As with the previous editions of the iPad, the newest incarnation boasts more than a few features attractive to Apple-product addicts and technophiles alike. For the past few years, Apple has centered its marketing of the iPad to the young, wealthy, and hip elite. The iPad, as advertised, is the hippest and most modern accessory to any urban professional. They are advertised the recently settled-down thirty-something set to have them as a way to placate their unruly children and yet still manage business. They’re something that is advertised as a means of revolutionizing music, design and the arts through their gadgetry while still holding an allure as a “cool” computer.
This kind of advertising clearly is working. You only need to glance at the financial reports from Apple to understand that this strategy of appealing to hipsters and those concerned with having technology that is stylish as well as functioning is clearly working.
Is there a chance that Apple is missing one of its most viable untapped markets with this strategy? Yes, specifically with the iPad. As a processing device and computer, the iPad is a low man on the totem pole of those looking for serious memory and ability, so the untapped market does not lie with hardcore computer users. It is missing a real keyboard, making typing long documents or websites full of code more difficult than using a laptop or PC. It is lightweight to the point of being flimsy and seems more focused on easy to use games and reading apps than on anything heavier.
So, obviously, the gamer and hard-core computer user aren’t the untapped market. Despite all of the positive features that the iPad would have to offer, it just is not tough enough to handle this demographic. However, these seemingly negative characteristics that make it undesirable to the tech-geek market set it up to be a great choice for one of the largest purchasing demographics; the elderly.
Seriously? Old People?
Think about the majority of the retired, older people you know. While there are certainly some technology wizards gracing the ranks of the AARP, many are confused and frustrated by technology and computers. There are constantly computer usage classes and seminars catered towards older people, many of which are fruitless. Think about it, most of the chunky flip-style cell phones still in use are being toted around by older people. It’s a general confusion, resistance to change and a sense of being overwhelmed that causes this resistance to technology and computers.
The iPad, despite being one of the most innovative technological gadgets available, is so user friendly that is seems as if it was practically designed for the elderly.
Think about it; the iPad is simplistic to set up and comes with most of the software downloaded already. Any additional applications can be purchased simply and quickly and install themselves. These apps also alert the user when there are available updates, which can be installed with the touch of the finger. The iPad is much lighter than a laptop and is highly portable. The new retinal display makes viewing the backlit screen even easier, which poses a significant advantage for those with failing eyesight. Without a keyboard or a mouse, everything is literally available at a touch of a finger, be it text, pictures or videos. Many of the features can be adjusted without fumbling around on a toolbar and there are multiple cameras with one-touch photo capturing, meaning it can serve as a digital camera as well.
Imagine the easy computer access and other advantages an iPad could afford any senior. With hundreds of thousands of apps from hospitals, news stations and bookstores as well as appointment setting and scheduling, it could make the technological interactions of seniors infinitely easier.
If Apple started pointing out how seemingly perfect the iPad is for the older sections of the population, it could be reaching out to a seemingly untapped market that could be highly profitable in sales.
On the Other Hand
Apple has branded themselves as young, hip, and stylish in terms of a technology company, and it could put an unwanted spin on their image if senior citizens became one of their most popular markets. Think about it though, when you consider all of the functions in terms of retired and older people, doesn’t it seem like it was practically designed with them in mind?
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