A report from AP today says that the iPad is fast becoming so ubiquitous that for most people, when they say "tablet" they mean "iPad", and vice versa. In other words, Apple’s iPad is well on the way to achieving that most sought-after and yet rare of all milestones of being accepted universally as the generic name for a product. The AP piece refers to some of the examples of products that have achieved this, such as Band-Aid, Kleenex, or Google, and says that all signs point to Apple achieving this Holy Grail of brand identification with the iPad.
The AP report says that fewer than 5% of US brand names become generic in this way, going on to become so popular and so dominant in the market that rival brands don’t stand a chance of overtaking them. In fact, the report cautions, some brands can even go on to become so generic that it actually cheapens the brand, which is why “genericisation” can be a double-edged sword. The report says that some companies guard against their product being associated with inferior brands in this way by reminding people that it is a trademarked brand, saying “Kleenex brand” for example, or “Band-Aid brand.”“For the vast majority, the idea of a tablet is really captured by the idea of an iPad,” Josh Davis, a manager at Abt Electronics in Chicago, told the AP. “They gave birth to the whole category and brought it to life.”
Source: Brand names: Will 'iPad' become generic word for tablet?