Brit consumers shun the iPad - for now
What's it for?
The iPad won't be mass market in the UK, according to a market research firm which took to the streets to see what British consumers think about Apple's tablet.
Then comes its qualifier - "at least not yet".
Researcher Simpson Carpenter teed up four qualitative groups with an iPad. Participants admired the iPad's "cool", but few could justify parting with at least £500 for one.
As a standalone purchase it "occupies too much territory already covered by smartphones, PCs, laptops and traditional media".
Nothing Reg Hardware readers didn't know already, then.
Let's not forget the "impulsive minority will simply have to have it. For them, it's not about function, compatibility or improvement but about raw appeal, it's sheer magic. Typical of these consumers was this response It's just fantastic. I don't need it, but it's wonderful and I want it.
Simpson Carpenter's discussion highlighted two clear consumer reactions: "Initial excitement followed by ultimate rejection (the mainstream) or sustained interest built on emotional or functional benefits (the minority)."
So basically, most consumers struggle to see what the iPad is for:
It's for business people presenting and taking work home; it's for students to replace hard copy textbooks and materials; it's for commuters to use instead of spreading their arms with a broadsheet newspaper; but it's not for me and it doesn't have a clear role in normal life.
The comments below are typical of the responses gleaned by Simpson Carpenter:
- Everything it does I can do on my PC or my phone right now; I just don't need another thing.
- It's just a big iPod Touch ... a big iPhone without the phone. Or the camera.
Perhaps this is because the iPad is not intended as a primary computing device but as a great way of consuming media. And it is very early days for tablets.
Today British consumers are in the dark. They will get the point when they see iPads and other tablets and e-book readers at work and play - bought by the impulsive minority, the tech savvy and the wealthy. And when the prices come down, as they surely will.
Then they can shun the iPad from a position of knowledge, rather than ignorance. ®
It sounds to me like the British consumers have it absolutely spot-on.
We're not so obsessed with the consumption of 'media' as the US, in particular. We do tend to be more cynical than our US counterparts and most of us don't have the time, energy or interest in how some pratt on a skateboard broke his leg or watching desperate people putting sad videos of themselves up and thinking they're suddenly a movie producer. The ones of people talking into the camera saying 'leave me your opinion below about this topic' are particularly pathetic.
We aren't that bothered with seeing the news 60secsof60minsof24hoursaday. We like to see major events unfolding, but considering a truly major event happens on an average of maybe once a year it's not worth the money to buy a device to see up-to-the-second updates on events that happen so rarely.
Realistically, the iPad just doesn't have enough of a point to it to be worthwhile. If you live in the fantasy world of always working from home by sitting in your IKEA living room, and to you 'busy' means you got up from your sofa, picked up your iPad from the coffee table and read that Susan is landing from her flight in an hour and you can book a restaurant for the two of you an hour after she lands then I suppose it may mean something.
To those of us who get up, check our home emails in the morning at our desktop (or later at our work desk), travel to work with a book (or drive - focusing on the road), get to our desktop/laptop and have access to the internet from there there really isn't a need for an overexpensive book reader - especially when the battery wouldn't last an entire holiday - a book seems to last alot longer than a battery. Alot of us don't like reading single stories as they come in, but prefer settling down for elevenses or lunch and reading our way through a number of stories, because we can relax. Our emails are on our desktops or phones (if we're on the move) and our software all works with our server systems, printers, network protocols, security and staff. We are able to replace/repair broken PCs without argument, we can use whatever software we want, even the stuff we write (including scripts - the ever-invaluable tool of the network admin). There are vast arrays of software out there that work with our PCs, and including an Apple-locked, carrier-locked device that pumps excessive amounts of information that we don't want at us is just not worth paying for.
Might it not be better to wait until we actually get some pre-order or sales figures before writing that headline?
In the dark?
"Today British consumers are in the dark. They will get the point when they see iPads and other tablets and e-book readers at work and play - bought by the impulsive minority, the tech savvy and the wealthy. And when the prices come down, as they surely will.
Then they can shun the iPad from a position of knowledge, rather than ignorance."
Exactly where, in the long list of typical survey comments, did you discern that ignorance was behind the lack of fanboi enthusiasm? I think consumers got the point when the bloody thing was announced and only those "must have" idiot consumers who buy everything Apple raced to buy one. That's not a matter of ignorance at all. On the contrary, that's people making an informed decision. It's not their fault that they didn't require much information from Apple to make it.
I think the above statements have to be the best example of the complete arrogance of the Fanboi community, which thinks they know better than everyone else. EPIC FAIL.
Wanting something and spending £500 on it
Are different things
According to the email advert Apple sent me, its "a magical and revolutionary product at an unbelievable price" - pretty sure its that unbelievable price that's putting people off!