Thursday, June 2, 2011

The greatest marketing ploys ever - part I

The iPad.
Here’s the jist of my first conversation regarding the iPad:

KG: what does it do?
            Friend: Oh, you can surf the internet, listen to music…
So, it’s like a laptop?
Can it make calls?
            What?! No. But you can watch movies!
Like a laptop?
            Yeah, but you can also read books.
Do you read books?
            Well… you can surf the internet and read that more easily.
Okay…. So, wait. How is it not a laptop?
            (pause) And look at the pink cover I got for it!  

A colleague put it best when he described the primary difference between a laptop and an iPad being that the former is better for producing work and the latter is to simply consume. (“I can lounge on my couch with my iPad. It’s so portable. And its touch screen...”) While that explanation shed light on its value – I have to admit I can’t picture myself laying out, poolside, with my laptop – it still doesn’t compel me to buy one. How often am I really lounging and bored enough that it warrants spending several hundred dollars?

What need does it meet that isn’t already being met by our iPod, laptop, Kindle, cell phone and television? Because, yeah, I get that this iPad guy has it all in one place… but the thing is, we already went out and bought all that other stuff. So now what? Other than that pink cover (which was, admittedly, pretty snazzy. It turned into a stand! Can you believe it?) what new, unique benefit are we really getting?

I do honestly suspect there’s something there I may actually want, but I have so far failed to put my finger on it. I know my children will likely laugh that I ever lived without it – like I pity the poor souls who, back in the dark ages of the eighties, somehow functioned without internet – but right now I struggle to wrap my mind around how life would be made better with the inclusion of the iPad.

Somebody, please: can you explain the iPad? Sell it to me.

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