[FoRK] Betting on the iPad

Ken Ganshirt @ Yahoo ken_ganshirt at yahoo.ca
Mon Feb 1 20:02:28 PST 2010

--- On Mon, 2/1/10, Dr. Ernie Prabhakar <drernie at radicalcentrism.org> wrote:

> Hi Ken,
> >> 
> > Ernie, would you remind us what you think the iPhone
> and iPod did to their respective categories: exactly and
> specifically, using things like current market share
> numbers, total market before/now, etc?  It's hard to
> make a bet, either way, when it's not clear what the bet
> is.
> > 
> > If you can do that, it should also help answer your
> question about "quantifying".
> Hey, if I wanted to do real work, I wouldn't be spouting
> off on a mailing list. :-)
> I'll settle for a single data point:
> http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2008/10/apple-officially-surpasses-10-million-iphones-sold-in-2008.ars
> > The 6.9 million iPhones sold during Apple's fourth
> fiscal quarter added up to more iPhones than sales during
> the entire lifetime of the original iPhone (6.1million).
> That's 13 million iPhones in 15 months.  Assuming a
> launch at the end of March 2010, that would imply 13 million
> iPads by the end of June 2011.  There's even a decent
> chance we'd get an actual number by then, since it is the
> usual date for WWDC.
> So, anyone willing to bet *against* Apple selling 13
> million iPads by June 2011?
> If you don't like that metric, feel free to suggest your
> own....

It still lacks context, Ernie. In your original note you said, "For example, I'm willing to bet a $50 gift card to Kiva.org that the iPad will do to existing tablet and netbook computers what the iPhone and iPod did to their respective categories."

You need at least one data point for each product to illustrate what they "did to their respective categories". That would be their marketshare after some meaningful period of time, say, one or two years after they were introduced. Without that, the actual number of units sold really isn't very meaningful. E.g. a few million might sound impressive but if it's only 0.8% marketshare it's hardly noticable. Contrariwise, a few hundred thousand might well be impressive if it's 25% after a year.

Also, your bet assumes it will be tablet and netbook markets that will be most impacted. Much of the chatter I've read is assuming it's ebooks that will be most affected by the iPad's existence.

Perhaps a more interesting bet is which market(s) it will impact most?


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