Why was Apple's prediction on iPads so wrong?

Apple has announced it is selling far more iPads than it expected and is delaying the worldwide launch by a month.

I am seeing this problem in US too. There are lines in stores (when I went back to buy a third iPad I had to wait in line). The demand is nuts for iPads.

So why did Apple guess its prediction so wrong? Several reasons:

1. They didn’t realize just how many apps would ship on day one and how good the quality of those apps would be.
2. Even the app developers never had their hands on iPads (I talked with several developers, even at “hot” companies like Evernote, while waiting in line, and they had to develop their apps without even seeing an iPad) so the marketplace couldn’t tell them before it shipped just how hot this would be.
3. The focus groups that Apple talked with didn’t hype it up enough with the people studying the groups. This is because they, themselves, didn’t have the apps (the iPad without apps is pretty lame, actually).
4. They didn’t realize how fast skeptics would be convinced. I’ve seen this myself. My son was very skeptical before it came out, saying he didn’t want one. The minute he put his hands on it he started changing his mind and within five minutes of using it said “I was wrong.”

This is one of those dangers that Apple has: predicting demand is really tough when your market really can’t see the complete product before it ships.

On the other hand, this is a very positive sign for Apple. It means that the iPad is moving outside of the “Apple faithful” very quickly, which I have also observed in the stores. The people I met buying iPads a few days later from the opening were quite different than those of us waiting in line.

Apple has a runaway hit. Bummer for those of you waiting for yours.

UPDATE: on the other hand, lots of people are skeptical, including ZDNet.

Comments

  1. I have a friend who is a PC guy who once said, “I'll never buy anything Apple.” He's such a noob that I had to tell him about the app store. Anyway, he bought one “for his wife” and is thinking about a 3G one for himself. I think the iPad could get rid of printers and paper in a lot of situations. It's that game-changing.

    1. Ever tried reading on an iPad for more than 5 minutes? Trust me, it sucks, hard. Tablets with far more functionality (albeit with less user friendly interfaces) and e book readers with screens that don’t give you headaches have not usurped paper’s solid standing as the medium of choice for written words. Of all of the claims people have made about the iPad the idea that “you can read books on it” is in my mind one of the boldest, and perhaps the most misleading.

  2. The problem here is for Developers. International developers are now at a severe disadvantage to US based developers without great expense to themselves.

    US based developers have been able to see how their app looks, feels and works on a physical iPad whilst those of us not in the US have only had the simulator which is simply not good enough.

    I'm not asking for Apple to give developers discounts, simply that international developers that have PAID to register in the developer program should have a way of gaining access to the devices to be able to develop and test on.

    At the moment there is no fair playing field between developers in the US and those of us who are not (which I wouldn't be surprised if there are more outside the US than in it)

  3. I've seen many skeptics change their mind as well. When I told people I was going to get one after the announcement, all I heard was “you're such a fanboy” and other comments similar. I also heard a lot of “I have a laptop, why do I need that”. Now that I've been showing it around and showing that I can do real work on it, people have been warming up to it and going to buy their own.

  4. It sounds more like they have major supply issues. It is a load of BS that they could not have foreseen selling half a million iPads this quickly. Something is wrong with the supply. Major fail by Apple. The other tablets will be here before it even starts selling overseas.

    1. What a statement…
      So, they are so far ‘behind’ everyone else that they are shipping a tablet -’before’ everyone else… We should ALL BE SO BLESSED as to have demand be “nuts” as quoted from above. If boxes of iPads were piling up you’d make noise about the ‘losers’ @ Apple, yes?
      I say ‘losers’ kvetch and moan instead of rebooting into our new century.

  5. Isn’t it zdnet’s remit to be Apple-skeptical?
    Whilst the post is skeptical, the author doesn’t back it with numbers – there are decent surveys and first hand reports to say people like this product, that there’s 4-5 million worth of customers out there, and that also, crucially, having interacted with the device can turn even die hard skeptics into at least neutral, if not postive feelings for it. Many when intl. shipments start end of May, will get a chance to basically increase their desire to get one.
    A sell out. Best bad thing to happen, no? If zdnet can’t decide what a hit is for an iPad like device, then that’s their problem. It seems the buyers are showing their feelings/.

  6. My wife was skeptical when I bought one on Monday morning. She used it for the first time last night and now wants her own. I am amazed at how quickly it changes opinions.

  7. The iPhone proved to be a powerful gateway drug for many PC users to consider life outside the Microsoft ecosystem. The iPad is further expanding on that. Apple had no clue when they launched the iPhone how dramatically the “apps” aspect would change the mobile phone landscape. When Jobs intro’d the iPhone, it was all about the Apple user experience that they were bringing to the market. In the end, it was that, but it was overwhelmingly the apps aspect that kicked it into serious high gear. (Along with the iTunes/App Store food chain.) I really don’t think that Apple et.al. had a clue that they were “lazing a stick of dynamite” when they finally launched the iPhone app development program. I owned a 128K original Mac, but then switched to PC/MS stuff … I have now switched back, prodded by the iPhone.

  8. I guess I'm still skeptic but I'm passionate about openness or rather critical of tight control. I've played with the iPad Touch twice, it felt very heavy to me and I didn't really feel the magic that this would enhance my living room experience (primary place I see using it). Of course, the two times I've touched these have been maybe a total of 30 min with little real-world use. I wish I could 'rent' one for a week to really give it a real world chance.

    I've become rather anti-Apple of late (way too much control) which doesn't help my openness to the device. That all said, the device is selling pretty well for what we've read and I may pick up one at some point but I'm in no rush as competitors will be flooding the market soon with Android/Windows/other versions. I just wish Apple would drop a bit of it's control-freak mindset, I'd be more open to the device rather than the focus on the company it represents.

  9. Interesting thoughts in the article, but your zdnet link in the update line isn't working as of 10:09am EST.

  10. We have a panel of IPhone users and have run a survey on their expectations and buying behavior towards the IPad. The same study has been conducted twice : when the IPad has been presented back in February and again last week, after the launch. As you said, even skeptical people want one now. Reviews have generally been very positive, apps are way better than anyone could think and everyone wants it now. It's also interesting to see what uses people can think of.

    More results on http://bit.ly/dnbRpF

  11. I think a lot of these people are just buying it as a status symbol. The cool thing in the valley now is to been seen with an iPad. It somehow makes you cool.

    Here in the Detroit area, nobody has an iPad.

    1. in Detroit most folks cant afford to eat or own a house either.. so your point is irrelevant.

  12. I too was first skeptical of the iPad but then I bought one and it is really a magical, revolutionary, hypersensational, uber-tremendous device. Even my dog and cat use it and they hate computers! They didn’t want an iPad at first but now they love it! I got rid of all my computers and electronics and just use my iPad now. I think Apple is going to sell 250 million of these in the first quarter. Nobody will want any of the other 50 competing tablets coming out this year either. They will all just by iPads. The reason Apple is so slow in making iPads is because they want you to really think about how awesome it is before you get one. Apple never has production problems because they are so awesome and the little boys and girls they have making them are really smart. Wow – you Apple investors are all going to retire super rich.

    I kid of course and, of course, Mr. Scoble is full of it. The reason there are delays is SUPPLY ISSUE and APPLE FAIL. Duh times a million.

  13. My nephew and I have demo'd our iPads to a number of people at this point, and there's been little in the way of “meh” reactions… most people get pretty enthusiastic, although that enthusiasm is held in check because of the current economic conditions. I suspect that due to the app situation that Robert points out, people playing with an iPad in Best Buy or an Apple store have a significantly different experience than those who get to play with someone's fully configured, loaded-with-apps device.

    Speaking of my nephew… his principal gave him the go-ahead to bring his iPad to school every day and use it for note taking and working on presentations for class. Blew my mind.

    My iPad review, by the way: http://beforepartb.com/1748

  14. There's something to be said for being conservative in predictions and then blowing those forecasts away. Same reason why clubs in London will have a lineup outside when there isn't much inside, building up perception.

    Saying that I'll probably pick one up when it launches in Europe in May.

  15. I find it hard to believe they could fit so many great ideas into something so thin and magical. Over a thousand apps made just for iPad. More coming every day. The best way to experience the web, email, photos and video. Hands donw.

  16. Just common business logic that what is going on here is a manufacturing problem that Apple is trying to sell as a sales bonanza. Sure would have a smart blogger like you would recognize this but nope. Apple will be lucky to sell outsell rival tablets this year if it can’t solve its manufacturing fails.

  17. I suspect this may have more to do with content deals not being closed (iBooks is noticeable for its absence in the UK pre-sales blurb) than any supply issues. Launching a device that many see as some sort of e-reader, without the apple bookstore, would not make for good sense.

  18. I don't get it… here in Seattle there are multiple stores with iPads in stock when the Apple Stores close each night (and I think all of them in the Seattle metro area). It doesn't seem like the iPhone with respect to demand. And friends at Apple beforehand were expecting sales over 500k on day 1. Of course, they're now telling me that they said the first month — but honestly, I'm pretty certain they said the first day.

  19. “I am seeing this problem in US too. There are lines in stores (when I went back to buy a third iPad I had to wait in line). The demand is nuts for iPads.”

    Not true. There are not lines in stores for the iPad in most parts of the U.S.

  20. Then why not delay just the 3G version? More likely Apple has supply issues for expanding into different markets. The logistics become ever more complicated as additional countries are targeted. There is also the licensing issue. Unlike the delay in rolling out the iTunes Music Store which was independent of a device, the iPad's “value” is lowered by not having iBooks and apps like the ABC player in place. This will happen, on a country by country basis. Apple doesn't want sales in a country to be stagnant, and would likely rather delay than face that negative hype. Where did Apple focus their attention? On US broadcasters and publishers. The iPhone took a year almost to roll out beyond the US.

  21. Newsflash, countries other than the US of A also have wifi. They also have MacDonalds, Burger King, Kraft Dinner, vehicular transport and other indicators of American civilization. It is safe to venture abroad. You will not be forced to eat petit pain au chocolat.

  22. I'm not buying it either…they may not have known how many they'd sell (300,000/400,000/500,000 units), but they knew how many they could produce. If they wan't to do a worldwide launch at their original date, they could have set aside a percent of production (25%, etc) to go to worldwide, thus putting the US on a waiting list, as well as worldwide.

    I think they aren't producing as many as they expected to be able to (last-minute decision to withdraw the camera, maybe?), and are calling sales “unexpectedly high” as a result.

  23. its all hype! I can see the use of the ipad being a good idea then the cost was a major bummer and the I have to buy from itunes only really bummed me out.

    Two things that really piss me off about the iphone,

    1.I have to use itunes
    2.I cannot have more than one or that damn programme over writes everything on the other devices!!

    So I keep the iphone for a note taking device and music player
    Its still snob device.
    Now that I am on Ubuntu I am totally unable to use itunes!!

    1. Everybody check out the ” We Pad” http://wepad.mobi/en which was just released in Europe right now and it is far far superior to the iPAD. Apples delay for the European markets and its more critical users could be an pivotal point.

  24. Andrea – I suspect you might be spot on. “Unpredicted demand” sounds a lot better than “we can't come to agreement with the telco's to find a 3G solution that is not clearly significantly less attractive than the one AT&T has promised (no contract, decent price)”

  25. As a Linux user, the iPad would probably be just as compatible as my iPhone. The idea of a tablet fascinates me and I look forward in owning one myself: imagine having one handy when you don't want to fire up your computer or just want to do some casual surfing, look something up or show a YouTube video to friends. I'd even buy one of a size smaller than the iPad and bigger than the iPhone to more easily carry around; but whatever I'll end up buying, will probably not Apple's. I'd like something a little more Linux-friendly that doesn't require me to match all my hardware to it and forces me to use iTunes.

  26. As a Linux user, the iPad would probably be just as compatible as my iPhone. The idea of a tablet fascinates me and I look forward in owning one myself: imagine having one handy when you don't want to fire up your computer or just want to do some casual surfing, look something up or show a YouTube video to friends. I'd even buy one of a size smaller than the iPad and bigger than the iPhone to more easily carry around; but whatever I'll end up buying, will probably not Apple's. I'd like something a little more Linux-friendly that doesn't require me to match all my hardware to it and forces me to use iTunes.

  27. Just called my local Apple store, 5th ave NYC, and they said they have plenty in stock and are pretty sure I can go tomorrow and get one. Doesn't feel as run-away a success as they tried to convey. That's what I don't understand about Apple. They're all about PR. iPad is a solid product and it will sell eventually, why do this and risk people's faith in you?

  28. I think they know that the 3G versions will be the real monster sellers. The poor old wi-fi people are doomed to be the possessors of the 1G 4GB iPhones.

  29. I suspect those people suggesting this has to do with Apple not having closed out telco and publisher deals are closer to the truth than simply pure over-demand issues. Here in Australia there seems to be little official news as to which carriers will hold the iPad, pricing etc.

    Might as well spin it as 'can't keep up with phenomenal demand' though, right?

  30. I think the truth is, “just in time” inventory is hard to manage before the launch of what might be a moderate seller or a giant success, or anywhere in between. You never know until it happens.

  31. I'm a die-hard Apple hater and I love the iPad. I couldn't afford one so I bought the next best thing, an iPod touch. At the very least, I have a new music player and have a good way to get Audible.com content and my podcasts regularly. When I get an iPad though, I will be super happy.

  32. As I said on the Twitterverse:

    Irony: If there's an iPad shortage holding back international release it's prob coz of all the ipads being sold international from US

    It'd be interesting to know how many are leaving US shores. I know as soon as this delay was announced, I asked a friend in the US to get me one.

  33. Thanks Robert.

    Apple did the unthinkable. Instead of upgrading the tech savvy they reached out to the late adopters. As immersed as we all are in the tech world, we have little sense of how large the non-tech world is that they tapped into. A good problem to have.

    Thanks for the post,

    Simon

  34. Sounds like you need to get off iPhone altogether, it is obviously too versatile for your uses!

  35. There is no shortage, otherwise stores would have dwindling supplies. It's part of Apple's masterful marketing – create a sense of exclusivity and scarcity to push customer demand. So far, sales have slowed rapidly from the first day according to Apple's own figures (http://industry.bnet.com/technology/10007057/su…) and I think this is another attempt to get another sales bump. As for the magical experience, I know people who are Mac and iPhone users who bought them and found themselves disappointed.

  36. Overhere in Holland there's a toystore selling the iPad for 700+ euro's. That's an impressive amount above the US prices…it just sucks how “exclusive” Apple-stuff gets overpriced when it's crossing the oceans…
    Nonetheless it's a big deal overhere too, at least in the techie-news.
    I think Apple just plays some good marketingtricks here: create demand by stating the product is scarse, even when it's not..an old trick that still works. As for the techsites, the thing creates views/hits on the sites. Says nothing about how good or bad the device really is.
    As for me, I'm all linux and won't buy closed-source stuff…I do admire the witt of Apple though, and I wish there would be better marketing in the open-source field.

  37. The supply issue in a dozen extra markets is the issue I’m thinking. Yes there are iPads in the Stores in the US… what happens when you double the number of stores or triple it. Japan, Europe, Canada, Oz. You know have about 400 million more consumers many of whom are more tech ready. I could see the same number hitting the interational release and as such hurting Apple ability to supply them.

    Why not hold off, keep them in the US stores so people don’t have to wait, and then built anticipation over sea’s when you have amped up supply.

    I think it’s a combo of PR, 3G negotiations (if you start taking pre-orders you want to have Plan Pricing) and actual supply issues.

  38. Ecclesiastical supply-chain nightmares recast as massive demand, nothing new under the Sun.

    That said, far more attention in one launch than the entire Tablet PC history, but the category will only now start to take off, with HP and WePad and etc. I am a skeptic, rather wanting full OSX in a good UI form over a big iPod, per se. That said the iPad is a great experience, just not much for real work. Same as iPhone, joy to deal with, but Blackberry for real work.

    1. You want full OS X with a good UI?

      Can you explain, with specificity, how this would differ from the iPad?

      Hint: iPhone OS keeps adding more and more OS X APIs. Under the hood, OS X with a good UI is a reasonable description of what we have now.

  39. I don’t buy your assumption that sales are extending outside of the Apple faithful…except that they’re also selling some to people like me who are gadget geeks but not necessarily huge Apple fans. I bought mine a week ago and am seriously considering selling it on Craiglist. It’s neat in a lot of ways. Cool way to consume media, particularly news and movies (great for plane rides). But, like a lot of people, it bugs me that I only get to use apps that Apple decides I should use. It also bugs me that it’s only really useful when it’s connected. I, for example, can’t connect to my company Wifi whille I’m at work so I bring it to work and it just sits there all day. Yes, I know I can download the WSJ and NY Times before I come into work but that’s a hassle. And I have absolutely ZERO interest in paying for another 3G account.

    I have no doubt that it will be a success. But a raging success? Not so sure.

  40. I doubt that, most people will use it as a couch device and those who are tech savvy will prefer a MiFi type device connecting via WiFi over integrated 3g.

  41. I dont agree to the theory that Apple is running short on iPad and hence delay in sales. How about, most of the apps for iPad are just too pricey. Even a decent calculator app is $10. And suddenly, Safari does not seem like a fit browser for iPad, while at the same time Apple does not want Chrome into the party. So, here i am with this shiny ipad playing Netflix videos. Wait, isnt Roku a better option for $100 if that is the only app i use or would have paid for?

  42. it will be the same story like with iPhone – first production will be full of mistakes, and only next generation of iPad would be useful after adding some functionality

  43. Maybe the phrase “when I went back to buy a third iPad” has something to do with it

  44. Rich people prefer MiFi maybe — there is a stark difference between a 2 year contract $60 per month MiFi and $15/$30 no-contract, can switch on/off at the drop of a hat 3G iPad.

  45. Vodaphone just announced that they will be supplying data for the iPad in a bunch of European countries, so your statement is BS.

    Why people can't accept the obvious answer: the iPad is a monster hit, Apple made conservative assumptions and now can't keep up with demand? Or possibly some component, like the IPS screen would have been constrained no matter what assumptions Apple made.

  46. Total BS. Nothing of the sort has been released. You can't even pre-order it. And how do you know that the vaporware you're spamming about is better than an iPad?

  47. I don't think Apple's predictions were wrong. That's a very naive assumption and willfully ignoring history . Aren't we just seeing the same well polished pattern here? Push G1 out the door in limited amounts, stand back, watch demand grow to exponential heights, push G1.5 'delayed' out the door in ampler amounts, rinse, lather, repeat?

  48. My understanding is that a micro-SIM is just a SIM with the edges trimmed off. Can't you just trim a regular SIM with scissors to make it into a micro-SIM?

    Anyway, it's not a walled garden trick, that is absurd. If Apple wanted a walled garden, iPad would be Verizon or Sprint only, no SIM at all, that is the walled garden in wireless. And all the GSM carriers will be offering micro-SIM soon because they'll be offering iPad and the next iPhone (which will also almost certainly have a micro-SIM) soon.

  49. I think International sales for early adopters will grow even stronger sales In May let’s wait and see

  50. I don't know what's the problem here. Apple said they are going to delay the launch, it's NOT the end of the world. Remember iPhone was delayed even longer to oversea market. Does not matter it's for PR or not. People who want one will buy 1, they won't say “Oh Wepad is out first, I am going to get Wepad instead of iPad.” Not everyone is early adopter. At first, I said I would NEVER get 1. I ordered 1 after I analyzed my computer usage and iPod touch. iPad would be very useful to me. The biggest complaint for me about iPod Touch is it's just too small. I want something bigger, then iPad is just a perfect solution for me.

    I have a first-G iPod touch and still works fine, so I believe iPad will provide me many years of entertainment before I have to upgrade it.

  51. > I have a laptop, why do I need that

    The best way I've found to explain that is to point out that iPad replaces a printer, and the pad of paper inside the printer.

    The same way a notebook PC replaces a desktop PC, iPad replaces a desktop printer. The documents you “print” to iPad stay digital and they can be videos or apps in addition to photos and spreadsheets. Instead of having a stack of printed documents in your briefcase, you have an iPad.

  52. > Something is wrong with the supply.

    Not necessarily. There's a ramp-up time. If the factory is setup to make a million a month it may only make 50,000 the first week, 100,000 the second week, 175,000 the third week, and so on. You also need longer QA time at first to make sure that every 3rd tablet is not a dud.

    > Major fail by Apple. The other tablets will be here before it even starts selling overseas.

    That is great. Bring them on. There have been at least 2 tablets that shipped since iPad and the reviews could have been done by The Onion. They make iPad look even better.

    Apple is at least 5 years ahead of everyone else in software, and more likely 10 years. There isn't even another mobile operating system that runs C apps. Other mobile systems are scaled-up phones, while iPad is a scaled-down Mac. They're way, way out ahead of everyone else.

  53. So why was the decent calculator app I just bought $0.99? And aren't 25% of the apps in the store free?

    A few apps are pricey. So are a few iPhone apps, for that matter. Most are pretty reasonable, and many of mine have come as free upgrades to existing iPhone apps. Stop with the FUD.

  54. It seems fairly ridiculous to suppose that Apple benefits in some way by lying about the availability of iPads. If they told one story now and a different story when they publish financial data for this month then some PO'd shareholder would file a class action suit: those professional shareholder guys love civil suits. And you know they'd jump at the chance.

    Just because most Apple stores still have iPads doesn't mean that Apple is sitting on a pile of them in some central warehouse. Given their announcement it seems highly likely that they don't have the extra 300K – 500K units that would be necessary to launch world-wide in two weeks.

    Did they imagine that a lot of people who generally hate anything to do with computers would say “oooh aaah I want one” at first sight of an iPad? Probably not. But that's what's happening with some of my very non-techie friends. My guess is that if Apple can make 10 – 12 million of them this year they'll still be sold out a week or two before Christmas.

  55. > I guess I'm still skeptic but I'm passionate about openness or rather critical of tight control.

    > Windows

    When you said Windows you blew your whole argument. Windows is much more closed than iPad. If you're using Linux only and you're not running Adobe FlashPlayer, then you have a right to judge iPad to be not open enough. But if you're running Windows, you do not.

    - iPad runs totally open, vendor-neutral W3C HTML5 Web apps; Windows runs closed/proprietary IE Web apps, closed/proprietary Silverlight Web apps, and closed/proprietary FlashPlayer Web apps
    - iPad runs totally open, vendor-neutral ISO MPEG audio video; Windows runs proprietary Windows Media audio video
    - iPad is running an open source Unix-certified core operating system; Windows runs a closed/proprietary core OS
    - iPad is running an open source WebKit browser engine; Windows runs at least 3 versions of their closed/proprietary IE browser engines
    - iPad's graphics are open standard PDF and OpenGL; Windows is running proprietary DirectX 2D and 3D
    - iPad is UTF-8; Windows is riddled with weird character sets
    - iPad runs open, vendor-neutral ePub books; the Kindle reader Steve Ballmer showed off on a prototype Windows 7 HP Slate runs proprietary Amazon Kindle books
    - contacts/calendars/mail is all standardized on iPad; on Windows, no

    The only place you can make an argument that Windows is “more open” is in native apps, which are traditionally proprietary anyway, but even there it does not stand up. Apple has an approval process that has kept the native app platform 100% malware free, while Microsoft has a blacklist and complicated scanners that have failed to do the same. Apple maintains an alternative open API for developers and users who do not want to use the native API, while Microsoft does not. You can build an HTML5 app on Linux using any tools you like and deploy on any server you like and it will just work on iPad out-of-the-box, which is not true for Windows.

    For most of the world's PC users, an iPad would be the single most open device they have ever used. It would be their first Unix, their first HTML5 browser, their first look at OpenGL, and so on.

    If you want more open than iPad, you literally have to run Linux without FlashPlayer. Otherwise, give us all a break with the openness blah blah blah.

  56. > SUPPLY ISSUE

    Yeah, the supply issue is they managed to put more units into the hands of users in the first week of availability than any other device in the history of computing.

    > FAIL

    We should all fail like that.

  57. > I doubt that, most people will use it as a couch device

    The back seat of a car is a couch. The park bench is a couch. The bus, the plane, a train, and so on. There are plenty of places that people read books or magazines but there is still no Wi-Fi.

    I've already heard from iPad users that they wish they'd waited for the 3G because they can't stand that it stops working outside their home and office. I've heard a few say they are giving the Wi-Fi iPad to their retired parents once the 3G ships.

    > and those who are tech savvy will prefer a MiFi type device

    In theory you are right, but in practice, no. MiFi has a 2 year contract, is $60 per month, and worst of all it has a 5GB cap and 4 hours of battery life. iPad 3G has no contract, is $30 per month, is truly unlimited, and has 8 or more hours of battery life on 3G.

  58. They already shipped more in the first week than any other device in history. So a manufacturing problem doesn't make sense. I would think a reader of such a smart blogger would recognize this but nope.

    I don't think you're appreciating how big a number it is to ship 500,000 units in week 1.

  59. > I have to buy from itunes

    You don't have to buy anything from iTunes Store to use iPad, iPhone, or iPod. You can get W3C apps, ISO music and movies, and ePub books from any vendor you like.

    > Now that I am on Ubuntu I am totally unable to use itunes!!

    You can run iTunes on Windows in VirtualBox, unless you are too snobby.

  60. With the exception of a very small number of iPhone apps that don't run on iPad because they require the phone dialer. That's why Apple says “almost all” or “virtually all” iPhone apps run on iPad.

  61. Not a bit of what you said makes any sense to me.

    Building and shipping units to customers has nothing at all to do with App Store prices, which are set by the developers, and they are selling a ton of apps.

    Decent calculator apps can be had for free, both native and Web apps.

    Chrome uses the same Apple WebKit engine as Safari, and it's only shipping for Windows right now. Even on Mac and Linux it is very, very immature, let alone on iPad. There is no touch version of Chrome at all. There are many browsers on iPhone OS if you don't find Safari useful.

    If you can watch videos on a $100 Roku with no TV at Starbucks or on a train, then yes, you made a mistake buying an iPad.

  62. Openness mentioned earlier does not mean open source. Openness in this case means that a Platform is not tied to a single marketplace and approval process. Windows is much more open in this case that the iPad/iPhone. I can run anything open or proprietary that has been developed for the platform.

    But more importantly, don't think for a second that the iPad platform is any more secure from malware than any other Mobile OS. Just last month at the CanSecWest PWN2OWN hacking contest, the Safari browser was fairly easily hacked to compromise the device. The hackers demonstrated it was relatively easy to bypass Apple code-signing routines and exploit non-root user privileges. I'd say that could easily have been malware or worse if done by the wrong people.

  63. 'The hackers demonstrated it was relatively easy to bypass Apple code-signing routines and exploit non-root user privileges.'
    Yes the Mac went down. It was the first in line to be chosen. It took the bloke (a principal analyst at a security consulting firm) several days of research to write a program(bug) to link onto HIS site to exploit on the day. It took him less than 2 minutes on his Macbook to log in and pull up HIS site.
    Personally, I would take that with a grain of salt so I wouldn't let that episode hold you back on getting a iPad (v1). As you can see, the single market place is doing extremely well… unless you like to tinker in which case, get the SDK and make your own apps. But you said it yourself: 'I can run anything open or proprietary that has been developed for the platform' (Widows). The Apps are freely developed for THIS platform and tested by Apple to an agreed standard to run on Apples' product. That's also why the iPad does not do flash -a 12 year old, legacy, somebody-else-controls plug-in: this is 2010, not 1998. Adobe is also closing the market which is making that openness turn into a fallacy. [Adobe does not have a platform so they have and develop plug-ins that runs on other platforms. So, when tech advances, the plug-in gets left behind.] The last time Apple dropped that control was when SJ left and look what happened.
    But it's OK to hold back on version 1 with you sounding like a Windows person bringing all that mental security baggage with you, it would make you wait. Try a iPod Touch first and see what you think. It's not nearly as big but the UI is relatively the same.

    1. Actually, although this is correct, they do study user-actions in great depth and length. Over my career I have done many prototypes for Apple’s Human Interface Group, and others, that simulate interface options.
      They take great care to measure the smallest of gestures and this polish is why so many ‘late adopters’ {you know, most of the world: your mom, dad, sis, niece who can’t be bothered load-balancing their Droid-thang and have lives and tasks they want to get on withe} respond well to a device that “just works” as naturally as possible with the interface fading away as users focus on the goal. Apple believes in open standards and closed products and the world is responding with two big thumbs up.

  64. The Emperor's new clothes.
    The initial spike in demand is from people that want to be cool: it's the Emperor's new clothes you can buy for $500 – $900.
    The question is if the demand will sustain over a longer period of time once the coolness diminishes.

    As about half the people in US have or had a foreclosure home, they are not going to buy an iPad. They will be happy to have a roof above their head and a TV set.

    1. LoL…
      How’s that waiting for iPhones to no longer be ‘cool’ working out for you?
      Bueller? Bueller?

      Can’t let these comments pass. What a silly stat: Your prices are not factual and you throw a Red Herring because the homeless NEVER buy new gear while a great deal of people, say students, ALWAYS need something like a netbook, which this handily replaces.
      By the time it’s cool ‘enough’ for a skeptic like you the prices will be ever-lower and you will _finally_ be able to buy a competitor product … while Apple ships version 2.0 if the iPad.

  65. I actually do own an iPod Touch along with my Motorola Droid, the iPod Touch is a very nice device even though I don't use it often. The same can be said for the iPad, security is not the issue here as I just mentioned it in response to JohnDoey's view that it's very secure. Also, though I don't agree with how it is being done, I'm glad to see Flash going away in favor of standards such as HTML5. But as Flash is a 1998 plug-in as you said, Apple's view of how development can be done and consumer lack of choice is also an ancient model that has to go away as well. And honestly, I'm not really sure if that's a Steve Jobs thing. I never really felt that control culture while being an Administer of NeXtStep UNIX but, even during those years, Apple has always had that culture. I really do want to like Apple and it's products but there's something about the culture that really bothers me which I place as very important in my product choices. I guess it's a Trust thing.

  66. The WePad? Runs on Android OS. Well maybe she can get 'some real work done' as they say about the iPad… after they make the software programs touch-pad aware… and QuickOffice for Android… forgot, it's an editing program made for a phone not a 'pad'. Well, get some of those free games to try out… good luck with that; are there any… for a 'WePad'?… for Android? Go to WePad Meta-Store. That's right, it does Flash. Plenty games in Flash. Plug in that mouse… Yep, many of the Flash games require a mouse input and aren't made for 'Pads'. Don't drift too fare from that hot-spot… It seems to be G3 only. That's OK. I'm sure you have unlimited G3 access or a looong enough ethernet-cord… near your table… where your mouse is. Get apps from that WePad Meta-Store… in Germany -it's in the cloud. So you'll be buying 'Made for WePad' apps from that WePad Meta-Store only -it's like iTunes but it's not iTunes. But you could probably troll around and Google the net for more apps made by… who knows; using… who knows; to run on… who knows… as long as it runs on Android, you'll be right. You got until August to brush up on that Deutschland when it comes out. That's when it comes out but not sure if it makes it to the states… Maybe in time for xmas. Fly over, pick one up. Hell, by then MS Courier will be out… oh forgot, that's 2011… sometime in 2011.

    Crap, just get an iPad … NOW!

  67. Robert,

    I'm a long-time reader and fan of your work, but I respectfully disagree with a few of your points on this post, including your thesis. Feedback:

    1. The quality of apps is nowhere near as high as not only expectations, but basic quality levels. Taking the high-profile Netflix “app” as an example, the median quality of apps, as well as apps at the margin, are demonstrably lower than even the iPhone, which despite the high range of apps, have a low quality average.

    2. Your second point contradicts your first, and in fact would be more sensible as a high-quality reason in favor of a disappointing launch. I'll take that as support of my claim.

    3. Your third claim is your strongest, but I am skeptical of it on face and would be curious to read any evidence in support of it. Assuming it is true (despite Jobs' famous quote that “We do no market research”), and assuming that focus groups were designed to correlate to their supply chain, the correlation would be minimal at best.

    4. This claim is somewhat dubious in addition to be anecdotal. Skeptics being what they are, they would need to come in contact with a friend or co-workers device in order to even be convinced. The ZDnet blog post you link to provies ample counter-claim (as it is equally anecdotal) that few opportunities for this conversion exist, particularly outside the margin of Apple fans like yourself.

    While the ZDnet blog post you linked is equally heavy on anecdotal evidence, it does discusses two other concrete scenarios: One, that Apple is experiencing internal problems with its supply chain, and attempting to “spin” those problems in a predictably positive way; and two; that Apple is notorious for over-stating success claims, partly due to its favorable position in the media and the likelihood of having those claims perpetuated.

    I don't argue for sure that the iPad is *not* catching on, only that the evidence in support of this claim is dubious an anecdotal, while the evidence in support of supply chain problems (as opposed to runaway success) seems slightly more likely in the absence of further evidence.

  68. “absence of further evidence”

    Historical precedent, rather, and the fact that every manufacturer does this almost as a matter of policy, including his former employer, NEC, extremely limited Tablet PC supply, coughed up as a box-office hit, downright laughable, but they were dead serious. And then the “eyeballs accounting” and millions of dead sign-ups counted at Microsoft Spaces hits, Dare Obasanjo accounting styled.

    But as they say in things investing, past success not always an indicator of future returns (and flipside), so history is an imperfect mark unto itself on the whole.

    As for contradicting points, thats a blogger default playbook, you get used to it over time. :)

    1. God is Love
    2. Love is Blind
    3. Ray Charles is Blind
    4. Ray Charles is God

  69. More like a runaway epic FAIL. Apple is suffering from major supply issues not overwhelming demand. With countless tablets that are as good or better launching this year, some this summer, they will soon find themselves to have an ever shrinking tablet marketshare. That Apple is having to delay launches is terrible for Apple with all the rival tablets on the way. The person who wrote this post must be some sort of apple diehard fanboy. There is probably a picture of the blogger holding up his ipad somewhere all triumphant like.

  70. At the Apple Store at The Grove here in Los Angeles, there doesn't seem to be any shortage. Lots of people mill about and try the iPad, and just listening to the discussions amongst friends and family about it is pretty interesting.

    In contrast to the selling out the supply, it seems that they aren't moving nearly as much as is being reported in this given store, and a lot of people say it's gorgeous but don't know what they'd buy it for.

  71. Scoble this blog post blows – no content as usual. You ran out of content a long time ago – please read it for yourself, … never-mind why bother making anything good.

  72. Aw I'm glad Patrick discovered the good things about the iPad! He was really skeptical before it came out.

  73. All the foreign developers I know just got a friend in the USA to buy an iPad and ship it to them. As for the simulator not being good enough, most of the iPad apps that were available on day one came from developers who didn't have iPads yet.

  74. Apple doesn't do focus groups.

    One reason Apple did not predict the huge demand for iPads is that Apple tends to be very conservative in predicting demand of its products. This way, it doesn't get stuck with huge inventories of unsold products. Apple is better than Dell in inventory management.

  75. I think Apple just plays some good marketingtricks here: create demand by stating the product is scarse, even when it's not..an old trick that still works. As for the techsites, the thing creates views/hits on the sites. Says nothing about how good or bad the device really is.

  76. So very true. I'm a Kindle owner and the other day I went in to check out the iPad to see if I could replace it. No way. It's too heavy to read books on. After holding it for a few minutes my girlfriend also complained about the weight.

  77. I think Apple just plays some good marketingtricks here: create demand by stating the product is scarse, even when it's not..an old trick that still works. As for the techsites, the thing creates views/hits on the sites. Says nothing about how good or bad the device really is.

  78. So very true. I'm a Kindle owner and the other day I went in to check out the iPad to see if I could replace it. No way. It's too heavy to read books on. After holding it for a few minutes my girlfriend also complained about the weight.

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