Archive for the ‘mobile marketplace’ Category
You won’t find me waiting in line today at the Apple store for an iPad mini.
I know many of my friends and colleagues expected I would be there, if not today waiting in line, then shortly thereafter.
Boy, do I have a surprise for them.
I’m not going to buy an iPad mini.
I bought the 5th gen iPod touch instead.
That might seem like crazy talk coming from me, but after lugging electronic devices on my back and around the globe for a number of years, I’ve concluded smaller is better, at least for me.
I had the first gen iPod touch, probably my first completely “portable” mini-computer, and I loved it so.
I tried to revive it recently, and of course it seems dog slow now, and a number of the apps couldn’t be upgraded.
But when I thought about those things I really used that device for most — reading, email/calendaring on the road, watching news/videos, playing games — the iPod touch 5th gen just seemed like a much more suitable device for me.
There are some key differences between it and the iPad mini. First, the mini is bigger (7.9 inches), no doubt. So if screen size is key to you, then you certainly have to take that into account.
Remember, for me, smaller was better.
Second, the touch has the same processor as the mini, the A5, and having tested it out in the store, it was plenty fast for the things I wanted to do.
Third, though the screen is smaller on the touch, it IS a retina display, which has to be the most gorgeous screen you’ve ever seen. So, even though smaller is better for me, it’s also crisper in terms of what’s presented on the screen.
And, it fits easily in a coat pocket, back pocket, pretty much anywhere.
And because it supports Bluetooth 4.0, I can easily attach a foldable or remote Bluetooth keyboard and set to work on some serious business right there on the airplane tray without the hassle of someone slamming into it with their seat back, which has happened to me with laptops and a first gen iPad more times than I care to count.
As far as set up is concerned, now that I’m using iCloud, it’s about as simple as you can get. After an initial set up, I synched up with my iCloud account and most all my apps moved over no problemo. I did have to re-enter many of the account IDs/passwords for things like newspaper subscriptions, etc., but if that’s all the trouble I was going to have, no worries.
As for the 5th gen touch, I’ll just say its ridiculously light (so much so I’m afraid I might break the thing, and I’ll be looking for a solid hardshell case like an Otter just in case!), the display is gorgeous (although I haven’t yet played any games), and faster than greased lightning. The battery life is expected to be some 7-8 hours running video, so I have no worries about it fulilling my needs while traveling (maybe save for LONG international flights).
I explain all this because the best device is the one most suited to YOUR individual use case.
Think long and hard about what you want and need to do with the thing, then go survey the market and find the right device.
The latest and greatest new new thing like the iPad mini is always fun, but you want to make sure it fits the bill before you hand over any of your own to pay for the thing.
BLOGGER UPDATE: File this one under the “As If Anyone Will Really Notice” Category, Jimmy Kimmel on Apple’s New, New Thing (Thx, Hans!)
It’s a big day in tech, all the way around.
We’ll continue our mission to “Think Big” here in Las Vegas at the IBM Information On Demand 2012 event.
We’ll also get a glimpse into how big the mobile market is becoming as Facebook announces its earnings after the bell later today.
But of course, one of the biggest stories of the day has to do with the downsizing of one of our favorite tablets, the Apple iPad.
Rumors abound about the new iPad “Mini,” which I very look forward to referring to as my “MiniMePad.”
If you’re using an Apple device (including an AppleTV), you should be able to tune in to watch the announcement live starting at 10 AM PST.
If not, there will be shortage of bloggers out there giving you the blow-by-blow.
Why am I so interested in the Mini iPad?
First, Apple set the bar for tablets with the original iPad, which I still use to this day.
Second, the smaller form factor is raising a lot of questions about price. Can Apple afford to take down the price from $499 to the $200 range, especially when their iPod Touch is still priced at $299 (the last time I looked…I can’t look this morning, as the Apple store is down getting busy for the Mini introduction).
I’d say the question more is, can they afford not to? Like the early browser wars, this is a market AND mindshare battle. iOS and Android are lined up for a full cage death match, and if Apple’s to maintain its market share lead of 69.6% (as of Q2 2012), they’re going to have to compete aggressively on price.
The new Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HDs are coming in at under $200, and while I doubt that’s a price Apple can match, they’re going to have to strive to stay somewhat price competitive, figuring the Apple premium could be worth $100 per unit or so.
Third, the original iPad was the starting line of the shift away from desktop-centric technology, and as Microsoft attempts to come into this market with its Surface tablet, a key question emerges: Can Apple continue to entice productivity hounds away from the Microsoft ecosystem, despite the advent of the Surface, and stay price competitive in a burgeoning competitive market?
As for me, you might ask, will I buy one? I’ll never say never. The iPad has become a full-on personal entertainment and productivity workhorse for me, an elegant blended use case of both the personal and the professional.
I watch movies on the thing, I use it for blogging and broadcasting, I play games, I do email, I read books, I hold conference calls. There’s not a lot I can’t do on it.
So, I can easily justify the upgrade, and I’d love to get a faster iPad, but like with the original, I may wait for an initial software upgrade so Apple has the opportunity to work some of the kinks out.
Then again, I may not.
That’s all I have to say after the brutal 30+ hour journey back home from Singapore.
Jet travel = one big giant petri dish, and after I took ill during the first leg of my trip from Singapore to Tokyo, my sinuses took it upon themselves to become completely inflamed and congested, so I learned yet another helpful travel trick: Pack sinus spray in the carry on at all times.
Fortunately, my head never got to the point that it exploded mid-flight, and I was sentient enough when I landed in Austin to be able to drive home. Where I promptly slept for 10 hours.
The weekend in sport was just as daunting: My UT Longhorns got on the wrong side of the Sooners in the Red River Showdown, my Cowboy’s QB doesn’t know how to count in seconds at the end of a football game, and my New York Yankees lost their beloved captain Derek Jeter in an ankle-wrenching, season-ending heartbreaker, now heading to Detroit down 0-2 to the Tigers in the ALCS.
And then, to awaken today bright and early and discover more potential consolidation in the telecommunications space, this time with SoftBank’s 70% stake its buying in Sprint, which amounted to a $20B U.S. stake!
TechCrunch reported the news brought down the Sprint website overnight.
As has been widely reported, Sprint is well behind in the LTE game, and the SoftBank infusion is expected to help Sprint with their continued rollout of the new network technology, as well as consolidate their position in wi-fi broadband provider, Clearwire.
Faster, cheaper, better. Isn’t that (almost) always the objective in the technology game?
Speaking of, if you’re made in the spirit of a tried and true “Maker Fairean,” DIYer, the new Raspberry Pi is now shipping with double the RAM (512MB!) at the same tiny price tag of $35.
The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card sized computer that runs several variants of Linux and is primed for attraction to emerging growth market countries looking to move into the computing realm at a ridiculously affordable price.
And if that news is music to your geekish ears, also on the Monday morning news run down is Microsoft’s announcement it’s moving into the digital music game, using its X-Box as a music streaming Trojan Horse.
The Xbox Music service will be available through the Xbox Live service, and on Windows 8 tablets, PCs, and Windows mobile phone devices, and will include free and paid models for streaming AND downloads.
While you’re at it, how about delivery of a patch that keeps the “blue screen of death” from ever darkening my virtual door again?!
Okay, that’s enough silly news banter for the moment.
I have to get back to work — Information On Demand 2012 is less than 7 days away (more on that shortly!). In the meantime, stay tuned for more interviews conducted last week at IBM InterConnect 2012.
So how do you prefer to consume your news on your mobile device?
A new study from the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism indicates that half of all U.S. adults now have a mobile connection to the web through either a smartphone or tablet, which is much higher than even a year ago.
Pew alleges this has “major implications for how news will be consumed and paid for.”
But we’re also seeing that users are moving from “snacking” on news via their mobile devices, to reading much longer form content.
And moreover, more people are moving towards using a browser and away from using an app for their tablet news consumption.
I found this one to be quite interesting, as it’s somewhat opposite from my own behavior.
For example, I’ve been a long-time New York Times reader, mainly via their Website (on my Mac), and sometimes via my iPad or iPhone 4.
I finally decided to give them some of my hard-earned money, recently signing up for an all-digital subscription. I don’t want no dead tree showing up on my doorstep!
I strongly prefer the New York Times app, particularly on the iPad. Call me old-fashioned, but being someone with a journalism background myself, I place great value on design, layout, and yes, usability.
So, I save the browser version for the desktop, but much prefer the app on my mobile devices.
Going against the trend, as always!
Some other highlights from the study:
- Lower cost tablets in late 2011 brought in a new group of tablet owners.
- There’s growing evidence mobile devices are adding to how much news people get.
- People who get news throughout the day on their mobile devices are more engaged news consumers.
- People notice ads on mobile devices and may be even more likely to click on them than they are to click on other digital ads.
From their lips to Mark Zuckerberg’s ears!
You can read more about new Pew report on mobile news usage here.
Blogger’s Note: If you’re a tried and true news junkie, then you have to check out the Magnolia Pictures documentary release “Page One: Inside the New York Times.” The filmmakers take you inside the Times newsroom and the inner workings of the Media Desk, just as the Internet started to surpass print as our main news source and as newspapers all over the U.S. started going bankrupt. Page One chronicles the transformation of the media industry at its time of greatest turmoil. The best part: It features lots of coverage of media columnist and technology curmudgeon, David Carr.