To Xerox or to iPad

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Did you know one of the verbs used in America and in the rest of the world for printing is “to xerox”? Even in dictionaries? Sure you did. When I read this article at AllthingsD, it made me think about just this. Although Xerox might not like the fact that their trademark is being used as a verb due to legal issues and their trademark becoming not a trademark anymore but a generic word, of course it’s something to be proud of as a brand, you could say. The same thing is more or less happening to Apple with the iPad. They already did it in the mp3-market.

“Apple is succeeding in the category because it reinvented it. Now anyone that hopes to compete in it must do so by peddling products similar to it. And because of that, Apple will dominate the tablet category in much the same way it dominated the portable music player category.”

The iPad, ATD writes, has standardized consumers wants and needs about tablets. They don’t want 7 inch, they want 10 inch. Consumers are not interested in design factors that deviate from that of the iPad. That is rather interesting…

Asked to consumers in both UK and US what brand they would choose while buying a tablet, in both countries 50 percent of the consumers will choose an iPad. Bernstein (the company that did the research) analyses: “In the US, we find that Apple has more than double the brand appeal of BlackBerry, HTC, Motorola, Nokia and Samsung combined. These manufacturers have a very high level of brand equity and visibility in adjacent categories. It is striking that they hold so little appeal for consumers in tablets.â€

Bernstein sees the tablet market play out in two ways, both are in good benefit of Apple. Of course, this is only one research. And you could say that Apple paved the way for it’s competitors and will only have less marketshare in the future.

But they “invented” the tablet as we now know it. And maybe, people will call their tablet of Brand X “iPad” in the future. Just like I sometimes call my Garmin Nuvi a “TomTom”. The competitive advantage of being the first is striking and it may be an example for all marketeers and designers thinking about new products.