The five US market areas with the heaviest concentrations of iPads are, in descending order: San Francisco, CA; Grand Junction, CO; Santa Barbara, CA; Honolulu, HI, and Bend, OR.
“Bend what?” Elmer-Dewitt writes incredulously.
“Yes, Bend, Ore., a city 82,000 souls nearly 200 miles from the nearest Apple Store that seems to give lie to the notion that iPad fever is a condition that affects only Apple diehards in large metropolitan areas.”
Elmer-DeWitt notes that the concentration of iPads is determined on a per capita basis, so that “one iPad in Bend … is the equivalent of 112 iPads in New York City.” But he’s still astonished that this unknown (to him) Oregon backwater made the top five.
“Still, it's hard to imagine large numbers of Bendites making the three-hour drive to Portland to queue up for Apple's latest invention,” he writes. “If you live in the area and own an iPad, we'd love to hear how you got it and what you're doing with it.”
A number of Bendites responded to that question in fine form. My favorite answer came from “Paul,” who explained: “One came down on an ox cart from the Cascades with the Indian traders. I defrosted it by the campfire. I use it to kill rock chucks so there is food for dinner. Do you have any idea how incredibly naive your statement sounds?”
I guess the Fortune story just shows that, despite all the publicity (good and, lately, bad) that the place has gotten, Bend, Oregon – or “Oar-a-GAWN,” as they’d pronounce it – is still The Middle of Nowhere for those high-falutin’ East Coast media types.