Dell drops Streak 7, backs out of Android tablets in US

Dell drops Streak 7, backs out of Android tablets in US:

Like HP, Dell is believed to be putting most of its faith in Windows 8 tablets for the US market. It won’t have this option until mid-to-late 2012, however, and will essentially concede its share of mobile tablets for a year.

(Via MacNN | The Macintosh News Network)

Why can’t PC manufacturers release a credible iPad competitor?  Execution of course has been lacking by announcing tablets so early the market had moved on to more advanced tablets, but that begs a serious question: Why is Dell behind?

iPad 2

I was not that impressed with Apple’s release of the iPad 2.  It was truly anti-climactic what with all the hype and hyperbolic speculation bandied about ad nauseum.  I’ve said the original iPad is a game-changer and was saw a bright future for it at the outset.  I was not wrong.

But the iPad 2 is not a game changer.  It is an evolution of an already strong product, a refinement in point of fact.  It’s lighter, faster, stronger and includes features long predicted to make it into this revision.  FaceTime cameras, for example, have ben expected almost as long as the original iPad has been out.  It’s product positioning relative to the MacBook, esp. the 11-inch Air, has been refined.  No doubt it will be a big seller as its predecessor.   Ironically, the coolest innovation is not strictly within the iPad 2 itself but in it’s cover that doubles as a stand.  Can’t wait to see what the iPad economy comes up with for that magnetic connect.

I was disappointed that Apple stuck with 3G for a couple of reasons.  One, on the macro side their analysis of how 4G is playing out is like mine: Betamax vs. VHS or Blu-ray vs. HD-DVD.  We don’t know whether WiMax or LTE will be the Blu-ray of mobile broadband.  Two, if Apple isn’t charging ahead into 4G it probably means a industry standard that would allow for cheap (and this is important) carrier agnostic components to manufactured is not around the corner.  So 3G it is.

All-in-all ho-hum precisely because this is what we’ve come to expect from Apple.


Because We Don’t Have an App for That

RIM CEO: Apple Is Wrong for Having an App for That:

”‘So you reject the appification of the Web?’ asked Summit host John Battelle. ‘Correct,’ Balsillie said, challenging Apple’s ‘there’s an app for that’ slogan for its iPhone App Store, which has more than 300,000 applications.

Balsillie’s comments were tinged with a note of bitterness in the wake of unprovoked attacks on RIM’s business by Apple CEO Steve Jobs. One month ago, Jobs appeared on Apple’s fourth-quarter earnings call to tout how Apple had passed RIM in smartphone sales for the quarter.”

(Via eWeek – RSS Feeds.)

Verizon to sell Galaxy Tab starting November 11th for $599.99 — Engadget

Verizon to sell Galaxy Tab starting November 11th for $599.99 — Engadget:

“Well, we finally have a price on this thing! America’s largest carrier has announced plans to sell Samsung’s Galaxy Tab for… $599.99. The 3G, Android 2.2-based unit (which will be loaded with V CAST apps, of course) will hit retail on November 11th, and since it’s being sold at full price, a data plan (which starts at $20 per month for 1GB) is completely optional.”

(Via The Macalope.)

I thought I’d never write the following words: Apple is killing Samsung on price.

The Replacement Killers

Apple’s iPad: A Gadget Killer — or Just Another Gadget? – Knowledge@Wharton:

“Still, for Apple to convince people that they should purchase yet another device, the pitch for the iPad should revolve around device consolidation, say experts at Wharton. Clearly, consumers would welcome convergence. ‘Ten years ago there were very few of us who traveled with all these devices, but that’s no longer true today,’ says Clemons.

Matwyshyn agrees, but she doesn’t think the iPad can realistically consolidate devices just yet. In addition to its memory and battery life shortfalls, she questions whether the iPad can maintain a solid Internet connection: AT&T has taken a reputation hit because its networks have struggled to handle data traffic from the iPhone. ‘For people who don’t want to carry phone, laptop, music player and e-reader, the iPad could be appealing,’ she says. ‘The iPad isn’t that universal device yet, but it could evolve to be one.'”

(Via Knowledge@Wharton.)

While I’m sure my teachers have good reasons for believing the iPad falls through the cracks in terms of being between the compact smartphone and the powerful laptop, as well as failing to replace a plenitude of gadgets they might already own, I am much more bullish on the iPad despite the fact that my evidence is largely anecdotal.

“The Hot New Joint”

Consumers by definition consume, esp. that elusive commodity: cool. I was shocked as I stood in line to purchase a new iPhone 3G how many recent original iPhone purchasers were willing to upgrade. The tech punditry claimed it was simply not enough to upgrade, but there they were in line with me…contract be damned. I’m not convinced it was for the 3G or the GPS. Apple is not the company that markets its products based on tech specs. The new model was clearly better, but it was also redesigned to be sleeker and, dare I say it, cooler.

I have already been struck by the enthusiasm for a device people have not even touched but already want to buy both in life and reading online. I personally know of three people ranging from complete novices to technical Master Jedi who simply want one the day it goes on sale, not including myself. It’s clear they see a place for it in their pantheon of gadgetry.

I myself have 3 iPods, an iPhone, a MacBook Air, and an iMac. My 3rd gen I no longer use. A classic I use to carry my music library around, mostly in my car. And a nano I bought for exercise/running. None of them stopped me from getting an iPhone. Further, I am, in fact, thinking of replacement. I’m looking to deprecate my Air with an iPad because I’m looking for the slimmest computer that I can do my work on. The iPad 1.0 will do quite nicely provided the applications are there.

A Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins at 1.0

Clearly the iPad, as demonstrated, is a 1.0 product with its limitations examined ad nauseum. What is exciting for me are the possibilities of a new wave of computing the iPad represents. It’s very hard to predict exactly how things will change because it is the developers who will push this platform to new places if they can. Hardware specs are confining. They determine what the limits are, but it’s the software developers who determine what you can actually do with a computer. And ultimately it is they who will determine if consumers will want an iPad or not.

On the Launch iPad

By now you no doubt have heard of Apple’s launch of the iPad, it’s entry into the ultraportable computer market. Given the company’s track record in groundbreaking products I’m optimistic of it’s chances for success. There are several reasons for this, but even more important than the iPad’s success, is its potential to change how we imagine personal computing and how it might affect the industry. But before I talk about what I think the iPad is and what it might be, let me briefly say what it isn’t.

Apple Flying w/o a Net.

Tech pundits far and wide (and not a few of my tech savvy friends and colleagues) have spent much time criticizing the iPad’s lack of ports, lack of keyboard, etc. Or they harp on the converse: that it is just a big iPod. Both imply that it isn’t a serious or capable machine because it doesn’t have the necessary computer accoutrement. What was immediately obvious to me was that they miss the point. Apple is not interested in netbooks which are shrunk down PC’s that simply add inconvenience to the PC experience: flexibility, complexity, and but in a cramped form factor. Thankfully, this is not the direction Apple decided to go.

It’s not a Big iPod touch. Yes, really.

Apple developed a strong user interface for the compact space afforded by the iPod touch and the iPhone. It’s operating system is by necessity efficient and surprisingly powerful. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by what I can do with my iPhone. But most importantly it is simple making the device easier to use and a more effective tool. This has come at a price: a loss of flexibility and some power. But that is relative. It’s clear that users aren’t interested in battery doors, multitasking, or SD slots. They aren’t interested in being computer geeks. They are interested in doing their work, enjoying their media and playing their games.

The iPad continues this trajectory, but with an important difference: screen real estate. On a superficial level, this quite obviously makes the iPad a big iPod touch. The problem is what would the apps be like in this different form factor? Sure an iPad will run iPod apps at 2X the size, but does anyone really believe that developers will stop there? Apple ported its iWork suite and the apps if they are not fully functional cousins to their Mac OS counterparts, seem to come very close. And that’s the real difference between in the iPad. I could work all day on an iPad because it let’s me do the work I’m trying to do. Scale is an important factor. It changes things.

There Still is No Free Lunch

For all the simplicity and the machine getting out of my way, there is a price to pay. We lose some flexibility and some power depending on the application in question. I can’t have half a dozen dongles hanging off the thing as of yet. So this is clearly not on par with the power and flexibility of a laptop or desktop PC. But sadly this is all many of the iPad’s critics seem to notice. It’s too bad this kind of myopia is neither new, nor unprecedented. The iPod and iPhone all enjoy this distinction. The rest is history.

What Lies Before Us

The real challenge is on developers to see how far they can take this platform. No doubt Apple will be the first first-to-market manufacture but it certainly will not be the last. For all of Ballmer’s grousing, look for the tablet edition of Windows to imitate the iPad environment. We well see more focused computing in the years to come and I’m excited to be alive to witness it.