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Last updated: April 2, 2010 4:47 pm
Pity the junior tech analysts sent to count queuers at Apple’s iPad launch on Saturday. Wall Street clearly has its finger in the wind: forecasts for first year sales range from 1m to 10m units. That the launch has been both so keenly awaited and so hard to predict says a lot about the device itself: no-one quite knows what it’s for. The tablet could be a “game-changer”; it could be a flop.
The people pitching their tents on the pavements do not represent the eventual customer base, though. They are “early adopters” determined to show off new technology first. It is an expensive pursuit: the iPad costs between $500 and $800. But as ConvergEx points out, it was ever thus. Gordon Gekko’s poodle-sized mobile phone – adjusted for inflation – cost $8,500 on launch in 1983. He was on to something, though.
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