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Gartner: ‘Hype Cycle’ peaks for iPad, 3D displays and 4G

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]

by MacNN Staff




  1. macnnoel

    Joined: Dec 1969



    so what?

  1. qazwart

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Maybe the iPad's Hype Cycle Has Already Passed?

    Let's look at a few pieces of technology and see where they fall on Gardner's chart:

    First is the VCR. When the VCR came out, there were lots of early adapters and a lot of hype, but sales didn't really take off. There were two formats VHS and Beta, but since VCRs were mainly for recording, it really didn't matter too much. VCR sales remained flat until the VHS format became the standard, and prices dropped from over $1000 to around $200.

    Suddenly, there were hundreds of stores renting VHS movies for $2 to $4, and consumer interest took off. Sales climbed each and every year until a few years ago when the technology was replaced by DVDs.

    But, video disk players weren't that new. The LaserDisk preceded the DVD by at least a decade. A lot of hype, and early adapters, but sales never took off and later collapsed when LaserDisks became harder and harder to find. It wasn't until the DVD format and the price of DVD players dropped from over $1000 to between $100 to $200 did DVD sales take off.

    Now, let's look at the Tablet computer format. Microsoft and a few manufactures started the push to the tablet computer a decade ago. The tablet format was suppose to be the wave of the future. Sure, a tablet PC will cost you about $2000, and the screen is smaller than a $1,500 notebook computer, but it's the future of computing!

    Lots of hype, and early adapters bought. However, the tablets were too big and bulky. The OS wasn't really a touch interface OS and there were few touch programs available. In the end, sales slumped for decades. The tablet PC was dead.

    A decade later, the iPad is introduced. At $500, it was cheap enough for the average consumer to afford. the operating system was made for its touch interface, and thanks to its iOS origins, it had 100,000 programs the very first day it came out. Like when VCRs and DVD players became cheap enough consumers flocked to them.

    The iPad isn't appearing at the BEGINNING of the hype cycle, but at the END of the hype cycle. It is a mature technology. Now, other companies are coming out with similar products. We aren't getting a few early adapters buying it and companies anticipating a great rush on the product like the early Microsoft tablet computers. The great rush is happening. Millions are being sold. Other companies are quickly ramping up their tablets. Prices will drop even further. More features will be added. The iPad is the future of computing.

    Are their bugs with the 1.0 release of a new product? Sure their are! The iPad wasn't suppose to REPLACE the home computer. At least, Apple didn't think of it that way. The iPad is designed to be sync'd to a home computer. Heck, out of the box, it insists on being plugged in and sync'd. When it came out, you couldn't print from it. There was no camera for it and no way to get picture on it without sync'ing to a computer. There were no USB ports (why should there be?) However, that doesn't make the technology unusable.

    Apple announced a new printing API in iOS and now we're seeing printers arrive that allow the iPad to print. There's now a camera adapter, so you can download your pictures directly to your iPad. New programs that allow you to create content and edit pictures have arrived. New prototypes have been rumored with built in cameras and USB ports. In other words, the iPad release 2.0 will solve all of Gardener's complaints.

    Maybe a better model might be the iPhone itself. People rushed out to buy it even though it had a lousy 1Gb camera, no GPS, and most importantly, no app store. In the end, newer models came out with faster processors, better cameras, and access to the App store. The iPhone 4 sold even better than the original and there's no end in sight.

    Then again, Gardener is showing that pen based tablet PCs are just right around the corner!

  1. kerryb

    Joined: Dec 1969


    xmas will tell

    The iPad will be not be a stocking stuffer for most people this Christmas but it might be that lavish gift say we give to a niece or nephew. iOS update will be coming in November just in time for holiday shopping and along with it much asked for features to remove any real reason to purchase an iPad. I expect new models to arrive early next year and even the rumored 7" screen size to compete with the flood of clones expected around that time. Apple has shown us with the iPod and the iPhone it does not sit around and wait for would be competitors to gain any ground on their products. Microsoft's Zune arrived still born and never could make up for time lost while waiting of the copy machines to warm up. Android as predicted is gaining an army of OEM's with a sometimes zany array of gadgets and a splintering of the Android OS. Without an iTunes comparable app store Android consumers will not have quite the same eco-system as iOS users. As for the curve statement in this article I agree with "qazwart" point, the iPad is the mature model of an idea that has been kicked around for a long time. I only see larger adoption when consumers realize that the meaning of computing power has change and is now judged by mobility and light lifting apps.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. wrenchy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    That pretty much sums up

    all Apple products.... "Hype"

  1. MisterMe

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Would it be too obvious ...

    ... to state this this is a nonsensical report about a nonsensical analyst writing nonsense?

  1. aristotles

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Garter are hired mouth pieces.

    They were hired often by MSFT during to format war with Blu-ray to give out predictions of HD-DVDs imminent victory over Blu-ray. We all know how that turned out.

  1. Gametes

    Joined: Dec 1969


    LOLZ chart randomizer strikes again

    Did anybody actually read the graph? It's literally all the major computing buzzwords of the last 5-10 years thrown in random order on a pretty curve - there is no basis to their placement and, more importantly, no quantification whatsoever as to what it is exactly that is moving up or how it is connected to the buzzwords.

    That people can continue to get paid (alot as it turns out) for this psuedo-scientific dribble just shows how hungry the market is for intelligence and insight. "Slope of enlightenment" indeed.

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