Rumors and expectations traditionally get the upperhand in the days before an Apple launch event. The release of Apple’s newest iPad is no exception. The hot topics this year? The ultrasharp retina display, the superfast A6 chip and even the name.
Let us forget about all that for a minute and take a look at what the launch will mean for the industry. The tablet industry that is.
To do that, we can take a look at the smartphone industry. We know the launch of Apple’s third generation iPhone was a record breaking one. Over one million iPhone 3GS’s were sold in the first three days after the release. An absolute record at the time. And let’s not forget the phone is still on the market. Just one year ago, it still accounted for 20 percent of the total smartphone sales in the United States. We’re talking about a device that was already two years old in 2011.
In November 2011, Malcolm Gladwell spoke at the Creativity World Forum in Hasselt, Belgium. Gladwell, a best-selling author and editor for The New Yorker, spoke about how being third is not a bad thing. A lot companies rush to be the first to present a new product. But this isn’t always a good thing. On the contrary. According to Gladwell, to create something, successful implementation happens in three steps. The third guy in line can learn from the initial idea, get to know the technical specifications and come up with solutions for the problems it has. And most of the time, this happens on the third try.
Gladwell meant this for completely new product, but of course the system also applies to third generation products. User know that, hence the sales record of the iPhone 3GS. They are used to the idea of a smartphone and they know they are in for the best user experience so far. Not just Apple benefits from their third generation product. Other players on the market ride the same wave. No matter what the product is.
eBay UK have revealed that tablet and eReaders sales increased fourfold last year, with over 61.000 devices sold in december 2011. They expect this trend will carry on. In their prediction, sales of tablets surge following the release of the new iPad, as shoppers look to snap up great deals online rather than queuing up at the Apple store to get their hands on the most up-to-date model.
Immediately after the launch of the iPad 2 between February and March 2011, tablet sales on eBay UK spiked with almost 5.000 more devices sold in March than the previous month. A similar pattern emerged between October and November last year, once the new Amazon Kindles went on sale and in the lead-up to Christmas over 22.000 more devices sold in November than the previous month.
The tablet market keeps on growing, but we knew this already. Are you in?