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.
View Free, Relevant Gartner Research
Gartner's research helps you cut through the complexity and deliver the knowledge you need to make the right decisions quickly, and with confidence.Read Free Gartner Research
Comments or opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual contributors only, and do not necessarily represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management. Readers may copy and redistribute blog postings on other blogs, or otherwise for private, non-commercial or journalistic purposes, with attribution to Gartner. This content may not be used for any other purposes in any other formats or media. The content on this blog is provided on an "as-is" basis. Gartner shall not be liable for any damages whatsoever arising out of the content or use of this blog.