A revealing new study indicates that the vast majority of people in the world either have no interest in the iPad or think it’s a piece of junk.
Since the release of the iPad in the Autumn (or Spring, depending on where you live), everyone in cyberspace has weighed in regarding the groundbreaking tablet. You could even say there’s as many opinions as there have been iPad sales worldwide. But until now, no quantifiable study has been done about iPad users, iPad critics, and the rest of the people who are somewhere in between.
Today, however, MyType.com’s scientific poll has spun off a wave of new reports on the kind of people who love the iPad as well as those who loathe it. While most people are debating the voracity of the poll’s juiciest and most controversial findings — that iPad users tend to be “Selfish Elites” while its critics are identified as “Independent Geeks” — most of the news coverage has missed an even more startling find: a vast majority of people just aren’t that impressed with the iPad.
I immediately noticed from the graph on MyType.com that among what is labeled the “average population,” 11% of people are critical of the iPad, while only 3% think it’s amazing. The 3% number really isn’t the startling figure: if you figure there’s 6,858,775,925 in this world, a 3% slice of that “market” is almost 206 million — not a bad sales figure! However, to imagine that there are almost four times as many people who are downright critical of the iPad. That’s a number that must demoralize Apple’s marketing department.
When you dig further into MyType.com’s numbers, you find an even more revealing stat: 54% are simply not interested in the iPad — and that’s a conservative number. When you add up the “don’t care that much,” “like the idea but don’t need one,” and “think it’s a silly product” poll responders, you get a 65% negative response. Compare this to the responses that indicate that respondents have an iPad and plan to get one, and they only add up to only 17% of the pie.
Of the entire iPad market pie, only 1% actually own the iPad.
The final question has to be, what does this study reveal about future iPad sales? After all, Apple doesn’t need to sell an iPad to 100% or 50% or even 20% of the world population in order for it to be both a cultural phenomenon and a huge success. Even if Apple only sold to a few more percentage points of the pie, they’d be in great shape.
However, this poll reveals a sobering reality — the iPad isn’t the next “lightbulb.”
In spite of Wired Magazine’s proclamation of “The Rise of the Tablet” a few months back, the iPad — at least to this point — has not proven to be a real game-changer for the vast majority of people in this world. To date, the iPad remains simply a “gadget,” and gadgets are tantamount to toys for grownups.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
And with only 6% of the population claiming they know nothing about the iPad, Apple doesn’t have much room left to expand their marketing efforts for their beloved tablet and all of the iPad cases and accessories that go with it..
Of course, we shouldn’t worry too much about Apple: just a few more percentage points, and they will be able to proclaim the iPad as their greatest success. When you mass market anything in this world, single digit numbers work (Coca Cola sells a billion drinks a day worldwide, and that equals 1% of the world’s daily intake of fluid).
That being said, I don’t think Steve Jobs will be joining that elite club with Thomas Edison and Henry Ford with the iPad.
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