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The iPad 2 reportedly sells out in 1 day with 70% new buyers

by Scott Bicheno on 14 March 2011, 09:58

Tags: Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)

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Bearish news for the compeition

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster and his team hit the streets over the weekend to look at Apple Store queues and interview the people in them. They also tried to buy an iPad 2 on Sunday, and failed.

According to the initial, anecdotal study, reported on by Fortune, stocks of the iPad 2 sold out completely on the first day it was on sale. Ringing around various retailers on Sunday, Munster and co were unable to find a single iPad 2 in stock. Furthermore, the iPad 2 web page says it will take 3-4 weeks to ship one.

These observations have led Munster to estimate that up to half a million iPad 2s will have been sold in the first weekend, compared to 300,000 of the original iPad.

There was also a small survey (236 people intending to buy) taken, from which which Piper Jaffray extrapolated a bunch of other findings, summarised in the table below. The key figure is that 70 percent of those intending to buy an iPad didn't already have one. This means the total market for tablets is growing rapidly, and Apple is doing a good job of cornering it.

I'm reading a biography of Muhammad Ali, which focuses on his first title fight against Sonny Liston. Nobody gave Clay, as he was then called, a chance having seen Liston batter the previous champion - Floyd Patterson - in one round, twice.

Apple's competitors in the tablet market must be feeling a bit like Clay did back in 1964 - intimidated by his opponent's ability to deliver a knock-out punch. In the end Clay was just too quick for Liston, and the latter even resorted to trying to blind his opponent before quitting on his stool at the end of the sixth round.

These preliminary sales figures confirm what everyone already knew: the tablet market is big, too big not to compete in. So Samsung, Motorola, etc will keep trying, and this is only the start of round two. It will be fascinating to see what the rest of the industry comes up with to change the course of this fight, but Apple is already well ahead on points, and can't be relied on to quit. Then again, nobody gave Clay a chance of surviving, let alone winning.

 

 



HEXUS Forums :: 13 Comments

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There was also a small survey (236 people intending to buy) taken, from which which Piper Jaffray extrapolated a bunch of other findings, summarised in the table below. The key figure is that 70 percent of those intending to buy an iPad didn't already have one. This means the total market for tablets is growing rapidly, and Apple it doing a good job of cornering it.
I'm not convinced that that survey justifies either of those conclusions, though I don't doubt the market is huge, and I wouldn't bet against Apple being the dominant force, at least for a while.

On their own, though, those figures don't add up to that conclusion.

For a start, the life cycle of iPad 1 was pretty short, and I'd say surprisingly if not shockingly so, so it begs the question of what proportion of that 70% had been intending to buy an iPad 1 only to hear of the forthcoming release of v2, so delayed their decision (that was already made) and waited for v2.

Secondly, while there will always be a significant number of people that will always buy into the latest gadget, especially tech gadgets, and especially heavily branded “iconic” gadgets, that alone is not even a good proportion of the potential market for tablets.

There is, in my view, at least the potential for the tablet market to evolve into a laptop killer, and in many cases, a desktop killer too. Short of a huge evolution, they won't replace gaming machines, or heavy-duty photo/video editing workstations any time soon, but for general purpose browsing, and with appropriate accessories (like a decent wifi keyboard or perhaps voice recognition software) they could potentially replace a good proportion of household PCs.

And that market hugely, massively, stupendously outweighs the icon-savvy first adopters that we're seeing queueing to buy on day 1.


Ans we're already seeing decently spec'd tablets coming out of the far east with decent capacitive screens, at a fraction (half???) the price of an iPad, and we're seeing Android coming along nicely too.

Will Apple do nicely out of iPad? Almost certainly.

Will they “corner the market”? If the tablet matures into anything like what I think it might, over the years, I very much doubt it unless they radically change their marketing strategy and instead of concentrating on being the iconic high-end “aspirational” producer they have always seen themselves as, concentrate instead on the mass market.

And, for as long as I've known them, I've seen no sign that they know how to do that, let alone actually even want to.
Saracen
I'm not convinced that that survey justifies either of those conclusions, though I don't doubt the market is huge, and I wouldn't bet against Apple being the dominant force, at least for a while.

On their own, though, those figures don't add up to that conclusion.

For a start, the life cycle of iPad 1 was pretty short, and I'd say surprisingly if not shockingly so, so it begs the question of what proportion of that 70% had been intending to buy an iPad 1 only to hear of the forthcoming release of v2, so delayed their decision (that was already made) and waited for v2.

Secondly, while there will always be a significant number of people that will always buy into the latest gadget, especially tech gadgets, and especially heavily branded “iconic” gadgets, that alone is not even a good proportion of the potential market for tablets.

There is, in my view, at least the potential for the tablet market to evolve into a laptop killer, and in many cases, a desktop killer too. Short of a huge evolution, they won't replace gaming machines, or heavy-duty photo/video editing workstations any time soon, but for general purpose browsing, and with appropriate accessories (like a decent wifi keyboard or perhaps voice recognition software) they could potentially replace a good proportion of household PCs.

And that market hugely, massively, stupendously outweighs the icon-savvy first adopters that we're seeing queueing to buy on day 1.


Ans we're already seeing decently spec'd tablets coming out of the far east with decent capacitive screens, at a fraction (half???) the price of an iPad, and we;re seeing Android coming along nicely too.

Will Apple do nicely out of iPad? Almost certainly.

Will they “corner the market”? If the tablet matures into anything like what I think it might, over the years, I very much doubt it unless they radically change their marketing strategy and instead of concentrating on being the iconic high-end “aspirational” producer they have always seen themselves as, concentrate instead on the mass market.

And, for as long as I've known them, I've seen no sign that they know how to do that, let alone actually even want to.

It's a small survey and an early, crude indicator. I probably should have said ‘indicates’ instead of ‘means’, but the portents are the same.

Apple established the precedent of a yearly cadence of new versions some time ago.

Yes, the market is only a year old, but the indications are clear and every sign is that this is far from an ‘early adopter’ device. Regular punters are buying the iPad, they're just doing so quite quickly.

Android and the rest will sell some tablets, the question is how many.

Apple should definitely aim for the mass market, imagine if the iPad was cheaper then the competition. Hold on a minute!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPod#Sales
That many people have an iPod, iPhone, Kindle AND iPad? And they plan to use them all together? To do what? How many eyes and hands do these people think they have?
Scott B;2056535
It's a small survey and an early, crude indicator. I probably should have said ‘indicates’ instead of ‘means’, but the portents are the same.

Apple established the precedent of a yearly cadence of new versions some time ago.

Yes, the market is only a year old, but the indications are clear and every sign is that this is far from an ‘early adopter’ device. Regular punters are buying the iPad, they're just doing so quite quickly.

Android and the rest will sell some tablets, the question is how many.

Apple should definitely aim for the mass market, imagine if the iPad was cheaper then the competition. Hold on a minute!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPod#Sales
It's not that the iPad is an early adopter device, it's that most of the people buying it are early adopters. If you conducted a survey on a typical high street and asked about tablets, I wonder what proportion would think you were talking about Apple (let alone Android devices) and what proportion would think you were talking about what their doctor prescribed them?

I don't really see the iPod situation as relevant, either. Not in the long-term. The iPod is and always was going to be a relatively niche product, albeit a large niche, especially among the young. The tablet PC has the potential to be far, far more generic, and over the years, I'd expect it to be a real game-changer if it lives up to the apparent potential.

Scott B;2056535
…..

Apple should definitely aim for the mass market, imagine if the iPad was cheaper then the competition. Hold on a minute!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPod#Sales
I didn't say Apple should aim for the mass market. Not at all. One marketing strategy is certainly to aim for the cherry on top of the cake, not the whole cake. Rols Royce don't aim for the whole market, and nor do Ferrari, Mercedes, BMW or even VW/Audi.

What I questioned was whether they would corner the market or not, because to corner it in a widely-appealing product type means you do have to go for the mass market, and Apple for never been known for, or apparently even interested in doing that.

It all comes down to what the market is. If you look at a narrow product type like the iPod, then the iconic status counts for a lot, and being the first to market, especially with a polished branding job like the ipod, count heavily. But if it goes as I think it will, the tablet market is far, FAR larger than that, and far more generic. And as soon as you start to talk about mass market, you're talking about a population demographic that's far more price sensitive than you are for a purely niche (however large a niche) tech product, and when you're talking about a much more expensive product, then that's even more the case.

What does an iPod cost? From what, £110 to £200 plus. What about an iPad?

The more expensive the product, the more any percentage saving is in absolute terms, and that saving in absolute terms is what differentiates the iPad from the iPod in a mass market appeal. Compare a fairly high spec MP3 player to an iPod and you may have, what, £50-£75 compared to £150. or thereabouts? Now compare a £300 capacitative screen Android tablet to a £600 iPad. A lot of people will pay the extra £50 (give or take) for an iconic brand but will baulk at £300 extra for it. There will be a large number of people for whom branding does not justify Apple pricing in high ticket items.

So, it comes down to the perception of the market, in years to come. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see them as common household items in virtually every home in the UK (and many other countries) in a few years. I wouldn't be surprised to see them replace TV remotes, the home's internet PC, maybe a laptop of two in the average home, and so on, and I wouldn't be at all surprised to see more than one, and quite possibly several, in the average home.

Compare the market penetration of PCs today to the market penetration of PCs say 15 years ago. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see market penetration of tablets today comparable to that 15-years old figure, compared to where they could be in a few years.

A lot will depend on power, functionality, batter life and especially software (though I suppose that comes under functionality). But I think the potential is vast, and it could well be the next generic device.

But if it is, and if it does get adopted that widely, then either Apple will have to adopt a much less iconic stance at some point (and it clearly won't be yet) and drop their pricing model a fair bit, or the mass market will go for cheaper and less iconic devices in their droves, perhaps not out of desire, but out of sheer practicality. We may all want to be driving a Rolls, or a Ferrari or even a Merc/BMW, but how many of us actually are?

It's not all that long ago, and certainly within my parent's lifetime, that having a car at all meant you were, first, an early adopter, and secondly, fairly well-off. Right now, that's close to where tablets are. Are they selling? Yes, but typically to the relatively young, relatively tech-savvy and relatively affluent. They aren't, yet, a mass-market device. But I suspect in incarnations to come, they will be.

And none of that suggests I think Apple either will or should change their marketing strategy. Creaming of larger profits from a relatively small part of a potentially huge market can still be very lucrative, and they will no doubt seek to stay ahead of the curve, innovating and maintaining that iconic status as hard as they can.

But it's pretty much a non sequitur to expect an iconic and aspirational brand to be the market leader in a mass market, generic device, which is where I think tablets are going. If I'm right in that, I don't see any way Apple can corner the market without losing the iconic, aspirational status that confers the ability to cream off large and lucrative margins in a proportionately low volume segment of the market.

And stress, tablets aren't mass market, every-household devices yet. But I suspect they will be in years to come. Apple will no doubt sell a lot, make a mint, and no doubt will seek to remain the leader, in that where they go, others will follow. They'll probably remain the market leader in terms of trend-setting and in substantial volumes, and they'll probably be what most people will want. But unless price differentials narrow a lot, and absolute price levels drop a fair bit, they won't “corner” the market. They're too expensive on a relatively expensive device to do that, if this really does go mass market.
I just had too:
http://xkcd.com/605/