iPad launch highlights need for digital titan to refocus brand strategy, experts claim

Tech and digital PR professionals have warned that Apple needs to refocus on its brand comms following the launch of its latest offering, the iPad.

Hype: the iPad launch, with Apple's chief executive Steve Jobs
Hype: the iPad launch, with Apple's chief executive Steve Jobs

Apple has come under fire following the pre-hyped launch, which has seen bloggers and journalists criticise the product for just being like a 'giant iPhone' and lacking valuable functionality such as a camera and the incorporation of Flash.

Niall O'Malley, account director, Immediate Future, said: 'Brands such as Apple have been in the sun for too long and consumers feel it's time for a change.

'The problem for Apple is in the way its brand is perceived. It needs to focus on improving its brand comms in order to overcome comms problems around its products.'

Paul Armstrong, director of social media, Kindred, said: 'With the deafening pre-hype, I don't believe anyone could have predicted the backlash in the media and blogosphere over the iPad launch. It's clear the comms team at Apple has a tougher job ahead of it now.

'But there is a devoted fan base even if this product isn't the golden apple that so many hoped it would be.'

Apple could also face legal talks as it was claimed by Japanese tech firm Fujitsu that it owns the rights to the name iPad, a touch-screen mobile device developed in 2002 by the company.

O'Malley added: 'Apple should be using all means at its disposal to secure the rights to the name iPad.'

No-one at Apple was available for comment.

 

HOW I SEE IT - Mat Morrison Founder, Magic Bean Laboratory

One tweet on Wednesday read: 'Obama to announce Apple Tablet during State of the Union' - but really it was bigger than that.

Why is it we all feel entitled to judge the iPad? Maybe it's because Apple's tight-lipped approach to product launches in the face of popular interest forces the professional press, as well as the public, to play a guessing game.

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