Jun 1 2010

Asus Unveils iPad Competitor

Will it be the next “iPad killer”? I doubt it, but it still seems like a decent tablet.

The device in question is the Asus Eee Pad EP121, a tablet computer that, according to the company, is “a full-featured slate computer that serves as a multimedia player, e-reader, compact PC and Internet device.” It was unveiled at Computex 2010 in Taipei and has a 12-inch touchscreen, Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium, and an Intel Core 2 Duo processor. Asus has said that the device is able to run many applications at once, which the iPad cannot do.

Asus also revealed another new device, the Asus Eee 101TC, which is a thinner and lighter device that runs Windows 7 Embedded. Asus’ decision to use Windows on its tablets is probably going to help Microsoft maintain a presence in the still-young tablet market. HP was also going to use Windows in its tablet until its acquisition of Palm.

Via InformationWeek, image via CNET.

May 31 2010

Apple Sells Two Millionth iPad

Wow. The iPad has turned out to be way more successful than I expected it to be. Apple has announced today that it has sold its two millionth iPad. Keep in mind that this milestone comes less than a month after the sale of the one millionth iPad and less than sixty days after the initial release of the iPad on April 3.

The iPad was released internationally and, according to Steve Jobs in a press release, “customers around the world are experiencing the magic of iPad, and seem to be loving it as much as we do.”

Apple has also announced that the App Store now has over 5,000 native iPad apps and over 200,000 apps total. Though Apple has not revealed specific sale figures for each of the iPad models or the number of iPads sold in specific countries, avid Apple watchers are hoping for such statistics at the Worldwide Developers Conference, coming up next month.

Via PC World, image via Apple.

May 29 2010

Rumor: Amazon to Introduce Thinner Kindle

According to two people familiar with Amazon’s plans, the company is planning to introduce a new, thinner Kindle this August. The new Kindle will mostly likely be in response to traditional competitors of Kindle, like e-readers made by Sony and Barnes & Noble, not the iPad, which is a recent introduction.

The new Kindle will not have a color screen or touchscreen capabilities. It will have a black and white screen with sharper contrast to make e-books look more like printed books. Amazon hopes to eventually make an e-reader with a color screen.

The Kindle and its competitor, the Nook made by Barnes & Noble, both sell for $259. Sony’s e-reader, which has a touchscreen, sells for $199. The iPad starts at $499. According to a research firm, about 6 million e-readers will be sold this year, which is twice the amount sold last year.

Amazon bought a company earlier this year that specializes in touchscreen technology, so a touchscreen e-reader with a color display could be a feasible future product for Amazon.

Via BusinessWeek, image via Amazon.

May 27 2010

Apple Releases iPad in Europe

Starting on Friday, the iPad will be turned loose to countries other than the United States. Apple is releasing it in the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and Germany on Friday and in Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands sometime in July. Major European carriers that will offer service for the iPad have already announced their data plans.

A researcher with Gartner Inc. has said that the iPad is extremely unique and is in a category of its own when it comes to mobile products. Though other companies are planning to manufacture tablets, at this point the iPad really does not have a rival. Gartner has forecasted that the iPad will count for the majority of sales of touchscreen tablet products this year.

In the UK, computer retailer DSG has exclusive rights to sell the iPad for sixty days. In France, there is no one chain of stores with exclusivity.

Via The Wall Street Journal, image via Apple.

May 26 2010

Apple Overtakes Microsoft

As of Wednesday afternoon, Apple has overtaken Microsoft as most valuable technology company. At the close of trading, Apple was valued at nearly $223 billion compared with Microsoft’s $219 billion.

The rankings could of course change, but for now, Apple is ahead, which is not surprising due to the company’s recent success due to the iPhone and the iPad. Apple’s share price has risen dramatically over the past year to $244. Microsoft’s has also risen, but not as dramatically: a year ago, its shares closed at $20, today they closed at $25.

Microsoft and Apple have had a rivalry for years. Microsoft was the dominant company for a long time but it appears now that the tables have turned. The iPod and iPhone have helped facilitate Apple’s rise as a true technology giant that has become a lot more successful than Microsoft. As Apple has grown, it has faced problems and criticism for its policies.

Via The Wall Street Journal.

May 25 2010

Dell Streak Is More a Smartphone than a Tablet

Dell is a very strange company: it has just unveiled a device that it is calling a tablet and is meant to compete with Apple’s iPad. There’s only one problem: this device, called the Streak, looks a lot more like a smartphone than a tablet to me.

The Streak is Android-based and has a touchscreen about half the size of the iPad’s. It has a 1 GHz processor, 2 GB internal storage, up to 32 GB external SD storage, and a 5 megapixel camera. There’s nothing wrong with this device—it actually looks kind of cute—but by no stretch of the imagination would I consider it a tablet.

It is true that the iPad’s OS is a mobile OS and in some ways, the iPad may be more similar to a smartphone than a laptop. But there is a difference between tablets and smartphones, and the iPad is clearly a tablet, while the Streak is much more like a smartphone.

Android has great potential to compete with the iPad but only if it is used on devices that are actually tablets.

Via PC World, image via PC World.

May 25 2010

Yankee Stadium Bans iPad

An iPad user recently found out the hard way that iPads are not allowed into Yankee Stadium when she attempted to bring the device to a game but was told that iPads are included in the no laptop rule for Yankee Stadium’s security policy.

A sports blogger called the security department to confirm this and it is indeed true: iPads are banned from Yankee Stadium as a security threat. But even though the ban is kind of silly, the same blogger wondered why anyone would want to bring, much less use, an iPad at a baseball game. That is a good point: if you are going to the game, isn’t the whole point to watch it while you’re there?

Also, the chances of being able to go on the Internet on an iPad during a game are pretty much unlikely due to the sheer amount of people present. One thing is certain: with thousands of people on cell networks all at once, the 3G network will not work on an iPad.

Via Yahoo! Sports, image via BLS Illustration.

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May 20 2010

Russian President Uses an iPad

The iPad has some high-profile users

The Prime Minister of Norway made headlines when he was seen using an iPad while stranded in an airport due to a volcano eruption last month. Not to be outdone, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has acquired his own iPad, which he uses for reading e-books.

Speaking to students at Kiev State University in Ukraine earlier this week, he explained how he did not like e-books previously, but has started reading them with the help of an iPad. The Russian President has a reputation for being technologically savvy: he has been seen using an iPhone and a MacBook Pro and appears to accord more importance to technology than his predecessor Putin, who allegedly does not even use email (at least according to an interview published ten years ago).

Via CNews, image via CNews.

May 20 2010

Apple Opens International iPad App Store

In preparation for the international release of the iPad at the month, Apple is in the process of bringing the iPad App Store to customers outside of the United States. Previously, users had to download iPad apps through iTunes and then transfer them by sync, but with the changes, users will be able to browse and download apps from the iPad itself.

The iBooks application is still not available outside the US, though international users allegedly can use it by making a US iTunes account. Some analysts have said that there are some international readers with iPads.

Via USA News Week, image via Apple.

May 12 2010

Verizon and Google Team Up For Tablet

Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam announced recently that his company and Google are going to work together to develop a tablet to compete with the iPad. McAdam did not mention very many details, so the tech blogosphere is bursting with questions.

The first question is why Google has not mentioned its involvement in the tablet. Verizon has spoken openly about it, but Google has not made a single public comment concerning the new device. Google’s silence has led some analysts to believe that Verizon has completely invented the tablet in order to get a better deal with Apple for the iPhone and iPad.

The next question is who would make the Verizon-Google tablet. It’s supposed to run Android OS, which would suggest either HTC or Motorola making it, as these two companies are the most prominent on Verizon’s network to use Android. Furthermore, how much would Verizon influence the tablet? Would it be locked into the Verizon App Store or would is be able to use Android’s marketplace? All these questions will hopefully answered later this week.

Via PC World, image via PC World.

May 7 2010

Analyst: iPad Has Not Impacted Netbook Sales

There has been speculation for some time now that the iPad is going to spell the end of netbooks, the small Windows-based notebooks that are a cheaper alternative to more expensive laptops. According to an analyst with the NPD Group, it is much too early at this point to tell if the iPad is going to adversely affect netbook sales.

An analyst with Morgan Stanley said earlier this week that the iPad has severely impacted netbook sales, being that netbooks have sold less this year than they did last year. Though netbook growth is declining, some are saying that we cannot attribute this directly to the iPad.

Instead, the products that will spell the end of the netbook will most likely be Windows notebooks that are slightly more expensive than netbooks. For just a little more money, users can buy computers with full-sized keyboards and bigger screens. The economy may also have played a role: netbooks were a more logical choice when economic times were harder back in 2009.

Via Computerworld, image via ZDnet.

May 7 2010

iPad Shortage Hits the US

There appears to be an iPad shortage across the United States: Apple stores in major cities all across the US have reported that they are out of 3G iPads, and some stores do not even have the higher-end WiFi models. The stores are allowing customers to put their names on a waiting list.

The question at this point is why Apple is out of iPads. The iPad has obviously been a huge success so far, so perhaps it was more of a success than Apple anticipated, which could have caused the shortage. Others have suggested that Apple is stockpiling iPads for the international launch, which is scheduled for May 28. Still others are saying that the shortage is caused by a shortage of touchscreens for the iPad.

The more cynical among us have suggested that the shortage has been artificially created by Apple to increase news coverage and customer demand.

Via PC World, image via Apple.

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May 3 2010

Apple Sells One Million iPads

It’s official: Apple has sold one million iPads as of last Friday. According to Apple CEO Steve Jobs, the company sold one million iPads in half as much time as it took for one million iPhones to be sold, which is very impressive indeed.

Apple also said that users have downloaded 1.5 million iBooks and over 12 million apps from the App Store. There are 5,000 iPad-specific apps in the App Store. The top-selling apps are Pages, Numbers, and Keynote, all Apple’s answer to Microsoft Office. The games Pinball, Real Racing HD, and Scrabble also remain top-selling apps.

Jobs also said that the demand for the iPad continues to exceed the supply, which is why Apple delayed the international release of the iPad (and why Apple stores sold out of iPads this weekend when the iPad 3G was released).

Via The New York Times, image via Apple.

May 2 2010

Apple Releases 3G iPad

Apple has released the 3G-capable version of its iPad this weekend. According to one analyst, the company sold 300,000 3G iPads this weekend, including pre-orders. If this is true, then Apple sold as many 3G iPads during the first weekend of release as on the first day of the WiFi-only iPad’s release.

The supply of 3G iPads was limited this weekend—many Apple stores reported selling out of iPads, both 3G-capable and WiFi-only capable. This shows how the release of the 3G iPad helped the sales of all iPads.

The analyst has estimated that Apple has sold more than 1 million iPads at this point, which suggests that Apple may exceed expectations for iPad sales during the June quarter.

Customers who pre-ordered the 3G iPad received them in the mail on Friday and those who went to retail stores were able to buy them starting at 5:00 PM on Friday. The 3G models are more expensive than the WiFi-only models and require a data plan with AT&T.

Via AppleInsider, image via Apple.

Apr 30 2010

HP Nixes Slate

HP has decided to nix its Slate tablet before even releasing it, according to reports today. HP’s reason for killing off its iPad competitor? Windows 7 does not measure up as a tablet operating system. HP will probably be searching for a new operating system, such as Google’s Android OS, or it could be planning to convert Palm’s webOS to work on tablets. Adapting webOS for tablets would make sense in light of HP’s recent acquisition of Palm.

The demise of the Slate may also have to do with its battery life. Analysts have speculated that with Windows 7 and Intel’s Atom processor, it probably was not getting even close to the battery life of an iPad, which is supposed to be ten hours.

Though Windows 7 has multi-touch support, it is unlikely that it is the best solution for a tablet, even with HP’s TouchSmart software. By abandoning Windows 7, HP has the opportunity to make a better product.

Via the San Francisco Chronicle.

Apr 28 2010

Apple Prepares 3G iPad for Shipment

iPad customers in the US are getting excited: the 3G-enabled iPad is set to arrive this Friday, April 30 to homes and Apple retail stores alike. Most pre-orders for the 3G iPads are listed as “prepared for shipment” on Apple’s Order Status page. Reports are saying that the 3G iPads are in the United States awaiting shipment—the WiFi-only versions shipped directly from manufacturers in China.

For those who did not pre-order an iPad, do not despair: you can line up outside the Apple store to get one (though I will warn you that the line gets quite long quite quickly, so get there early). International customers will have to wait a bit longer: due to the extreme demand for the iPad in the United States, Apple has delayed international shipments. International customers cannot pre-order until May 10 and international pricing is still unknown.

Via PC World.

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Apr 26 2010

iPad Camera Connector Works with Other Devices

For some reason a lot of people are very excited about the fact that the iPad Camera Connection Kit works with peripherals other than cameras. In all honesty, I am not sure I understand precisely why this is so exciting—maybe you have to have an iPad to understand.

The iPad Camera Connection Kit is an adapter that allows an iPad user to connect a camera to the iPad via USB port and import photos from the camera onto the iPad. The images are imported with the equivalent of 3-megapixel resolutions and EXIF data is preserved.

The camera adapter can be used to connect other devices to the iPad, apparently. USB keyboards, headphones, headsets, and microphones can also be connected to the iPad with the camera adapter. This opens the possibility of being able to make VoIP phone calls on the iPad.

Via IntoMobile, image via IntoMobile.

Apr 26 2010

iPad Users on Windows Targeted with Virus

iPad users on Windows computers are being targeted with malware, according to BitDefender. The users have been receiving emails with the subject line “iPad Software Update” that have a link to a page that looks like a legitimate download page where the user can download what is allegedly an iTunes update. However, the download is actually Backdoor.Bifrose.AADY, which opens a backdoor allowing hackers to take control of a system whenever they want. The malware also tries to read the keys and serial numbers of software installed on the computer and logs passwords to the user’s ICQ, Messenger, and POP3 mail accounts.

There are some things Windows users can do to keep themselves safe: most importantly, they should realize that when Apple releases an update, it always releases a lot of documentation pertaining to the update. Windows users should search the Internet for information about their updates and download them from the Apple website (that is, do not click any links—just go directly to apple.com).

Mac users are not affected by this malware. As an Apple fan, my response will probably be pretty predictable: this is yet another reason to switch to Mac.

Via CNET News, image via BitDefender.

Apr 25 2010

Apple May Sell 9 Million iPads in 2010

Yes, you read that right: 9 million. The iPad has not been available that long, but it has already seen some fantastic sales—all that hype made people crazy for it.

Chitika Labs, an advertising network, has said that Apple has sold over 1 million iPads. Though this is just an estimate, the methodology seems logical. Here’s how Chitika says it has calculated that figure:

– We count how many new, unique iPads we see coming through the Chitika advertising network
– We multiply that by how much of the Internet we see at any given time to figure out how many iPads in total are out there
– We look at where iPad traffic is coming from by state

This seems like a reasonable estimate—after all, Apple sold 500,000 iPads during the first week, so this would mean sales of roughly 250,000 iPads per week in the second and third weeks.

Assuming a rate of 1 million iPads a month, Apple could sell as many as 9 million (or even 10 million due to holiday sales) in 2010.

Via ZDNet, image via ZDNet.

Apr 25 2010

Man Arrested for Stealing iPad

A man has been arrested for stealing an iPad from an Apple customer as he walked out of the store with his new purchase. Unfortunately for the iPad customer, 59-year-old Bill Jordan, the thief, Brandon Darnell, did more than simply steal the iPad: he ripped off Jordan’s pinky finger in the process.

As Jordan walked out of the Apple store with his new iPad, Darnell ripped the bag out of Jordan’s hand with such force that a part of Jordan’s finger was torn off. Jordan said the experience was very painful and is having to come to terms with the mutilation.

Darnell’s picture was caught on security cameras and police have been working nonstop to catch him since the theft happened last week. Darnell was arrested at 1:14 this morning. I hope Jordan got his stolen iPad back.

Moral of the story? Don’t wrap those strings on the Apple bags around your fingers. It may not seem like the most obvious thing but it’s important, as poor Bill Jordan had to find out.

Via I4U, image via I4U.

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