Universal compatibility is a strong selling point in today's always-connected world; one of the reasons Netflix has spanked its competition (thus far, at least) is because it supports virtually everything out there, with over 800 compatible devices. Hulu Plus isn't quite as entrenched, but it's making good inroads thanks to newfound support for several top Android tablets.
You can't walk down the street without noticing at least one person wielding a smartphone, and in more busy areas such as airports or even on the bus, you're likely to spot bipeds bouncing their fingers on a tablet. Connected devices are everywhere, and according to data released by International Data Corporation (IDC), shipments of smart connected devices, including PCs, media tables, and smartphones, topped 916 million units with revenues of more than $489 billion in 2011. By 2016, IDC expects shipments to reach 1.84 billion units, along with a changing of the guard.
Would you rather toy around with a Transformer Prime than a new iPad? If Hasbro had it way, you wouldn't have the option. Way back in December, we reported that the toy company was dragging Asus into court, claiming that "Transformer Prime" name was too close to "Optimus Prime," "Transformers" and the "Transformers Prime" animated series for comfort. A federal judge disagrees; he tossed out Hasbro's request for a preliminary injunction (read: sales ban) against the Asus tablet.
The new iPad can’t play Crysis, its also practically useless for productivity tasks, but ohhh did we mention it’s really shinny? Regardless of what you think of the iPad, or tablets in general, there is no denying Apple is doing a great job of exploiting the trend. Annual refreshes have added more horsepower and features while holding the line on price, but are the same margin’s possible with a display that rivals most 24-inch desktop panels?
Microsoft is rolling a hard six with their tablet strategy in Windows 8, and while it might be a hard sale with iPad crazy consumers, at least in the Enterprise they have a fighting chance. Dell knows this, and plans to be ready to go with tablet offerings for businesses on Windows 8 launch day. The information came from a Bloomberg interview conducted last week in which CEO Michael Dell praised the new Microsoft OS, and claims demand will be strong for a “secure Windows tablet that works with all Windows applications”.
Blackberry has seen its fortunes fade pretty rapidly over the last couple of years, but despite the trends pointing in the wrong direction, they still have millions of users around the world. Netflix rarely misses an opportunity to serve its content to such a large user base, however Blackberry users have always been left out in the cold, and according to Netflix support, that isn’t likely to change anytime soon.
As it searches for a way to turn its fortunes around, struggling phone maker HTC is reportedly investigating the possibility of launching its own music streaming service. The client would be built into the default music app on all of HTC’s Android devices, and possibly as an add-on for Windows Phone. The company is, as expected, cagey about answering any questions at this point.
Many have claimed that Microsoft’s Windows on Arm efforts were a direct reaction to the iPad, and while I’m sure that’s the motivation these days, it turns out Microsoft had the idea long before the first Apple tablet ever shipped. In a recent post on the building Windows 8 blog, several Windows on Arm details leaked out, along with a pair of photos showing Windows 7 running on an Asus smartphone. Careful examination of the EXIF data shows the pictures were taken on January 22nd 2010, several months before the iPad was released.
Amazon is too busy raking in all that Kindle cash to offer any clues about a larger successor to the Kindle Fire, but most industry watchers are convinced that such a device is coming. Following a DigiTimes report in December, Pacific Crest analysts have raised sales expectations for Amazon in expectation of a 9-inch Fire successor this summer.
A new report from the Wall Street Journal is shedding some light on recent rumors that Googlers have been testing a mysterious entertainment device in their homes. According to WSJ, we can expect a system that can wireless stream music throughout the home, and will be marketed under the Google name. This would be a completely consumer-oriented device built in-house, a first for Mountain View.