The other day, I received the following email from a former Seton Hall MBA student Justin Hull asking about the branding of the “new” iPad. Justin emailed:
“Hey Professor! I’m enjoying the blog, thanks for sending.
Question for you. I was driving in this morning and heard something on the news about the “iPad 3” which made me think, candidly, that Apple maybe didn’t do as good a job branding this version as with the original and the iPad 2. I’m still confused! I think it’s the “New iPad” but there’s a lot of reference to the iPad 3 so what’s next, the iPad 3 or the iPad 4? Maybe there could have been more clarity from Apple.
Thought you might have some good insight – Justin Hull”
Thanks for the nice note Justin and to be honest, I am a little surprised by the lack of clarity by Apple myself. Apple never does anything on a whim as their maneuvers are planned out well in advance. Without question, the “lack of clarity” on the branding was one of the most talked about issues the day of the launch of the “new” iPad.
Here’s a few thoughts: (1) perhaps Apple is reverting back to their past branding conventions. We’re on the 2nd or 3rd version of the MacBook Air and it’s always been called the MacBook Air. When the iPod first came out, later updates were just called iPod. (2) The branding convention changed for iPod, however, when new versions arrived such as the Mini, Nano, Touch, etc arrived. Could we be seeing a different iPad model in the near future (e.g., less than 12 months?)
I have been ranting in class all semester that Apple needs to have an iPad Lite or iPad mini or iPad cheap. Not only do they need to protect themselves from the lower end of the market such as the Amazon Fire, but also – if Apple is serious about their digital textbook initiative (and we know they are), the cash-strapped school systems and their respective financially challenged parents’ need a lower-end iPad to use for those digital textbook.
Yes I was happy to see iPad 2 stick around at $100 less than previously but at the same time, Apple traditional expands their product lines (both lower and high price points) around the three-year mark as they did with iPod. They did it with iPhone and we now have 3GS (free with a 2 year contract), iPhone ($99 with a 2 year contract), and iPhone 4S ($199 with a 2 year contract).
Finally, Apple is on a two-year major update cycle with both iPhone and iPad with an evolutionary step in between. That said, iPhone 4S was an evolutionary step and the “new” iPad was an evolutionary step. If Apple stays to convention (which I believe they will do), we will see a revolutionary new iPhone this year sometime around September with it going on sale in October. At the same time, we should also see a revolutionary new iPad or iPads) in March 2013.
The most logical response for Apple confusing us now is they are setting us up for what’s coming in the future.
Thanks again for the interest in dignuggetville.com – keep the questions rolling in…
Associate Professor of Marketing
Stillman School of Business
Seton Hall University