Posts Tagged ‘tablet’

Would anyone turn down an iPad Air?

Monday, December 9th, 2013

Yes, there are other tablets with individual apps, and every tablet’s base line functionality means that you can use Android, iOS, Windows 8, or any other flavour and get your work done…. but for that final little push, that bit of shine, is there any other choice other than an iPad Air?

… but the iPad Air is more than an iteration on Apple’s successful product line. It feels like the synthesis of everything that has come before, allowing Apple to create a tablet that can fit into your life without you having to compromise any of your expectations. And when you want to stretch your wings, the iPad Air is ready to take flight.

You can read my full review of the iPad Air over on my Forbes column.

The £80 Android Tablet

Sunday, September 22nd, 2013

The Nook HD, now available for just £79 for 8GB in the UK, is a nice piece of kit. It’s not cutting edge, but it does the job, its comfortable to read on for long periods, and with the inclusion go Google Play, you can be sneaky and install the Kindle app if you’re locked in to Bezos’ ecosystem.

It is possible to use the Nook HD and Nook HD+ as purely Kindle readers, which does feel a touch subversive as a user, and I did wonder how sales from the Barnes and Noble store have performed since the opening up of the Kindle. Interestingly Managing Director Jim Hilt told me earlier this month that “sales have not been diminished with the inclusion of Google Play.”

Barnes and Noble still has a significant number of apps available through the Nook Store, but having Google Play available should give the switched-on user more confidence to buy a Nook. If for any reason the Nook ecosystem was switched off, the inclusion of Google Play, and the ability to side load content and apps over the USB cable would mean the tablet would still be usable.

Read more on my recent Forbes article.

Hobson’s choice for Amazon’s Android Tablet

Saturday, August 27th, 2011

If Amazon want a successful Android tablet with a volume of sales to make them a player in the tablet space, they’re going to need to price it incredibly competitively, not as low as the Touchpad clearance, but around the $200-$300 mark. Which means that they’ll be reliant on making up that difference on the other side, through App Stores, music sales, Kindle downloads and other incidentals (the so-called Nintendo method).

But if the tablet priced is priced that competitively, my suspicion is that any “Amazon branding” and lock-in to their stores and revenue streams will be rooted away in a matter of hours and they’ll be subsidising a lot of hacker tablets in the wild. The smart thing will be to have a soft-lock to Amazon that can be legitimately circumvented (thus keeping the free/open source community advocates happy) but has enough roadblocks to keep the majority of people in their domain.

The knowledge gained from the Kindle sales patterns will be useful, but this is going to be a fine balancing act. The success of the Amazonian Android is likely to come down not on hardware, design, or ease of use, but on the probability, prediction and accuracy of the customer usage model.

It’s not a tablet market, it’s an iPad market

Friday, August 26th, 2011

…Apple has sold ten times as many iPads as the three biggest competing devices combined have shipped, which we’ve already established is a very generous way to represent device success. The iPad is clearly dominating the category in a massive way.

When you make the category, make the rules, and tell the public what they want, of course you’ll dominate it.

In obvious news, people want iPads and not iPad clones

Friday, July 8th, 2011

Tablet computers aren’t selling as many units as every company who isn’t Apple hoped for. There’s a surprise.

You might as well call your new digital magazine "Failure"

Friday, June 24th, 2011

[HP] is taking matters into its own hands: it will produce its own TouchPad-only magazine called Pivot.

The TechCrunch CrunchPad Is The Future of Fabrication

Monday, January 19th, 2009

A fair amount of buzz today over Michael Arrington’s posting of details of his Tablet Computing prototype over on TechCrunch. Arrington is looking to make a slate-style touch screen device, running at 1024×768, and booting directly to a Webkit based browser. It looks ungainly now – although I think the Duplo based stand (*) in the demo video should be included in the retail pack – but his target of $300 retail price is ambitious and places it in the impulse buy in many tech stores.

I’m not going to go down the route of many blogs that are trying to add in more features (why not use Android), that are comparing it to existing tech like the Asus (it will never work) or that nobody bought this ten years ago (it’s not really original). What I wanted to talk about was the simple fact that Arrington has just went out and made the machine that suits him perfectly.

This is what I see the future of Consumer Electronics – the ability to mould your own device. Thanks to the Linux movement, one of the three main legs of any product, the software, is taken care of. Any equipment manufacturer can sort out a working operating system and tailor it to their needs. In the case of the CrunchPad, a basic Linux install with just the web browser is an easy ask for an OS.

Distribution, and the associated promotion and selling, is taken care of on the web – yes this is TechCrunch but anyone now has a way to reach the people who you think want your device.

The final leg here is hardware, and this is what I think is going to change over the next few years, allows individuals to put together small runs of equipment to a unique specification. This is still quite costly, but is certainly coming down compared to when I was involved with looking at PDA design and building seven or so years ago (and there is a story in there, but that is for another time).

Arrington is struggling to keep the build cost down, but I admire his tenacity. It will be interesting to follow the progress if does decide to move into either a limited (1000 units) or a full production. I wish him luck.

(*) Why does Arrington have Duplo around? Lego Technic I could understand, or even regular Lego, but those are the big pre-school sized bricks. Should I be searching for CrunchBaby?