Despite speculation that Amazon was preparing a larger 8.9 or 10-inch version, the company will only unveil a new 7-inch Kindle Fire and a slightly revamped version of the original tablet in an event scheduled for next week, according to a person who has seen the products.
As I reported a year ago, Amazon has been thinking about and testing a 10-inch tablet for a long time. They initially planned to release it alongside the Kindle Fire, but the plan quickly changed to early 2012. Then they pushed it again. Now they’re balking again, apparently.
Hard to know for sure, but my guess would be that Amazon more than has their hands full just trying to compete in the 7-inch tablet space. Google is now their main competitor there, and Apple will enter soon. No point in launching a new offensive against a deeply entrenched product (the 9.7-inch iPad) and a soon-to-be huge challenger (Microsoft, with the Surface) when you’re playing defense on the other front.
Put another way: try to win one war before you find yourself in the middle of two (or three, with a smartphone).
The Kindle Fire is not nearly as good as the Nexus 7 — it’s just not even close, really. The updated one? We’ll see. But if Apple is entering the space as well, you know they have to believe they have a winner too.
So instead, it appears Amazon is going to take a different approach — the approach they know well: discount, discount, discount. A $150 ad-supported Kindle Fire would be very attractive this holiday seasons for two reasons:
If successful, it could force Google’s hand to further eat costs with the Nexus 7. And the race to the bottom will be on. (Apple, of course, won’t play that game — I’m still betting the iPad mini comes in closer to $249 or even $299.)
Interesting post by Y Combinator partner Harj Taggar. Rather than fully quitting email, he simply removed it from his phone. This meant he could *only* check it when he was at a computer — you know, like the old days.
I’m pretty much the opposite these days — I enjoy checking and responding to it much more on my mobile devices instead of the desktop web because Gmail on the web is so much slower in every regard (the only real plus — and it’s a big one — in my mind is search).
Still, this is a pretty smart and simple hack to reclaim your day and your sanity. Sadly, I just don’t believe I can live in that mildly disconnected world. I have other plans.
I saw two curious entries in Instapaper’s device stats today: one iPad2,5 and one iPad2,6.
That *is* curious give that the “iPad2” prefix is saved for the iPad 2 — also known as, the iPad that came out in 2011. So why is Apple *adding* to that line?
Marco makes the case that this is the so-called iPad mini. And given what is presumed and rumored about that device (namely that the internals should be very similar to the iPad 2), that seems pretty plausible.
Of course, the completely un-sexy possibility remains: that these are simply updated iPad 2s. Perhaps with 32nm chips and the new dock connectors.
And while I poke fun at Amazon for their ridiculous PR tactics, I plan to buy this. Yes, even though I just bought a Kindle Touch less than a year ago. And yes, even though I have an iPad (and soon iPad mini?). This backlit e-ink seems like a great reading experience.
HBO will make the Nordic region the first market where its programming will be available to consumers without requiring that they have a pay-TV subscription.
For less than 10 euros a month, those in Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Denmark can get all the HBO content they desire without having to pay a crazy additional amount for a bunch of other content they don’t want — as we must do in the U.S. with the current cable television system.
HBO is quick to distance themselves from this being the new model they’re looking towards worldwide:
An HBO spokesman made clear that this launch does not reflect a strategic change for the company in any of its current markets. “Each market is unique and HBO approaches each one with what we consider to believe the best business model specific to that territory.”
Read: we still love you and your revenue, big cable!
But if this Nordic endeavor is extremely successful, maybe it does make HBO at least consider budging on their old school stance. I see this don’t-call-it-an-experiment as a very good sign.
2) I find it hard to believe that Tim Cook would go against one of the last wishes of Steve Jobs and settle with Google on Android. BUT, maybe he feels the Samsung victory was big enough and powerful enough to send the message Apple intended to send. It was a huge win, no question.
Still, I imagine any settlement would be more likely to include provisions (in writing) that Google will no longer copy Apple’s IP rather than any sort of licensing agreement. But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe both sides are tired of fighting and are willing to simply give peace a chance.
Jim Dalrymple rightfully destroys Amazon’s PR this morning.
Yes, the Kindle Fire is “sold out” — just as the Microsoft Kin, the Palm Pre, and the original iPhone are “sold out”. They’re “sold out” because Amazon has stopped fucking making them ahead of the new one due next week!
As for the 22% market share thing, who the hell knows. That sounds way too high, but since Amazon won’t share any actual sales numbers they can essentially say whatever they want. Worse, they don’t even disclose where the 22% number came from. If it’s not from a third party, presumably it’s from Amazon itself. Maybe the Kindle Fire is accounting for 22% of tablet sales on Amazon.com — but that doesn’t make sense either given the sub-headline: “10 of the top 10 best-selling items on Amazon since Kindle Fire launched are Kindle devices and content”. That means the Kindle Fire would have to be outselling the iPad on Amazon. Also, Amazon doesn’t say “22% of tablets sales on Amazon”, they just say “22% of U.S. tablet sales”, period.
I think it’s fair to say they have captured 22% of the market for tablets whose manufacturers refuse to disclose sales numbers. Also, 22% of the market for tablets that begin with “K” seems likely. 11 out of 10 experts agree.
Well, they’re selling off the division that lost them $41 million last quarter. Now they just have to sell off the division (mobile) that lost them $192 million and they’ll be all set. Well, plus or minus $12.5 billion. But who’s counting?
A great rundown from AnandTech of what we’re likely to see hardware-wise in the next iPhone. Their special sauce? A combination of leaks, history, and good old common sense.
To that end, they predicted that the next iPhone wouldn’t feature NFC. A good guess, as Jim Dalrymple quickly Yep’d it so.
This is surprising news to some for three reasons. First, many had predicted that NFC would be featured in *last year’s* iPhone. Second, many Android devices now come with the technology. And third, the new Passbook feature of IOS 6 would seem to indicate the need for some sort of short-range communication tech.
But the fact of the matter is that NFC has simply not taken off in the U.S. (it has been around for a long time in some Asian countries). See: Google Wallet adoption as the prime example of just how few fucks are given.
Also, it would seem that things continue to align for Apple to finally make interesting use of Bluetooth for short range communication beyond those douchey headsets. That, along with simple QR/bar codes, could be what powers Passbook for now.
In terms of the rest of the device, the new iPhone could be pretty straightforward. Similar specs (though perfected) in a different shell. This is a focus-on-the-body year, rather than a focus-on-the-internals year. Though LTE will be a huge boost. A huge boost perhaps made possibly by big battery improvements — and a bigger battery.
“What zero growth markets mean is that in order for you to win more, someone else has to lose more. To sell another soda, Coca Cola has to convince someone to give up a Pepsi. Adidas has to convince you to pitch your Nikes.”—
John Lilly on the end of rapid growth for the desktop-based web.
Let’s get ready to rumble. (And/or build for mobile/tablets.)
I turned on the Apple TV today and there it was, a new icon, push over-the-air in the background and ready to go. That’s potentially very powerful if you’re say, working on some sort of new television solution.
Apple today announced that Craig Federighi, Apple’s vice president of Mac Software Engineering, and Dan Riccio, Apple’s vice president of Hardware Engineering, have been promoted to senior vice presidents. Federighi and Riccio will report to Apple CEO Tim Cook and serve on Apple’s executive management team.
Federighi obviously makes sense given his role in the success of OS X and his visibility on stage at Apple events lately.
And Riccio makes sense given his key role in the iPad. As Apple highlights in the release, “He has been instrumental in all of Apple’s iPad products since the first generation iPad.” Of course, Riccio promotion also fills the hole left by Bob Mansfield’s upcoming retirement.
…except, wait a minute, Mansfield isn’t actually retiring. The next line in the press release:
Apple also announced that Bob Mansfield, who announced his retirement in June, will remain at Apple. Mansfield will work on future products, reporting to Tim Cook.
Um. Okay. That’s great, I guess. But considering that Apple went out of their way to announce his retirement — just two months ago — how can they get away without explaining this further?
Best guess: either we have a Jay Leno situation, or Mansfield is working on “Apple X”. I’m only half joking. Weird.
As some of you may have already noticed the download link for the Tweetbot for Mac alpha no longer works. Twitter’s latest API Changes means now we have a large but finite limit on the number of user tokens we can get for Tweetbot for Mac. We’ve been working with Twitter over the last few days to try to work around this limit for the duration of the beta but have been unable to come up with a solution that was acceptable to them. Because of this we’ve decided its best for us to pull the alpha.
This is not good.
It would be one thing if Twitter had its own, great Mac client. But they don’t. Instead, they have Twitter for Mac, which hasn’t been updated since developer Loren Brichter left Twitter months ago. And I’m honestly not sure it will ever be updated again, given what Twitter aims to do with the product.
It hasn’t even been updated for Macs with Retina displays for Chrissakes. Yes, it’s still a relatively small base, but this is what owning your product is all about. Show some pride. Right now, it looks like shit. Either update it or kill it. And if you’re going to kill it, don’t kill Tweetbot for Mac, which obviously fills a need you’re not meeting.
Bryan Bishop of The Verge was sent the following statement from Google:
The court of appeals will review both infringement and the validity of the patent claims. Most of these don’t relate to the core Android operating system, and several are being re-examined by the US Patent Office. The mobile industry is moving fast and all players — including newcomers — are building upon ideas that have been around for decades. We work with our partners to give consumers innovative and affordable products, and we don’t want anything to limit that.
“With Samsung, if you look at the new iPad, they had fewer issues reaching the higher resolution requests from Apple. They were the first vendor to get to volume with that panel.”—
NPD DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim discussing “Retina” displays.
Let’s all take a moment to recall that while Apple may have dropped the hammer on Samsung with their smartphone patent lawsuit, Samsung remains a vital partner. And you can expect that partnership to continue. It’s not personal, it’s business.
Production has begun of a 2,560-by-1,600 pixel density display that will land on a 13.3-inch MacBook Pro, NPD DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim told CNET.
As always, I’m skeptical of anything analysts say with regard to Apple, but this *sounds* right. I know a lot of people are waiting for a retina MacBook Air, but my guess is that will have to wait until next year. For now, the retina screen makes perfect sense as a “Pro” feature.
Seeing as the (baseline) 15-inch Retina MBP is $400 more than then non-Retina variety, let’s guess that a 13-inch Retina would be $300 more than the non-Retina variety (slightly less for the smaller screen). That would put it at a nice $1,499 price. Right in between the $1,199 non-Retina 13-inch MBP and the $1,799 non-Retina 15-inch MBP.
Despite massive amounts of rumors involving the new iPhone's screen size and construction, we've heard basically none on an updated camera. When 4S came out, we had already known about the 8 mp iSight much like we know the new one's screen size. Do you think they've done all they can do for now with 8, or is the rumor mill just pandering to less obvious stuff?
Good question, I would assume they will update the camera in some way — even if only slightly — since it’s one of the most important features of the phone. I suspect the video element will see an upgrade in some way as well. Much of it may be software tweaks, but I’m expecting some sort of better lens too.
Update: As Ryan Jones points out on Twitter, there have been some whispers about what the next iPhone could pack in terms of camera.
What’s really going to disrupt the iPhone is going to be something completely different, not something that tries so hard to clone the iPhone that it hits Apple’s patents.
Unoriginal manufacturers will need to pay for their unoriginality. The most reasonable course of action, therefore, is to truly innovate and design products that aren’t such close copies.
I fail to see how consumers lose.
I completely agree that what will end the iPhone’s run is something totally different, not a copycat. Maybe Apple will make that product, or maybe someone else will. This case does nothing to stop that. It simply stops people from copying the current iPhone.
What does worry me about this lawsuit is that it’s going to lead to many more. And it makes patents even more important, and as such, more valuable. That could end up hurting many companies, both large and small. And it could distract from innovation because everyone will be so preoccupied with filing patents, looking for ones that they might be infringing upon, or in court.
“We’re going to touch this with our fingers. And we have invented a new technology called multi-touch, which is phenomenal. It works like magic. You don’t need a stylus. It’s far more accurate than any touch display that’s ever been shipped. It ignores unintended touches, it’s super-smart. You can do multi-finger gestures on it. And boy, have we patented it.”—
Steve Jobs, on January 9, 2007 unveiling the iPhone.