Technology Blogs from SalarGolestanian.com
Remember Apple Newton in 1990s - 15 million iPads sold in 3 quarters- Did you predict this number?|
By Salar Golestanian @ 20 Jan 2011 ::
|From the above number, Apple sold almost 15 million iPads last year or just about 90% of all tablets sold. In fact now it is outselling Macs in units, and closing in on revenues. The 7.3 million iPads sold just in the December quarter represented a 75 percent increase from the September quarter, and the $4.6 billion in revenue represented a 65 percent sequential jump. (The iPad was launched in April 2010).
Now who would have predicted this other than a few Apple FanBoys like me!. This is an incredible story for a completely new computing product. It is so startling that nobody predicted it other than those of us that have been waiting for it for more than 10 years. I was probably one of the early adaptors with purchase of my First smart PDA called Newton.
It was a very long time ago and the only mistake Apple made at that time was to assume that everyone wants to write rather than type. So handwriting recognition that Newton used was a little bit of a hit and miss. The other big problem was that it was a little too early and it was not a connected device. Newton was introduced, 1987 and I bought it in 1995 at £450 GBP and the development sadly ended in 1998.
After this I did not purchase any until iPod touch and later cued up for iPad and got it on the day it was released in UK. And as soon as I got it, I knew apple could sell as many as they can produce. Whilst the predictions of iPad unit sales from both Wall Street analysts and tech bloggers were very low key. The iPad ended up selling almost 15 million units in 2010. The reason for this fantastic figure is that it is the most useful device when I am out and about and even in the house I end up using it for reading rather than my laptop. These days I don’t leave home without it. I rather not go with my phone than go without my iPad.
The recent report from IDC shows that both the media tablet market and the e-reader market made big leaps in 2010. The market for media tablets grew from 3.3 million in Q2 to 4.8 million in Q3, an increase of 45.1%. That growth was fuelled almost exclusively by the iPad. In Q3, Apple sold 4.19 million iPads, representing over 87% of the media tablet market.
IDC defines media tablets as devices larger than five inches and less than 14 inches running “lightweight operating systems,” primarily iOS and Android.
E-readers growth was led by the Amazon Kindle. 1.14 million Kindles were shipped in Q3, representing 41.5% of the e-reader market. Unexpectedly though, the Pandigital Novel (440 million) beat out the Barnes and Noble Nook (420 million) for second place.
The most interesting part of the report though was the overall forecasts for 2010, 2011 and 2012. For 2010, IDC predicts that about 17 million media tablets will be shipped (they’re still counting up the numbers), but that it will grow to a whopping 44.6 million in 2011 and 70.8 million in 2012. If devices like the iPad 2 and the Motorola Xoom succeed though, then IDC might have to revise its numbers.
In the next couple of years, there is going to be a big push by Android and Windows OS tablets trying to reduce Apple Market share that we all encourage if we want to see these devices improve in both capabilities as well as reductions in price. There is one thing that is little in doubt. These devices will overtake laptop sales, because their keyboard can be virtual as well as physical. They are smaller than laptops and look almost like leather bound book when reading.
Salar Golestanian @
Saturday, February 26, 2011 10:06 PM|
I don't think that consumers weighed off an onscreen keyboard v handwriting recognition was the real reason why the Newton lacked success. The Newton always had an onscreen keyboard alternative which, if you didn't like using the pen the resistive touchscreen would allow you to do with a fingernail. It looks like you experienced HWR under NOS 1.x and missed out on what the benefits of NOS 2.x. Understandable since from all accounts the HWR in NOS 1.x was quite offputting, particularly when expectations had been set so high by the marketing department.|
You also point to a lack of connectedness as another flaw. In 1993 when the Newton was first launched the Internet was still in its infancy. Back then Compuserve was still the biggest network service available. Wifi standards weren't finalised until the end of that year and it wasn't for another 3-4 years before they were commonly encountered. So my point is that there wasn't as much incentive to connect to anything back then as there is today. Today the Internet is much richer in content and the ubiquity of Wifi and broadband connectivity also makes cheap economical and convenient access to it is possible.
You can find out my thoughts on why the Newton didn't sell as many as units as it might and why it was discontinued here: http://myapplenewton.blogspot.com/2009/04/apple-newton-why-it-was-discontinued.html. As to whether or not it is a success, see: http://myapplenewton.blogspot.com/2010/04/success-is-in-eye-of-beholder.html.
If you look carefully many of the concepts within the iOS UI are there in the Newton OS UI. In assessing whether or not the Newton was a success, perhaps we should be adding iOS sales to the score.
Salar Golestanian @
Saturday, February 26, 2011 10:06 PM|
Thank you for your comments.
Newton like many other bold and revolutionary inventions of our time like "cincler c5" were too early.
Not many do cross the chasm with success.
If it's any consolation to this story is that the founder of the original concept of Newton are now the custodian iOS and owns iPad which practically owns 90% of tablet market. Most that don't cross the chasm go bust with the fruit of their effort picked up much later by another with no payback to the original founder.
I am not sure how much of the initial research on Newton ever got to iPad. But as a iPad user I do get the same fuzzy feeling to when I used to hold Newton so many years ago.
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