."  Even mobile devices will fade.  Eventually we will be wearing our computers and then we will become ONE with the computer in some sort of cyborg entity.  GET READY FOR THE FUTURE.

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