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iPad Early Adopters

April 15th, 2010

Apple announced last Thursday that 450,000 iPads had been sold since arriving in stores the prior Saturday. So who are these early adopters?  Not surprisingly, they look a lot like iPhone owners. In fact, 43% already have iPhones and nearly half (48.7%) own iPod touch devices, according to a new iPad user survey from iPhone- and iPad-centric mobile ad network AdColony.

Among other findings, the firm found that 44.3% have a household income level of $100,000 or more and 58% have bachelor’s or graduate or other professional degrees. More than two-thirds (65.5%) are male, and 34.5% are female.

In terms of age, people 35 to 44 made up the biggest single segment of iPad owners. Those 25 to 34, 45 to 54, and 55 and over each represented about 20% of the iPad user base. The college-age crowd was 7.5%, and teens were just 3.5%. Like iPhone owners, iPad users skew older, male and more affluent than the general population. As more iPads are sold, the typical user may come to reflect a broader cross-section of consumers.

While the iPad has been described as a big iPod, its minimum $500 price means that most kids will have to rely on a parent buying one to get their hands on the tablet. So the iPad will definitely skew older than the iPod touch audience.  At least for now.  I only personally know of one person who has purchased this new device and by all accounts the stats above are right on except she does not own an iPhone but has multiple iPods.

iPad Creative Implications for Advertisers

*This device was built on mobile functionality so think mobile.  Normal “Web” advertising standards may not apply.   

*Specific iPad creative units are required (can’t stretch units to fit larger screen)

*Your site’s landing page can not rely on any Web browser plug-ins like flash or Java to render content. 

*Marketers must use a specific video tag to ensure embedded video can be seen.

*The iPad can not currently support Flash

Apple has banned the use of any non-native tools to create iPhone and iPad apps, which would shut out Adobe’s cross-platform compiler that effectively ports Flash applications to the iPhone.  Apple’s stance on Flash not coming to the iPhone has been pretty clear over the last few years and is really heating up again with the release of the iPad.  Adobe is not happy about this as you can image and rumors of a potential lawsuit are flying. 

These implications listed above are only a few that advertisers will have to face in order to capture this iPad growing audience. 

It’s All About The Apps

There are currently over 3,500 iPad apps in the app store and over 3.5 million iPad apps have been downloaded to date.  Many iPhone apps are currently tweaking their apps for the iPad like Google. The big iPad optimization takes place with Web apps like Gmail, Google Reader, Maps, and Buzz.

The Facebook iPad app, from what I hear could really use some work.  Users claim it’s great for notifications but then you have to check your messages at your desktop or on your iPad browser.  You would think that Facebook with its massive reach (400 million+ users & 100 million+ US users) would build a more enhanced app for this new platform.  

In conclusion, Apple once again has quickly gained dominance over the rapidly evolving media landscape because they have developed a platform that represents a winning proposition for consumers, publishers and broadcasters and advertisers.

3 Comments

  1. Nathan says:

    Karissa,

    In regards to your comment on the quality of the facebook ipad app – one has not yet been released. The iPhone facebook app is available and runs on the ipad, but it is obviously designed around the smaller screen and resolution. So it really is not indicative of the quality an ipad optimized version would offer it’s users. The fact the current app is designed for the iPhone is made clear in the app store.

    Besides – the facebook website itself works great on the ipad. And with only one developer working on the iPhone os versions of facebook, they might not be in a terrible rush to get am ipad optimized version out the door.

  2. Nathan says:

    Just another thought on the device as medium for publishers, it (as it currently stands) will never be able to offer the same freedom of expression as the web, or even print, currently offers:

    http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2010/04/apple-bans-satire/

    The ipad may kickstart a new trend and revenue source for some content producers, but the medium will never be ubiquitious until the same freedoms of publishing (and speech) are available on the device as they are on our ‘traditional’ mediums.

  3. Karissa Armstrong says:

    thanks for your comments Nathan. Obviously Apple still has some work to do especially regarding freedom of publishing.

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