ADOTAS – Apple unveiled its new iPad today — which, as you may have already heard, is just called iPad, even though it would’ve been slotted to be the iPad 3 had Apple stuck with sequential renaming. As reported all over the web, it’s a 4G device, it has a higher-resolution screen (gone is that pixelated look) and a faster (A5X) processor, there’s an iPhoto app available for it and other pre-loaded apps have been revamped. Depending on the model, it’ll cost between $499 and $829, and it’ll ship as soon as March 16, with pre-orders available immediately.
Appropriately enough, mobile marketing and advertising technology provider Velti just released two reports indicating the degree to which a new iPad on the market might matter to the advertising world. In “The State of Mobile Advertising: 2011 Wordwide Mobile Advertising Trends” and “The Year of the Tablet,” Velti looked at data collected across a range of ad networks and saw the iPad 2 crushing its tablet competitors in a number of ad-related categories, and quickly trouncing the first version of the iPad after its release. The iPad, in general, showed a higher click-through rate than iPhones or Android devices (higher by 33 percent and 110 percent, respectively), and a higher eCPM as well (by 30 to 50 percent through the course of the year). Among tablets, iPads hovered around 90 percent of all ad impressions throughout the course of the year. The number of tablet impressions on iPads soared past 40 million in December, while none of its competitors reached 5 million. And when Velti faced the original iPad against the iPad 2, it turned out the iPad 2 claimed 50 percent of all iPad ad impressions within six months of its March release. By the end of the year, it was generating nearly 80 percent of iPad impressions.
If users adapt as quickly to the new iPad as they did to iPad 2, this could be extremely significant for how future ad campaigns are designed for the tablet experience. “The adoption rate might be even higher,” said Velti CMO Krishna Subramanian in a phone call this afternoon. “People who didn’t buy the iPad 2 might jump right up to the [new] iPad.”
There’s also the possibility of an intrinsic change in the kind of user who takes up the iPad 2, considering the drop in price: Apple announced today it’d lower the price of the iPad 2 to $399 for the wifi-only model and $529 for the 3G model. Back in January, in a conversation with ADOTAS, Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) vice president and general manager of the Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence Anna Bager predicted “mass, mass adaptation of the tablet” in the coming year nonetheless, and she speculated that if the new version of the iPad drove down the price of the iPad 2 significantly, it might render the iPad 2 a more cost-effective alternative to a laptop or desktop at home for consumers who really don’t have a lot of disposable income.
And Subramanian predicts continued — or increased — domination in the tablet market for Apple. “The Kindle Fire was the only challenger, but to put it in terms of volume and traffic, it’s nothing,” he said. And, he elaborated, “The more people get tied to i-devices, the more they get tied to iClouds, and it’s harder to break away from that.”
With the increase of those cloud computing capabilities, Subramanian says the iPad is “in line of becoming that dashboard for your life. At the end of the day, the TV is just a monitor.” Because it allows for working on a huge variety of tasks away from a desktop, “Apple’s invaded the digital living room.”
This has some real implications for targeting ads to users — people behave differently and seek or share different things when they’re on a smartphone, a desktop computer or a tablet. With more cross-platform data in the iCloud, it’s possible “to get a better, holistic view of who that person is,” Subramanian said. “You know what their preferences are.” But there’s also, he said, the challenge of assuring data is protected in the cloud, and the future of the iPad rests in part on how people acclimate to its functions. “I think there needs to be one more evolution that needs to happen to make you feel like you don’t need your desktop,” he said. “Are you as efficient as you are on a desktop, or do you see it as just for leisure?”