Apple tablet spooks world of PCs
What a difference an iPhone makes
And for good reason.
As we reported earlier today, an unnamed "veteran analyst" who claims to have had the rare honor of actually laying hands on the enigmatic device told (paid subscription required) Barron's that "It's close enough now to a final design that in Asia, there's no other product in the waiting room or in the bullpen."
For those of you unfamiliar with the Great American Pastime, the bullpen is where baseball pitchers - that's Yank for bowlers - warm up before entering a game.
In other words, possible competitors in the t/n/m/e/w space are holding their fire, cooling their jets, and lying low.
Barron's veteran analyst goes on to say that "There are dozens of ODMs [original device makers] making products for Lenovo and other PC makers that are all waiting to see what the Apple product is."
How times have changed. It wasn't that long ago that Apple was struggling to stay relevant in the personal computer market. Then came the one-two punch of the iPod and the iPhone, and Apple transformed itself from an also-ran in the computer space to the 800-pound gorilla of consumer electronics.
It's not that other companies haven't tried to knock Apple down a peg. They've tried - and they've failed.
"iPod killers" have come and gone - most notably Microsoft's born-under-a-bad-sign Zune, which some analysts recently suggested that Redmond put out of its misery.
"iPhone killers" have attempted to dethrone the überpopular smartphone. But RIM's BlackBerry Storm met with tepid reviews and Palm's Pre, which - although a worthy competitor - has failed to slow the iPhone juggernaut.
Neither Palm nor Sprint have released the Pre's numbers, but even the most optimistic estimates put them at well under a half-million.
And now comes word from Barron's unnamed veteran analyst that possible t/n/m/e/w competitors are shaking in their Asian boots, holding their product plans in abeyance, waiting to see what Apple's Next Big Thing might be.
And - according to the analyst - they shouldn't have long to wait: the t/n/m/e/w will be announced in September and ship in November at a price estimated to be between $699 and $799.
Rumors converge on the device being a 10-inch, touch-screen-based item - essentially a jumbo iPod touch. However, exactly how Apple will position the device if - when? - it begins its holiday marketing push is not yet known.
Barron's analyst provides one hint, saying that the t/n/m/e/w's high-definition video is "better than the average movie experience, when you hold this thing in your hands."
No matter the device's main focus, one thing is for certain: It will be intended to excite mass consumption of media, apps, and games - over which Apple will almost certainly exercise as tight a degree of control as it does with its ludicrously successful iTune Store and App Store.
After all, Apple isn't building a billion-dollar data center in North Carolina merely to process the company's payroll checks.
Say what you will about Cupertino's culture of secrecy, its heavy-handed gatekeeping of App Store offerings, and its at-times convoluted legal campaigns, but one thing cannot be disputed: Apple is on a roll.
And it's striking fear in the hearts of competitors. Led by rabid tablet-evangelist Bill Gates, the PC industry has spent nearly 20 years trying - and failing - to make the tablet work. But aided by the emergence of technologies such as multitouch displays and the increasing ubiquitousness of mobile broadband, we wouldn't be at all surprised if Apple finally cracked the code.
Looks like we may find out before the year is up. ®
I fear that this thing will only allow you to get apps from the on-line gaol that the iphone uses.
If Apple have the cojones to make it truly 'open',. I'll buy it. And probably buy some of the apps from their store too.
There is no need to scale things up for more resolution. You can just get more room on the screen with more pixels, with same (or slightly larger) sized controls and more room for content. Vector based graphics have nothing to do with that.
And I think you're totally mistaken if you think that people really want "full functionality tablets". Most people hate the complexity of regular computers, Operating Systems and applications. The want to get things done and have fun, with the technology and software not getting in the way. They certainly don't want to get the "full PC experience" in a mobile device. Even the thought of "getting the full PC experience" while sitting on a train and viewing a movie or reading a book makes most people shudder with disgust.
I know that many experts and not-so experts will never understand it, but exactly this is the problem. Most people don't like PCs and notebooks, they just use them because they have no choice. Give them something more simple and elegant to do their things and they will happily embrace it. Make it fun and sleek looking and a joy to use and they will love it. Give them an easy to use app-store instead of multi-page installation wizards and registration numbers and they even may start to buy software and games for it.
Yeah, I got that. I guess what I was asking was *why* would anyone pick a scaled-up ipod touch over a fully functional tablet?
For a device in the same size-category, at a similar price, consumers would be facing a choice between one that has full functionality, or one that doesn't. I just don't see the selling point. Especially for students, who mostly can't afford two computers. If you can only afford one and you want a computer that can do everything a computer should do, as well as handwriting recognition, then why, oh why, would you buy anything less than a fully functional tablet?
As for the vector graphics point, the buttons on the iphone are already big enough for finger usage. If they just scale everything up on a 10in screen, it's going to look kinda silly.