As if there was a dearth of excuses to further divide an already compartmentalized planet of ours, the iPad has driven another wedge between Apple loyalists and the rest of the world. The iPad is arguably yet another milestone in the art of hyping products, if not a groundbreaking product. But the hype just might be on the wane. According to a self-styled Apple analyst from Venezuela, pre-orders for the iPad declined drastically over the weekend.
Daniel Tello (aka, Deagol) has an uncanny knack of making accurate financial predictions when it comes to Apple. Earlier, Deagol and some other members of the Investor Village's AAPL Sanity board had estimated that the number of of pre-orders on Friday – the day Apple began accepting them – was around 120,000, with an initial rate of around 25,000 orders per hour. Now, Deagol's latest estimates show that the rate has slowed down to 1,000 per hour. He expects Apple to receive approximately half a million pre-orders for the iPad in the lead up to its launch on April 3.
"My best guess, although very tentative given the early stage and few data we have so far, would be that they hit the 1 million unit milestone by the second week after it ships," Deagol told Fortune. "But this is a very speculative guesstimate based on just a weekend of pre-orders." All said, Deagol's formula may or may not be right this time.
Samsung is trying to maneuver itself into a position of prominence in emerging device segments. After having announced plans to enter the increasingly crowded e-reader market this spring, it now plans to lend to the bustle in another burgeoning segment: the tablet/slate PC market.
According to an APC Magazine report, which quotes a high-ranking executive, Samsung will enter the tablet market in the second half of 2010. Philip Newton, the director of Samsung Australia’s IT division, told the magazine that the new tablet will be a consumer product unlike its Q1 UMPC, “a very niche product for a vertical market.”
You are not alone feeling underwhelmed by the iPad, especially given the hype it has generated. Newton made no attempts to smother his disliking for the hype surrounding the iPad, which he dubbed "a glorified MID (mobile Internet device)."
“I do feel that that slate-type platform has legs but I think the legs need to be far more powerful, for example an Atom-based product which has far greater flexibility, not to mention inputs and outputs. This has more potential than an iPad,” Newton told the APC Magazine. Going by Newton's comments, Samsung's perception of a tablet is that of a second computer rather than just a fun device that ships with ephemeral joy.
One of the biggest gripes with Apple's handheld products is that you can't swap out the battery yourself, at least not easily. So what happens if you're out-of-warranty iPad tablet stops holding a charge?
"If your iPad requires service due to the battery's diminished ability to hold an electrical charge, Apple will replace your iPad for a service fee," Apple states in its FAQ section.
The service costs $105.95 ($99 plus $6.95 for shipping) and is subject to local tax. But put another way, should your battery die for good, a Benjamin gets you a 'new' (likely refurbished, and scratch-free) iPad.
Apple points out that your replacement iPad won't retain any of your personal data.
"Before you submit your iPad for service, it is important to sync your iPad with iTunes to back up your contacts, calendars, email account settings, bookmarks, apps, etc. Apple is not responsible for the loss of information when servicing your iPad," Apple warns.
The other caveat is that your iPad has be to be in working order. In other words, if you spill your coffee all over your iPad or otherwise kill the unit by trying to open it yourself, Apple's not going to replace it.
Thoughts on the policy? Hit the jump and sound off!
In what could end up being a major boost for Apple's iPad, Barnes and Noble confirmed in a recent blog post that it will soon offer an e-reader application for the upcoming tablet.
"Designed specifically for the iPad, our new B&N eReader will give our customers access to more than one million eBooks, magazines, and newspapers in the Barnes and Noble eBookstore, as well as the existing content in their Barnes and Noble digital library," B&N wrote.
The bookstore went on to say that the app will be released around the same time as the iPad's "expected availability," which is April 3rd.
What this ultimately means for Apple, B&N, and the tablet space in general remains to be seen, but the implications are potentially huge. The iPad -- and by extension, every other upcoming tablet -- will inevitably go toe-to-toe with the pretty popular e-book reader market, which might not have room for two separate device categories. Not to mention what effect this could have on publisher pricing if the iPad takes off the way Apple hopes it will.
Short and to the point, Apple this morning has started accepting pre-orders for its upcoming iPad tablet, which will be available on April 3 (Wi-Fi) and late April (Wi-Fi + 3G).
As a reminder, pricing breaks down as follows:
16GB Wi-Fi: $499
32GB Wi-Fi: $599
64GB Wi-Fi: $699
16GB Wi-Fi + 3G: $629
32GB Wi-Fi + 3G: $729
64GB Wi-Fi + 3G: $829
Shipping is free, and Apple's wording makes it sound like the tablet will be delivered on the day of its release (or April 5 if Saturday delivery isn't available in your area). If you don't want to chance it, you can also opt to reserve a copy at your local Apple Retail Store and pick it up between 9AM and 3PM.
So, who's in for one (or two, which is the pre-order limit)?
The recent announcement of the iPad, and revelation that it would not support Adobe Flash, revived debate on the plug-in’s future. If you take Steve Jobs’ word for it, Flash is a CPU hog now and always. Video encoding expert Jan Ozer decided to look into it himself, and the results may surprise you.
On both Mac and Windows platforms, Ozer tested Safari, Chrome, and Firefox (additionally IE was tested on Windows). Safari on the Mac showed HTML5 besting Flash by a wide margin with only 12.39% CPU utilization versus 37.41% for Flash 10.0 and 32.07% for 10.1. Chrome saw HTML5 and both version of Flash with almost 50% CPU usage. Firefox doesn’t support the HTML5 encoding used, but Flash results were similar to Safari.
On Windows, it’s a different story. Safari’s CPU utilization on Flash 10.0 was 23.22%, but 10.1 showed only 7.43% used. Chrome was the only Windows browser that both Flash and HTML5 could be tested in. On Google’s browser, HTML5 used a sizable 25.66% of the CPU. Flash 10.0 was up at 22.00%, but 10.1 used only 6%. Firefox and IE showed similar huge gains from the 10.1 version of Adobe Flash.
Clearly, the GPU acceleration on Windows makes a huge difference and means Flash is more efficient than HTML5 most of the time. The Mac, however, does not expose the necessary APIs for Adobe to do GPU acceleration. Adobe has said the "the ball is in Apple's court". So Apple does not allow Flash to run efficiently on OSX by denying the plug-in access to the graphics hardware? Given these Windows test results, we think that’s kind of unacceptable. Where do you come down in the streaming standards battle?
Make sure you check out Jan Ozer's full rundown here.
The HP Slate’s resemblance to Apple’s iPad looks to be no more than skin deep. Sure, the two devices do basically do the same thing, but Slate looks to offer a bit more potential, if the HP/Abode promotional videos are to believed, with Windows 7 and Flash support.
The tiff between Apple and Adobe raises some key concern about the quality of the Flash application. Sure, it drives a lot of content on the web, but at what cost to hardware? One, it appears, Apple doesn’t want to bear (and thus has hitched it’s wagon to HTML5). Adobe, understandably, doesn’t want to give up its content delivery hegemony on the Internet. Touting the amount of Flash content on the web, and demonstrating it can be used, and used without troublesome hardware consequences, is a good move to negate any bad public relations emerging from Apple’s very public stance.
Adobe may be stacking the deck in its presentation, however. According to Engadget, “Flash is said to be hardware-accelerated on the Slate, which suggests something other than a bone-stock Atom setup in there--we'd guess it's an Atom plus a Broadcom Crystal HD Accelerator”. How much of an impact this has is open to discussion, but it suggests that non-accelerated versions may move slower. Could Adobe’s approach later backfire, when users of other tablet devices don’t get this promised level of performance?
How well Apple’s Flash strategy plays out will be known shortly--if the iPad not just sells, but satisfies, then Apple made the right bet (for its customer base). We’ll have to wait and see later this year, when it is expected HP will release the Slate, whether Flash means all that much to consumers.
The wait is almost over folks, and in less than a month, the iPad frenzy will begin. Apple announced today that its "magical and revolutionary" tablet will be available in the U.S. on Saturday, April 3, for the Wi-Fi models. You'll have to wait until late April for 3G.
"iPad is something completely new," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "We're excited for customers to get their hands on this magical and revolutionary product and connect with their apps and content in a more intimate, intuitive, an fun way than ever before."
Starting next week on March 12, U.S. customers will be able to place pre-orders for both Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + 3G models through Apple's online store, or reserve a Wi-Fi model to pick up on April 3 at an Apple retail store.
As a reminder, the pricing breaks down as follows:
16GB (Wi-Fi) - $499
32GB (Wi-Fi) - $599
64GB (Wi-Fi) - $699
16GB (Wi-Fi + 3G) - $629
32GB (Wi-Fi + 3G) - $729
64GB (Wi-Fi + 3G) - $829
Apple also said it will make its iBooks app for iPad available as a free downloading in the U.S. on April 3.
Citing sources from hard drive makers, news and rumor site DigiTimes says that Apple's iPad could end up slowing SSD growth in the market place. Say what?
The reason, sources say, is because the iPad might create a shortage of NAND flash chips. Apple already consumes about one-third of the total NAND flash output because of the company's immensely popular iPod and iPhone devices, and if the iPad proves to be just as hot, NAND flash supply could tighten.
The news gets even worse for SSD fans. The cost of NAND flash has been the biggest roadblock in pushing SSDs into the mainstream, and the sources noted that prices are continuing to increase. That should change once the NAND flash industry transitions to a 20nm process technology, however that isn't expected to happen until at least the second half of 2011. Bummer.
AT&T is in good position to benefit from Apple's successful product launches. First there's the iPhone, which is available exclusively on AT&T's network in the U.S., and later this month, AT&T will provide service for iPad customers as well. So why isn't AT&T geeked?
"My expectation is that there's not going to be a lot of people out there looking for another subscription," said Randall Stephenson, chief executive, AT&T. Instead, Stephenson sees the iPad thriving mostly as a "Wi-Fi driven product."
If true, AT&T might have cause for concern, as many expect the telco's exclusivity agreement with Apple's iPhone to be nearing an end, but Stephenson didn't sound too worried. According to Stephenson, the iPhone will remain "an important part" of AT&T's phone line "for quite some period of time," Reuters reports.