Apple Finally Ships The iPad – So….How Do People Feel?


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So, the iPad finally shipped (okay, it’s only been six weeks since the announcement, but it feels much longer, doesn’t it?)  So, as a follow up to my post-announcement analysis, I wanted to see how people felt after getting their hands on the real iPad for the last day and a half or so.  As usual, I used Attensity Cloud to pull 50,000 Tweets on the iPad, and ran them through Attensity Analyze to perform my analysis.  And, overall, I do have to say that the results are probably very pleasing for Apple.

(For full disclosure, my iPad arrived Saturday afternoon.  Not real happy with the quality of service from UPS, but I can’t fault Apple or the iPad for that.  It just aggravated me that the case showed up via Fedex before the actual iPad did!!)

How Do People Feel?

So, the overwhelming majority of people really like the iPad.  But, almost twenty-five percent of the Tweets pulled were from people that are not thrilled with the iPad.  Interestingly, of those that felt most strongly, very few really hate the iPad, and more really love it.  Even more interesting is that positive sentiment has remained fairly constant since the announcement.  In other words, actually having the iPad in their hands did not significantly change the way people feel about it – people are still excited!

What Do People Like?

Looking at the primary features of the iPad, it was interesting to see what people really like about it.  The top positive drivers have remained the same since just after the announcement.  The applications continue to be the primary positive driver for iPad sentiment.  People are also
still talking about it replacing their iPhone.  And the screen and keyboard also continue to be positive drivers.  But, reaction to the screen and keyboard has improved (on a percentage basis) since the announcement, while the applications and iPhone replacement has decreased.  More people are talking about it being a Kindle-killer, and for the first time, a significant number of people are talking about the quality of the email interface (either they missed this part of the announcement initially, or now that they are using it, they really are liking it).

And The Applications

Now that the applications are actually available, we can take a look at which ones are being talked about and how people feel.  First, there was very little negative sentiment about the top applications.  The surprise was the Netflix application.  A very large number of people apparently downloaded this application immediately, and there has been a lot of very positive sentiment about it.  The iWorks applications have also been downloaded quite a bit, but there the sentiment hasn’t quite as positive.  First many people seem to have gotten the impression that it was going to be included in the iPad for free.  And those that did understand that they were going to have to pay for it were expecting a lower price.  The one application that had severely negative sentiment expressed was the third-party Facebook application that is available.  Facebook has not yet released their iPad application, so many people tried out the one that was available (including many that thought it was the “official” Facebook application).  Almost universal negative to extreme negative sentiment was expressed for this application.

What Don’t People Like?

The discussions around what people don’t like and negative sentiment drivers has not been the same after the ship as it was after the announcement last month.  Post announcement, the lack of Flash support was the number one negative sentiment driver.  That lack of support has become less important since the release.  Now, the number one driver is people understanding that it won’t replace their iPhone.  A new issue that has come up since the release is application pricing.  Quite a few people are unhappy about the higher price point for iPad
applications. Also grouped in with the application negative issue is a performance issue that has quickly come to light.  People are very unhappy with the synchronization and backup speed when connecting with iTunes.  A decrease in negative sentiment comes with the comparison to the Kindle.  More people are now considering the iPad as a replacement for the Kindle.  People also don’t like the keyboard and as mentioned before, there are issues around the pricing of the iWorks applications. 

So, Will People Buy It?

First, the news reports from the weekend seem to indicate that many, many people did buy iPads.  And the numbers coming out of the Tweet analysis support this and indicate that the trend will continue.  As we saw a few days after the announcement, the trend on whether people were going to buy was heading slightly down.  Now it has jumped dramatically.  Apple should be very happy.

Finally, How Do I Feel?

Okay, so far I’ve talked about the trends around how other people feel about it, and have really been very careful to keep my personal bias out of the mix.  But, I am a self-confessed gadget freak and early adopter, so here’s how I feel. 

So far, I’m very happy.  It works really well, the applications generally are good, the screen is great and it performs (mostly) very well.  The lack of Flash support is really a problem, especially since all of the Zynga games I play are all written in Flash.  The synchronization and backup speed is terrible.  With only fifty percent of my iPad full, it took more than two hours to back it up last night.  And the initial synchronization (mostly copying videos over) took about three hours.  This really needs to be fixed quickly by Apple.  They also should ship it with a case of some kind.  It is too big to not have one.  The battery life is excellent (It never went below sixty percent all weekend) and I even used the free application to stream an all news station after the earthquake yesterday.  I also used the Netflix application and it is great! 

My one other serious complaint is with the default wallpaper.  They used a very nice image, but it has star motion in the sky, which looks exactly like scratches on the screen (two colleagues were just in my office to see it, and they both thought I’d already scratched the screen).

So, all in, I actually really love the iPad.  Is it a game-changer?  Probably.  I’m still not sure I’ll use it a lot for business work, and certainly don’t see using the on-screen keyboard to write future blog entries, but I’m guessing it will become an every day type of appliance for me.  And for many others too.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Phil Talsky
Phil Talsky joined Attensity in 26 and has held several roles in the product marketing organization here. He is currently the technical marketing manager, responsible for technical product deliverables supporting the field sales organization. Prior to joining Attensity, Phil has held product marketing and product management positions with several startups, including Aligo (acquired by Corrigo), Utopy and Baystone (acquired by Remedy).


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