Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL) has begun to sell its highly successful iPad in Asia. The company shipped one million units in the first month it was sold in the US. There was a shortage of the tablet in some Apple stores, and the overseas debut of the computer was delayed because the company underestimated demand.
The machine is so popular that there were long lines in Australia and Japan. The iPad will be available in Europe in the next few days. There is no reason to think that buyers will not try to shove their way into Apple retail outlets to be among the first to own the tablet.The iPad demand says as much about Apple’s brand as its does about a single product. The iPhone has become the No.1 smartphone is Japan in a very short time. Many analysts believed that the Japanese would stick to their own brands. The press about the handset, much of it in the US, peaked interest. The sale of the iPod in the No.2 nation by GDP helped pave the way.
Apple has certainly helped its own cause by making product after product with the look, feel, and features that consumers want. Many people forget how long and hard the climb was for Apple. Adoption of the Mac was low for years because its software was not compatible with PCs and the Microsoft operating system. Apple took a big chance by entering the multimedia player market with the iPod. In 2001, Sony dominated the market for portable electronic devices. Apple’s chances in the market when the iPod launched were far from certain.
Apple also faced fairly long odds with the iPhone. It entered the smartphone industry ruled by RIM’s Blackberry and early smartphones from the largest handset firms–Nokia and Samsung. The Apple brand helped kickstart iPhone sales. The fact that it was designed in a way that some consumers found irresistible pushed sales to over 50 million units which is where they stood at the end of the first quarter.
There were a number of experts who believe that a tablet would never sell well. There way not enough “space” between netbook PCs and high-end smartphones. The iPad would only show one window at a time. Its screen scratches too easily. But, the product came from Apple, which brought the first customers through the doors. And, the iPad worked, better than many expected, because, once again. Apple made a better product.
Asian and European sales are likely to be just as good as those in the US.
Douglas A. McIntyre