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Is the iPad a game-changer? A reader dissents.

A couple days ago, I looked at what the iPad means for your business. In response, a reader sent me this:

“Interesting post! My only dissent is that it seems to imply that the iPad (and copy-cat clones) are (or will be) a driving market force. They may well be. I wonder though, if the initial effect may not be primarily due to the fact that the earliest adopters of these “magical devices” are probably (almost certainly) the most affluent, tech-minded members of the marketplace? This could largely account for the fact that “Consumers buy more when using it”.

[In other words] it’s not so much that iPad users spend more as it is that big spenders use iPads!” [Emphasis mine]

To which I say: Absolutely! iPad users (and soon-to-be Blackberry PlayBook users and all the rest) are, at the moment, likely richer than the general population. Causality could easily be the other way ’round from what I suggested in my post.

Of course, that begs this question: What’s wrong with that? When it comes to finding customers, I like to follow Willie Sutton’s famous advice when asked why he robbed banks, “That’s where the money is.”

Now, there are some brands who specifically target less affluent demographics. And for them, the iPad may be less interesting – in the short run. For the rest though, I stand by my original analysis. In the long run, I still believe tablets like the iPad will move the market.

There’s a long tradition of tech adoption among the affluent. In my career alone, the same has held true for loads of technologies, including broadband access, mobile phones/PDA’s, and internet access overall. Once upon a time, the average internet user was younger, richer, better educated and, um, male-r than the general populace. And the same seems true for the iPad, too. That’s OK. Over time, it’s likely that, just like the technologies that preceded it, iPad use will migrate to the broader population (and, please remember, I’m using iPads as a proxy for all the new mobile tablet tech toys about to hit the market).

Still think I’m missing the boat on this one? Are you excited about mobile and tablets for your business? Let me know in the comments.

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Tim Peter is the founder and president of Tim Peter & Associates. You can learn more about our company's strategy and digital marketing consulting services here or about Tim here.

This Post Has 0 Comments

  1. Something that may be under the radar for many people who do not closely follow their respective nation’s or area politics … I’m not talking about issues, I’m talking about how Government works.

    Governments are currently and routinely issuing iPads to sitting members (taxpayer’s money), and sitting members are buying them for staff (political donation money).

    It’s most interesting regarding the sitting members, however … obviously they feel the functionality over-rides potential constituent backlash, and all reports seem to be they are superior to laptops for use in meetings, committees, etc.

    That’s not a trend, that’s a revolution.

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