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Posts Tagged ‘Apple’

iPad: Image from Engadget.
iPad: Image from Engadget.

Earlier this morning, Apple unveiled the iPad, a 10 inch, 1.5lb  “tablet PC like” device that Apple promises will revolutionize media. You’ve probably heard a lot about the iPad already but I wanted to share what I thought about the device and what I think might actually make it a success.

First, the bad:

– It’s basically a larger iPhone (or iPod Touch if you are looking at the lower priced wifi only version)

– No multi tasking capabilities at all, no looking at email while working on a document, no multiple windows of things running etc: this ones a bummer.

– Still running a version of iPhone OS, so if you had hopes of a more general version of OS X, you’ll be disappointed.

The pluses:

– The biggest positive for the Apple iPad is its pricing. The pricing is REALLY aggressive. Starts at $499 and costs $830 for the high end 3G model. On the face these do look like much higher numbers than the iPhone, but what makes this remarkable is that there is no required contract with a wireless carrier. With the iPhone you would basically be putting thousands of dollars into a cell phone carriers pocket and would be locked into a long-term contract, no longer the case!

– Amazing battery life: if we believe Apple, it’s 10 hours!, and Apple seemed to suggest that you could get significant numbers of hours for just video play as well. The new A4 processor seems very power efficient while providing very responsive performance levels.

– AT&T is offering it’s $30 unlimited data plan on the iPad. I’m really curious to see how that will work out. If the iPhone put strains on the network, this device with a 10 inch screen will really tax AT&T’s network. It’s aggressive, but they probably see how much the iPhone did for them as a company and are hoping for more of the same from the iPad.

– So, although this runs iPhone OS (apparently version 3.2..), the larger screen does open up the App market for much more “serious apps,” as Apple showed with the iWork app for the device. And this could really be the market that Apple is going after. When you think about it, the Kindle DX costs only $10 less than the basic iPad and provides drastically fewer features and services. Possible markets based on what Apple showed could include: iWork/Office type stuff, graphic design/photo editing (using the multi-touch screen)

– This could be the dream gaming device. With 10 hours of battery life (according to apple), think of Starcraft or Warcraft running on this, with the touch interface. This thing was made to run real time strategy games. With the web connectivity MMORPG – massively multiplayer online role playing games could also find that suddenly their addressable market is much larger if these sell. Obviously, there’s also a lot of more traditional action games that will run comfortably on this device as well.

– ebooks: Apple is really going after Amazon here, anyone who looks at a kindle for a few hours and then looks at the same book on the iPad will be wowed by the color, the vibrancy etc. I still love my Kindle and the eye strain that comes from looking at a non e-ink screen I think will be overlooked by consumers who largely spend all day looking and reading things on computer screens anyway. Pricing here was a little more iffy, it sounds like Apple will not be pricing books to compete with Amazon (they seem to be targeting a $15 price. But because of the additional functionality, the color displays, ability to display textbooks correctly etc, they might be successful there too. We’ll have to see what the software looks like, but any problems can easily be corrected with updates to their book reader software so, this will be big on the iPad I think.

– docking capabilities: including a full physical keyboard. Apparently this will also work with standard bluetooth keyboards. I think this is a big positive as well. Also includes a “camera kit” that will allow you to transfer photos from camera SD cards to the iPad.

The bottom line is though, the price is low enough for consumers to bite at this thing, and it will have enough to keep early adopters satisfied. I for one, plan to line up for this when it releases in two months (three months for the 3G version).

For those who are willing to wait, faster online connections and multi tasking can’t be that far away.

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Apple Tablet? Image: Slashgear.

Apple Tablet? Image: Slashgear.

In an article today the NY Times positioned the new device Apple is expected to announce tomorrow as the last hope for old media. The article also revealed some details about the device that had previously only been rumor.

Quoting “analysts and others who have been briefed on the device” the Times laid out the following:

– Persistent wireless connection over 3G and WiFi

– 10 inch color display customized for “newspapers, magazines and book publishers”

РIt will run all current iPhone and iPod Touch applications  (which would suggest some form of the current iPhone OS running on the device)

– Quoted EA as saying: “Big media companies should be all over this like a cheap suit”

– NY Times is building a version of its newspaper for the tablet already

– Apple will market it not just as a way to read news, books and other material, but also a way for companies to charge for all that content through iTunes

– The Times has considered this an important enough device to create a special segment called “Reader Applications” for it with Yasmin Namini as head

Some interesting quotes: “Steve believes in old media companies and wants them to do well” but also “This opportunity, however, comes with a sizable catch: Steven P. Jobs”

Anyway, we only have a day to wait for the announcement: tomorrow should be exciting!  I for one am hoping for something a lot better than just a gigantic iPhone.

Outside of the NYTimes the rumor mill is still churning:

One strong rumor is that Barnes and Noble will be the book provider for the tablet, and this has Barnes and Noble stock going through the roof today. After B&Ns recent attempts to defraud the consumer, I hope this one is NOT true. Partner with the kindle store! please?

Also, apparently Verizon is the provider of choice, hmm.

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sling-iphoneI’ve been waiting for Sling Player to come out on iPhone for a while now (almost an year actually). Unfortunately the last couple of weeks have not brought much good news.

– First, Sling announced that older Slingboxes are not compatible: ouch, now that I’m going to business school it will be hard to justify buying a new slingbox just to get the iphone app

– Second, there are rumours that AT&T is pushing back on Sling. First we had a TOS change that was pretty obviously targeted at Sling and then quickly pulled again. Now the rumours say the app has been officially rejected. We all knew this was a possibility but hoped that the popularity of Sling would win the day.

What does this mean for us: if the rumours are true, we will likely see a wifi only Slingplayer.

I honestly don’t know why we have apps coming out that are wifi only. Skype for example. I want my slingplayer (or Skype) on the move, when I’m on the train, when I’m walking to work, etc. Not when I’m at home by my wifi router.

Sling on wifi for me is as good as no Sling at all.

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