Disclaimer: I am not a member of the “I love everything Apple and Steve Jobs is my Apostle” fan club, but I appreciate the brand culture Apple has built.
For the sake of not saying what has already been said about the poor name choice for Apple’s new “game changing” product, the iPad, I’m going to focus on the demographic Apple is targeting with their new product.
Is it their core audience of Apple product users? Of course. These die hard fans are like art collectors who will buy everything and anything with the Apple stamp, even if it turns out to be a product misstep (Refer to MSNBC’s Mac Documentaries shown during their Tech Week in early January).
Is it media junkies looking for a device that will allow them to consume their favorite blog posts, newspapers, magazines, and videos in a high style, portable format? Maybe. But I would be willing to bet those media junkies were happy to use their iPhones for this before and will probably be just as happy to use them for this after the debut of the iPad.
Is it for the Netbook audience that craves portability and usability over high powered hardware? I doubtÂ it. Netbooks have the advantage on the iPad in everything but the looks department (size, power, and function) and those users seem to be the pragmatic type over the high end gadget-y type.
So who really cares about the iPad? I mean enough to choose it over the devices that already fill that niche? My guess is the slightly older, bespectacled crowd who have a hard time admitting that they can’t quite read their morning paper on the iPhone and don’t mind adding an extra pound to their mobile workforce.
No one I have talked to under 50 has expressed anything but confusion over the real function of the iPad (other than a crowd pleaser during pitches and presentations). But as soon as those ages start to increase I’ve seen a genuine appreciation for the size of the device. Rather than investing in a Netbook that does more than this crowd could really ever need, they would rather stick to the incredibly user friendly Apple interface with a font size they can read without upping their contact prescription.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think this is a bad demographic to appeal to. After all the Baby Boomer plus age group is the fastest growing segment of technology users and they appreciate what the iPad has to offer from the price point to the ease of use factor.
With that being said, it will be interesting to see Apple’s marketing campaign’s in the next few months for their new product. Will the demo-like tv spots be accompanied by airy, indie music or carry a more serious tone? We will see.