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.
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.
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.
The Mac operating system comes with a built-in search tool called Spotlight (Microsoft users, don’t even bother arguing with me: Spotlight is way better than what you’ve got on Windows). Spotlight is quick and easy to use.
But there comes a time when searching your Mac becomes difficult because of the sheer volume of files accumulated. If you want to search for an mp3 file with the word “love” in it, simply with Spotlight for the word “love” will probably not yield the results you want—the search will return every file on your computer containing the word “love.”
Like a search engine, Spotlight allows for special parameters and excluding words to be set. To find an mp3 file with the word “love,” you could type the following into Spotlight: love kind:mp3. That search will return the desired result: all mp3 files containing the word “love.” Like on a search engine, you can exclude files by using a minus sign and, of course, combine parameters.
Via CNET, image via Apple.
Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference is quickly approaching and, as usual, the tech blogosphere abounds with rumors about what Apple will introduce this year. Last year, Wired accurately predicted some major introductions Apple made at WWDC and it has predictions again for this year. Only time will tell if the predictions prove to be accurate.
It’s safe to assume that Apple will introduce its next major iPhone at WWDC. Thanks to some careless Apple employees, the public knows the next iPhone looks like, but we don’t know what it actually can do, as none of the prototypes found were shown doing anything. The 4G iPhone is going to have a front-facing camera, which could be its single major feature.
iPhone OS 4 will also probably be announced. It’s been talked about already, but will probably will be explained in detail at WWDC. From what has already been revealed about the next iPhone OS, it sounds like it will be amazing.
Unfortunately, there will not be a Verizon iPhone, at least not at this WWDC. We’ll have to wait longer for that. And Steve Ballmer will not be at WWDC, contrary to a rumor that circulated the Internet today.
Via Wired.com, image via Wired.com.
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.
Apple’s iTunes music store controls a very large share of the US music market, according to NPD group, a market research firm. The iTunes store now has a 70 percent share share of music downloads, up one percentage point from 2009. The market share of Amazon’s download service, AmazonMP3, grew 4 percentage points and is currently at 12 percent.
This data will probably be of interest to antitrust regulators who are rumored to be in the early stages of an investigation against Apple. Apple allegedly pressured music companies to pull support for an Amazon promotion called “MP3 Daily Deal.” According to unnamed sources, a complaint from Amazon has sparked the inquiry.
According to an NPD analyst, however, Apple deserves its dominance in music downloads. “Apple came [into the digital download business] and did it right,” he said.
Overall, Apple’s iTunes counts for 28 percent of all music purchases, including both CDs and digital files.
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.
Apple has discontinued the 8 GB iPhone 3G (this was, until its discontinuation, the oldest iPhone sold by Apple, not the iPhone 3GS). The phone is no longer available for order on the Apple website.
This move is not really surprising because Apple is expected to introduce a new iPhone soon. Plus, the company was offering a pretty good discount on the iPhone 3G. Once the new iPhone is out, the iPhone 3GS will probably become discounted as well.
There are other signs that a new iPhone will be arriving shortly: Wal-Mart has lowered the price of the iPhone 3GS to $97 (just as a side note, the idea of Wal-Mart selling iPhones is wrong in so many different ways) and there have been reports that Apple is casting for a new iPhone commercial. Plus, there was that iPhone lost in a bar a little while back.
iPhone 3GS, your days may be limited.
Via CNET, image via Apple.
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.
At Google’s developer event last week, something strange happened: the high energy present made it more like an Apple event than a Google event. Could Google be ascending in popularity and eventually achieve the cult status that Apple has held for so long?
Many people are showing support for Android, and some have suggested that this means Apple is now trying to catch up to Google. At the event, Google introduced Froyo, the updated version of Android, which got people talking. Apple needs to do something new and exciting at WWDC or it will be left behind.
The funny thing is, in this whole Apple vs. Google battle, Microsoft is left out. Apple is cool, Google is on the way to becoming cool, and Microsoft is so uncool that it’s forgotten. But if Google wants to continue being in the ascendant, it needs to deal with some major issues, such as how Android and Chrome OS will work together.
Via CNET, image via Google.
Yesterday was a sad day indeed for Apple geeks. Apple ended its amusing ad campaign of “Get a Mac” ads featuring two actors representing Mac and PC computers. Not only has Apple ended this specific ad campaign, it has removed all the ads from its website and replaced them with the rather ordinary and even boring “Why You’ll Love a Mac” section.
Justin Long, the actor who played the Mac character in the ads, let it slip last month that Apple was going to end the “Get a Mac” ad campaign. Still, the end of the campaign seems a bit sad to us Apple fans and the removal of the ads from Apple’s website really drives home the point that it’s over.
I know some people did not like the “Get a Mac” ads (I saw them described as “snarky” somewhere) but I thought they were quite funny and clever. I will miss the “Get a Mac” ads.
AT&T has announced that it is raising its early termination fee (ETF) for smartphones from $175 to $325 starting June 1. Customers who were considering breaking their contracts with AT&T have just one week to decide before leaving AT&T early gets way more expensive.
The hike in this fee has fueled rumors concerning the iPhone’s AT&T exclusivity. Though AT&T insists that the price increase is unrelated, one cannot help but wonder: is Verizon perhaps going to be carrying the iPhone in the near future?
Those who choose to leave AT&T now face an uncertain future because there really is no guarantee that Apple and AT&T are going to let other carriers, such as Verizon, provide service for the iPhone. Even if Verizon does begin to offer iPhone service, it will not be until late June or early July, which means customers hoping to switch would have to go about a month without a phone, which is almost unthinkable in our society. If Verizon does not end up carrying the iPhone, customers will be forced to choose other Verizon phones—luckily, the company does have some great choices out there (my personal favorite right now is the HTC Incredible).
Via PC World, image via PC World.
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.
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.
Apple has released a security update for Mac OS X 10.5 and Mac OS X 10.6 that fixes security vulnerabilities in Java for Mac, including a vulnerability that is more than a year old. The update is available through the software update pane in System Preferences or on Apple’s website. Here’s a summary of some of the vulnerabilities that are fixed:
- In Java 1.6.0_17 and 1.5.0_22, the most serious vulnerability allows a Java applet to execute arbitrary code outside the Java sandbox.
- There is an issue in the handling of mediaLibImage objects. A maliciously crafted Java applet can lead to unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution.
- An issue in the handling of window drawing allows a maliciously crafted applet to terminate applications or execute code.
Via ZDNet, image via ZDNet.
Apple has updated its MacBook laptop line as I expected, being that it recently updated its MacBook Pro line of computers as well. The new MacBook has a 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor and has a battery life of 10 hours, three hours longer than the previous model. (I personally do not believe any of Apple’s claims about battery life in its products, as these estimates are always much longer than what the product actually offers.)
The new MacBook has 2 GB of memory and a 250 GB hard drive, like the previous model. However, it has a new graphics card, the Nvidia GeForce 320M. The previous model had Nvidia’s GeForce 9400M graphics card, as well as a 2.26 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor.
The physical design of the MacBook remains the same: white body with a 13.3-inch screen. For users looking for a reliable laptop but unwilling to spend the money for a MacBook Pro, the MacBook remains a good choice.
Via CNET, image via Apple.
You can tell that it’s almost time for Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference because of all the iPhone-related speculation in the tech blogosphere (Apple normally announces major iPhone updates at WWDC). The latest speculation concerning the next generation iPhone concerns how many units Apple plans to sell.
A report has said that Apple plans to ship 24 million units by the end of 2010: 4.5 million by the end of June and a further 19.5 million by December. This is a rather sudden upsurge, being that Apple has sold about 50 million iPhones since the introduction of the phone in 2007. The expected upsurge could be explained by a drastic price cut for the phone, which would encourage more people to buy it. Or, Apple could be planning to let companies other than AT&T carry the phone (though this is unlikely, at least in the short-term).
Apple plans to promote the next generation iPhone as an e-reader and encourage users to buy iBooks for it.
Via CNET, image via Gizmodo.
Apple is usually so good at keeping secrets, so this news is rather surprising to hear: a blogger in Vietnam has leaked images and product details concerning Apple’s upcoming iPhone 4G. The phone is due to be announced at the Worldwide Developers Conference from June 7 to June 11.
New features include a camera in front, metallic buttons, and a higher resolution screen. Video chat will also be available on this phone. The first leaks concerning the new phone were reported by Gizmodo, which ended up getting it in trouble with Apple legally. (Good luck to Apple being able to take legal action against the blogger in Vietnam.)
It is still unclear if the iPhone will continue to be carried exclusively by AT&T or if Apple will work out a deal with Verizon sometime in the future.
Via QuickPWN, image via QuickPWN.
Watch out Apple! Sony and other netbook manufacturers just might jump into the tablet PC manufacturing business soon. In fact, Sony recently released their new Sony VAIO P-Series netbooks, which feature new Intel Atom processors, as well as several other new features, including an undersized keyboard with a centralized pointing stick, and a touchpad on the right side of the LCD bezel and mouse buttons on the left side of the LCD. The setup is essentially similar to that of a tablet. The Sony VAIO P-Series netbooks also have accelerometers, so users can use the device in portrait mode.
Sony’s newest netbooks will be available in several unique colors: electric orange, neon green, and icy white — definitely sure to catch passerby’s attention. The P-Series netbooks are available for pre-order and start at $800 each for the base model.