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May 13, 2010

Apple iPad won’t be a hit in the UK

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by Darren Allan

Yes, the news continues to roll in about the iPad, with a UK survey weighing in on Apple’s tablet scene.

Research firm Simpson Carpenter took four groups of British consumers with different make-ups, and sought their opinions regarding the iPad.

The results weren’t particularly positive for Apple. While most were initially impressed with seeing the gadget, that impression didn’t last, and they soon began to wonder exactly what it was for.

Because the iPad sits in a territory between the smartphone and laptop, many people just didn’t get it.

According to a report in the Hardware section of The Register, common comments included the likes of – well, yeah, I can do that on my PC. Or – it’s like a big iPhone, but with no phone, or camera.

While the real technology enthusiasts did remain keen when playing around with the tablet, they’re in the minority.

And particularly with the current economic troubles, Simpson Carpenter reckons that mainstream consumers are unlikely to fork out the best part of £500 (or more) for a device of which they’re unsure of the exact benefits.

The firm has a point, we think. That said, the iPad has sold over a million in the States already, and Apple thinks that word of mouth will eventually drive sales onwards and upwards considerably.

Once you’ve used the iPad, or seen it being used for some time, then you really get it, apparently.

Those of you planning to pre-order an iPad should note that the ship date on the Apple store now says “by June 7th”.

So if you pre-order now, you may not get your iPad on the day of release, May 28th, but at some point between then and the end of the first week of June. (As Iain C points out in the comments, Apple thinks they have sold out of initial stock).

Stock issues have already delayed the release of the iPad in the UK. It was originally supposed to be out at the end of April.

Story link: Apple iPad won’t be a hit in the UK


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18 Comments »
  1. … what can you use it for other than to say “I” have one? wast of money and time if you ask me.

    buy a notebook about the same price can multi task and runs flash… oh and it easyer to type stuff up on. Ipad is Ifail

    Comment by Graa — May 13, 2010 @ 12:32 pm

  2. I had a friend bring me one back from Florida at release. And I must say I do “get it”. I have turned on my laptop only once since getting the Ipad, and that was to copy and paste some text into a file in word. I actually typed the text up on the Ipad using pages then mailed it to my laptop and cut and pasted it in with that. Only because the original format was word and pages doesn’t handle loads of formatted text very well.
    It’s so much easier than booting up a laptop for using the net, watching movies etc. Takes moments to turn on, the battery last for ages and if you can get over the drawback of no flash then the web experience is great.

    Comment by Phil — May 13, 2010 @ 12:42 pm

  3. This article seems like flame-bait to attract eyeballs at the expense of credibility.

    People famously under predicted the success of the iPod in 2001, and then iPhone (which has been even more successful in UK than the US), the said the same thing about the iPad before it launched in the US (with well known pundits drastically underestimating the number of sales).

    It seems Simpson Carpenter are as equally desperate for attention - perhaps not surprising as they appear to be a tiny outfit with shared office space out in SW19 (with a long list of companies at the same address, I note). I would love to see the details of their “consumer research” on the iPad (i.e. sample size, methodology, metrics).

    Point of clarification:

    Orders placed on the 10th or 11th have “Delivers by May 28th” for the shipping information, orders placed since then have “Estimated Shipping: By June 7th”.

    It’s already been well covered already on other sites (I’ve also seen that first hand). It happens they think they have sold out of initial stock - the same thing has happened numerous times on virtually all previous Apple product launches (on iPods, iPhones, Laptops and Desktops). I don’t think it’s all that unclear.

    Comment by Iain Collins — May 13, 2010 @ 1:17 pm

  4. UK surveys conducted seem to have identical results to the surveys conducted in the US prior to launch of the ipad. Guess what!! the US surveys were wrong this product sold quicker than the original iphone with far much less apprection from the media. I was a skeptic myself till I picked one up. Kudos to Apple for the battery life of this device. The larger touch screen even feels more responsive then the iphone.

    Comment by Wouldn’t YOU Like — May 13, 2010 @ 1:37 pm

  5. I’ve tried one, and I must say I GET IT!! Jailbreak it, and the possibilities seem endless, games, movies, App’s, Email, InterWeb, shall I continue. I’ve ordered mine, roll on 28th….

    Comment by Craig Szpara — May 13, 2010 @ 1:40 pm

  6. the reason for the change is apparently the units which will be available by the 28th have in fact sold out, which suggests that the unit is going to be a success, unless they have only released a couple of hundred which I doubt. I have ordered one and it is still estimated to deliver on the 28th.
    As for why I am buying it, I am buying it purely for media consumption, videos, books, music, games, email, internet surfing etc, not as a laptop for carrying out actual work. I like the idea of it in terms of portability for taking on holiday or generally anywhere. I think that if there is anything to ‘get’ about the ipad, that is it. It is not meant for great productivity, it is not meant for making phone calls, it is meant purely for media consumption. I am not sure why it is that so many people should feel aggrieved about it as a product simply because it may not do one or two things that they personally want. The main thing seems to be multitasking which I am not really all that bothered about as I cant see myself wanting to read a book while watching a video, although I believe that when the next update for the operating system comes out which will be free to download for those who have purchased it just now, multitasking will be allowed. At the end of the day, use it for what it is. If you want a multitasking office suite, go buy a laptop.

    Comment by miko — May 13, 2010 @ 1:54 pm

  7. I think the underlying trouble with articles such as this, and the perception they apparently draw from a consumer, is that this is a device which is pretty much in a new consumer-wide category (minus previous tablets in workplaces such as automotive diagnostics).

    As others have mentioned, a lot of recent Apple products have been doomed for failure according to the press prior to release; then comes release day and it’s a complete success. I honestly thing this will also happen in the UK with the iPad. A lot of people use their notebooks for casual web browsing and listening to iTunes, Spotify etc - this can all be done, with much more comfort and freedom, with the iPad. Although notebooks are ultimately portable, they’re not exactly the most comfortable to lay down on your sofa after a long day at the office and catch up with your favourite news websites.

    Myself; well, my pre order was made early on Monday 10th and will remain so. There is a market for a device like this (and others such as the JooJoo) and I’m positive a lot of people will start to see the possibilities of this device as they ultimately did with the iPod and iPhone range.

    Comment by Mike — May 13, 2010 @ 3:16 pm

  8. Despite all the problems the Ipad has had reported about it the typical Ifadder will still buy it. You have to have intelligence to realise it is such a limited clumsy beast, and a laptop would be a lot more useful and cheaper.

    Comment by Allan — May 13, 2010 @ 4:45 pm

  9. “limited clumsy beast” You miss the point. DH.

    Comment by Spajic — May 13, 2010 @ 5:55 pm

  10. I still don’t understand how someone can judge something without even using it? And based on which we predict if the product is going to be good or bad?

    And second of all, STOP COMPARING it WITH A LAPTOP/NETBOOK. And if you still want to then let’s talk about battery life you get on laptop, the weight you must carry around with you everyday. And as for price it is an Apple product so we’re gonna have to pay premium, so if you can’t afford it stop moaning n get on with it.

    And all of those still complaining about multitasking, they have announced the new iPhone OS 4, which handles it very well.

    Comment by Parth — May 13, 2010 @ 7:14 pm

  11. The history of marketing is littered with products that:

    - Introduced a new category
    - Had reviewers that compared it to another category
    - Had surveys before launch that showed how poorly people would rate it compared to things they were used to.

    Consider, for example, Lexus…

    People who make the point that, on some dimensions, the iPad is less good than a laptop, or a phone, or a netbook miss the point.

    Apple doesn’t want / need to take on those categories - it wants to introduce a different type of device for which customers will invent a new set of uses. Likewise, it doesn’t want 90% of the market - it wants the 10% that will pay a healthy premium for design / brand image [delete as applicable depending on your prejudices.]

    If nothing else, the US sales figures show that this is going to do well enough to make Apple a nice product, and reinforce their brand image making more people consider an iPod / iPhone rathre than an iRiver / HTC.

    Comment by Mark Harrison — May 13, 2010 @ 8:11 pm

  12. Useless to me, it is not capable of using the Flash player !

    Comment by Teve — May 14, 2010 @ 7:58 am

  13. I had a play with one of the first ones to appear in Switzerland a month ago - sorry, I wasn’t impressed.

    Thinking purely from the perspective of “Would I buy one?” I’d say never. For what I use a laptop for, it’s not an improvement.

    For watching films, I found it worse than a laptop, you have to hold it in such a way that it’s more uncomfortable than sitting with a laptop on your knee.

    I don’t play games on a laptop so can’t comment on that.

    I am surprised about a previous comment mentioning using it for editing documents - the electronic keyboard I found to be really annoying and uncomfortable to use, a ‘real’ keyboard will always be better.

    However, it’s the latest must-have gadget so will sell everywhere. What people will do with it once they have one? Drinks tray? :-)

    Comment by Kenny — May 14, 2010 @ 8:07 am

  14. I suspect that Simpson Carpenter will be looking back in 6 months time and asking ‘how did we get that so wrong?’.

    This is a product with a large ‘I-want-one-of-those’ niche. Word of mouth, keep-up-with-the-jones and just the sheer joy of using it, will I expect be enough to propel this on the crest of the Apple wave.

    Look forward to versions 2 & 3!

    Comment by sharedvoids — May 14, 2010 @ 8:15 am

  15. “Yes, the news continues to roll in about the iPad”
    or
    “Yes, the hype continues to roll in about the iPad”
    you choose.

    Comment by Ben — May 14, 2010 @ 8:40 am

  16. Yet another Troll survey.

    Do we get told what these 4 groups of consumers were?

    Did they include 1st time computer users, the elderly?

    Comment by Stuart Halliday — May 14, 2010 @ 9:26 am

  17. I like the drinks tray idea, what about a chopping board?

    Comment by Spajic — May 14, 2010 @ 9:44 am

  18. Oh do me a favour.

    OF COURSE it’s going to sell bucket loads.

    Fool

    Comment by Steven — May 14, 2010 @ 10:44 am

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