Tag: tablets

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Nexus 9 Out-of-the-Box Impressions

Yesterday afternoon, I received Google’s newest Android tablet, which HTC manufactures, for review. The companies unveiled Nexus 9 in mid-October 2014, and sales started as Americans prepared to vote in November’s mid-term elections. So I am late in the reviews cycle. My eventual write-up will post to BetaNews, and also here—keeping with my sentiment that writers should own/control their content.

What follows is my thinking out loud, as I begin to process Nexus 9’s benefits and detriments. Some of my opinions will likely change during the reviews process. For anyone who cares about photos: I shot the tablet with the Fujifilm X100T. The pic is from the JPEG, with slight adjustment to the temperature. Okay, let’s get to first-impressions.

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Storage is One of iPhone’s Biggest Benefits

Oh the irony! I got up yesterday morning planning to write a version of the post you read now, choosing instead to look back at readers’ life-changing tech. The trigger: Motorola starting the New Year with a 64GB Moto X model and my previous day’s personal tech devices wrap-up, which got me to thinking abut smartphone differentiation. Processing power, graphics chips, and the like are passé. Who really cares but a minority of gadget geeks? But storage matters to everyone, and Apple gets it—as iPhone 6 and 6 Plus capacities demonstrate.

My feeds are full of reports this morning about a lawsuit filed against Apple alleging that iOS 8 consumes too much storage and, as such, the company misrepresents the amount available. I would have looked so smart writing yesterday about how much Apple gives that competitors don’t (well, to anyone who like me missed the first reports two days ago). That’s okay, now my analysis has a news hook. The point, for people reading no more than two paragraphs of any story: iPhone 6 capacities outclass competitors, and the problem of operating systems consuming much of available storage isn’t new or exclusive to the fruit-logo company. Just look to Google and Microsoft, for example.

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Ho, Ho, Ho, It’s Reviews Not News This Christmas

For much of Holiday 2014, I will shift from tech news and analysis to product reviews, which will be a relaxing change. I also am prepping new ebook How I Beat Diabetes, preparing to start an investigative storytelling project, and strongly considering a Kickstarter to gauge interest in a site that calls out irresponsible news reporting (of which there is too much) and praises the best journalism, too.

On the reviews front, now would be a good time to knock on my virtual door, if you’ve got something worth my attention, whether cloud service, gear, mobile app, or software. No promises what I can get to during the holidays, when everyone wants to sell something, but, hey, we can try. Reviews will run on BetaNews,  and I will cross-post some here, despite any search penalty Google might impose for the practice. I care about readers, not pageviews. With the holidays in mind, I may shift to a shorter reviews format, focusing almost completely on benefits. Frak features. 

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iPad Sales That Go Down Are Mac Sales Going Up

On May 15, 2001, while previewing the first Apple Store to analysts and journalists, then CEO Steve Jobs boasted: “Apple has about 5 percent market share today”, but the remainder “don’t even consider us”. Jobs exaggerated, and not for the first time, seeing as how Mac global share was more like 2 percent.

But the ambition, to use the retail shops to “double our market share”, was achievable. Three years following his death, with 10-percent long ago reached in the United States, something more startling occurred: During calendar Q3 2014, Apple moved into fifth place for global PC shipments, according to IDC. The question is why. 

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Apple’s Too Many iPads Problem

Sarah Perez makes the point before I could (oh lazy me): “Apple announces too many iPads“. That’s the most sensible take on tablets launched last week, and over the weekend copycat stories started posting. Strange thing, there’s nothing new about iPad configuration complexity. The number of base SKUs, while way too many, increases by just two.

I first harped on Apple’s “too many problem”, following iPad mini’s introduction two years ago, observing: “It’s a crowded lineup, with overlapping features and prices not seen from Apple since the early- to mid-1990s”. Crowded is understatement. The mini jacked up the number of basic configurations from eight to 14. However, when looking at all available SKUs, including two colors and carrier-specific models, the number jumped to 54. 

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Phablets hang Tim Cook’s Ass to the Wind

Analyst punditry is exhaustive about why tablet shipments declined during calendar first quarter 2014. Apple missed Wall Street consensus by about 3 million iPads. Tech-Thoughts analyst Sameer Singh expected tablet shipments to exceed PCs during the first quarter, and that didn’t happen. But major reason why is significant.

He writes today: “As of now, we can assume that ~20 percent of all smartphones shipped have screen sizes large enough to become acceptable substitutes for tablet computing tasks”. 

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I Told You So

Sony selling its PC business rocks techdom today. I am in process of writing an analysis for BetaNews and decided to excerpt a portion here, posted sooner, that hopefully will help anyone looking for context.

Additionally, because I work on a book about writing well and responsibly online, there is opportunity to refute long-time accusations leveled by aggressive BetaNews commenters. Yeah, the two are related. With that introduction…

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The Great Tablet Newspaper Experiment Ends

How does a news organization squander $30 million? Launch an iPad-only newspaper with great fanfare, only to shut down 18 months later. News Corps’ tablet newspaper fails for many reasons, some related to necessary restructuring of larger operations.

But ultimately, The Daily fails for lack of good editorial content and oversight. The app/publication is is too much like a digitized USA Today for people with sixth-grade reading comprehension.

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Why iPad is Successful

Two reasons stand out: iPod and iPhone, and the ecosystem supporting them. Apple launched its tablet with huge manufacturing, distribution, and third-party support, something it didn’t have with iPod and less of with iPhone. Purely from that perspective, and discounting design or technical merits, Research in Motion and Samsung are strategically in best competitive ecosystem positions to release viable iPad competitors. But will they?

Some Apple fans will disagree, arguing that iPad’s size, design, and user experience make it far superior to other tablets. I won’t debate those points here but only observe they would be meaningless without the supporting ecosystem created by iPod and iPhone. Apple didn’t launch iPad into a vacuum but with lush sales and distribution environment.