Tuesday, February 9, 2010

How will the iPad's success be defined?

I've had a lot of conversions with people lately about whether or not the iPad would be successful. The problem with these conversations is that we didn't talk about what success looks like.

Is success 1 million units first week sales? Nexus One did 20k units, Droid 250k, iPhone 3GS 1.6M (from Flurry). Apple sold 75M iPhone and iPod touch devices in 2009. About 20M netbooks were sold in 2009. Apple sold about 6M Apple TVs in 2009, and that's "just a hobby" for them.

Maybe initial sales don't matter and the iPad will be judged by its adoption 3 years from now, by the copycats it inspires or by the way changes the personal computer industry. After all, Apple reinvented the desktop PC industry once, but ultimately lost it to Microsoft. I doubt they will make the same mistake again.

Update:Apple just announced 2 million units sold in the first 60 days. It took over two years for Apple to sell its first 2 million iPods. The original iPhone took about four months to reach the 2 million mark. I'd call the iPad's launch a success.


Cameron Watters said...

Even if they DO lose control of it, Windows 7 beats the heck out of MS-DOS 3.0, which was the PC contemporary of the original Macintosh.

Which is to say, if the iPad advances the state of the art in computing as dramatically as the original Macintosh did, the iPad will be a "success" even if Apple eventually concedes its leadership position.

Dave Dunkin said...

I agree. Even if the iPad flops by the standard of sales, I bet we'll still all be using iPad-like devices 5 years from now.