Gartner, Inc., the huge “research and advisory company” on all things tech, says tablet computers like the iPad have moved into “the peak of inflated expectations” in its latest Hype Cycle report.
Gartner, headquartered in Stamford CT, boasts 60,000 clients at nearly 11,000 “distinct organizations” worldwide. Top investors, high tech manufacturing strategists, and competitive players in leading edge tech product development pay close attention to the company's pronouncements.
For the average iPad owner—or potential owner—Hype Cycle rumblings hint at what all those folks who created your iPad, or its competitors, are going to make for you next.
In a nutshell, the hype cycle works this way: A highly-innovative product (like the iPad or Amazon's Kindle) goes to market. A buzz builds, fanned by avid early adopters. The promise of the new gadgets gets inflated by smart marketing departments and hopeful bloggers and commentators. Sales skyrocket. The product falls short of those unrealistically inflated expectations. Users, meantime, discover innovative uses for the product not envisioned by its makers. The maker and competitors hop on the user bandwagon, refining the next generation of the product to meet those innovative uses.
Bottom line: Today's hype and user response leads to the next innovation—either as a next-generation product or a competitor jumping into the market.
"The Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies is the longest-running annual Hype Cycle, providing a cross-industry perspective on the technologies and trends that IT managers should consider in developing emerging-technology portfolios,” the company said in its statement.
"The Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies features technologies that are the focus of attention in the IT industry because of particularly high levels of hype, or those that may not be broadly acknowledged but which we believe have the potential for significant impact," said Jackie Fenn, vice president and Gartner Fellow.
"High-impact technologies at the Peak of Inflated Expectations during 2010 include private cloud computing, augmented reality, media tablets (such as the iPad), wireless power, 3D flat-panel TVs and displays, and activity streams, while cloud computing and cloud/Web platforms have tipped over the peak and will soon experience disillusionment among enterprise users," Ms. Fenn said.Fenn, along with Mark Raskino, explained the hype cycle in detail in “Mastering the Hype Cycle: How to Choose the Right Innovation At the Right Time.” Published in 2008, it's available in the Kindle Store.
Our analysis of the analysis: next-generation iPads and its competitors, like Samsung's Galaxy Tab, are carefully watching users and will try to fulfill your wildest dreams.