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iPad goes on sale today across key markets in Europe

by Carolina Milanesi  |  May 28, 2010  |  4 Comments

The day that many feel they’d been waiting forever for is finally here. The iPad is selling today across key markets in Europe.  Judging from the reception in the US (which even cause a delay in the European launch) and the many dedicated tariffs that mobile operators here in Europe have come up with, there are high expectations that Apple will have another winner in its portfolio.

First reports say that in the UK most Apple stores have already run out. I am sure some sceptics will say that this is all planned by Apple to fuel even more hype . I am sure, however,  that between selling more and creating more hype Apple would go for selling more.

The data plans I have seen here in the UK are certainly very affordable (as long as you do not think about roaming) ranging from £7.50 for 1GB to £25 for 10GB.  Interestingly, there have not been any unlimited plans the same as AT&T is offering in the US. This shows that operators might want to keep an eye on usage to start with before making that step at a time where smartphones are growing very fast and network usage is therefore increasing.

I have been using a wifi only iPad bought in the US about a month ago I have to admit that it is quite easy to get sucked into the many things you can do with it. If you are an iPhone user you can only but appreciate an iPad. I am also more convinced that this is a device that you want and not a device that you need. Between my iPhone and my MacBook Pro I have to consciously decide to use my iPad to do anything but read a book which is the only thing I cannot do with the Pro and I would rather not do on the iPhone because of the screen.  I have not seen the wifi only model as much of a limitation but with the plans that have been announced I think I would like to upgrade to one with 3G just to have that extra flexibility. I believe we will see both use cases according to what you do with the device. It has been interesting talking to friends and see how many non iPhone users have thought about an iPad to use around the house instead of a home PC/Laptop.

So….what can we expect as far as sales? The top 5 European markets combined are now Apple second largest driver for the iPhone after the US. I would expect this to be the case for the iPad as well. The higher price tag is compensated by the very affordable data plans and the flexibility of a contract-free approach. I see this a big plus for markets such as Italy that are still very much driven by a pre-pay mentality.

I am sure the press will have some sales numbers by Monday that will help evaluate initial response. Till then if you did get an iPad today enjoy! From the weather forecast here it is not like you’ll spend much time outside anyway.

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Carolina Milanesi
Research VP
10 years at Gartner
11 years IT industry

Carolina Milanesi is a Research VP in Gartner's Mobile Devices team and agenda manager for mobile devices. Ms. Milanesi leads the research for mobile devices worldwide and is responsible for the forecasting and market share effort in this area. Other areas of coverage are mobile…Read Full Bio

Thoughts on iPad goes on sale today across key markets in Europe

  1. Carolina, it looks like you’ve not used the iPad long enough. Just reading a newspaper is a totally different experience, let alone the ability to take notes pretty much anywhere, to hand out slide-based presentations in small meetings, get two to four Twitter feeds while you moderate a panel and the audience comments using two or three different hashtag, the easy of blogging wherever you are. I am taking it when I go on the subway and can write notes there, something which would have been inconceivable with a laptop or even netbook.
    Besides work-related stuff, you can use it for countless games (and the form factor provides something unique between phones and game stations), as a drum pad, to exercise piano or guitar as you go to take your lesson, as a professional synthesizer, as a photoframe, as an ideal screen for movies, and much more.
    As usual, its full potential will depend on applications, but I am sure you will soon ask yourself “why can’t I take this around rather than my laptop?”. If you don’t, then you are definitely not enough on the road 🙂

  2. Carolina Milanesi says:

    I am not arguing that the iPad is a lot of fun and it is certainly addictive. Ask my 2.5 year old daughter who now likes to stream her favourite movies on it. And yes i did mean 2.5 rather than 25 🙂 Like you, I too love taking notes with it – i was surprised how fast i am with the keypad. I never used my notebook to take notes in a meeting as i do not like having the screen as a barrier between me and the rest of the room. the iPad sits
    discretely on the table and you can pretty much use it as you would a notepad. But many of the other things you mention I do with my iPhone. I do take the iPad with me when I travel but there is a lot of what I do in my everyday work that takes me back to my Mac. Bottom line…would i buy it again? Sure I would. All I am saying is that, using Don Norman’s Theory, the iPad hit me at a visceral and reflective level first and then at a functional one. (posted from my iPad)

  3. S. Suri says:

    I’ve been reading your useful comments on the events and happenings in the mobile phones world. It’s nice that you have now started to write about your candid opinions in a more informal person-to-person manner on your very own blog. At your age one has the energy to do all this. I mean, that in addition to carrying out your demanding job and cuddling your tiny toddler Grace and your many pets! I too was a “workaholic” at your age. So, don’t worry. Keep it up!

    You said you don’t like Twitter because you are an Italian woman, who can’t say all that she wants to in the 140 character limit. In this issue you are not alone. Did you know, that Italians are not the only talkative people on earth? Consumer research by phone companies in India has shown that Indians are really a very verbose nation. Even world famous Bollywood super-star former Miss World Aishwariya Rai Bachchan said something like this in an interview on BBC- Hard Talk:
    “People in the west think that our movies are too loud, because we talk too much. That’s the way we Indians are- we emote in that way…”
    Phone lines in India were chronically overloaded before the phone companies began charging calls per minute. I remember the time, when it was useless trying to call up my sister in the evening. Her phone line was busy all evening as she was chatting endlessly with her relatives and friends.

    In the mobile phone era statistics in India show, that call durations are equally long as it was in the pre-mobile era. That’s why, there is now a cut-throat price competition phase in the world’s fastest growing cellular phone market. Operators predict that this margin- eroding price competition may continue for at least this year after which consolidation will take place leaving only those players, who can survive this turbulence. That’s one of the main reasons, why India’s leading operator Bharti Airtel is expanding its operations to other countries and paid a fabulous 12 billion dollars to acquire many of Zain’s African assets. If the Africans prove to be as talkative as the Indians, then Bharti may get back its ROI after a few years. Otherwise, it’s going to be in big trouble. Let’s wait and see…

    I think it was BBC, that once said the Mac was the world’s most feminine personal computer. Macs have always had a simple to use user interface(UI) so that even school kids and tiny toddlers like your 2.5 year old daughter can use them. When I began using computers in the early 90s, my first computer was also a Macintosh. All schools in the UK and US used Macs then. So, no wonder the iMac Pro used by busy women like you is the world’s most feminine computer. Simplicity of use has always been the secret behind the success story of all Apple products including Macs, iPhone, iPod and now the iPad. Of course, there are technically speaking superior products on the market. But, Apple hits the jackpot every time because its products are a fun to use. Even by kids like Grace.

    Is it possible to carry out a market research on the gender segmentation of Apple’s products? I mean, end consumers segmented by age and sex. That research may help other rivals to rethink their product strategies. Most of Apple’s rivals make phones and other devices designed by predominantly male engineers to be used by male engineers and by those who understand how to use their sophisticated and complex UI . That masculine oriented product strategy seems to have lost the race. Once again the fairer sex appears to be showing the world the path on which the future of mobile communication lies.

  4. Carolina Milanesi says:

    We do quite a bit of end user research and this year we will be doing both surveys and panel discussions around specific topics. I always look forward to getting our results back as they sometimes confirms our theories but at times show trends that defeat logical conventions. Looking at apps for instance, we saw how women tend to have more productivity apps than men on their devices. When it comes to games women also tend to have more logic games than men. I am resisting the temptation to make any comments here 🙂

    So I am looking forward to getting our survey data back this year. I am sure my colleague Tuong Nguyen, who leads our devices end users studies, will have something very interesting to write about.


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