The Four Ps of Marketing and the iPad

Jan 30, 2010 by

One common way of examining what a firm is marketing is to look at the “Four Ps”, namely the product, promotion, price, and placement of the product. Given the rather unremarkable nature of the hardware behind Apple’s iPad, it is likely that its success or failure will hinge on these Four Ps. So, what are they in this case?


The iPad is a simplified computing product for people who do not wish to deal with the difficulties of managing a full computer. Application installation and uninstallation is handled through the App Store. There are no files to manage, as all the applications store files within themselves. Basically, it is a product that trades customizability for ease of use. Second of all, the iPad is large. People say that it reminds them of a “large iPod Touch” and have difficulty understanding who would want that. The answer is people with limited vision and manual dexterity. I think that the iPad will appeal to a 55+ audience that struggles with using full-blown computers and with pushing small buttons on gadgets like the iPod Touch.


The promotion behind the iPad is the standard Apple promotion machine. Steve Jobs hypes it, it appears in newspapers, and likely in magazines. As a result, it appears in places seen by the general public, more so than many competing netbook products. While netbooks appear in the popular press in the generic, very rarely is it that the media refers to a specific model of Eee PC. So, the promotion behind the iPad is likely to reach a less tech savvy audience.


The iPad is priced at around the same price as a discount laptop in a retail store like Best Buy. It’s a bit more expensive than a netbook, but old people can’t use the little screen and keyboards on netbooks anyway. They tend to prefer laptops with larger screens, which can be difficult for them to use, but easier for them to see. As this is a premium product, it makes sense that Apple is not seeking to be a price leader.


It is not fully clear where iPads will be sold. However, they will likely be sold at a minimum in Apple Stores, online, and in a handful of other retail stores. Apple Stores tend to be located in busy malls that sell a variety of different items. As a result, people without a strong interest in computers see the front displays in Apple Stores. (This would not be the case if they were big-box stores in outdoor malls or were in relatively isolated locations.) So, the placement helps Apple advertise its products to light computer users.

To conclude, I believe that the current version of the iPad will be very popular with people who are older and are light or non-users of computers. It offers a very simplified and elegant user experience at a competitive price. While it may simply be a larger iPod Touch, that is exactly what some people need.

1 Comment

  1. susan166

    Nokia Vs Apple and Apple is looking forward to sell their new tech-sensation in hugh numbers this year -Nokia-Vs-Apple

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