It seems like everything Apple touch turns to gold at the moment, they have just released the iPad 2 and stores started to run out of stock in just hours, which is no surprise as the queues at some stores were up to 800 people long! Ok so the Ping social network they tried to launch was pretty much a flop, but hardly anybody heard about (probably why it flopped) so that is easy to brush under the carpet!
Yet Apple products polarize people, usually because while they are the coolest products on the market, then actually if you compare the specs of different products on the market, and the prices, then on paper it looks like the Apple products are not the best choice, so what is going on? Well first of all Apple are innovators and marketers, I mean I am pretty sure tablets were around before the iPad launched, but nobody really wanted one. Then Apple comes onto the scene and suddenly it is a ‘must have’ gadget and just a year later the market is being flooded with tablet computers from a whole range of manufacturers.
That means Apple gets the market share early on and then are seen as the people to go to for that kind of product. Like the mp3 players, there is no more iconic mp3 player than the iPod, and again there were probably already mp3 players on the market, but Apple made it cool, explained why we needed it, and made it easy to use, and suddenly everybody from 8 – 78 had those distinctive white earbuds in as they walked around.
You’ll notice I said they made them easy to use, which to me is the one big thing which separates the Apple products from the crowd, yes the products are cool, yes they have a big infrastructure to support them, like the iPod had iTunes which allowed access to millions of songs, and the iPhone and iPad have access to the app store, but they are all also really intuitive and easy to use, which is something we need as technology gets more daunting. I don’t care if something has more power than an iPad, if it is more complex at the same time then I am not going to get the benefit of that extra power as I’m never going to use it to its full capacity, I’ll just get frustrated with it and give up.
So should Apple be scared by all the new more powerful tablet computers coming onto the market, or all the smart phones trying to snap at their heels? I don’t think so, they seem to have the right combination of style, functionality and ease of use, and that is something the other companies can’t compete with.