iFad's deliberate marketing blur - Naver / Livedoor

With 700,000 units sold on launch day including pre-orders (according to Gene Munster, Piper Jaffray), iPad already found its spot on the market. Apple hypists fueled this early success, but other segments may follow, including technophobe seniors who are neither interested in computing nor in exotic web browsing.

Other players targeted this segment, but the Orange Hello and Orange Tabbee proposition, for instance, is clear a deterrent for hypists (see "Orange Hello, is it me you're looking for ?"). Why ? Because it is marketed around functionality-segment duos that mirror the very classic engineer-marketer binome.

The smartest thing about the iFad is the deliberate marketing blur : Apple refuses to build artificial segmentations and prefers to let the market decide, hoping the device will find more niches than initially thought. But the manufacturer pushes the concept with a clearly identified "software-level warranty" to help the hardware concept look more sustainable in the potential purchaser's mind : iPad v1.0 is not the best tablet*, just like iPod was not the best PMP or iPhone the best smartphone, but just like iTunes came from Apple computers to secure the launch of iPod, iPod music platform served as a base for the iPhone, and iPhone apps are paving the way for the iPad.

So if the iPad is not a category killer per se, it could help kill artificial categories, and tear down artificial walls.

Just one word about NHN / Naver, who would be about to snatch the Livedoor portal and its 30 M subs put on the market by LDH Corp (formerly Livedoor Holdings). It reminds me of the Daum / Lycos deal a long time ago. Korea gains an entry point in Japan the same way it did in the US : in a very traditional way. And I hope Naver has bigger plans than Daum. For instance, I wonder which role Naver, as it enters a new country using non-latine alphabet / characters, intends to play in the promising hosting business related to Internationalizing Domain Names in Applications (IDNA).

mot-bile 2010

* and certainly not the best ebook : too heavy, UI and screennot optimized for reading...

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