iPad Kerfuffle

Apple announced this morning that it sold more than 300,000 iPads on opening day. The comprehensive number includes pre-order pickups, deliveries to channel partners and walk-in sales at Apple Stores. Additionally, customers went home and downloaded more than 1,000,000 apps (oh, it’s on) and 250,000 ebooks.
The underlying problems, things like the lack of multitasking, expandability, the anemic iBookstore selection–all that stuff has been covered in the initial reviews. It’s something else entirely to actually have an Apple iPad in your hands, playing with it–you’ll discover quirks that only come from use, and the Internet community has been very vocal about them.
Here are some examples of the ways our Most Innovative Companies are taking advantage of Apple’s new tablet.
Even though the iPad looks like an iPhone built for the supersize inhabitants of Pandora, its ambitions are as much about shrinking our laptops as about stretching our smartphones. Yes, the iPad is designed for reading, gaming, and media consumption. But it also represents an ambitious rethinking of how we use computers. No more files and folders, physical keyboards and mouses. Instead, the iPad offers a streamlined yet powerful intuitive experience that’s psychically in tune with our mobile, attention-challenged, super-connected new century. Instant-on power. Lightning-fast multitouch response. Native applications downloaded from a single source that simplifies purchases, organizes updates, and ensures security. Apple has even developed a custom chip, the A4, that both powers the machine and helps extend its battery life to 10 hours. The iPad’s price puts it in the zone of high-end netbooks: $500 for a basic 16-gig, Wi-Fi-only model.
Before the iPad was launched, most of the information we had about the device was provided by Apple and a few trusted partners. With it now in stores, consumers and business can see for themselves what there is to like about it – and what is missing. For the most part, marketers’ business case for the iPad – eventual large scale adoption because of the Apple name, the promise of iPad apps etc – appears to hold true, according to the numerous reviews that ran this weekend. That said, there are some missing features and functionality with the iPad that should give marketers pause.
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NPD: Puma Phone, Solar MacBook

Puma and Droga5 promise a more playful breed of mobile phone
Puma claims it has created the “first mobile phone dedicated to encouraging an active life outside of the phone.” According to the apparel company, its phone will use the latest 3G cellular technology, but also have a “playful” side, featuring applications like “icon messaging, sarcastic calculator, scratching turntable [and] easy peasy video calls.” Droga5, the agency behind the Puma-phone campaign, says more than 500,000 units have been pre-ordered.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is such a tease. First it hints that Apple is working on intelligent power monitoring systems and solar-powered iPhones (and don’t forget the solar iPad rumors), and now a patent explores the possibility of sun-lit MacBook displays. AppleInsider points us to a patent entitled “External Light Illumination of Display Screens”, filed in 2008 but revealed this week. According to the patent, Apple is developing displays that can be backlit by the sun in order to save battery life.
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Twitter now for Teenagers! (And your Dog…)

As you can see from the chart below (and if you give a sh-t), more than 30% of Twitter’s visitors were under 25 up from about 20% of its visitors at the end of 2008; thank you in part to celebrity adoption and the mainstream media mentioning Twitter over 20,ooo times last year on television (can’t find the source). Twitter has also extended its global reach expanding in Indonesia, Japan, Mexico
Kids Don’t Hate Twitter Anymore! [Chart] (pamorama.net)
Is Twitter getting younger? (liesdamnedliesstatistics.com)
Mattel’s Puppy Tweets collar ($30) is equipped with a motion and sound sensor to help it somehow select which of the 500 pre-recorded Tweets best describes what your dog is doing. It then beams the Tweet wirelessly to a USB receiver, which in turn updates the Twitter account you’ve set up. Christ.

Puppy Tweets: Tweeting Dog Collar Lets Your Dog Share On Twitter (huffingtonpost.com)
Rover’s woofs now limited to 140 characters (news.cnet.com)
Mattel to Launch Puppy Tweets at Toy Fair (shoppingblog.com)
Tweeting Dog Collar Posts Your Dog’s Movements to Twitter (mashable.com)
Puppy Tweets will turn your Pooper into a world-class twitterer (engadget.com)
New device will let your dog Tweet (timesunion.com)
Puppy Tweets For Your Beloved Puppy (ubergizmo.com)

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NPD: Ms Taken, Tru Blood, Starbucks VIA, matsune & subal

Ms. Taken
Single guys know that a shiny ring finger on the left hand means do not disturb. Or at least that’s what women want them to think. Ms. Taken is a novelty ring meant to thwart the approach of less-than-desirable male suitors. It looks like a ring and works like a ring, but can be easily hidden in a handy little keychain if the right guy enters the scene. Included with the purchase of the faux band is a deck of “Playaz” trading cards, which profile 20 types of guys that should be rendered completely powerless with the proper use of the ring. With catchy names like Neal Anderthal and Jamaall That, the cards should help women remember which dudes to decline.

This month’s release of Tru Blood, the “blood-red” beverage created for HBO’s hit vampire series True Blood, got us thinking: What other fake products successfully jumped off screen and onto store shelves? Marketers are only too happy to get these products into the hands of fans. And the fans can’t wait to scoop them up–if only to blog about how awful they are. Here’s a look at some fictional products that became a reality, and our thoughts on whether they were any good.

We’re already over a week late on this but…Starbucks recently launched it’s new VIA product yesterday. For those of you living in a coffee vacuum VIA is Starbucks’ answer to the one shot coffee pod trend in home brewing. The brand is touting the offering as being so good “you won’t be able to tell the difference between Starbucks VIA and our brewed coffee.”

For four days only, matsune & subal bring you “store” – “a collection of more than 60 amazing and astonishing, unique performance products. Priced to sell! No budget too small! But when this store’s gone, it’s really gone. So don’t miss this brief opportunity to consume like you’ve never consumed before! With both ingenuity and humor, store questions the consumption of art and our consumption of the consumption culture. It lets audiences/customers/viewers analyze their own roles as consumers of performance and as performers of consumption, as they purchase individualized performance products that they may consume on the spot, take away, or get delivered in the mail.”

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Products I Like: Lindland’s Cordarounds, Personalized Moleskine

Lindland’s Cordarounds
Mens’ label Cordarounds (best known for their quirky horizontal seersucker and cord pants) has a line of Bike To Work pants that’s perfect for dawn, dusk, and nighttime riders. The stylish, yet still rugged, khaki and olive men’s trousers are accented with reflective material; just roll up the cuffs and pull out the pockets to be safe! I think I may buy some …


MSK Offers Personalized Moleskine Pages
A new application called MSK on the Moleskine site lets user print customized pages to stick in their daybooks. The system will allow you to more easily print contact lists from your computer’s Address Book, Events from iCal and freeform notes (and images).

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NPD: Nestle, Pot Noodle

Nestle is following a Japanese philosophy called kansei, in which products are designed to elicit certain emotional responses in consumers. Kansei focuses on how consumers feel about a product early on in the design process, and then attempts to translate those emotions into a physical form. The food company intends to use the technique on its products as well as brand packaging.
black magic kansei
As if Pot Noodle Bombay Bad Boy and Pot Noodle Original Curry were not enough to whet the appetites of Britain’s blokes, Unilever has revealed its pinnacle of home takeaway with a doner kebab flavour. The Doner Kebab flavour pot noodle will allow students and those pouring out from bars and clubs across the UK to recreate their favourite late-night takeaway by simply by adding boiling water.
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Links for 2008-03-29: Duracell Powerhouse, Starck Apology, Wine Labels, Social Media Frog, Scenecaster

Links for 2008-01-29 : Marlboro NPD, Mountain Dew MMO, Superbowl Recall

Links for 2008-01-02 : Ad Agencies, MC Hammer, Audi, Digital Deadline, Sparks, DVRs, Apple

Links for 2007-12-30: Google, Second Life, Media Democracy, Moms, Marketers, Apple v Netflix, Virgin