How iWant drives iRumors

Tim Bajarin / September 19th, 2011

I got a kick out of an AllThingsD headline that said “No iPad until 2012.”

Serious Apple watchers know full well that Apple’s cadence with almost all of their products are done on a yearly basis and there is a reason for this.

A few years back, when Apple did release two versions of the iPod in the same calendar year, they got a serious jolt of unsatisfied customers who complained of buyer’s remorse. People who bought the new iPod right when it came out complained that if they had waited just a few more months they could have had the new version. Now, this type of multi-year release of new models in the CE world is normal and consumers have buyer’s remorse in spades in this diverse market.

Not long after that, stung by users criticism of Apple’s quick release of products, Steve Jobs basically told a group of analysts and media that from that point they would stay with a more normal release of products within a yearly framework. There of course are exceptions to this but they are rare. For example, when the new iPhone comes out it will be about 16 months between releases but I believe when it is launched, Tim Cook will explain why the extra length of time between iPhone releases where necessary. And any new Mac’s or MacBooks are almost always driven by Intel’s timetable of releasing the next generation of core processors used in the Mac’s.

But otherwise, this 12-month window or cadence as Apple likes to call it, is always in place. That is why the rumor of another iPad being released this year was just that, a rumor. However, it underscores what I call the iWant mentality of the media and over active consumers who project what they want into Apple product rumors. And this is especially rampant in tech gadgets sites. The people who write these gadget blogs are what I call the ultimate tech consumer. And they often project the features and product ideas they want in an Apple product on their site as “unconfirmed rumors.” They may even have a good source that has suggested these new features and start with that to write about what they think Apple will do.

Of course, this also makes good copy. Apple rumor’s and rumor sites are of great interest to consumers at just about every level of interest since Apple has become one of the most noted brand in the market and all of their products are hot and in great demand. And to be fair, some of these gadget sites often get the specs right, especially the closer we get to a product launch.

But most of the time when I hear rumors about Apple products I mostly see them more as an “iWant” list from users, rather than gospel truth. And as far as predicting when the new iPad will be announced? Most likely it will be 12 months from the last time Apple announced the last iPad. You can pretty much bank on that rumor!

Tim Bajarin

Tim Bajarin is the President of Creative Strategies, Inc. He is recognized as one of the leading industry consultants, analysts and futurists covering the field of personal computers and consumer technology. Mr. Bajarin has been with Creative Strategies since 1981 and has served as a consultant to most of the leading hardware and software vendors in the industry including IBM, Apple, Xerox, Compaq, Dell, AT&T, Microsoft, Polaroid, Lotus, Epson, Toshiba and numerous others.
  • Anonymous

    Good article, except I don’t believe Tim Cook will explain the delay. No one is really asking in tech circles where the next iPhone is yet, and Tim Cook doesn’t really have to explain to anyone. It’s Apple’s perogative when they want to release products.

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