Branding Beat - Cut Through the Noise

Is Apple Giving Original iPad Owners the Middle Finger?

I’ve noticed that there is ALWAYS news about Apple. They seem to be updating their technology so quickly that people can’t even keep up with it, and all the newspapers are talking about the latest thing that will be coming out from Apple.

Well, like clockwork, Apple is going to release a brand-new version of their iPad. Steve Jobs presented the iPad 2 to an audience full of Apple lovers last week, and the people watching him explain the amazing new features seemed excited and happy about the product. But I’ve got a question for Apple…what about the old iPad? This technology seems like it was just released. I was thinking about buying an iPad recently so I was surprised when I found out that there was already going to be a new release.

I do like my Apple products – I wouldn’t say I’m obsessed or that I “love” Apple – but I do have an iPod and a MacBook Pro and I like them a lot. But an iPad 2 already? This is the kind of thing that could make me turn on them. If people are investing in expensive technology like Apple iPads, then they are placing a lot of trust into products that become obsolete after a short while! So, by expanding so quickly, Apple is making their investment almost pointless because people now feel like their first generation iPad is outdated.

Although I don’t own an iPad, the announcement of the iPad 2 made me mad at first. I’m a proud supporter of Apple but I feel like they are really screwing their customers. Really, how can customers have confidence in their purchases when they’ll be outdated in a year? I can only think of one positive to this upgrade: the prices of used iPads are becoming more reasonable. More people are going to be able to purchase the first iPad when it comes down in price, which means that more people will have access to Apple’s technology than they may have previously.

And here’s another thing about the iPad 2…it’s not much of an upgrade. Owners of the original iPad don’t have to worry too much because there isn’t much of a difference between the two. There are some minor upgrades but the most important things are still the same. This means that current iPad customers could probably wait for the iPad 3 before thinking about making another purchase.

So, although my initial thought was to switch over to the hate side in the love-hate Apple relationship, after some examination I realized that the rapidly upgraded technology might not be such a bad thing to customers like me. Now the first iPads may be affordable enough for me to purchase one! But what about original iPad owners – are they getting burned by this deal? Do you think Apple is hurting their brand by expanding their technology too quickly?

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  1. JPorretto

    Of all the things I dislike about Apple, this isn’t really an issue for me. Sure it sucks to buy something and have it outdated in a year, but to be fair Apple updates EVERY product EVERY year. So it’s not like it’s unexpected. It’s actually better than when there’s competing brands updating basically the same products pretty much constantly. At least with Apple, you know you’ll have to best of the best for a whole year.

    Even better, Apple offered refunds or rebates for people who bought the original iPads in (I think) the last two weeks.

    Look at me defending Apple, whodathunkit?

  2. Jill Tooley

    I love Apple, but they’re definitely all about the money. The iPad isn’t the only product they release a new version of each year…their computers, iPhones, and iPods are pretty much the same way. I’ve had the same iPhone for over 2 years now (the one with the aluminum casing) and I’ve seen several new versions come and go since then. I plan on switching to Verizon in July so I refuse to be tricked into renewing my contract by purchasing a new iPhone before then! It seems illogical to release phone after phone with tiny alterations when they could just release one or two phones with all of the bells and whistles, but I understand why they do it. They do it to get more money out of us, and they get away with it because Apple products are so irresistibly shiny and cool…sigh.

    I think that iPad owners are sort of getting the short end of the stick with the iPad 2 release, but not terribly so. Like you said, the second one doesn’t offer many upgrades so many iPad owners are likely going to wait until the inevitable release of the iPad 3 next year. Meanwhile, iPad 2 buyers will either consist of people who A) never owned an iPad or B) couldn’t resist having a pretty new toy. And alas, as much as it may seem that Apple is hurting their brand with this strategy, I don’t think they are! They’ll continue to dominate this market for a long time.

  3. Juliette

    I think most folks are used to the fact that their shiny new toy (be it Apple, PC or nearly any piece of technology) is outdated almost as soon as they buy it. So I don’t think this is going to hurt Apple much, if at all.

    I will admit to also hoping that the new release will bring the original iPad prices within my reach. Though I think the iPad will have to wait till I update my game systems. I’m still running on a PS2…

  4. Joseph Giorgi

    Joe, I completely agree. Early adopters of the original iPad are definitely getting burned, but at least they can take comfort in knowing that the second iteration isn’t really a huge improvement over the original. I haven’t had time to compare the specs—all I know is that the iPad 2.0 has two cameras, I think. And to be honest, I don’t have an extra 500 dollars laying around for an oversized iPod anyway.

    I’ll just wait for the iPad 9.0, which is rumored to feature cameras that can see up to 47 minutes and 22 seconds into the future. At this rate, it’ll be out by Q4 2013.

    Long story short, you won’t see me traipsing around with overpriced hardware designed to be obsolete right out of the box. Unless that hardware is made by Nintendo, of course. 🙂

    • JPorretto

      Future cameras! Hahaha! Excellent work.

      I know that YOU would be interested to know that the 2.0 has a much faster processor and WAY higher screen resolution. Have you ever seen the screen on the iPhone 4? It’s a marvel. Not a pixel to be found. Now imagine that super-sized. Could be awesome.

      • Joseph Giorgi

        That’s pretty sweet, to be honest. I’d love to get a chance to try using an iPad, but that probably won’t happen unless I buy one, which DEFINITELY won’t happen.

  5. Alex

    This was a well put together blog, but the wording in paragraph 4, sentence 2 is questionable. I feel you could have found a much more appropriate term for the working environment, “screwing” is just not a classy word. Good post Joey S.

    • Joey S.

      The good thing about blogs Alex….

      Is you have the freedom to use whatever DAMN words you want!

      Thanks though… appreciate it. 😉

      • Alex

        Again with the language….

  6. LGroce

    Unfortunately for me I don’t have a large enough income to think about investing in and iPad or an iPad 2.0. Looks like I’ll have to be pumping in a few more hours to get the hottest technology.

  7. cyberneticSAM

    Ugh! Apple! I like their products – they are great machines – but I am sick of their elitist, nothing-is-ever-good-enough attitude. It is innovative, yes, but I feel like they constantly like to snub people who don’t have money. We can never keep up. Plus I hate how having their products is like invasion of the body snatchers, once you go with them YOU ARE NEVER GOING BACK!!! (I don’t mean that in a good way, they make it damn near impossible to ever go back to any other products and that drives me INSANE!!!!)

    So yes, APPLE: if you want another successful market, then stop making the majority of the population feel like they aren’t good enough for your products. Stop acting like such self-satisfied jerks and let the rest of us catch up! PERFECT YOUR PRODUCTS BEFORE MOVING ON! Don’t just throw your hands up and say “oh well.” I’d rather spend my hard-earned money on the most perfected product instead of spending my money on an experimental proto-type that is going to be outdated 2 days after it is released. Enough is enough! Ugh! Sorry this just gets my goat sometimes!

  8. Bret Bonnet

    Since when has this marketing/advertising blog been converted into an Apple daily news websites?!?!?

    It amazes me how barely a day goes by and sure enough someone like Google, Facebook, and in this case Apple – makes a splash worthy of our attention.

    iPad 2, iPad, iPod, Apple, Shuffle, Mac – talk about BRANDING POWER.

    Apple could fart and ten blogs would write a post about it.

    I’m jealous!

  9. Michael Pedzotti

    Hi Joe, I’m pretty sure that it’s all tempered by the supply & demand pressure in the market. Regardless of the time between model updates, one thing seems sure with Apple – very few of their products seem to bomb.

    You want to try maintaining a fleet of laser printers over a renewal window of 4 years 🙂 I think I’ve seen 6 different models from the one manufacturer in that time and it’s near impossible to get an older model machine once the new ones hit the shelves. At least with iPads they’ll all use the same apps. With laser printers each new model means stocking a whole other set of toners 🙁 Michael

    • Jill Tooley

      Michael, you bring up an interesting point. At least you know what you’re getting into with iPads (and most Apple products). It all comes down to personal preference…it’s a trade off. We have to decide if Apple products are worth the extra cost and limited hassle compared to competitors, which is usually worth it to me! But then again, I have no qualms with revealing my pro-Apple stance 😉

      Thanks for your comment!

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