We are now collecting the early consumer responses on the iPhone 4S, just available last week. Look for an update where we will compare the launch of the iPhone 4S to the iPhone 4 and make an assessment as to whether the 4S is as game changing as Apple hopes it to be.
Access to this early consumer feedback can help refine both messaging and inventory planning. Wouldn’t you like to have early knowledge as to how market share is playing out before companies announce? Contact us to see how we can improve the accuracy of your crystal ball.
HP shocked the world when just weeks after launching their flagship iPad 2 competitor they cancelled production, shut down their WebOS operations, and announced intentions to exit the consumer computer hardware business. The subsequent firesale of TouchPads actually put these devices in the hands of a huge part of the market. CNet’s Brian Cooley’s video on the top 5 things you could do with a $99 TouchPad (or any other tablet for that matter) cut to the core of where the Tablet market is going.
HP is shocking us again by announcing another production run of TouchPads set at the same firesale prices. Wait, huh? You cancel the product and now you’re going to sell more? Is there a supply of touchscreens and stainless steel frames sitting around waiting for loving hands to give them life as TouchPads? Is this the start of HP taking a page from Coke’s strategic blunder in the 80’s? Will HP release the TouchPad Classic in time for CES?
I, for one, hope they reconsider their exit from the consumer markets. If you look how the market was responding to the TouchPad in terms of Experience Equity, we started to see a recovery in the market response to the TouchPad. As people got it in their hands and let the experience marinate for a little while, they liked it. Then the next few days HP pulls the plug and you see a revolt by
users in the data, pulling the TouchPad down to the lowest-rated tablet on the market. Feature sentiment didn’t change, but the HP/Palm/WebOS brand was tarnished in customer feedback.
What does this mean? It means that HP threw the baby out with the bath water. It means they have an opportunity to recover. As one blogger pointed out, just think if the millions of dollars spent to have Russel Brand and others pitch the TouchPad after the relaunch had been spent subsidizing the purchase of the TouchPad itself. The iPad capitalized on the install base of iPod Touches and iPhones to scaffold early users through the rocky first few months of existence. There weren’t enough Pre and Pixi users to leverage the same effect for HP. The TouchPad could be the trojan horse HP needs to win a larger share of hearts and minds.
Three steps to HP world domination:
1) Put a TouchPad into the hands of every man, woman, and child possible
2) Drive apps and the content ecosystem to capitalize on the weakness of the competition and delight these new users
3) Use the TouchPad as a gateway drug to other HP products. (Remember, the iPod pulled PC users into Apple’s orbit the same way)
The world needs HP to stay in the market. We need competition to drive innovation. A market without competition becomes stale…and nobody wants that.
Even though Apple’s products scream with delight (and sales), our data shows they’re no longer the highest-rated smartphone in the market. Take a look at the Buzz and Experience Landscape for the market’s top smartphones and notice that Apple is facing competition at the top.
In anticipation for the iPhone 5 announcement, we’ve identified a few improvements based on our iPhone 4 Segmented Attribute Funnel and our previous smartphone experience to increase delight scores in iPhone 5.
Demand better service from carriers, ahem, AT&T. Seriously! Quality/Reliability, Call Quality, and Phone scores are rated poorly from all user groups from the Curmudgeons to the Lovers. This is where service providers can make or break your product.
Prove LTE-4G is worth it or wait for the technology to catch up. The skeptics say nay, but I’m ready, Apple, for you to prove us wrong. Please don’
t deliver 4G and sacrifice the user experience. Which leads me to…
Battery power. I’m pretty sure we’re ten years behind schedule for the flying car. We should be able produce a smartphone battery that lasts longer than a day. I’m also not convinced that an A5 processor will fix the problem. I can’t say it enough. You want to compete? Amp up your battery life.
Invest in the right features. What’s with the camera hype? Camera use does not appear in iPhone’s top-10 uses. Increase that ROI by improving and innovating in the top user experiences (phone, web surfing, Skype/chat, music, movies, games).
NFC technology. From a competitive standpoint, watch out! Google is on a mission. And let’s not kid ourselves—NFC is coming. Here’s your opportunity for innovation. Create the rules and enhance this new consumer experience.
Apple, you’re performing where it counts. Apps, email, and passion for the product are rated high. We’re excited to see what new innovation you will present in iPhone 5. To the rest of the smartphone players, we’ve just described the gaps in one of the best smartphone experiences. Go forth and do great things.
HP is playing for keeps in the tablet market. Today you can find the TouchPad available on Woot.com (new, not refurbed) for a pricepoint lower than any other major tablet on the market today. They also pushed out a campaign to take $100 off any TouchPad purchase through HP shopping, Best Buy, Amazon.com, basically all retailers carrying the device.
Is this an act of desperation to clear out inventory or a savvy strategic move?
I think this is a mix of both. HP realizes that without people using their products today, there will be no market for them tomorrow. The success of players like Acer’s Iconia Tab (lowest priced Honeycomb tablet) shows that in the battle for second place in the tablet market, price matters more than speeds and feeds. So they are buying their way into the tablet market, forcing consumers to reconsider the TouchPad experience.
he acquisition of Palm by HP is a good thing. Palm’s financial position made it impossible for them to buy their way into the lives of customers in an effort to grow share of the WebOS experience. HP has much deeper pockets, pockets lined with ink stains, that enable this type of strategy to be deployed without risking the company’s survival.
This move should drive up sales in the short term (though as of 2:30AM PST, the TouchPad hadn’t sold out on Woot yet, a good measure of market demand and interest) but HP still has to fix the user experience issues reported by the early adopters. I’m confident that by leveraging the OverTheAir update capabilities of the WebOS, consumers will wake up to new experiences on a regular basis. The challenge HP faces is ensuring these new experiences do more than satisfy the complaints and truly deliver delight if they want to create the demand for the next generation WebOS Tablet experience.
Our experience analytics platform here at Argus Insights helped us to anticipate what HP had to get right with the TouchPad and to validate that for the first users, they missed the market. If you’d like to understand where the Tablet experience is ripe for disruption, give us a call!
Tablets are becoming commodities fast. This makes the rapid drop in laptop prices over the last five years look like glacial erosion. These multi-user windows to the web are currently nothing more than a display, touchscreen, radio, processor, and storage. With the choice of experiences dwindling to just Android or iOS (both Playbook and TouchPad failed to delight the market) the differentiation opportunities are draining away just as fast.
In a mad dash to introduce their own tablets to the iPad-crazed market, mobile phone and PC OEMs alike have stumbled over each other in what they believed was a race of speeds and feeds. When will they learn?
Apple wins by presenting a novel experience built on solid technology (not always rock-solid, but good enough to enable the desired experience). Motorola committed the cardinal sin of competing with Apple when they launched the Xoom. Not only did they launch with a higher price than the iPad (maybe if we price it as a luxur
y, people will believe it’s better), their marketing only promised speeds and feeds.
Tablets are not about speed. They are about casual time, surfing, reading, watching an episode of Glee, or challenging yourself to a game (or ten) of Fruit Ninja. These are not high-powered (mental or electrical) activities. Angry Birds is not about speed, it’s about stickiness. If the birds were in 3D with 5.1 surround sound, it wouldn’t change the stickiness of the experience.
While most everyone is missing this, HP is trying. Phil Mckinney has some marvelous views of a future where we all can enjoy HP products, but the TouchPad was not the right stepping stone to the future people expected. OEMs must (1) paint a compelling view of the everyday consumer in a starring role AND (2) provide the tools to achieve, with ease, part of that future today.
Tablets are the new cupholder of this millennium–you must have one. And it’s okay if it sucks… as long as it holds a slurpee.