Apple CEO Steve Jobs sure ruffled some feathers with his statements on yesterday's earnings call. RIM is just the latest to respond to some of the assertions Steve Jobs made. RIM CEO Jim Balsillie posted a rebuttal on the RIM blog that covered a few points. First, Balsillie contended that a 7-inch tablet will work for consumers just fine. Jobs claimed the users would have to "sand down their fingers to around one quarter of their present size" to use a 7-inch tablet. RIM also reminded us that their PlayBook will have Adobe Flash support.
RIM's other beef with Jobs revolved around the Apple claim that they had passed Blackberry in sales. Balsillie claims that Jobs was comparing a time they knew BlackBerry sales would be weak, leaving out the higher demand month of September in RIM's numbers. We may have to wait to see if an outside group can compare overall sales from the same period to settle this. In the meantime, we await the next company to launch a counterattack at Steve Jobs.
Despite rumors to the contrary, it doesn't look like Apple has any plans to ship a 7-inch iPad to compete with other upcoming tablets with similar sized screens.
"It's meaningless unless your tablet also includes sandpaper, so that the user can sand down their fingers to around one quarter of their present size," Jobs said during Apple's earnings call yesterday afternoon.
According to Jobs, tablets smaller than 10 inches just don't make sense.
"Apple has done extensive user testing and we really understand this stuff," Jobs said. "There are clear limits on how close you can place things on a touchscreen, which is why we think 10 inches is the minimum screen size to create great tablet apps."
Interesting comments coming from someone who represents the company responsible for the iPhone and iPod touch, two touchscreen devices that are decidedly smaller than 7 inches.
Most people would argue that the e-book market has nowhere to go but up, however analysts continue to be surprised by just how fast people are ditching ink for pixels. According to the Association of American Publishers e-book sales from January to August were a staggering $263 million, this compared to just $89.8 million during the same period last year. This threefold increase in sales certainly helps to validate the market, and it looks like the impact of having so many affordable e-book devices on the market is finally starting to kick in.
In January 2009 anyone wanting to read an e-book needed a device worth several hundred dollars, and had to worry about DRM protected content with no guarantee over future compatibility. Today just about anyone with a smartphone can tap into several different e-book stores, Kindles and Nooks have never been cheaper, and some little known company by the name of Apple launched the iPad.
E-book sales still only account for about 10 percent of books sold, but it still paints a clear picture for brick and mortar retailers. The trend is not your friend.
Even if you don’t shop at Costco, chances are if you live anywhere in North America you’ve at least made eye contact with one of their monolithic warehouses that line the sides of almost every major highway. Costco’s footprint makes them the third largest retailer in the United States, but even with all that negotiating power it appears as though they may be considering the atomic option to get back at Apple for refusing to let them carry the iPad.
According to anonymous sources quoted by iLounge, the company has intentionally pulled all iPod hardware from its Costco.com website, and will slowly deplete its retail stock before dropping the lineup altogether. This might sound like a fairly harsh recourse, but it likely has more to do with the fact that rival outlets including Target, Wal-Mart, and even Sam Club will all carry the device going into the holiday season.
If this story is indeed true it will be interesting to see if Costco has the power to bully Steve Jobs into submission. I imagine we have quite a few readers out there that would love to see him eat a piece of their Kirkland branded humble pie.
The latest global PC shipment numbers from Gartner and IDC have probably confirmed recent fears that tablets (effectively the iPad for now) are eating into secondary PC sales. Gartner expects media tablets to get even more ravenous as time goes on. The market research firm has forecast that media tablet sales will touch 19.5 million in 2010.
Next year might be 2011 according to the Gregorian calendar, and the year of the Rabbit as per the Chinese, but it’d truly be the year of the media tablet if Gartner’s sales forecast is proved correct. It expects tablet sales “to total 54.8 million units in 2011, up 181 percent from 2010.”
“Mini notebooks will suffer from the strongest cannibalization threat as media tablet average selling prices drop below $300 over the next 2 years,” Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner, is quoted as saying in a Gartner release.
“The all-in-one nature of media tablets will result in the cannibalization of other consumer electronics devices such as e-readers, gaming devices and media player.”
Starting on October 28, you will be able to mosey into a Verizon Wireless store and buy an iPad. But don't get ahead of yourselves, this is no magic CDMA iPad that will play with Verizon's ubiquitous network. This is just going to be the standard Wi-Fi only model of Apple's tablet, but it will be bundled with the MiFi mobile hotspot device.
Customers will have their choice of a few different packages. The MiFi and iPad bundle comes in the three different iPad capacities of 16GB, 32GB and 64GB. Pricing will be $629.99, $729.99, and $829.99 respectively. This means you get the MiFi for about $130, and this is a no contract deal. Data will come as low as $20 per month for 1GB, but Verizon will also sell a 3GB/$35 and 5GB/$50 plan.
It might not be as convenient as just having a 3G radio built into the iPad, but the MiFi is useful for other devices too. Verizon will also be carrying the Samsung Galaxy Tab Android-based tablet, so it's going to be interesting to see how this shapes up.
With the drives being DLNA certified, streaming content to DLNA compatible devices like the Xbox 360 and PS3 is a cakewalk. The same applies to iOS devices, thanks to a couple of free iOS apps the company launched recently. Available now in capacities ranging from 1TB to 8TB, and prices ranging from $189.99 to $1039.99, the drives are covered under a limited one-year warranty.
Intel CEO Paul Otellini wasn't about to mince words when talking about tablets and the job Apple did bringing the category back to life with its iPad. At the same time, Otellini also gave fair warning to all involved that Intel has every intention of dominating the tablet space, just as it has the netbook/nettop segment.
"I know the big question on everyone's mind is how Intel will respond to new computing categories where Intel currently has no presence, specifically tablets... We think tablets are exciting and fully welcome their arrival," Otellini began. "Apple has done a wonderful job reinventing the category. Will they impact PC sales? Sure, at the margin they probably will."
And that's where the praise ended.
"We will use all of the assets at our disposal to win this segment," Otellini declared. And when you're talking about $11 billion quarters, Intel has plenty of assets to throw around. It all starts with Oak Trail, Intel's Atom processor derivative aimed at tablets.
"We have very good silicon with Oak Trail," Otellini said.
While Google-China ties have devolved into what is effectively a glacial impasse, Android continues to move briskly in that country. It is fast catching on as the operating system of choice among Chinese manufacturers eager to enter the tablet market. Now, ZTE has chosen the open source platform for its maiden tablet. The ZTE Light is a 7-inch device that weighs around 400gm and supports both GSM and WCDMA standards. Although the Light's price still remains a mystery, it is expected to be an affordable alternative to tablets like the iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab.
Cisco revealed its tablet ambitions back in June when it announced the “Cius.” It is very likely that Cisco's tablet has not made it to any most-anticipated-tablets list in the intervening period. This is due to the fact that the 7-inch Android-running Cius is an enterprise product. As for those of you interested in such an offering, the price – or at least the price range – of the Cisco has been revealed.
According to a FAQ document sent to potential software partners and leaked by CrunchGear, the Cius will be priced below $1,000. Comparisons with the iPad are an inevitability for any upcoming tablet regardless of its intended purpose. Cisco appears to understand the perils of such a comparison, and therefore draws a clear line between the two.
The FAQ document explains why Cisco Cius is twice the price of an Apple iPad: “Cisco Cius is not a consumer device so it’s not an equivalent comparison. Cisco Cius is the first-of-its- kind mobile collaboration device. With Cius, casual and highly mobile employees benefit from a communications, collaboration and computing solution.” It then goes onto list the various “additional benefits additional benefits over an iPad.”
“Pricing is still be finalized at this time. With typical discounts applied, expectation would be that the Cius tablet would be available at under $1000 ($USD street price). Note that discounts may vary by Cisco reseller and thus, prices noted should be considered a guideline,” reads the FAQ document.
“Limited availability of Cisco Cius is expected to be CY Q4 2010 with general availability in calendar year Q1 2011.”