It seems Apple has done it again – announce a device and then market it so well that when they release it to the market, they sell 3 million in 3 months. The iPhone appears headed for smartphone domination (I believe Apple already sells more than a quarter of smartphones – they just announced that they sold 1.7 million iPhone 4s in the first 3 days since its release). And now comes some revealing stats about the iPad which I found on Jeff Bulla’s worthwhile blog.
I’ll list them and then discuss the three which I believe are important for Inbound Marketing Automation. According to Jeff, then, here are the five iPad trends of interest:
- It is creating a drop in Netbook sales
- iPad Internet Usage is closer to traditional PC’s
- iPad is on schedule to be the most popular mobile device in history
- iPad is becoming a ‘Gaming‘ platform
- People are willing to pay more for an iPad app than an iPhone app
So let’s see why Jeff (and I) are so fired-up here by taking a look at the numbers.
iPad is creating a drop in Netbook sales
Wow – if you’re a Netbook supplier you have to be thinking hard right now about how to fight this one. But what this does show is why Apple has managed to sell 3 million iPads already – all those people who were going to buy a dull Netbook instead bought a sexier, lighter, longer-lasting battery powered iPad.
And what this means to Inbound Marketing Automation is that there are already enough of these devices out there, that we all need to make sure our services, software and support mechanisms are designed for the iPad as well as a computer screen. Many vendors have already built an iPhone app of their application: Our Pardot PI system has an one enabling me to check on our marketing automation anytime and anywhere; and the Salesforce iPhone app runs frequently on my phone too. Obviously, these iPhone versions of their apps are quite easy to port to an iPad, although in some cases they may need to redesign it to make use of the larger screen more efficiently.
And yes, when enough of our clients have an iPad, Gossmamar will have to port our dashboard to one, too. But to do this, we’ll need to replace its Graphic User Interface (and its mouse and keyboard approach) to use the iPad’s touch screen interface properly. To make our iPad dashboard app “insanely great”, as Steve Jobs so famously said, we’ll need to give it some touch smarts and let your fingers do the swiping and shuffling and rotating of its dials, rather than your mouse and buttons.
iPad Internet Usage is closer to traditional PC’s
This one should come as no surprise. The tiny screens on smartphones and other mobile devices are not ideal for surfing the web. No matter how slick the UI is, it’s still a tiny piece of real estate, and when it comes to screens attached to computing devices, size is right up there with color and clarity as the 3 most important contributions to the user’s enjoyment. So it’s no wonder people use their iPads to surf the net more than they do their smartphones.
As for this trend’s impact on Inbound Marketing Automation – it’s a reinforcement of the first point. Not only are millions of people buying iPads; but they’re using them for the express purpose for which they were designed: to read or view images (either from the Internet directly, or via a movie or book or magazine).
iPad is on schedule to be the most popular mobile device in history
Apple is really good at taking something everyone else is doing and re-inventing it in such a way that the older technology ceases to exist in the target audience’s eye. It’s also really good at inventing new device niches and the iPad combines both approaches – they reinvented the Netbook by releasing a new category of device. So the success of the device is not surprising, only the scale of that success is.
And what this means to us marketers is that it just became even easier to be a road-warrior based marketing guy or gal. A little tricky right now as Apple isn’t making it easy to tether your iPhone to your iPad: For now your iPad has to be connected to a WiFi port to give you access to the net. But tethering can’t be long in coming from 3rd parties if not Apple itself, so I’m pretty sure there’s an iPad in my future sooner rather than later. But then, I am an Apple fan, not so?
Bit-by-Bit # 30, from Eric.