Books written by Ray Sullivan

Monday, 19 March 2012

iPad Madness in London

When Apple launched the new iPad last week in London there were queues around the block to buy the new device.  In fact the majority of the people in the front of the queue wanted to buy multiple amounts of the device, as many as they could carry in some cases, and many of these devices were never going to be powered up in the UK.  One buyer was preparing to ship to China, ironically as they had just arrived from there, to sell them two weeks ahead of the Chinese launch.  Another was aiming at beating the India launch by seven days.

When the original iPad was launched just over two years ago it was a revolutionary device, unparallelled by anything that had gone before.  So it wasn't a surprise to find people queueing around the block to get their hands on this device.  Likewise with iPad 2 - it was a step change on it's older sibling - lighter, faster and with a front facing camera. 

But the new iPad, as Apple prefer to call it - iPad 3 is so not on trend apparently, although I think subsequent releases are going to receive increasingly unwieldy titles - isn't the same kind of game changer from what I've read about it.  The screen is supposed to be something else and according to reports it provides a resolution higher than the human eye can percieve, so presumably we shouldn't expect that to be upgraded again unless human evolution steps up a gear.  The cameras are understood to be much better quality too.  All very nice, but for most users I suspect the existing screen resolution and camera quality is adeqate - most people would expect to use a dedicated camera if image quality was essential and lets be honest, the iPad is a lousy thing to hold when taking photos anyway.

So there isn't a compelling reason to rush out and buy the new version, and even if there was - a week's not going to kill anyone, surely?  Presumably the devices bought at Apple's store are expected to sold on at a premium, if only to cover the airfare to China or India.  It's unlikely, in my opinion, that these people had popped over to the UK to fill a crucial need in their business to obtain the iPads - it was just an exercise in black marketeering.

Some of the devices will unquestionably be snapped up in China and India, some people just have to be seen with the latest toys.  but I'm not convinced the buzz is as justified this time around and it's probable that some of the buyers are going to find themselves holding onto devices right up until the launch in their home country.  And maybe that is what Apple are trying to do, keeping the launch dates rolling on one after the other.  I can't say I'm concerned if speculators get a little burned this time around - everything from concert tickets to fuel is being pushed up by people trying to make money from nothing and all of us end up paying a little bit more in the long term because of them.  In fact, deep down, I hope the speculators take a tumble.  Maybe next time Apple launch a new product the queue might be comprised of people buying devices for their own use and those who want in at the beginning can do so at the official price.


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