Apple Tablet: Mind share over market share

Apple Tablet: Mind share over market share

Summary: When it comes to this Apple tablet, mindshare is initially just as valuable as market share.


When it comes to this so-called Apple tablet that everyone is expecting Steve Jobs and company to launch next week, there are a few things you can bet on: that it will have a sleek design, that it will do things to wow people and that it will cost a pretty penny, an Apple premium if you will.

I can't help but think about the early iPod, how it was a luxury item that took some time to penetrate into the mainstream. The iPod, of course, wasn't the first mp3 player on the market, but the design and interface of this particular player made it appealing. Before you knew it, the iPod wasn't just playing music. It was playing photo slideshows and then it started playing video and now it plays video games.

The thing about the iPod was that it grabbed mindshare before it gained in market share. People had "heard" about the iPod and wanted to know more about it. They wanted to touch it and use it. And when the prices adjusted to make it more affordable, they wanted to buy it.

Like all of you, I don't know for sure that Apple is even going to release a tablet of some sort next week. There have been so many leaks that I can't imagine there won't be one announced - but we could all be wrong. I also don't know what this tablet will look like, though I've already said that I see it as a portable household multimedia device, kind of like a media player that sits on the coffee table but can easily move to a bedroom or the kitchen.

Also see: Apple Tablet: All you need to know

Do I see people lining up for this device the way they did for the iPhone? Maybe. But those will likely be the early adopters, the gadget lovers who have to be the first with the latest and greatest and are willing to pay any premium to get it.

The more important question is: Will Apple grab mindshare with this announcement next week?

Absolutely, it will. With this sort of news coverage, people in the biggest cities or the smallest towns around the globe will have to move into a cave to NOT hear about Apple's new gadget. Not only will there be countless blog posts about it, but you can bet your last buck that local newscasts in middle America will also be mentioning it on their evening newscasts.

That's instant mindshare. And that's not a bad thing. It's actually like the iPod all over again, except that the company gets to fast-forward immediately to the part where everyone knows about it and wants to see one and touch one.

And if all goes right with the economics, eventually everyone will want to buy one, too.

Topics: Apple, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility, Tablets

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  • "Everyone will want to buy one"

    "OOOOO! Its so pretty and shiny! Oh, and look! It has that cute little Apple thingy on it! I want one!"

    Sam, I hate to break it to you, but some of us actually think for ourselves. Cute or not, does it serve a purpose? Does it provide value at least equal to its price? Do we really need one? Assuming that we do need one, can we get a better product or price from another vendor?

    The simple minded may only require a status symbol, but most of us look a bit deeper.
    • look a bit deeper

      you mean a bit cheaper
      • Price is only a part of value.

        Yes, from what little I know about the unit I think it is overpriced, but only after we see the entire product will we know if it offers value equal to the price. Even then, you have to figure in what your own use for the device will be, and decide if the price is fair for you. My point was that just because it has the Apple logo does not make it attractive to everyone. Some of us want more than just a fashion accessory.
        • Get a grip

          Do you actually know what the Apple user demographic is? Pretty well
          the opposite of what you are trying to convince yourself of.
          • What's the demographic?

            Since you seem so confident abou your knowledge, what's Apple's
            Are you mocking the prev poster because you think those in the Apple
            demographic don't think for themselves and automatically buy anything
          • RE: What's the demographic?

            Every Apple user that I know buy Apple products because of how it
            improves their lives. I switched from Windows to Apple because it saves
            me hundreds of hours per year on the things I do and on the
            maintenance tasks on which I don't have to waste time and energy.
            Other Apple users that I know have basically the same reasons.

            My Macbook Pro cost the same as an equivalent high quality Windows
            PC, but saves that couple a hundred hours a year. What is your time
            worth to you?
          • That's great

            I'm glad to hear your Apple products save you so much time.

            How many hours do you save on maintenance? I hardly spend any time
            on maintenance per month, certainly not hours, since all that
            maintenance is automated on my Win machine.

            Furthermore, on MacOS I can't do the things I do on Windows, so
            Macs are not an option.

            Anyway, do you have any input on the Apple demographic?
          • Well:

            Since the only thing I've ever had to do when my PC had any issue was restart it, and when I had my MacBook it would crash all the time and no one could explain why, I'll stick with my PC.

            If the Mac DID take less time than the PC did, the fact that it's literally THOUSANDS of dollars more expensive would still make me get a PC. You claim your Macbook pro is comparable price-wise to a high end PC, but the problem is that the Mac isn't high end hardware. Let's take a look:

            Macbook pro-$3499
            specs: 3.06GHz core 2 duo
            8 GB DDR3 (1066MHz 2x4GB)
            500GB 7200RPM HDD
            antiglare (who the heck has to PAY for that?)
            everything else unchanged

            HP dv7t quad series $2504.99 (17.3" Windows 7 pro)
            core i7 820QM (1333MHz 1.73 with turbo boost to 3.06GHz. Twice as many cores, same speed as the mac on faster architecture)
            8GB DDR3 (same speed)
            128GB SSD+500GB 7200RPM HDD
            1GB GT320M (the mac doesn't list theirs on site. If mine serves, it's comparable)
            Lightscribe super multidrive
            fingerprint reader (none on mac. Both have webcams)
            Wireless N (so does mac)
            2 8 cell batteries (about 4 hour battery life, making the two have similar overall lives (and similar weights))

            Ouch. The mac loses by $1000 for a LESS POWERFUL MACHINE. And if you wanted you could put OS X on that HP (yes, you can) and have both. Natively. Without Bootcamp. HP's got a bigger student/teacher discount, too.
            Desktops are even more ridiculous.

            Mac Pro $5449:
            3.33GHz Quad core Intel Xeon
            12GB (3X4) DDR3 (1066MHz)
            2TB single HDD
            GT 120 512MB (The only option for NVIDIA...)
            Wireless N
            All else standard. No display.

            The Hp Pavilion Elite HPE-180t (7 ultimate) $3024.99:
            core i7-975 @3.33GHz (more powerful, no FSB, faster architecture)
            Same RAM as the Mac.
            2 1TB drives
            1.8GB GTX260 (better card, 3x memory)
            Blu ray and lightscribe burner
            wireless N (they both have gigabit LAN, too)
            More front ports, plus a TV tuner

            That's a $2500 difference. That's a down payment on a car difference. So if you spent 100 hours a year working on your PC beyond your mac (I doubt it), then you have to be making $25 an hour (after taxes) before you can make the price up in a year. Now, I realize most people keep their tower for more than a year, but even so, since the PC is about half the price for comparable specs (as opposed to the superior specs posted), then you can buy a new one half way through the macs lifecycle and STILL have better hardware and a newer machine.

            Paying for a mac is like throwing away half the cost of your machine. The machine I just described can be built for about $500 less, without any searching. I built my new PC who's specs are higher than either of those for almost $1000 less. It's ridiculous.
          • Saves that couple a hundred hours a year??

            I seriously hope you don't mean that when you have used a Windows based computer you have had to spend a couple hundred hours of maintenance on it per year? Because if thats what your trying to say then that only leaves three real possibilities.

            1. Your one of the unluckiest guys in the world. I say that because there are massive companies around the world, some of them using hundreds and hundreds of Windows based computers in their operations, and if even a small number of them required anything close to hundreds of hours per year in service and maintenance then nobody would use Windows. Cut and dried. You must have got a real lemon.

            2. You're one of the lamest computer users in the world. To have to complete hundreds of hours per year in maintenance on your computer you must be doing something so hazardous and reckless with it that you probably shouldn't own a computer of any kind. And whats worse is you apparently must of been doing this reckless behavior over and over again because hundreds of hours of maintenance isn't required for just 2 or 3 major breakdowns.

            3. Your lying and your reason for purchasing an Apple is just based on personal preference and has little or nothing to do with maintenance.

            If you really have found Windows computers utterly unusable, which a couple hundred hours of maintenance a year would make it, Its too bad because the world runs off Windows computers and hundreds of millions around the world have little to no problems with theirs.
        • You actually know the price?

          "... from what little I know about the unit I think it is overpriced"

          Hey, you seem to be an Apple insider because you know the price
          already! Please, tell it to the rest of us, too.
    • You nailed it, that's why....

      The statement: "The simple minded may only require a status symbol, but most of us look a bit deeper.", nails it, and that's exactly why the iPod commands over 70% of the mpg player! People are not stupid, they investigate and see the quality, design, the iTunes and the APP STORE and it's obvious why Apple dwarfs all of the competition combined!
      • A closed, proprietary monopolistic environ that's

        ..."easy to use" is good? That's not thinking: that's just "going with the flow" and accepting what Steve Jobs says is good as being so. What's so great about being beholden to Apple? How is that good and Microsoft evil? Or Google? etc etc I'm not saying people shouldn't "choose" their monopoly - just don't label everything that Apple does as automatically good. Believe it or not, some of us don't actually LIKE the Apple design or ethos...
      • iTunes... quality? HAHAHAHAHA!

        (wipes eyes from laughing)

        I have an iPhone and a Zune.

        The iPhone has a fantastic interface, and I love how easy the AppStore is to use.

        However, iTunes is the biggest pile of steaming crap I've ever had to install on my computer! The Zune client software runs circles around it.

        With iTunes, I can't configure which directories to monitor and which ones to ignore. It pops up all the time when I'm moving multimedia files around. It can't recognize when I've moved a file from one directory to another... it leaves "broken" links to the old location, which I have to manually fix. It is terribly slow, bloated, and hard to use.

        The Zune software, in comparison to iTunes, is actually very nice. It has a cleaner design that just works (in fact, it feels more like an Apple product than iTunes!). I can configure it to watch different types of files (audio vs video) in different directories... allowing me to test downloaded multimedia files before putting them in my "library".

        I would happily remove iTunes if I could. I love the iPhone, but iTunes is a boat anchor.
  • Mindshare like they did with AppleTV?

    John Zern
    • Sure

      After all, people still talk about Apple TV, good and bad. Competing products from WD, Seagate and LaCie get maybe a one paragraph mention, which almost always compares them to Apple's offering, then are immediately forgotten.

      Didn't Ballmer wave around a tablet PC that no one is talking about? Apple already owns the mindshare in tablets and they haven't even announced one yet.
      • I wouldn't say that

        Nobody talks about AppleTV except in the sense that it hasn't done well. Nobody talks about the Macbook Air either.

        Yet they still talk about netbooks.

        No Apple mind share, there. It's one thing to have it for 5 minutes, a different thing altogether in keeping it.
        • If you did a ramdom search

          Of just how many times Apple TV pops up in tech blogs and discussions you would see just how much Mindshare it has. Even if you are correct that Apple TV only is brought up in order to talk about how it hasn't done well, it is brought up, often. It even came up in discussion here, in an article of no particular relation to Apple TV (because it was on John's mind for whatever reason). Apple TV's direct competitors never EVER mentioned, and I'd wager a lot of folks here would have to visit the companies web sites to even find out the names of competing "Apple TV like" devices.

          Here is Mindshare defined as best as I could find:
          "Informal measure of the amount of talk, mention, or reference an idea, firm, or product generates in public or media."

          Notice that definition makes no mention of whether the product sells well.
          • On on blogs

            Apple TV and other failed overhyped Apple stuff, like the soon-to-be-still-born tablet, have mindshare only among the tech bloggers.

            Asking about an Apple tablet draws BLANKS in the general audience. Most people have no clue, never heard of it. Most people ask about which laptop or netbook to buy.
          • I'll tell ya what

            "Asking about an Apple tablet draws BLANKS in the general audience."

            Arguing over the popularity of a product no one here has seen, and hasn't even been officially announced, is tedious. We can talk again next weekend and see if your statement still holds true. The current crop of tablet PC's are no-news items, so we have a baseline.
          • Of course, you assume the AppleTV has failed.

            However, unlike the Cube which did fail, Apple TV is still available for
            purchase and has received a number of updates that make it even
            more functional for the purpose it was created. The MacBook Air is
            also still available, despite all the pundits' claims of failure.

            True, asking about an Apple tablet draws blanks from the general
            public. Why? Because there has been no official announcement or
            advertising for the device; only people in the tech world who pay
            attention to such things even think that's what SJ's announcing this
            week. Well, and those who read CNN. On the other hand, once the
            announcement is made, will those same people be as ignorant? Or will
            they be wanting to find out as much as possible about the new device
            prior to its release?

            Yes, they ask about which laptop or netbook to buy, now--but what
            happens if this new device supersedes the existing ones on certain
            levels? I, for one, think that if this thing is as well thought out as the
            iPhone is, it could replace a huge proportion of those in both the
            consumer and the enterprise market. This is one reason, I think, why
            almost all of Apple's laptops are now called 'Pro'; only pros will need
            the power and functionality of a full version of OS X on a portable
            device. Of course, I could be wrong. We'll just have to see.