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The Wall Street Journal published a short, tantalizing article recently. “Apple Nears Tablet Launch” announces that Apple’s long-awaited, new multimedia tablet device will be unveiled late in January. The company plans to begin shipping it in March.



This has been in the works for years, but what better time to capitalize on the success of the iPod and the iPhone like the present? Let’s face it: with our recent recession, there hasn’t been much to get excited about. There hasn’t been much in the way of innovative new consumer products hitting the market. So the timing couldn’t be any better, in my view.

Here’s the deal according to WSJ: this “tablet-like device” will offer TV and movie viewing capability; games, Internet, e-book and newspaper access. While Toshiba and Hewlett-Packard have similar Window-based tablet computers, “people briefed by Apple say the company intends to carve out a new product category,” according to WSJ.

Well, of course! Apple wouldn’t be Apple without going for a game changer in the marketplace. And there’s nothing like creating a brand new category, is there?

While Apple declines comment until the unveiling, speculation is building. According to sources, Apple’s new tablet will change the way consumers interface with a variety of content. A touch screen and live, up-to-the-minute information from numerous sources are rumored to be some of the product’s new features. There is also talk that content might be presented through color screens.

Downside? Price might be a factor. But who knows? If the new tablet is unique enough, offering ground-breaking innovations and maybe even a subscription to a nationwide Wi-Fi wireless service (WSJ article suggestion), price might not matter that much. Especially for consumers who are ever hungry for the new cool.

But all of this is exciting for lots of consumers. Firstly, for Apple’s legions of fans. Secondly, for tech junkies from around the globe. Thirdly, for Apple’s competitors, who are no doubt nervously awaiting the new multimedia device while feverishly planning their own launches to take it on.

How like Apple to build anticipation and excitement. Masterful marketing: to announce the new product unveiling is imminent, with a TA-DA moment planned for the end of the month, even though shipping won’t begin until March. The most brilliant part: letting the world know the company intends to create a new category...by changing the way people interact with content.

All of this got me thinking, why don’t more companies, large and small, generate excitement about their product innovations? Why don’t they build anticipation if they’ve created a new widget? Why shouldn’t we have more 'Apples' out there?

Questions:



  • What do you think of the way Apple rolls out its new products? Do you think they do well to create an aura of mystery and anticipation? Or should they just announce an unveiling date and show the world their new game changer?


  • Can you think of companies in other sectors that do a great job launching and marketing new products?


  • Are there any specific companies you’re watching for potential game changers, that you’d like to share with the Daily Fix community?


I’d love to hear from you.

Continue reading "And The Next Apple Game Changer Is..." ... Read the full article

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ted Mininni is president of Design Force, Inc. (www.designforceinc.com), a leading brand-design consultancy to consumer product companies (phone: 856-810-2277). Ted is also a regular contributor to the MarketingProfs blog, the Daily Fix.