Even those with the merest hint of an eye on the technology pages or gadget blogosphere won't have escaped the gathering storm of speculation surrounding the forthcoming release of two of Apple's most high-profile products: the iPhone 5 and iPad 4.
Rumours that the two new gadgets – already indispensable in their previous forms for so many users ‒ will hit stores in September this year have surged into even faster overdrive in recent days as images showing a reportedly-finished iPhone 5 were 'leaked' online.
And it seems the public's tastes for the Apple products are changing.
iPad overtakes iPhone
While both tablet and phone historically enjoy good scores on YouGov's BrandIndex – our tool measuring the British public's perception of well-known brands ‒ recent tracking has found that over the past months the iPad has overtaken the iPhone in overall popularity along with 'Value' and 'Recommendation' – how good-value the public thinks a product is, and how likely they would be to recommend it to others, respectively.
This overtaking of the iPhone by the iPad is a reversal of the usual patterns which have seen the phone traditionally well ahead of its tablet counterpart on all the measures highlighted since before the beginning of 2012.
Overall, the Index score for both products definitively switched positions in late July, with an identical score of 24.4 on July 23, followed by a gradual increase by the iPad at the expense of the iPhone. Less than a week ago, the iPad was on 25.2 compared to the iPhone's 24.1; a small, but nevertheless significant interruption to usual proceedings – with no sign of slowing down.
The Value score shows the same story ‒ even more so, in fact. Amid generally-rising scores for both products, mid-July saw a definitive shift in fortunes as the iPad overtook iPhone. In itself, this is nothing new – except this time, it's stayed. Early this week, the iPad soared ahead on 6.1 next to the iPhone's far more stable 3.9. This marks not only a shift in comparison to the iPhone but also the culmination of an incredible hike in perceptions for the iPad's value over the past few months, from a low-point of 1.0 in early April 2012 – a peak to trough journey of a significant 5.1 points.
A look at the Recommendation scores for both products only completes the story over the past six months. This score has generally been on the wane since a high of 23.8 for the iPhone on May 1, yet the iPad steadily grew in Recommendation as the iPhone declined, crossing over on 20.5 in early July, since maintaining its lead to reach 20.1 versus the phone's 18.3 on August 2.
As media speculation over the two products heats up around the world, YouGov's BrandIndex, which uses a combination of eight measures – including Reputation and Value ‒ is perfectly placed to gauge the public's changing perceptions.
Constantly tracking this data allows us to measure any change in the national mood, while considering it in context means we can pinpoint potential drivers of any longer-term trends.