‘Optimistic Rangers’ could boost UK market to 7 million by 2015
Gadget geeks will be first in line at the UK launch of Apple’s iPad but a critical demographic of entertainment-hungry family consumers holds the key to mass adoption, says international consumer research specialist Intersperience.
Intersperience Chief Executive Paul Hudson said: “Contrary to popular belief the key to mass adoption of the iPad will not be its role as a mobile device but its use in the home for leisure and entertainment. If Apple wins over the consumers we class as ‘Optimistic Rangers’, we believe the potential UK market for iPad and similar devices could exceed seven million by 2015.”
Intersperience has researched consumer attitudes towards the internet and online usage patterns and identified a group called ‘Optimistic Rangers’ which currently represents around 22% of the adult online population. They possess a relatively high degree of web literacy, are adept at multi-tasking, and embrace new technology challenges confidently.
Hudson said: “The iPad will mark a sea-change in how people access the internet in the home and Optimistic Rangers will be at the forefront of this change. Some analysts have predicted that the iPad will struggle because it's neither a PC, a laptop nor a mobile - but this is missing the point. The reason it will succeed is that it’s the first device that truly fits with the lifestyles of families and the new ways they want to use the internet.”
Hudson added: "The iPad launch is part of a chain of events that is redefining how consumers interact with the internet. To predict which devices will gain mass adoption requires an understanding of how consumers are adapting to the evolving role of the internet and rigorous analysis of their behaviour, not just a technical review of the device."
Currently consumer behaviour when using mobile internet devices is characterised by extreme micro use in short sharp bursts for problem-solving, fact-checking or quick communication updates. Hudson believes the iPad could see a major shift in usage patterns to embrace a wider range of tasks, with a greater emphasis on entertainment.
Intersperience also identified a key consumer group it defines as ‘Informed Rejecters’ which could prove a hard sell for not only the iPad but other mobile internet devices. Ironically, this group is defined as being the most technically-literate, with a strong attachment to the internet and easy access to mobile internet devices.
Hudson said: “Informed Rejecters may appear to represent the ultimate marketing sweet spot for new mobile internet devices like the iPad but our research found that only 37% of this group find mobile internet useful with the majority showing a marked resistance to using mobile devices to go online. The real sweet spot is families looking for a device which delivers an enhanced entertainment experience in the home.