Apple Rings Pavlovian Bell, Consumers Salivate for iPad Air

by Matt Klassen on October 24, 2013

Apple’s new iPad Air, released earlier this week with all the company’s standard glitz and glamour, will no doubt excite and intrigue Apple fanatics the world over, but lets be honest here, Apple could throw an old banana peel in a box, slap it with some Apple branding, and have consumers lining up around the corner to get their hands on it. The problem for the iPad Air, and Apple as a company really, is that it won’t really excite anyone else.

To that end, there’s little question that converting those who aren’t already drinking Apple’s marketing Kool-Aid is becoming more and more difficult, particularly as competitors find ways to offer better upgrades and similar technology, despite the company’s claim that Apple delivers “incredible hardware and amazing software and intuitive services into an experience that no one can match.”

In fact, while the iPad Air offers upgrades in several key areas, the news about the company’s latest product, perhaps as it always is, continues to circle around what Apple has left out of its most recent tablet iteration, a laundry list of wants and needs that Apple has chosen to ignore. And why has it chosen to ignore what consumers really want? Simple: because it can.

Just imagine the dramatic paradigm shift that would hit the entire tablet segment if Apple rolled out a Microsoft Surface style external keyboard for the iPad Air, truly one of the last components the company would need to convince the masses to trade in their laptops for a pricey (under-achieving) Apple tablet. In fact, think of the tablet we’d be talking about if it came with that plus a “larger screen with higher resolution, the Touch ID fingerprint sensor, 802.11ac wireless support or a higher-megapixel camera,” all upgrades that were left on the cutting room floor.

But why, you might ask, wouldn’t Apple want to really revolutionize the tablet industry again, releasing a cutting edge benchmark product that would force consumers and competitors alike to take notice? Because it doesn’t have too. As CNET writer Dan Farber explains, Apple has built its empire on the back of a very simple wash, rinse, and repeat strategy. “The wash is upgrading existing products with just enough newness and Apple elegance to maintain the respect and admiration of the fan base,” Farber explains, while “the rinse is projecting an aura of coolness and superiority around the products.”

Simply put, Apple knows just how much it needs to upgrade its products to keep its fan base hooked, so why would the company exceed those expectations when all its has to do is ring the upgrade bell to have its Pavlovian dogs come running with tongues wagging and wallets open?

If you really want to see Apple innovate again, it’s really not all that hard; just stop buying Apple products during just one of these upgrade phases. Stop lining up, stop tooting the Apple horn, and call on the company to give you a quality product that’s worth your money and you’ll be amazed at just how awesome the company’s next smartphone or tablet will be. Of course I know this will never happen…and don’t worry, Apple knows it too.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. Follow by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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Has the Apple iPad Lost its Magic? —
April 25, 2014 at 6:04 am

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