Ten Rules for Buying Apple Products, Briefly Revisited
Back in September 2006, we published an article titled Ten Rules for Buying Apple Products, which included one simple question that could help with Apple product purchases, and ten pieces of information that reflected time-tested truths about Apple’s release strategies. A reader wrote us today to ask how this applies to the iPad, so here’s a brief answer or two.
The simple question presented in the article—“does the product available today have the features that will satisfy me?”—remains as appropriate today for the iPad as it was back then for iPods and Macs, presaging the release of the iPhone. Once you have a chance to use the iPad in person, you’ll know whether it does enough to meet your needs, and you can safely assume that roughly annual iPhone OS software updates will expand the software functionality of the device for two or three years to come.
What about the ten rules? We’d be most concerned about number 8—“Beware of First-Generation/Revision A Models”—and number 10, “Big Changes (Typically) Come in Six-Plus Month Cycles.” Even having watched Apple for years, we were surprised at how quickly the original iPhone dropped in price and how completely the company discarded its widely liked original enclosure for the glossy, crackable plastic shell of the iPhone 3G. There were arguably good reasons for Apple to take both of these actions, but the price changes whipsawed early adopters, and the casing changes—particularly when cracks appeared in iPhone 3G units—caused some later adopters some concern.
These iPhone changes are just a couple of recent examples; we’d expect similarly bold actions from the company with the iPad. Apple now works actively to build market share for new products, and has proved increasingly willing to make rapid price, capacity, and engineering changes in the early stages of a new product’s lifespan if they’re necessary to boost sales and reduce complaints. Consider the first-generation iPod nano, released as a brand new product in 2005. Some of Apple’s changes to that model were very subtle, like the secret addition of an anti-scratch coating to the original iPod nano, while others were more obvious, like the early 2006 addition of a protective case to its package, and still others were huge, like Apple’s late 2006 switch to more durable aluminum in the second-generation iPod nano, and the late 2007 addition of video with an entirely new body design. Even if the changes don’t appear universally positive to consumers, like the switch to the glossy plastic iPhone 3G bodies, they’re always done for some relatively important reason, and generally make sense later on. Apple sold far more of the discounted, cheaper-bodied iPhone 3Gs than it did original iPhones, and the same was true of later iPod nanos relative to earlier ones.
So should you buy an iPad now, or wait? We’ll obviously have a lot more to say on this in our review—it’s way too early to judge right now. But go into the decision well-informed of the reality that the iPad, like all other Apple products, will only improve over time. That’s a guarantee.
If you have a comment, news tip, advertising inquiry, or coverage request, a question about iPods or accessories, or if you sell or market products, read iLounge's Comments + Questions policies before posting, and fully identify yourself if you do. We will delete comments containing advertising, astroturfing, trolling, personal attacks, offensive language, or other objectionable content, then ban and/or publicly identify violators. Wondering why we're talking about something other than iPods? Check the Archives: Backstage has been here and kicking it since 2004.
- Apple exploring person-to-person Apple Pay transactions?
- Report: iPhone 6S to get 12MP camera, 4K video recording?
- Report: New iPhone 6S LTE chip could ‘double’ download speeds
- Cue: New iOS 9 beta coming next week
- iTunes 12.2 release includes support for Apple Music
- Report: iPhone 6S to look ‘nearly identical’ to iPhone 6
- Appeals court: Apple conspired to fix e-book prices
- Apple Music makes subscriptions available through carriers, adds iCloud Music Library
- Apple Music makes much-anticipated debut with iOS 8.4 release
- Apple Q3 earnings call set for July 21
- JBL Clip+ Bluetooth Speaker
- Monk Magnet Wallet Case for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus
- Just Mobile TimeStand for Apple Watch
- Soundfreaq Sound Kick 2 Wireless Travel Speaker
- iHome SoundFlask iBT32 Bluetooth Speaker
- IK Multimedia iKlip Grip
- Misfit Bolt Wirelessly Connected Smart Bulb
- Nomad Stand for Apple Watch
- MyCharge RazorUltra
- Ultimate Ears UE Roll Portable Bluetooth Speaker
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iTunes 12.2
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 8.4 + Apple Music
- CE Week 2015: IK Multimedia, Monowear’s Apple Watch bands + More
- Live From CE Week 2015: Brand New iPad, iPhone + Mac Accessories!
- A First Look at iOS 9’s Transit in Apple Maps
- Opinion: The ‘Grand Experiment’ of shifting to Google Photos
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?