Quarterly results published by Apple yesterday revealed that 4.2m iPads had been sold, down against analysts predictions of 5m.
This is against a backdrop of encouraging sales data for the iPhone – 14.1m (up 91.4% on the same quarter last year) and iMac computers – 3.9m (up 27% against the same period).
I would suggest that supply problems – I certainly noticed my local Best Buy were out of stock recently, combined with consumers awaiting the launch of iPad 2.0 are significant factors behind these reports.
However, as reported here, the iPad is shortly to be available in Wal-Mart and is already being stocked by Target as Apple makes attempts to widen distribution.
I stick to my prediction that the iPad will become the dominant platform for accessing the internet in 3-5 years.
How would you feel buying an iPad from the Apple store (on or offline) as opposed to Wal-Mart? In the same way, how do you feel about buying potatoes from a Jewel Osco, or a Co-Op, as opposed to a farmers market or Waitrose.
How important is price for you? How important is service? What about the warm feeling you get from some stores that you don’t from others?
I think Wal-Mart are making big strides in changing their image. Their green scorecard isn’t just lip service, it matters now.
Of course, Apple must be desperate to secure greater saturation before the Playbook and Android tablets start making headway, but by allowing distribution through Wal-Mart and Target, they are surely taking a risk with the Apple reputation?
What products will Wal-Mart merchanidse alongside the iPad? Will Apple have the same sanctuary they enjoy in Best Buy?
Anyone who doubts that the dominant platform for accessing the internet in the future is going to be the iPad should read this.
Sales are now forecast to outstrip the sales of Macs themselves in 2011. But the interesting phrase here is “Mac for the masses”. The Mac v PC debate is an old one, but the introduction of this new hardware into the market, partly smoothing the edges of carrying a laptop around, while at the same time offering the best experience of surfing the web, raises the stakes.
Why carry a laptop around when an iPad can do everything it does? Couple this with computing in the ‘cloud’ and the size of the hard drive becomes less important. The iPad gives people a great taste of just what computing on a Mac means.
The iPad is of course also now responsible for the growth in the number of mobile applications, many of which now give people a better online experience than a traditional website.
While plenty of PC users bought and became advocates of the iPhone, it was still a phone – something that the desktop PC wasn’t interested in competing with. But the iPad moves into its territory. It’s also much more affordable than a laptop.
But of course Apple will be sure to release iPad 2.0 sometime soon. It will iron out many of the teething troubles of the original – but will it work with flash? Will it have a camera and USB ports?
Before becoming one of those contributing to the sales of iPad next year, you may want to wait.