Perhaps the fundamental 'problem' - marketing spin vs reality

Discussion in 'iPad' started by samcraig, Feb 9, 2010.

  1. samcraig macrumors P6

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    #1
    This isn't a thread to flame people who like the iPad, Apple or to flame those that don't. But consider this... (and I state for the record - this is my opinion)

    The iPad device itself will definitely have a place in the market and obviously fulfills needs that the marketplace desires or will adopt and use.

    The "problem" for a lack of better word is that there's a perception vs. reality issue going on in my opinion - and that stems from the introduction of the device (the keynote) and the marketing/PR spin.

    The words "revolutionary" and "magical" to many imply they are witnessing something they have never seen before - a complete break from the norm. The first 3D movie - the first trip to the moon.

    Other products have been evolutionary and wonderful in the marketplace. Color TV. High Def. These are all amazing and wonderful products. They are built on something familiar and take it to the next level. Evolution.

    Is the iPad just a bigger iPod Touch? Yes and No. And we can argue that until the cows come home. But at the end of the day, it's taken something familiar and has improved upon it. Even Jobs nodded to that when he referenced the App Store and content for the iPad.

    Here's where I'll get "controversial." And having been in the PR/Marketing industry for 20 years, I think I have some credibility here.

    Jobs' keynote speech is/was devised (and rightfully so) to trumpet Apple's achievement with the iPad and set it up as something that has never been seen or done before. As with politicians and other salespeople - it's media hype. Jobs gave great soundbites like "the netbook doesn't solve anything" - how many times have we now seen that? "Who reads for 10 hours anyway?"

    It was a very CAREFULLY written and rehearsed speech/event. Deliberate in message (for better or worse). And you shouldn't expect anything less that everything short of a 3 ring circus to exclaim how amazing any of their products are.

    Just as its reasonable for people to immediately fall in love with the iPad and everything it can do. It's just as reasonable for people - expectations or not - to not. Is it a shortness of vision? No. Is it a disdain for Apple? No. That would be like saying that anyone that loves the iPad has drunken Apple kool-aid or are just fanboys (and girls).

    I think some here like everything the iPad can do or promises to do or "might" do given software upgrades in the future and honestly believe Apple has created something special. I'm not suggesting they are "victims" of marketing hype. I guess what I am suggesting is that those who aren't "on board" look at the device as marketing hype so far.

    "The proof is in the pudding" and no one knows what the iPad will do in the marketplace despite professional and amateur pundits. Time is really the only thing we (and apple) have to determine the success or failure of the iPad.
     
  2. bossxii macrumors 68000

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    #2
    First off, I'll be buying an iPad as I've always wanted my iPhone to be one thing. Larger. It's very handy, but a bit small for me to use for web, connect via citrix to my work, Slingplayer, watch movies etc... I've purchased several other media devices such as the Archos 7. Loved the larger screen but this particular PMP was just not for me. Bottom line I don't need another laptop or computer replacement. I want a 9 to 12" media device. This looks to be the product to handle it. Obviously time will tell.

    To your points about Apple's PR and the Keynote, I agree 100%. They were blowing more pixie dust and unicorns that I think I've ever seen. It, imo, was one of the worst Keynotes from the stand point of trying to stay interested in what they were showing as it's all been seen before. The few cool things I did see, such as the redesigned MLB app, iWorks for the iPad are things I hope to see more of. The "iPod Touch XL" is pretty much what I thought it would be so they were hyping it up pretty hard indeed. Clearly real sales will determine the iPads fate, the good news I see coming out of it either way, is that Apple took the risk and jumped in both feet with a device that set the bar for others to follow.

    I say this in terms maybe not of functionality, but in price. If HP or any of them were headed to market with an "netbook" spec'd device with a camera, usb, sd reader etc... and drop it for over $1,000 bucks? Ouch. Everyone loves to make fun of Apple's high prices, and if that is $499 that holds some serious pressure for others to deliver a more open "better" product for less money.

    As you say you are a marketing professional, I'll ask you this. Would it not be perfect timing to come out and show an "iPad killer" now before the iPad actually starts to ship? Such as HP or Dell, or whoever has one? I'm not in the industry of PR so no clue, but to me, it seems like a perfect time to drop a tablet with all the things people have been bashing the iPad for. Steal the iPads thunder while the natives (Apple fans) are restless.
     
  3. Hmac macrumors 68020

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    #3
    The iPad isn't a tablet computer. The iPad is a media browser. It's a vehicle for a new content paradigm. Apple has already said, over and over, that they aren't interested in netbooks or tablets, or any other sort of crippled computers. At least not today.
     
  4. MacVDS macrumors regular

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    Philomath Oregeon
    #4
    Wow. I don't get it. Apple introduces something really cool at a reasonable price (for an Apple product) and it gets clobbered by the Apple fans. I'm a PC guy but when Apple made the iTouch it was one of those products I just had to have. I love my 8 gb iTouch (1st gen) but it doesn't replace my laptop or desktop. I was thinking of updating my iTouch to a new one with more memory, built in speakers, bluetooth etc. until I heard about the iPad. For me, the iPad is a no brainer. For a few hundred more, I get bigger, better faster iTouch for travelling and TV couching. I'm just glad I didn't buy a new iTouch!!! As for those that don't want/need the iPad, cool, buy something else or use what you got. No biggie, more for me and the lines will be shorter! :D

    ...has it shipped yet?
     
  5. dgree03 macrumors 65816

    dgree03

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    #5
    Crippled? Isnt the Ipad crimpled?
     
  6. Hankster macrumors 68020

    Hankster

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    #6
    This "media browser" isn't capable of rendering Flash and 75% of video online. Nice "media browser". Calling the iPad a real media browser is a joke.

    If I sold you a Porsche then said you were only allowed to drive it on 25% of the streets in your area and you need to drive your other car to get on the other 75% of the streets...you wouldn't buy the Porsche.
     
  7. bossxii macrumors 68000

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    #7
    Just like those who say 99% of the 140k apps are trash, this applies even more so to all that online video. Complete trash. No one misses flash on the iPhone because of the Apps from sites like ESPN, CNN, CNBC and plenty of other media sites, even the TMZ's of the world created an app to deliver their content. Hulu is the only site I can think of that I use on a regular basis that doesn't have an app.

    I haven't' seen many lists of sites that people want to see content from outside Youtube, ESPN, CNN, CNBC, BBC, Disney, Hulu etc... I did see someone list Justin.tv... but really? A site dedicated to watching other people play a video game, or watch them, watch TV? This is what we will be missing?:rolleyes:
     
  8. Hmac macrumors 68020

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    #8
    The flash thing has been discussed ad nauseum and for the majority is a total non-issue. People bitch endlessly about lack of Flash, but it certainly hasn't had much of an effect on iPhone or iPod Touch sales. Proof is in the sales. Non-issue. Flash is the actual joke. Adobe should be ashamed.
     
  9. samcraig thread starter macrumors P6

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    #9
    didn't take long for this thread to go off topic now did it.
     
  10. G4R2 macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    The true "problem, as evidenced in these forums, is not a conflict between between marketing spin and reality. It is the unrealistic expectations of users and the projections of their fantasies onto an unannounced product. This points to a profound misunderstanding of Apple specifically and tech companies in general, the reasons Apple has succeeded in certain markets, and the way it produces products through its pipeline.

    Neither Apple's marketing team or reality at are at fault for that. Those incorrect and misguided expectations were formed completely on the basis of speculation, seemingly by capricious adolescents, in defiance of a substantial history of Apple products and their announcements.

    The iPad makes complete sense as a product given Apple's record in that it addresses a need that Apple has identified and that it will fit into the ecosystem Apple has created.
     
  11. Hmac macrumors 68020

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    #11
    Exactly. People are raging because they didn't get the "supercomputer-on-a-shingle" that they feel Apple owes them.
     
  12. Carouser macrumors 65816

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  13. samcraig thread starter macrumors P6

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    #13
    It's not just MR and its posters though. The sentiment is also among people who are less "invested" shall we say.

    I have heard the same "arguments" on twitter, facebook, out and about at social functions, etc.
     
  14. skubish macrumors 68030

    skubish

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    #14
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_1_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7D11 Safari/528.16)

    Problem is the ipad isn't the JesusPad like
    the iPhone is the JesusPhone.
     
  15. rittchard macrumors 6502

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    Aug 12, 2007
    #15
    I think GR42 is right on the money as well.

    I've heard all the same complaints or naysayer issues in all sorts of places with all sorts of people. They pretty much fall into the categories of:

    1 - don't understand or can't/refuse to imagine/visualize the user "space" that Apple is creating and trying to build on with this initial release

    2 - power users who when describing what they "really" wanted pretty much describe a Macbook Air, or possibly an MBA with a touchscreen

    3 - Apple haters who will hate whatever Apple comes up with

    Category 3 folk are a waste of time, but 1 and 2 above I think just need some time (possibly a 2nd or 2rd gen version) and to see the device in action before they come around.
     
  16. samcraig thread starter macrumors P6

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    Jun 22, 2009
    #16
    That's not all the categories. I fit into none of those.

    As presented, the iPad doesn't offer me anything at this point that would make me interested. I'm not bashing the iPad as I can see its use for some people. I just can do anything/everything I need to do either on my iPhone, MacBook Pro, iMac or Kindle. I didn't have any expectations on the iPad prior to launch. And I'm not the only person with this type of "profile."

    I'm not in category 1, 2 or 3 - yet I can definitely argue whether or not the iPad is "magical" or "revolutionary". I think it's evolutionary.

    Those three categories you want to pigeon hole people into is just as much bashing as those you are criticizing, no?
     
  17. rittchard macrumors 6502

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    #17
    I don't mean to be critical, just observing the people that I've personally interacted with. Honestly I'd probably (perhaps unjustly or wrongly) put you into Category 1. I fully agree that I *can* do everything the iPad appears to be doing on any and all of the devices you have mentioned; the question is whether or not longer term I would prefer to be doing them all on the same (iPad) device? Or if it will be easier or more fun or more intuitive to do so on an iPad. Or if it will introduce a whole new class of apps and usage that are inherent only to a handheld touch enabled device of this size.

    Apple (and I suppose myself) are betting that longer term, that will be the case, and that's why they are attempting to create/build this new user space (well that and to make boatloads of money of course).
     
  18. Hmac macrumors 68020

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    #18
    I agree that the hardware is "evolutionary" - nothing special there - and I am a little perplexed at the description "magical". The potentially revolutionary component comes from the content paradigm that the iPad is the vehicle for. It's work in progress at this time, but if it opens the market for more ebooks, textbooks, newspaper and magazine subscriptions, as well as more interest in online movies and TV shows..well..that's potentially a big deal. We don't know exactly how that's going to work out yet, but Apple did a pretty fair job revolutionizing music. I wouldn't bet against them.

    Personally, I want the iPad mainly because it's bigger. My iPod Touch works OK for reading Kindle and B&N books, and for watching movies, but email is a PITA and online browsing is unworkable for me because of the size. The ability to connect over 3G is also a big deal to me, but if it were nothing more than a big iPod Touch, I'd still be grateful to buy it for the larger size alone.
     
  19. samcraig thread starter macrumors P6

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    Jun 22, 2009
    #19
    That would be completely wrong though. I understand it's POTENTIAL and see the future ahead with the device. What I've been saying (and others too which tends to fall on dead ears because we're being pigeon holed) is clear. And I am NOT being condescending in the following way I type it I promise.

    The iPad AS DEMONSTRATED in ITS CURRENT incarnation TO ME is not revolutionary or magical. It's an evolutionary product to which I PERSONALLY (and others) don't have an interest in.

    The key to my careful semantics is clear. We can try to predict, estimate, fantasize - whatever word you want about what can and will happen in the future. I'm not short sighted. But I'm not buying a device - iPad or otherwise on something it may or may not do 1 month, 6 months or a year from now. If I buy a device - to "justify" the expense, it's going to have to be something I want or feel I need which will do what I want.

    Does that make sense? I'm not discounting the iPad nor do I really care if it is or isn't a big iPod Touch. It's irrelevant to me, personally.

    I didn't buy a first gen iPhone because at the time it lacked features I wanted and needed.

    Based on some people's opinions here - that would mean I lacked vision. No. But I wasn't going to invest in the technology until a) it had proven itself b) had more features that I wanted which would tip the scale vs features I might want and really don't need.

    If I was in the market to buy a car and someone said that a certain model was going to get great gas mileage with some adapter they were developing - I would either wait for the adapter (or close to the release date) to buy or I would wait for version 2 with the adapter built in.

    That doesn't mean I don't see the potential. And it definitely doesn't put me in category 1
     
  20. MTI macrumors 65816

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    #20
    - It's easier to be a critic online and there's an overwhelming temptation in all forums, regardless of the topic, to be the one that may someday be able to say "I told you so."

    - In any online discussion, passions arise about opinions. Given the increased acceptance of "polarization" in any discourse, it's not surprising that disagreements devolve into personal attacks and acrimony. Passionate views can be good things, but when opinion and bias blinds that person's ability to recognize differences of opinons, then it ceases to be constructive.

    - There are some that revel in failure. There are some that see only greatness.

    - There is virtually no risk and downside in being wrong online.

    That's the reality of most of these "discussions."
     
  21. rittchard macrumors 6502

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    #21
    That makes complete sense to me, in fact now that you mention it I can think of at least one other person who shares a similar viewpoint. And another who in spite of loving everything about the announcement, is still waiting for a second or third gen version. So I guess that would amount to another category of reactions.

    I guess the interesting part of your discussion lies with some of the other things you mentioned. I would definitely agree with you that this is an evolutionary product in terms of baseline core technology and features. I definitely think the "magical" characterization was a bit overboard (though I'm still waiting to actually try one out to see if the "feel" is something that transcends the specs). Still, Apple has shown time and again that its products are more than the sum of their featureset, components and hardware tech.

    My feeling is what will ultimately be deemed "revolutionary" is the tackling and introduction of a new space *effectively* for the first time, in the same sense that the iPod transformed portable music and the iPhone transformed our expectations for a smartphone. My guess is over time netbooks will start to seem more weighty and clunky, browsing the internet on laptops might feel less intuitive, doing email on your desktop may feel boring. I'm not trying to convince people they should love and buy gen 1 before even seeing it, but I do think this is a game changer and a solid piece of engineering, even if it's really only the first step in creating the market space.
     
  22. *LTD* macrumors G4

    *LTD*

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    #22
    Media browser + iWork and productivity apps. The possibilities for new, different and more powerful apps are legion.
     
  23. Hmac macrumors 68020

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    #23
    Well, yes. iWork is an interesting surprise, as is the commitment from the Omni group. Obviously Apple is going to try to parlay the iPad screen size into some productivity emphasis. Cool. But from my standpoint, I view extended productivity as being keyboard dependent, so my productivity on my iPad is going to be limited by the usability of the touch-screen keypad. Yes, I know there will be external keyboards, but as I see it, if I have to carry around a keyboard for the iPad to meet my productivity needs I'd just as soon use my MBP. I anticipate that my iPad's primary mode of transport will be in my laptop bag anyway.
     
  24. fobfob macrumors 6502

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    #24
    I'm sorry but I simply cannot accept this. I know from my own unfortunate experience in posting on MR in the last few weeks about the iPad, that I have spent many, many hours and it has eaten into time that I should have been doing other things.

    Why? Because I'm interested in the iPad. I have seen a significant number of posts from you, and you have similarly invested a considerable amount of time to thinking about and posting about the iPad. To claim that you are "not interested" is clearly falsifiable.
     
  25. samcraig thread starter macrumors P6

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    #25
    I can be interested in a conversation and not be interested in BUYING the product. Your logic makes no sense.

    I like to listen to watch cooking shows - that doesn't mean I want to make or eat anything or everything I see

    I spend a lot of time reading work related journals and discussing them with colleagues and friends and yet I don't want to buy or implement any such infrastructure into my home system.

    I talk about babies, children and such but at the current time I have no desire to have one

    I'm sorry YOU cannot accept that I can be interested in the debate but not interested in owning one at this time. That sounds like your issue, not mine.
     

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