Posts Tagged ‘iPad’
Being behind in a market sucks, and it’s understandable to want to lash out at the top dog, as Microsoft has shown it’s willing to do with Google in search and email, and now with Apple in tablet computers. A brand new Surface ad pits the iPad against Microsoft’s Windows 8 tablet, in an attempt to show how much more versatile the Surface is vs. the iOS device.
Microsoft uses Siri’s voice (which isn’t difficult, given that it’s a fairly generic computer-generated female tone) to highlight what the Surface can do that the iPad can’t, including things like live tiles (it took me a couple views to figure out what “I don’t update like that” even meant), Windows Snap multitasking, and… PowerPoint. Then finally we get a price comparison, showing the much cheaper price tag for the Surface RT.
The problem is that not only is the Siri construct weak and her actual lines poorly written, but the abilities Microsoft chooses to highlight show exactly why it doesn’t “get” the tablet market. People aren’t looking for multitasking PowerPoint slide deck-creating machines; they have computers for that.
The closing bit here is maybe the worst part; showing that Apple’s iPad can easily provide a remarkably realistic experience for playing Chopsticks on the screen is not the way to trash your competition, especially if you noticeably can’t offer up an equivalent experience on your own hardware. Apple uses that in its own ads for a reason, and that’s to highlight the magical, delightful experiences users can have on its device. Countering that with a bunch of sober (though admittedly useful) features isn’t the way to turn the tide back in your favor.
If you own a smartphone, you’ve more likely than not used Shazam. The app, which identifies songs by “listening” to their audio fingerprint, was one of the earliest and best ways to wow friends in the days when iPhones were still new to the mobile market. These days Shazam contains a hodgepodge of features. Tagging a song can quickly pull up a YouTube video, for instance. And if you happen to tag a TV show? You’ll see what music is playing, cast and crew information, and other details that save you a trip to IMDB.
The new Shazam is always listening
Today, Shazam is putting renewed focus on tablets with the launch of a revamped iPad app that brings with it some exclusive features. One of those is continuous tagging. No longer do you…
Whatever era you call it, post-PC or simply PC plus, the Mac vs. PC war has ignited once again today. In a fresh Windows 8 ad, Microsoft is directly attacking Apple’s iPad on price, an approach it took during the early Vista days with low-priced laptops. It’s also doing it in a way that parodies Apple’s own commercial, complete with Siri’s voice.
Microsoft choses to highlight Windows 8′s side-by-side apps with Live Tiles, PowerPoint, and the $ 449 price of the 64GB ASUS’ VivoTab Smart as the benefits of Windows 8. It casually ignores any strengths of the iPad, while assuming consumers will purchase a comparable 64GB model at $ 699. “Should we just play chopsticks,” quips Microsoft’s ad, with a sequence that mimics the iPad mini commercial….
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Amazon has launched a Cloud Drive Photos app for iOS, letting owners of the iPhone and iPad join Android users in storing their photography on the company’s servers. The app allows users to both upload pictures to their Amazon Cloud account and to browse the photos that are already stored there. Like Apple’s built-in Photo Stream feature, Amazon’s app can automatically pull in all of the new photos taken on a device — though because of iOS’s limitations, the app can only do that whenever it’s opened. But unlike with Photo Stream, images uploaded to Amazon’s Cloud drive are able to be viewed online through a browser, not just within specific apps.
Storage for photos comes out of Amazon’s standard Cloud Drive accounts, which begin with…
This week, Bloomberg sparked a number of headlines with reports that iPad mini demand was failing based on supplier Pegatron’s earnings numbers as revealed at an investor conference. Those claims were later refuted by Pegatron CEO Jason Cheng, who argued that Bloomberg’s Tim Culpan had misquoted him to reach his conclusion about iPad mini numbers.
The problem here is one that comes up repeatedly for Apple watchers, namely that of trying to divine from scattered sources what the future holds for the iPhone maker. Reports of slowdowns, layoffs or weak fiscal results from any number of supplier companies, including Pegatron, Foxconn and Sharp have bloggers feverishly pounding keys, predicting dire straits for Apple to come. The problem is, these have never been a very strong indicator of what’s actually going on with Cupertino and its products, and for good reason.
As Fortune’s Phillip Elmer-DeWitt learned from Cheng via email, Pegatron has a wide customer base and never breaks out how each of those are affecting its bottom line or its quarterly financial outlook. Pegatron has its fingers in all kinds of pies, including home video game consoles and e-readers, both of which are currently suffering badly in terms of consumer sales.
Here’s a look back at some equally dire reports from recent memory that also turned out not to have any relation whatsoever to anything Apple was doing, performance-wise.
- Apple’s Q2 Earnings Foreshadowed by Weak Foxconn Results – Disappointing results at Foxconn for its most recent quarterly results were seen as a bad sign for Apple’s progress, but it still filed extremely impressive results, despite a rare year-over-year earnings decline.
- Apple’s Suppliers Experienced A Very Weak February – Supplier reports indicated that Apple was having weak iPad sales, which obviously wasn’t correct as it blew expectations away in terms of sales of its iOS tablet devices.
- Apple iPhone 5 Sales Showing Weakness – Apple was seen as dramatically underperforming relative to Wall Street’s consensus estimates on iPhone sales for Q1 2013, and in fact they exceeded consensus by a fair number (selling 47.8 million iPhones).
- Exclusive: Japan’s Sharp cuts iPad screen output – Sharp shipping woes on iPad panels were seen as an indicator that Apple was having difficulty moving iPads, prompting one analyst firm to predict that Apple would ship only around 8 million iPads in Q1 2013, when in fact they shipped 22.9 million.
In the best of cases, supply chain reports offers some vague insight into the larger picture of Apple’s inventory channels, but when looked to for solid indicators of performance, they’re about as dependable as using a magic 8 ball. The iPad mini, by all reasonable accounts, looks to be a very strong performer for Apple, and it’s very likely we’ll see that trend continue.
The iPad mini is quickly becoming a key component of Apple’s product lineup, and according to some sources, might even be the best-selling tablet Apple makes at this point. The smaller tablet hit shelves in early November last year, and likely had a huge impact on Apple’s record tablet sales last quarter, which topped 19.5 million devices. It’s impossible not to see a Retina update in the mini’s future, and new reports (via MacRumors) claim we’ll see production begin for that device this summer.
NPD DisplaySearch analyst says we should see display panel production begin for a Retina iPad mini beginning in June or July, which will be sourced primarily from LG Display, and specifically not from Samsung, Apple’s sometime partner, but not a display supplier for the current iPad mini. The iPad mini with Retina Display should have a 2,048×1536 pixel, 7.9-inch screen, which makes for a PPI of 324, or just about the same as that of the iPhone 5. That would make it fully compatible with apps designed for the full-sized iPad’s Retina screen, but give it an even higher pixel density at the same time thanks to the smaller screen dimensions.
This production start date would fit with an anticipated ship date of between July and September for a Retina iPad mini, thought we’d be much more likely to see such a device arrive in the fall according to recent statements by Apple CEO Tim Cook. During the most recent Apple investor call, he told people to look to fall and 2014 specifically for exciting new product launches from Apple, which seems to indicate we might have to wait at least that long for something as exciting as an iPad mini refresh.
A Retina screen on the iPad mini would help Apple address the only real shortcoming reviewers and critics have identified on the tablet thus far. When the first reviews hit the web, mention of the lack of a Retina display was almost universal, though few cited it as a dealbreaking oversight. Even so, the addition of that capability will likely bring at least as much praise as its absence brought raised eyebrows.
Early rumored case leaks have shown that the next generation might be slightly thicker than the existing version, which would be in keeping with what happened between the iPad 2 and the first Retina Display iPad, which gained both girth and weight over its predecessor. I’m personally hoping that this is an early prototype; the size and weight change between the iPad 2 and 3rd gen device was very noticeable, and took away from the benefits of having a better screen.
Apple isn’t hurting in the tablet game, but some competitors are starting to show stronger numbers than they have in the past, including Asus, which reported earnings this week. Those included 3 million tablets sold for the quarter, a larger portion of which are likely the Nexus 7 Android devices it makes for Google. NPD DisplaySearch says that the Kindle Fire line of tablets will get 300 ppi or higher displays in the next generation, too, so Apple bringing the best-of-breed display in its next-gen device makes sense in terms of helping keep its dominating lead.
Apple iPad mini 16GB, Wi-Fi, 7.9in - White & Silver
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End Date: Thursday May-23-2013 11:54:53 PDT
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Apple iPad 1st Generation 32GB, Wi-Fi + 3G (AT&T), 9.7in - Black
End Date: Friday Jun-21-2013 7:55:13 PDT
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Apple iPad mini 32GB, Wi-Fi, 7.9in - White
End Date: Thursday May-30-2013 8:48:58 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $349.99
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