Apple Achieves 'Perfect Launch' for iPad Tablet
estimates for sales of Apple's eagerly awaited iPad tablet device are
revised higher and higher (analyst estimates ranged between 200,000
and 700,000), it appears Apple's gamble to revive the long-dormant
tablet computing market is paying off. The device, a
multimedia touchscreen tablet starting at $499, officially went on
sale last Saturday after months of anticipation. J.P. Morgan Research
analyst Mark Moskowitz predicted the successful launch would boost
Apple's stock price past $300, and JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s Mark
Moskowitz estimated Apple would sell 825,000 iPads in the quarter to
Ian Blanton, a director at Tech Superpowers, an Apple care specialist and reseller with offices in Boston and London, said Apple experienced a "perfect launch" for the iPad, which was heavily covered by media outlets in the U.S. "Apple just got the perfect launch," he said. There must be someone over at Apple who is very happy right now."
Blanton said Apple avoided looking foolish and unprepared by not running out of iPads immediately in the morning. Instead, it was widely reported that customers queued for hours outside Apple stores and big box retailers across the country were able to get their hands on the device. Blanton said even his boss, Tech Superpowers president and founder Michael Oh, was able to pick up an iPad in Miami while on a layover to Peru. "He probably has the first iPad in Peru," he joked.
With a successful launch behind them, the next issue is whether Apple will be able to maintain interest in a product some critics charge lacks a specific "must-have" aspect for the average consumer. "What is really interesting about this is of course it's just the first half of the models," said Blanton, referring to the 3G wireless-enabled iPads, which are scheduled to hit the market at the end of the month. "I think the 3Gs are going to be the real teller of the longevity of it."
The iPad attracted critics for its lack of Adobe Flash capability and from the developer community for Apple's strict (some would say draconian) policies regarding application development. Blanton said while those issues are legitimate points, there's more to the story. "Adobe really needs to get their act together, and they need to stop pretending there isn't anything wrong in their implementation of Flash," he said. "Adobe has been basically uncommunicative about what the issues are. They need to realize that they sell a product, and someone could come along, like HTML5, and replace them."
Despite minor quibbles, the device has received positive reviews for its ease of use and speed. Blanton predicted the iPad, like the iPhone, would improve as Apple updates the hardware and its software. He also said he sees certain vertical markets responding positively to it, especially companies that require field work and house calls. "With being out in the field, I can definitely see it as a much more advantageous device than my laptop, which has to wake up and connect to the network," he said. "Apple has managed through three recessions at this point by coming out with products that people want. It is certainly has a value proposition for all the things is does. I think their price is solid. For what it does and what it is, it couldn't have been much less. What will happen for sure is that there will be better ones."