Millions of people refer to soda as Coke. Millions of headache sufferers ask for Tylenol instead of acetaminophen or paracetamol. In the ’70s and ’80s, when people wanted a photocopy of a document, they Xeroxed it.These are all cases of one particular brand being so dominant in a product category that a trademarked name became more commonly used than the proper term. It looks like something similar could be happening with the iPad.
Here’s a clip from an Associate Press article that discusses the word iPad becoming the generic term for tablet computers:
“For the vast majority, the idea of a tablet is really captured by the idea of an iPad,’” says Josh Davis, a manager at Abt Electronics in Chicago. “They gave birth to the whole category and brought it to life.”
When you have a boo-boo, you reach for a Band-Aid not a bandage. When you need to blow your nose, you ask for Kleenex not tissue. If you decide to look up something online, you Google instead of search for it. And if you want to buy a tablet computer, there’s a good chance there’s only one name you’ll remember.
Obviously a large part of why this is happening is because of the iPad’s popularity. While tech enthusiasts know the difference between an iPad 2012, an Asus Transformer Prime, and an Amazon Kindle Fire, a lot of mainstream consumers do not. To many people, they’re all iPads.
Another reason for the term iPad catching on is that the proper term is unwieldy. It’s much easier for the uninitiated to learn and remember the word iPad than the term tablet computer. The latter is just clunky and has too many syllables. Tablet is a bit better, but a lot of people already associate that word with pills or those things that Moses had on Mount Sinai. To many people, iPad means tablet computer.
What do you think of iPad become the generic term for tablet computer? Do you know people that use the word iPad to cover all tablet computers?
[Via: The Associate Press]