iPad's incredible demand

The fact that the number of people planning to buy is more than 70 percent of those who have already bought is a good sign for a device that sells for at least $499, said Britt Beemer, America’s Research Group founder. “That shows incredible demand for the product.”

via Still plenty of demand for iPad: survey | Reuters.

And this says nothing of demand outside the US, which, in my opinion, is even higher.

The contrast between this “incredible demand” and the “incredible derision” with which the product was met by the technology media speaks volumes of the disconnect between the market’s most demanding and most vocal customers and the silent vast majority.

See also: asymco:ipad

  • Yowsers

    Any links you can share about the international demand for the iPad? I've seen the early blog posts and comments from ex-US writers from around the time of the iPad launch. These would be from the committed fans, of course.

    I wonder what the "regular person" demand (so-to-speak) is internationally — those who would comprise the long term, steady demand for a product. This section of the market doesn't often blog or post comments, and I'm not seeing much anecdotal stuff from the technophiles who are related to them. It doesn't mean it's not there, just that it's better hidden than similar ones in the US.

    • I have not seen any research or data related to international demand, however launches in Japan and Germany or other countries received wide media coverage and there seemed to be a high level of enthusiasm.

      I will also add that anecdotally, from personal observation, the demand for the iPod is at least as high as I've seen for the original iPhone. The buyers in US stores are often non-Americans. The stores nearest tourist hubs are more often sold out and the sightings of iPads internationally are remarkably frequent. I know that Apple created non-public policies to curtail the purchase by non-US customers: preventing cash purchases, limiting "lifetime" purchases to 5 units, limiting the use of non-US credit cards and requiring reservations for in-store purchase that prevent tourist purchases.

      In addition, I am aware that iPad microsims and iPad data plans already available in countries where the iPad is not available and reps provisioning iPads are saying they see a brisk trade. I have obtained the iPad microsim from Finnish operator Sonera for my iPad and know of a dozen more sold in this country.

      The reason for high international demand is that the iPad is a perfectly "liquid" device like the iPod. It is unlocked, easily transported across borders (duty free) and can be re-sold and re-bought easily. It is internationalized out of the box, has use cases which are universal (except for purchase from US store of iPad apps–something that can be mitigated with gift cards easily obtained on eBay). It feels to me at least to have the same potential ubiquity as the iPod (i.e. greater than the iPhone).

  • Yowsers

    I had noticed the prevalence of non-US buyers — 3rd hand, as I had not seen it directly myself but noticed some unusually high ex-US numbers appearing in analyst reports.

    The first rush of reports and blog posts have come and gone. I suspect this (the effect the iPad has) gets more interesting as time goes by and people spend more time with it. The visibility of it's effect on users drops since it's no longer the big story of the day. The only thing we'll have are the sales figures to go by.

    An aside: I wonder — 5 yrs from now — if the iPad doesn't become the equivalent of the "$100 laptop for every child" device. $500 isn't **that** big a stretch, and NGOs and gov'ts will find a way to get them.

    I think Apple was aggressive in their initial sales estimates (based on prior device sales) but clearly didn't expect the reception it received. I think they face stepping up to a level they've not encountered before where they have to meet production runs of several orders of magnitude above current capacity. If US demand can't be met, and ex-US demand is similar (or worse), and it gets adopted by many who typically don't fire up a computer every day, they have a huge production problem on their hands (a good problem, that…)

    Regardless of the numbers, I think we're witnessing the start of something new, and I am quite curious how it plays outside the normal circles I run in.

  • I agree. I wrote of the challenge of demand that Apple faces here:

  • I was at the flagship Apple store on Regents Street yesterday (Sat). It's summer sales time and the shopping streets were thronging with people out for the bargains. The Apple store wasn't amazingly crowded but it was very busy. The number of people around the 2 iPad tables was 3 deep. The Regents St. Apple store is usually very busy with Europeans on hols in London and my observation was that at least 1/2 of the throngers around the iPad table were speaking in non-English tongues.

    I can also tell you that the poster and tellie advertising campaign in London for the iPad is intense. Every tube stop in central London has at least 6 iPad posters which are 2×1.5 metres in size and back lit at the turnstiles. More in the financial district known as "the City". Many major bus stops have a similar sized poster even in less affluent areas and it is the only poster at most bus stops (and there are a lot of bus stops!). Apple advertised the iPad on the UK broadcasts of the World Cup. No iPhone adverts, just iPads. iPad adverts really are everywhere here in London.

  • addicted

    I think countries will be divided into 2 camps, as far as iPad demand goes:
    1) Countries that have good Apple retail presence (especially through official Apple stores).
    2) Countries that don't.

    For the former, demand will be as relatively high as in the US. For the latter, the iPad will remain a "large iPod touch" and demand will be relatively low. If it wasn't for the Apple Retail Stores, I am quite confident that the iPad would have flopped, because you really need to touch one to see how much of a leap it is from current computing offerings.

    • Yowsers

      iPad and everything else, nearly. I suppose the company would still be around had they not ever developed those stores — but, then again, would they have had the $$$ to develop what they've done without those stores, or even come close to where they are? You might extend your argument to the iPods, Mac line and iPhone, certainly.