Not surprisingly the launch of the new iPad has been a relatively muted affair in India. The friendly pricing may help in attracting new users to the Apple fold but those going wide-eyed are still the Apple fans. It’s early days yet and a lot of re-sellers are likely to carry out promotions in the coming weeks. My hunch is that Apple would see this as ‘along expected lines’ as they seem to have read the Indian market correctly. I don’t think there are enough ‘numbers’ in India for the Apple model – of premium products, sold in a ‘controlled’ environment (distribution, pricing, hardware, software etc.). Hence the focus on China for where the ROI is better (though the new iPad is yet to be launched there). As WSJ pointed out the ‘other’ model of being the ‘anti-iPhone’ – offering a plethora of smartphone options at various price points, is also a successful model too.
My upgrade to the new iPad reinforced a few issues familiar to the long-time Apple user. Firstly, the sense of community. You can take an Apple product bought anywhere, in any store to any Apple store and you will be able to upgrade, repair and get advice. Several of the re-sellers will gladly offer you their wi-fi services to upgrade your software and backup your Apple product. I took my old iPad to an iStore and got my new device registered and restored content from my backup. All this is quite unlikely in other computer or mobile ecosystems, unless its in a company owned or operated outlet.
The backup process and the joy of seeing ALL of your old iPad’s content in the new device is magical. Yes, with Android your Google stuff – contacts, mail, books maybe stored in the cloud and be useful in an ‘upgrade from backup’ situation. But I doubt if they can match the iOS backup process – be it from iTunes or iCloud. All my previous content including mail accounts, contacts, photos, music, apps, books were all transferred to the new device within hours. What more, when I opened a game, it took me to the last level played in that game on my old device. This seamless-ness is worth paying a premium for- at least according to my mindset. The process and the ecosystem delivers a peace of mind – knowing full well that all content precious to you is safe. The joy which arises of out of this whole process strenghtens the emotional connect with the Apple brand. It can’t be explained – only experienced. The non-Apple fans won’t ‘get’ it.