updated 06:20 am EDT, Sun October 10, 2010
Hype and weight of expectation versus ownership
Market research specialist Gartner has issued its 2010 'Hype Cycle' report, which tracks consumer reaction and purchasing responses to emerging technologies for each year. According to the report, consumers have reached the peak of inflated expectations for tablet devices like the iPad and 3D TV, which is then followed by a trough as expectations may not necessarily live up to promise offered by the new technology, usually because it is yet to fully mature.
The report refers to the "high-impact" technologies on the consumer consciousness for 2010 as being the iPad and other tablets, 3D TVs and displays, as well as 4G mobile. What follows the peak, as Gartner VP Jackie Fenn explains, is often a "trough of disillusionment, where you get a backlash against the technology...before you settle down and people start to understand how to use the technology."
The report's views on the iPad "Hype Cycle" aligns with the findings in a recent analysis by NPD Group that suggests that users of the iPad were dissatisfied with certain aspects of the device, such as a lack of USB ports and expansion card slots. The same NPD research also indicated that early adopters of the iPad were more satisfied than later adopters. This would suggest that those caught up by the hype who purchased the device later may have had high expectations and only to bee somewhat let down by the actual experience.
Despite the observations by Gartner and the NPD Group, a recent report by Bernstein Research calls the iPad "a runaway success of unprecedented proportion," having the fastest adoption rate of any consumer electronics device, surpassing the original iPhone and even the DVD player. According to Bernstein, the current sales rate of the iPad is 4.5 million units per quarter.
It remains to be seen how long Apple will be able to sustain these sales figures for the device, or if the "Hype Cycle" effect begins to take hold and soften sales. [viaCNET]