The iPad’s design and engineering notwithstanding, the real magic was its price. A $500 product is not cheap, but the average computer cost $710 in April 2010, according to market researcher NPD Group, and other tablets routinely topped $1,000. As such, the device was an ideal purchase for those who’d been paring back for more than a year and a half and were looking for a modest indulgence. They probably weren’t getting a new home in April 2010 (housing values were still 30 percent below their April 2006 peak) or a new car (sales were down 21 percent from April 2008), but, darn it, they were going to treat themselves to something. This is why other products, such as nail polish (up 65 percent since 2008) and chocolate (up 14 percent), saw a bump: They’re smaller purchases one can rationalize. Condoms (up 23 percent from 2008 to 2011) are yet another sort of rational, recessionary indulgence, acting as they do to prevent kids people can’t afford.
VP of Digital Media at KCPT - Kansas City Public Television. I use apple computers. I listen to radiohead.
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