The Internet was abuzz with the launch of Apple’s iPad. While the world was busy reacting to the iPad, our team set out monitoring social networks to track iPad buzz. We tracked activity from January 27 through February 28. The results are here to see!
Priced modestly at $499 for the 16GB base version, the iPad packs in quite a punch. Compared to e-readers, this sleek unit has a stunning screen, wireless broadband connectivity, a touchscreen and the ability to run over 100,000 iPhone apps. However, the iPad has received mixed reactions online. Critics have written about missing features like a camera, flash and the fact that it cannot multitask. You cannot listen to your favorite Pandora station while writing an email. At the same time, with winners like the iPod, iPhone and iMac, it’s hard to count Apple out.
Below is a summary of the tracking study.
Number Of Mentions – Apple iPad
Among social networks, there was an explosion of Tweets with over 5.2 million posts. There were 70,796 news articles, 199,979 forum posts and 246,886 blog entries. Rarely would you see so many articles about a product launch, even an Apple one.
After a burst of posts on January 27, iPad social media mentions had its normal drop in popularity. What is more interesting is how there is a steady stream of posts even over a month afterwards. There are still around 50,000 mentions per day for a product that has not shipped or advertised on TV. That is, until the Oscars on March 7th. The ad is worth watching.
In the blogosphere,
- The overall sentiment was split into neutral at 47%, positive at 41% and negative at 12%.
- After an initial burst of positive sentiment, it turned more negative as critics commented on missing features.
- Towards the end of February, positive sentiment has been rising as negative sentiment is dropping. More people are making decisions about the device. It will be interesting to observe sentiment once advertising picks up.
- Among countries, U.S. blogs commented most about the iPad followed by U.K. and Germany.
- It’s a light-weight device with a 9.7 inch display
- iPad’s multi-touch screen makes gaming and navigation an experience like no other
- The new iBook app transforms the iPad into a digital reader
- For a modestly priced gadget, the iPad has a long battery life of 10 hours
- The app store with 140,000 apps make the iPad a real steal
The Verdict – Lines At The Apple Store?
With lines at the store for upgrades of the iPhone, the answer is… definitely. The Apple iPad launch demonstrates the power of consistently strong marketing and product development. Loyal and vocal followers drive the mix as well. The initial buzz has translated to consistent mentions over a 30 day period. Sentiment has varied with time because experts were expecting more features and functionality than what was announced. At the same time, positive sentiment has risen consistently as people are digesting a new product category distinct from the Kindle or Tablet PC. The power of Apple’s positive brand equity is clear when news stories are reporting on TV ads released during the Oscars. It’s clear that Steve Job’s company is a master at marketing. While we do not know whether the iPad will be a high-flyer like the iPhone or a relative dud like Apple TV, we’ll continue to track the buzz.
Methodology: We compiled results from Sysomos as well as the Google AdWords keywords tool, to arrive at a keywords set for the Apple iPad.
Keywords: “Apple iPad”, “iPad”
Contributed by Sanjeev Dhanaraj, Social Media Marketing, Position²