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.
“We have a lab in Korea that is currently working on developing a laptop with partially-transparent screen,” Samsung Electronics America's Reid Sullivan told PlusPlasticElectronics. “Soon, I imagine that all Samsung's audio-visual products will feature this technology. We want to be the first in this market.”
It appears as though transparent AMOLED displays have infatuated Samsung. It also plans to launch a see-through MP3 player christened IceTouch, which according to the report will be available in the early half of 2010. The IceTouch is likely to cost around $330. The real challenge for the consumer will be to think of a practical use for such gadgets once they cease to be a novelty.
The first part of a typical Apple product launch is out of the way now. During the second leg, skeptics will grudgingly make one final attempt at understanding the device just as fanboys get better at pretending that they know pretty much everything they need to know. Both sides can now also factor in the newfangled prospect of making VoIP calls over the iPad's 3G connection when making their case.
Apple today updated the iPhone developer SDK to accommodate VoIP apps. The move was accompanied by the launch of iCall, the first and only VoIP app for the iPhone and iPod touch. The announcement leaves us with one question, though. Will the iPad support VoIP apps out of the box? There is little reason why it shouldn't.
Apple's ban on VoIP functionality riled many feathers while it lasted. The company's refusal to allow Google Voice to run natively on the iPhone wrecked its relationship with Google, which eventually launched a browser-based HTML 5 app to circumvent the ban. Ironically, VoIP functionality comes to the iPhone barely 24 hours after the launch of the web-based Google Voice app.
It is not clear how this fresh development impacts the hitherto unapproved Google Voice app, which Google claims is not a VoIP app. It uses the carrier's voice network to make phone calls and not the internet connection.
If all the talk of HTML 5 has piqued your curiosity, then you may want to give YouTube's new HTML 5 experiment a try. The world's most popular video streaming portal is now offering a HTML5-based alternative to the Adobe Flash player. But the YouTube HTML 5 video player is only compatible with three browsers: Chrome, Safari, and Internet Explorer with ChromeFrame. While other browsers may support HTML 5, only the two mentioned above support the H.264 video codec at this moment.
The site's sources went on to name iPhone-display supplier Wintek as the company Apple may call upon to lessen Innolux's burden. Foxconn Group subsidiaries seem to be in the thick of things as far as Apple's tablet is concerned. G-Tech Optoelectronics, another Foxconn subsidiary, will reportedly provide a glass strengthening process for the tablet's display.
The report goes as far as claiming that Apple delayed the launch of the tablet until the first quarter of 2010 as it wanted more time to optimize the strength of the tablet's display.
Exactly a week after the much anticipated launch of Windows 7, Canonical rolled out Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala). Although it may not have been as keenly awaited as Windows 7, Karmic Koala's launch was special for a particular demographic that romances Linux, and especially its subset that dotes on Ubuntu. But early adopters of the latest Ubuntu release are having a torrid time.
Excited users have been rewarded with a plethora of problems in exchange of their bravura and enthusiasm. Karmic Koala's poor handling of graphics drivers - blank and flickering screens are quite common - and its failure to install the latest 2.6.31 Linux kernel figure prominently on the list of flaws. Also, the latest version of Ubuntu is not too good at spotting hard drives, according to initial reports.
The PC industry is keenly awaiting the launch of Windows 7 in the hope that it will deliver it from its woes. Probably, Apple also has its sights firmly fixed on the sandglass counting down to the launch, but for a different reason, of course. Apple need not be fazed by the launch, though, if Broadpoint AmTech analyst Brian Marshall is to be believed.
"We have concluded that no negative correlation exists on Apple's (AAPL) hardware sales when Microsoft launches a new OS. Ironically, we believe new OS launches from MSFT may have even acted as a 'delayed accelerant' to AAPL's computing sales," Marshall wrote in a report.
Nokia has announced that its upcoming netbook, the Booklet 3G, will make its U.S. debut in November. AT&T and Best Buy will serve as the Finnish mobile phone giant’s launch partners. The netbook will be available for $299 with a two-year AT&T service contract.
Microsoft had announced last week that Sprint, AT&T and Verizon have all committed themselves to the October 6 launch of Windows Mobile 6.5, now Digitimes’ trusted unnamed sources – the finest in Taiwan - have revealed that Microsoft has secured the backing of many other telecom carriers around the world, including NTT DoCoMO, T-Mobile, Orange, Softbank Mobile, SKT, Telstra and Telus.