Anyone working online today (news, using Twitter, joining discussions on Linkedin, hitting message boards and forums) will see the place awash with buzz about the big Apple announcement. The word on the street is that they have finally got their tablet computer (a glorified 10/11″ large iPod Touch) ready for launch.
By any rational comparison it will be a touchscreen netbook, packaged in aluminium, with an Apple badge and retailing at 2-3 times the price of a Dell Inspiron mini or Samsung NC10.
But Apple followers will snap them up, as eagerly as they did iPods and iPhones. Why? Because Apple is cool. Despite billion dollar mass market sales over Christmas.
People with no real ‘geek’ tendency are getting swept up in the banter and excitement. Which acutely demonstrates (at a mass market level) how brand can get you headlines, get you talked about, and get you sales.
A staple element of their marketing calendar, Apple make the announcement, set the date, book the venue, and let everyone get into a state talking about what might be coming. Anticipation is incredibly intoxicating and the perfect ingredient for a successful online PR and social media campaign.
Once on the market, I’m more interested to see how Apple copes with the inevitable cannibalisation of MacBook, iPod Touch and possible iPhone sales that will happen if the tablet (codename iSlate) is a runaway success.