Every time a new smartphone comes out, the guys at iSuppli get their paws on it and open it up. They rummage around inside and identify all the components to give us an extimate of just how much the parts are worth. This inevitably depresses anyone that spent money on the device in question. In their recent iPhone 4 teardown, iSuppli was able to deduce the new Apple phone is composed of $187.51 worth of hardware.
The most expensive element of the phone is the so-called "Retina Display", which clocks in at $28.50 from manufacturer LG. The NAND flash memory cost nearly as much at $27 for 16GB. The Apple A4 CPU also added noticeably to the cost at $10.75 from maker Samsung. These rundowns of cost obviously do not include R&D costs, or labor. Although, we hear Foxconn works cheap.
This parts list is par for the course. The iPhone 3GS was found to be worth $179 when it came out. Google's Nexus One had hardware costing $174.15 at launch. The 16GB iPhone 4 that was checked out goes for $199 on contract or $599 unsubsidized. This seeming disparity is probably just a fact of mobile life we'll have to live with.
It's no secret that tablets are gearing up to become as popular as netbooks, but would you have guessed that the current and upcoming demand would push shipments of touchscreen displays up by 5,000 percent in 2010? First of all, that's not a typo, and secondly, that's the exact number market research firm iSuppli is predicting.
"The rising popularity of slates is setting off a conflagration in touch screen technology, firing up not only the long-dormant tablet computer market but also all-in-one PCs, desktops and monitors," said Rhoda Alexander, director of monitors and sustainability displays for iSuppli.
It's going to be a touchy-feely tech world in the coming years, iSuppli suggests. Global shipments of touchscreen tablets and tablet-like devices is expected to rise to 8.9 million units in 2010, up from only 176,000 in 2009. After than, touchscreen shipments will jump seven-fold by 2013 and reach 63.9 million units, iSuppli says.
An all-in-one PC for around $1,000? From Sony? And carrying the Vaio brand? As unlikely as all that sounds (collectively, anyway), Sony's Vaio J Touch All-in-One PC brings multi-touch to the masses for a lot less than what you might expect..
Sony's press release says pricing starts out at about $900 for the Vaio J series, though the pre-order product page shows the base model checking in at $1,100. That nets you a 21.5-inch full HD multi-touch screen display, Intel Core i3 350M (2.26GHz) processor, 4GB of DDR3-1066 memory, 500GB hard drive, Blu-ray drive, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, a memory card reader, and other odds and ends.
Starting at $1,550, Sony will bump you up to an Intel Core i7 620M processor (2.66GHz), 6GB of memory, and Nvidia GeForce 310M graphics with 512MB of dedicated video RAM.
Both models are expected to ship on or about June 25, 2010.
Touchy feely types rejoice, Gateway has gone and updated its all-in-one touchscreen ZX series of PCs, spreading the love to both Intel and AMD. What's more, Gateway says both PCs easily double as a TV, which we can see being particularly attractive to the college-bound crowd.
Pricing starts out at $750 and gets you the Gateway One ZX4300-01e. This one comes equipped with an AMD Athlon X2 235e (2.7Ghz, 2MB L2 cache), integrated ATI Radeon HD 4270 graphics, 4GB of DDR3-1333 memory, 640GB hard drive, 8X DVD burner, multi-card reader, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, six USB 2.0 ports, 2.1 channel audio, and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit. All this drives the 20-inch touchscreen display with a 1600x900 resolution.
For a little more jingle, the Intel-based Gateway One ZX6900-01e will set you back $1,020 and comes built around Intel's core i3 530 processor (2.93GHz, 4MB cache). Other upgrades include a larger display (23 inches, 1920x1080), 4X Blu-ray reader, and eSATA and HDMI ports. This one also swaps the Radeon chip for Intel GMA graphics.
Come June, Gateway said it will add a third model with an Intel Core i5 650 processor and TV tuner.
Total touch screen shipments increases 29 percents year-over-year in 2009 to settle in at 606 million units, according to market research firm DisplaySearch, which just released its Touch Panel Market Analysis report.
"Touch screen penetration has been rapidly increasing in mobile phone, PMP/MP3, portable navigation, and other applications. Over the next several years, touch screens will undergo strong growth in large-size applications such as all-in-one PCs, Mini-note/slate PCs, and education/training,” noted Jennifer Colegrove, PhD, Director of Display Technologies at DisplaySearch.
Apple's iPhone and iPod touch played a big role in popularizing capacitive touch technology, and with the iPad joining the fray, DisplaySearch projects that capacitive touch screens will for the first time pass resistive touch technology to become the leading touch technology in 2010, as measured in revenues.
The emerging tablet market looks to play a big role in pushing touch screen technology, but in the meantime, mobile phones still lead the charge. According to DisplaySearch, mobile phones are the biggest application for touch screens in terms of unit shipments and now account for over a quarter of the overall market penetration.
Someone in LG's marketing department has a serious sweet tooth. It started with the LG Chocolate, and now we have the Cookie, the latest smartphone with an edible name tag.
3G comes baked into the Cookie (though not on AT&T and T-Mobile), as does a 3.5mm headphone jack and 4GB of internal memory. Other ingredients consist of a 3-inch 240x400 pixel touchscreen (resistive) display, built-in 5MB camera, microSDHC card slot, FM radio and transmitter, and support for 7.2Mbps HSDPA mobile broadband.
This isn't a high-end handset like the iPhone, Droid, Nexus One, or the like, and according to PhoneArena.com, audio capabilities leave a bit to be desired. However, we suspect you'll eventually see this one offered as a free or low-cost phone after contract which, thanks to the touchscreen, might not have a hard time finding a mainstream audience, especially among the teenage crowd.
No one has seen much of the HP Slate until now. The ten seconds Steve Ballmer fumbled with it at CES 2010 don't really count as a debut, but someone at Conecti.ca has finally spent some real time with the device. Conecti.ca managed a quick hands-on and review. The verdict is a decidedly ambivalent one. Certainly not the response HP would have liked for their supposed iPad killer.
The HP Slate is a keyboardless touchscreen tablet with an 8.9-inch screen that rocks an Atom CPU. In every way that matters, it's a netbook without a keyboard. This is often cited as a strength, but the reviewers point out that it's also the Slate's biggest weakness. While it runs Flash and any Windows app you care to use, the touch interface on Windows 7 makes the device hard to use. HP has made a special finger-friendly graphical front-end, but much of the device's functionality is lost in it. The device also has a dock with HDMI, USB ports, and a kickstand.
It's unlikely this first salvo will sink the unicorn pad, and we're not sure it needs to be sunk. There's still a lot to learn about the new tablet market. Would you consider purchasing the HP Slate? If not, what would you need to see in a tablet to convince you?
A new report by Gartner suggests that by the year 2015, your kids are going to make you feel old. Really old. The reason? They're going to look at you funny when you talk about growing up on PCs without touchscreens, which they'll find more horrific than when your folks used to talk about trekking to and from school 5 miles in a blizzard, uphill, both ways.
"What we're going to see is the younger generation beginning to use touchscreen computers ahead of enterprises," said Leslie Fiering, research vice president at Gartner. "By 2015, we expect more than 50 percent of PCs purchased for users under the age of 15 will have touchscreens, up from fewer than 2 percent in 2009. On the other hand, we are predicting that fewer than 10 percent of PCs sold to enterprises in 2015 for mainstream knowledge workers will have touchscreens."
The reason enterprises will be outpaced by 15-year-olds in adopting touchscreens is because of the heavy requirements for typing and text input, Gartner says. And as prices come down, schools will emerge as a major market to touch and pen-enabled devices, exposing kids to touchscreen computing at a younger age than ever before.
"Consensus among the Gartner client U.S. school districts is that over half, and possibly as many as 75 percent, will be specifying touch and/or pen input within the next five years," said Ms. Fiering. "Consider this as the precursor to a major upcoming generational shift in how users relate to their computing devices."
Which do you value more in a notebook, sexy aesthetics or raw performance? If you answered "both," then Acer's Ethos line might be right up your alley.
On the performance side, these desktop replacements pack an Intel Core i5 or Core i7 processor, ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5850 or 5650 graphics, up to 16GB of DDR3 memory, up to two 640GB hard drives, 5.1 surround sound, optional Blu-ray player, multi-card reader, and eSATA and HDMI ports.
Hiding all that hardware is a gorgeous chassis with a matte silver back and a black and silver interior theme. But it's the trackpad that steals the show. Acer equipped the trackpad with touch-sensitive buttons to control your media.
"The media console is now combined with the touchpad, providing a set of commands all managed by a single key and a completely new approach to entertainment control," Acer said in a statement.
The Acer Aspire Ethos 18-inch model (8943G) should be available in the U.K. towards the end of June for around $1,675, while the 15.6-inch model (5943G) will follow in Q3. No word yet on when these will ship stateside.
iBuyPower is hoping to attract touchy-feely gamers with its new Battalion Touch CZ-11 notebook. The CZ-11 is the second in a line of new multi-touch notebooks from iBuyPower, while the Battalion series are the only multi-touch gaming laptops in the world, the OEM claims.
"Multi-touch is one of the fastest growing PC gaming interfaces," said Darren Su, Executive Vice President of iBuyPower. "Pairing those capabilities with a Core i7 processor, high definition LCD, and graphics card allows the CZ-11 to meet the mobile gaming needs of almost any user."
The CZ-11 sports a 15.6-inch full HD (1920x1080) LCD display, Intel Core i7 720QM mobile processor, 4GB of DDR3 memory, ATI Radeon HD 5650 graphics, 500GB hard drive, optional Blu-ray, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, 3-in-1 card reader, 6-cell battery, and Windows 7 Home Premium.
Pricing starts at $1,100, or $1,300 as configured above.