With online pre-orders firmly sold-out way in advance and Apple devotees and tech geeks the world over getting all hot and frenzied, it can only mean one thing; yes, Apple has indeed unleashed a new product on the market again.
As a long term Mac user myself and having been using them from before Steve Jobs returned to the helm and remaining to do so since his unfortunate departure, I can understand the attraction of new Apple products, however, it sadly has to be said that today’s breed of Apple geeks are getting practically worse than computer gamers, in terms of getting frenzied for a fix of the lastest launches the moment they arrive on the shelves. In London, Sydney and Tokyo people were genuinely camping outside the stores just to be the first to get their hands on one when they went on sale last Friday. The magnitude of stupidity this year was so much that one looney individual Zohaib Ali, 21, from Uxbridge in north-west London actually spent 5 days queueing outside London’s Regent Street Store just to ensure he could buy one, despite already owning an earlier iPad, iPhone, iPod, Macbook and iMac. Now perhaps I am just being condescending because I have not got my hands on the lastest one yet, but surely one has to ask the obvious question ‘why do you need that many devices?’ …let alone give up 5 days of your life just to get a newer version of the same product that you already own. Ok, I have had my rant now, so let’s see what all the fuss is about and deduce whether perhaps next year I will have to risk queuing for 7 days to ensure that I beat him to it.
Entitled ‘the new iPad’ (As opposed to iPad 3) in a nutshell looks practically identical, yet the new model iPad comes with a faster processor and a much sharper new ‘retina’ display screen, as well as voice dictation and an improved camera, similar to that found on the iPhone 4S. Prices have thankfully remained relatively stable, ranging from £399 to £659 and my summarised conclusion is simply; I probably will buy one, but think I will wait until the queue has died down.
Anyway, now on to a few interesting stats on those queuing, which strangely seem to be a damn-sight more impressive than the stats on the new the iPad itself:
• Men vs women ratio of 10:1 with an average age of of 25 and carrying an average of £1,217 worth of electronic gadgets, from iPods to smartphones and laptops.
• One 16-year-old boy named Noah Green, a 16-year-old student from Stanmore, north-west London, had been waiting fourth in the queue but took £300 to swap for 18th place.
• 32% of those queuing said it was because they were die-hard Apple fans whilst just 15% had missed out on pre-orders and 10% were just their to soak up the atmosphere.
• iPad remains the most popular tablet on the market having sold more than 55 million units since its debut back in 2010 and commanding 60% of the tablet market.
Despite the obvious stupidity of queuing for nearly a week to purchase an iPad, I think that the iPad’s dominance in both the new tablet market plus its encroachment into the PC and even printed media field, is testament to the level of interest out there in such products. It also firmly shows that people’s attitudes to computing, communicating and reading is rapidly changing. This tablet phenomenon is clearly not just a thing for geeky 25-year-old men with too much spare time on their hands, but is actually the start of a new revolutionary age of computing and media. It is probably not going to be long before there will be no more printed copies of the Metro or Evening Standards and instead everyone will be gazing down at their iPads either reading the digital versions of those publications or hopefully reading something more intellectual and unwittingly reducing the high level of illiteracy in the Capital. Well maybe not quite yet, but anything is possible.