Apple’s Untapped Market: The Two Year Old

Am I crazy for wanting to buy an iPad for my two year old? It doesn’t seem practical, nor does it make financial sense to leave a $500 device to my son the “destructor;” however, I find myself fighting the urge to run to my nearest Apple store – damn you three-story glass spiral staircase. After leaving my iPhone on the coffee table one too many times, my son was able to crack into it and figure out how to navigate through my apps. Angry Birds topped his list of favorite apps at first, but he soon was rummaging through the rest of the pages looking for more. Like any responsible father, I took the iPhone away from him… and immediately downloaded 20 kids apps for him to play with.

When you take a step back and think about it, the iPhone, much like the iPad, is a platform where I can control the educational content he interacts with – unlike TV or the internet. Ads on his apps are almost non-existent, and they can perform more educational functions than the average parent (no offense). The touch-screen functionality, diversity of educational apps and ability to access an emergency Dora video in the event of tantrums makes the iPad invaluable to any caregiver. I know this is sounding like a free Apple commercial, but let me get to my point. First a demographic snapshot of apple.com:

With the average US mother being slightly younger than Apple.com’s major demographic, Apple.com needs to up their 18 -24 demo ad spend while pushing the higher income category. I see my friends at Viacom are already starting to benefit from this shift. Apple.com’s destination referral traffic puts Nick.com, cartoonnetwork.com and NickJr.com at #9, #16 and #20 respectively.

*image source nick.com

Apple will not be advertising to the two-year old demographic anytime soon, but don’t be surprised if you start seeing an iPad commercial for parents of young children in the near future.

And with Apple’s stock chart looking like a yearly unique visitors chart, Apple looks like it will have the ad dollars to crack into the new market without breaking a sweat. I also can’t help to think that you will start seeing a small shift in iPad features such as:

  • Many more educational apps for children
  • Separate unlocking codes for children’s content, not allowing them to have full iPad access
  • More free apps from popular kid icons, e.g. Thomas the Tank Engine and Dora the Explorer
  • Kid-proof covers and cases with bright fun colors
  • Kid apps pre-loaded on to an educational version on the iPad
  • More schools, including elementary schools, using iPads in the classroom

With early – and I mean early – adopters already starting to use their parents’ devices, it’s just a matter of time before their curiosity and thirst for content start consuming mass amounts of bandwidth. The ‘iGeneration’ is here; the question is, how will you embrace it?

About Aaron Smolick:
Aaron Smolick is the Senior Director of Marketing at Compete. Aaron spends his time at Compete building brand awareness and lead generations while managing the PR, the Kantar relationship and the day-to-day marketing efforts--he greases the wheels and connects the dots. Before Aaron joined the Compete team he ran the US division of the Samsung gaming division. He hopes to eventually climb the corporate ladder where the dots become larger.