Here's a riddle for you. How is it that Amazon's Kindle, with pricing as low as $140, is owned by people who make more money than owners of Apple's iPad, which starts out at $500? Perhaps because Kindle owners are smarter than their iPad toting brethren, too. Oh snap!
We're not hating on iPad owners, we're just repeating the findings by market research firm Nielsen. According to Nielsen, 45 percent of Kindle owners make over $80,000 per year, compared to 39 percent of iPad owners and 37 percent of iPhone owners.
Going by the numbers, Kindle owners also tend to be more educated, with over a quarter (27 percent) having earned their Master's degrees or doctorates, Nielsen says.
So who's rushing out to buy all these iPads? Younger folk, who perhaps haven't had a chance to earn their higher degrees or make oodles of money. About 63 percent of iPad owners are under the age of 35 versus 47 percent of Kindle owners. And for what it's worth, iPad owners are more receptive to advertising than owners of other digital devices.
People have really been anxious to see Hulu spread to more TV-connected devices since the service launched. The PS3 and iOS devices are a nice start, but it looks like Roku is up next. This is still up in the air, but sources are saying that a Hulu channel will be on Roku boxes in the coming weeks. It's not possible to know if this will be available for the free Hulu, or just for Hulu Plus.
As it stands now, only subscribers to Hulu Plus are able to get the streaming content on anything but a PC. Plus subscribers have access to content on the PS3, iPad, iPhone, and a few Blu-Ray players and TVs. The Plus service is still an invite only beta, and the early impressions are not good. Many complain about the lack of content. Would you be more tempted to pick up a Roku box if it had Hulu?
Most of the recent buzz in the vexatiously noisy tablet market has been about potential iPad killers. Even though most of that much touted tablet revolution seems perennially stuck in upcoming mode, it hasn't deterred many from imagining a tablet-dominated future. A Wall Street Journal article earlier in the week quoted Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn as saying that the iPad was cannibalizing notebook sales by as much as 50%.
The comment attributed to him provided additional fuel for the ongoing tablet-versus-notebook debate, which seemed especially loud this week. But Dunn on Friday retracted that comment. “The reports of the demise of these devices are grossly exaggerated. While they were fueled in part by a comment in The Wall Street Journal they are not an accurate depiction of what we're currently seeing. In fact, we see some shifts in consumption patterns, with tablet sales being an incremental opportunity,” Dunn clarified in a statement.
Hate the iPad because it doesn't do Flash. Curse Apple's magical device for the lack of ubiquitous connectivity, like USB and HDMI. Hurl insults at the iPad because it's a giant iPod (that's oversimplifying, but let's keep hating), costs more than a netbook but lacks a physical keyboard, doesn't have a microSD card slot, or simply because it's Apple. Fair enough, but one thing you can't do is deny its impact on laptop PC sales, not if Best Buy's numbers are correct.
Talking with The Wall Street Journal, Best Buy Chief Executive, Brian Dunn, claims that internal estimates peg the iPad as cannibalizing laptop sales by as much as 50 percent. That's a remarkable, if not shocking figure. We're not so much surprised that the iPad is chewing into notebook sales, but that it could be replacing half of all laptops is staggering.
As Wired points out, Mac sales continue to grow every quarter, so most of that figure probably represents Windows market share. But should Microsoft be worried? That remains to be seen. The tablet market is still essentially a one-man show, and once Windows-based slates start shipping, we have to imagine that some of those folks picking up a tablet instead of a laptop will gravitate towards Windows devices.
In any event, does Best Buy's internal figure surprise you?
Audyssey is hoping to gain a foothold in the already crowded iPhone/iPod speaker dock market with the Audyssey Audio Dock: South of Market Edition. Audyssey chose San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood as the eponym for its maiden iDevice-centric product because of its “eclectic mix of restaurants, nightclubs, start-ups and artist lofts.”
As an audio system, it doesn't exclusively cater to the iPhone/iPod-brandishing crowd, but any bluetooth-enabled device can be used to wirelessly stream music to the dock. It has a built-in speakerphone for times when an important call takes precedence over an ongoing private listening session, allowing you to seamlessly “switch from a playlist to a conference call.”
The dock, when connected to a Mac or PC, allows you to stream audio, sync to iTunes, charge the iPhone or iPod and make VoIP calls. According to Audyssey, its looks are sure to be a talking point. But what it forgot to mention is that most of the conversations the dock evokes are likely to be critical of its design.
“The system is bi-amplified like a professional studio monitor and the sound quality is delivered by five of Audyssey’s proprietary technologies:Audyssey Dynamic Voice, Audyssey EQ, Audyssey Dynamic EQ, Audyssey BassXT and Audyssey Dynamic Volume,” the company said in a release.
Audyssey still has a bit of time to reconsider the Audio Dock's $400 price tag. The dock is scheduled to make its debut in November.
By now you've heard that Apple has come out with this little device called the iPad, and one of its magical features is to serve double-duty as an eBook reader. Surely this will mark the end of the dedicated eReader market, right?
Back the boat, Gilligan, because Amazon has something to say on the matter. In a new ad promoting Amazon's refreshed Kindle, the e-tailer points out the benefits of an E-ink display over that of an LCD screen when trying to read in sunlit areas.
The ad shows an iPad user trying, in vain, to read content on his iPad while chillaxing by the pool. He then asks a Kindle user laying a few feet away how she's able to read her device sitting out in sun, to which she simply replies, "It's a Kindle. A hundred and thirty nine dollars. I actually paid more for these sunglasses."
There are a few things to take away from this ad. First, she paid too much for her sunglasses. Second, unlike the many Mac vs PC commercials we were force fed the past couple of years, Amazon makes a valid point here. And third, speaking of all those commercials, Apples comeuppance just keeps coming.
Early adopters of Apple's iPad knew what features they were forfeiting in order to be at the forefront of the tablet revolution, but what they might not have known is how quickly Apple would render its first-gen slate obsolete.
According to Apple news, rumors, and analysis site AppleInsider.com, Steve Jobs and his Cupertino cohorts are planning to release a second-gen iPad ahead of Apple's 12-month product refresh cycle for iOS devices. Citing "a person with proven knowledge of Apple's future product plans," Apple Insider says there's already a version of an upcoming iPad with a built-in video camera and support for FaceTime.
The source didn't say exactly when the iPad 2 would ship, but did say Apple is trying to push the device in time for this year's holiday shopping season, which is about the same time we should start seeing competing tablets from everyone else. And therein lies the reasoning behind Apple's rush to update its iPad, which has so far been selling well as the only game in town despite a spate of missing features.
Despite Google's recent assertion that Android isn't tailor-made for tablets (at least in its current avatar), and that Samsung's upcoming Galaxy Tab is nothing but a gigantism-smitten smartphone, the tablet continues to be seen as the iPad's first true test. The Korean electronics giant reportedly plans to give Apple a run for its money by surrounding the iPad. How exactly does it plan to accomplish that, you might ask?
According to the Wall Street Journal, the Galaxy Tab will not be tethered to any one carrier in the United States. It will instead be distributed by each one of the three largest US wireless carriers. A trinity of anonymous sources familiar with the matter told the Journal that Samsung has cut deals with Verizon Wireless, Sprint and AT&T.
The company pursued a similar strategy while launching its Galaxy S smartphone, which is available from Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile. The sources further revealed that the Galaxy Tab will make its US debut at a special launch event to be held in New York on September 16.
We're starting to see some non-Apple-y tablets peek into the market place, like the eLocity A7 unit that's now available for preorder. That means competition will start to heat up for the iPad, which up to this point has had the tablet market mainly to itself. How will the iPad fare in 2011?
According to UBS Investment Research, the iPad will continue to fly off virtual and brick-and-mortar shelves for a long while to come. UBS reckons Apple could move 28 million iPads in 2011, enough to affect the sales of lower end PCs.
"Sales of traditional notebooks appear to be feeling pressure from the iPad, causing a scramble by vendors to launch iPad-like tablets," UBS Investment Research analyst Maynard Um wrote. "We believe that a majority of this impact is occurring on the lower end of PC sales as the iPad is priced close enough to this range that it becomes attractive to consumers looking to make purchases within this segment."
Naturally, that would be just fine with Apple, which doesn't really dabble in the low-end PC market anyway.
"If it turns out that the iPad cannibalizes PCs that, I think, is fantastic for us, because there are a lot of PCs to cannibalize," Apple COO Tim Cook during a recent earnings call. "It's still a big market."
Android is expected to be a force to be reckoned with in the tablet market and some of the upcoming Android-based tablets have already generated a fair amount of buzz. But Hugo Barra, director of products for mobile at Google, reckons Android, in its current avatar (Froyo), is not “optimized for use on tablets.”
The Samsung Galaxy Tab is being seen as an iPad rival, but to Barra it is nothing more than a supersized smartphone. "Android is an open platform. We saw at IFA 2010 all sorts of devices running Android, so it already running on tablets,” Barra told TechRadar.
"But the way Android Market works is it's not going to be available on tablets that don't allow devices and applications to run correctly. If you want Android market on that platform, the apps just wouldn't run, [Froyo] is just not designed for that form factor.”
Point taken, but isn't the iPad a supersized iPhone?