Can The iPad Be Stopped?

By Mike Wheeler

Although Apple is being coy about the release of its latest product this morning, we’re all pretty sure it will be the latest iteration of the iPad. Since its launch in 2010, the iPad, along with its successor the imaginatively named iPad 2, have sold over 55 million units worldwide. But are other companies making inroads? According to research released by Nine Rewards, who has completed a survey on both local and overseas habits when it comes to the iPad and other tablets, the iPad is king, and will remain so for some time.

This survey tells a tale of a product that is miles ahead of its nearest rivals, not just in Australia but around the world. For example, the iPad has public awareness in Australia of 96 percent while in the US it reaches 86 percent. And the nearest competitor? In Australia the Samsung Galaxy Tab is known to of 49 percent, while unsurprisingly in the United States it’s the Blackberry Playbook has 54 percent brand awareness.

And what about those that are interested in purchasing a slate? Once again, the iPad is the front runner. About 25 percent of Aussies would like to buy an iPad and 13 percent would like the Samsung Galaxy Tab. In the US it is 13 percent for the iPad, while the Blackberry Playbook appeals to 7 percent. In both cases, the iPad outstrips its nearest competitor in popularity by an almost two-to-one ratio.

Another interesting piece of information to come out of the survey is it appears slate computers are the way of the future. They are already used more than mobile smartphones in the US, and have almost caught up in Australia. Currently people spend 16 percent of their device time on their iPad compared to 19 percent on their smartphone, with indications are that slate usage will only increase. Currently Australians use their laptop and desktop PCs 28 percent of their device time, with slates looking to make inroads into that figure over the next few years, too.

But why the popularity with the iPad in particular? There are a few things at play here. A fantastic marketing plan by Apple. As mentioned in the introduction, Apple loves to keep the public on edge when it is introducing a new product. It causes the press to hype the event, so that when it is released they get maximum saturation, which turns into sales.

Then there is the products themselves. Along with the iPod and iPhone, the iPad not only looks cool, but is also highly functional (even if they don’t use Flash), and easy to use.

Finally, these products are at the cutting edge of technology and more importantly, Apple was the first cab off the rank with this technology. It is by no coincidence that Apple has been litigious over the past two years as it alleges breaches of its patents by an array of competitors over the inner workings of it iPads. Believe it or not, the iPhone is not the most popular mobile phone in the world, in pure sales terms, that crown belongs to Nokia. However, when it comes to slates, the mantle belongs to the iPad – a mantle that it will hold on to for some time.

NB: Samples from the US were 1011 people, while in Australia the sample was 1712.