Sunday, February 27, 2011

What Would Change on the Apple iPad

On Feb 24, The Daily, the iPad daily newspaper, asked readers what feature would they change for iPad 2 and whether or not they would upgrade or defect to another tablet platform.  The responses where interesting.

39% of the people who responded by the time I got around to reading the article had stated that the feature they are most interested in is a front facing FaceTime camera.  And with rumors of the iPad 3 possibly shipping in September along side new iPod touch models, 55% of the people who responded, again at the time I had voted, said that they would wait until the third generation Apple tablet to upgrade.

[Via The Daily...]

Friday, February 25, 2011

RIM: BlackBerry Play Book App Development Too Difficult


BlackBerry maker, Research in Motion, is clearly fighting an up hill battle for "mindshare" among customers and potential customers.

The latest problem for the company, whose handsets are in decline due to strong sales of the Apple iPhone and phones based on Google's Android OS, could be coming from the very people RIM needs the most: application developers.

Jamie Murai, a small BlackBerry application developer has recently posted an open letter to RIM stating his displeasure with the tools for BlackBerry PlayBook application development. Mr. Murai writes:
"On a more serious note, being the underdog, you need to make your process AT LEAST as simple as Apple’s or Google’s, if not more so. You need to make your tools AT LEAST as good as Apple’s or Google’s, if not more so. You have failed at both."
Ouch!  I encourage you to read the full open letter to get the full context of what Mr. Murai is talking about, but the bottom line gets summarized nicely with the quote above.

At least you don't need to have a BlackBerry smartphone to use all the features of the new PlayBook, like Palm was planning to do with the Treo and the Foleo.  Oh, wait - you do need to pair a PlayBook with a BlackBerry.  Nevermind.

The Daily Gets Another Free Preview Extension


The Daily, the iPad only digital newspaper, has received another extension to it's free preview period.  The preview period continues to be sponsored by Verizon and will be free to iPad users until March 21, 2011.

Once the preview period for The Daily expires, subscriptions to the new digital newspaper can be subscribed to as an in app purchase of $0.99 per week or $39.99 per year.  The Daily, as the name implies, is published 365 days a year.

For more information about The Daily, check out The Daily website.

Rumor: Hmmm....I wonder when the iPad 2 will begin shipping?  The week before, perhaps?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Apple Supply Chain In Good Shape Analyst Reports

Over the last two days, rumors have been circulating on the Internet that Apple has been facing supply chain problems that would delay the launch of the iPad this spring and the iPhone by several months each.

iPad 2

Hours after the initial reports began to surface, Apple's stock price began to sink.  By the end of the day yesterday, new reports from analysts including Concord Securities's Ming-Chi Kuo, are now reporting that their checks of the Apple supply chain is in good shape.  Mr. Kuo estimates that Apple will be able to manufacture and be ready to sell somewhere in the neighborhood of up to 5 million iPad 2 units by the end of March with another round of about 3-4 million units in April.  So, in a two month period, it is estimated that Apple could have 7-9 million iPad 2 units to sell to customers eagerly awaiting the arrival of the new iPads.  The rumor of iPad 2 launch date delays is likely due to what Mr. Kuo reports as a late shipment of displays for the new device which is not expected to impact the launch of iPad 2.

About the only people who aren't excited about the debunked reports of lipping iPad shipment dates are the likes of HP, RIM, and Motorola who are trying to put up a credible alternative to the iPad.



iPhone 5

Apple's 2011 refresh of the iPhone, dubbed iPhone 5, is expected to be introduced in early June at Apple's annual World Wide Developer's Conference (WWDC) with a ship date of weeks after the event.

Details are still sketchy around whether or not Apple will release both a GSM and a CDMA iPhone 5 at the same time and whether or not iPhone 5 will become available for sale here in the US on AT&T and Verizon's networks simultaneously or not.

With some software developers and analysts suggesting that Verizon's sales figures of the new CDMA iPhone 4 are not as high as originally expected, I'm looking to see what the sales figures of a Verizon iPhone 5 will be.

If you look at the timing of the Verizon iPhone release, it is in the middle of a contract cycle with the AT&T GSM iPhone 4.  Last year, AT&T raised the cost to terminate smartphone contracts early to over $300 per line.  In today's economy, that is surely putting pressure on people who signed up with AT&T to get the iPhone, but would prefer to be on the Verizon network.

Come June 2011, there will be a number of AT&T iPhone 3GS and Sprint Palm Pre users coming of contract who will be free and clear to jump to a newly minted Verizon iPhone 5.

[Via AppleInsider.com...]

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Apple Rocks Out Loud

I have been having some trouble with my MacBook Pro's battery. The good folks here at the Stamford Apple Store are going to swap out my battery for me as a warantee repair. How cool is that?!

To find a local Apple retail store near you, visit the Apple website.

Thanks Joe!

Monday, February 14, 2011

HP to Early Pre Owners: Go Buy a New Pre 3 If You Want webOS 2

HP has decided to give early adopters of their Pre and Pixi smartphone lines (all models) the cold shoulder for a webOS 2.x upgrade.

Before being acquired by HP, Palm promised that all current model webOS phones, the Pre 2 and earlier, would receive a webOS 2 upgrade.  After the acquisition, the story hadn't changed until HP's webOS event last week.

On the HP Palm blog, the following was posted:
"And we also heard some concerns and frustration about a few specific issues, such as a lack of detail around product availability timing and pricing, and especially about the absence of future over-the-air updates for older webOS phones.

Rest assured that the HP team has been hearing these concerns. To make the experience you’ll have with the Veer, Pre 3, and TouchPad as powerful as possible, we’ve had to make some tough decisions that had an impact on our earlier webOS devices.

Our original expectation was that we’d be able to support older phones as well as the new product line. But ultimately it became clear that we would need to choose between supporting the past with over-the-air updates and ensuring that our upcoming devices would live up to your hopes and expectations for them. It was a difficult and, frankly, painful decision for us, and we realize it was a frustrating outcome for many of you."
 Ok, I get it.  This is a business, and a lot of money was put up to purchase Palm's assets.  But we're not kids and HP isn't fooling anyone.  This is about getting people to buy new phones, and rolling out webOS 2.x and 3.x for future devices; not the phones that Palm rolled during the past two years.

What gets me worked up is that webOS 2.x for "[our] earlier webOS devices" is nearly complete.  In fact, I already have webOS 2.0.1 installed on my original stood-in-line-at-5am-June-2009 Sprint Palm Pre.  I received the software as part of an HP beta program that I'm participating in.  The software wasn't delivered via a OTA update -- so that much is true -- rather it was delivered as a cabled webOS Doctor package.  And so, I have to ask the question: If webOS 2.0.1 is already 85%+ complete in a webOS Doctor update, why not just suck it up, and finish the package as the last update for the Pre and Pre Plus?

And since I'm on a rant now, the thing that really hurts is being a loyal Palm fan for so long (1999) and having to keep waiting for the next platform.  How long did we have to wait for the Palm OS 6/Palm OS Cobalt/Palm OS for Linux vaporware before we finally got webOS?

How long did we have to wait for the Pre after Palm was coasting on fumes from Treo 750 and Centro sales?

And now, HP is asking us to stick with webOS for one more hardware/software cycle and then everything will be fine.  I'm just thinking about what happens two years from now when webOS 4 is just about done and the Pre 5 hardware is ready to go.  What kind of support will HP be providing the early Pre 3 owners?

I honestly don't know.  I'll be using an Apple iPhone 5 on Verizon Wireless by then because Apple has proven that each device will receive at least one major OS upgrade beyond the major OS release the device shipped with.

HP, this webOS 2 decision will go down as an epic fail in my book.  Sorry.  Just thought you would want to know.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

IDG News Service - Hewlett-Packard rolled out its debut entrant into the red-hot tablet market, the HP TouchPad, as well as two new smartphones -- all running the latest version of the webOS acquired last year when it bought Palm.

HP may be behind some competitors in introducing a tablet, but Todd Bradley, executive vice president of HP's Personal Systems Group, implied that the market is in its infancy as he kicked off the Wednesday event. "The market for connected devices is, conservatively, $160 billion. And we're in the early stages of a growing market," he said.

Continue reading this story at ComputerWorld.com.

[Via ComputerWorld.com...]

HP Introduces New webOS Device Line Up, Summer 2011


Behold the new HP webOS device line up that will be arriving this summer: the HP Veer, the HP Pre, and the HP TouchPad.

For more details, visit HP's Palm website.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Daily Get Updated to 1.0.1

Earlier today, News Corp released an update to their iPad only newspaper, The Daily.

The Daily 1.0.1 brings the much needed performance and stability updates to the app.  With today's update, The Daily has gone from "a nice idea with a poor user experience" to an app that performs the way you would have expected it to.  After installing the update, I immediately noticed the improvements in performance, stability, and the initial load experience.

As a note to current The Daily users, you must first delete version 1.0.0 before installing the 1.0.1 update.  That is an important safety tip.  If you just tap the install button, you are going to update in place, which clearly, News Corp, says not to do.

There is one week left to the free Verizon sponsored "test drive."  Buy this time next week, it is expected that you will need to start paying $0.99 a week or $39.99 for a one year subscription to The Daily.  It is currently unknown what content, if any, will be available for free after this week.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Rumor: Is Sprint Talking to Apple About iPhone?

Call me a fanboy.  Call my a loyalist.  But when I find something that works for me, I stick with it.  That has been the case with Palm and Palm OS/webOS and it is also true of Apple and Sprint.

I've been with Sprint for almost four years now.  I've gotten good customer service from them, their coverage is good in my area, and I've become friends with the local Sprint store staff.

I've also used Palm's gear for 10+ years now, and Apple's computers since 1984; starting with the Apple ][e.

Now that Apple has built a CDMA/EVDO iPhone for Verizon, the buzz on the Internet is practically deafening about when Sprint might ink a deal with Apple to bring the iPhone to the Now Network.

PPCGeeks.com has an interesting article posted from last week asking if history is repeating itself.  I'll let them explain.
"Everyone noticed when Sprint quit promoting a certain part of their own EVO commercial on TV, which had one quote that stated "the EVO was a superior option to the iPhone 4". Recently, Sprint altered this commercial to remove the iPhone 4 quote entirely.
What beatweek noticed, and what we find interesting as well, is the fact that history seems to be repeating itself. Remember when Verizon had comments about the iPhone, barely a year ago, and then they eventually pulled this commercial, with no explanation, from the TV commercials? Well, Sprint is now doing the same thing."

Interesting.  I'd like to think that now that the CDMA iPhone hardware exists, Sprint is talking with Apple. I'd like to stay with Sprint, but with my 2-year contact for my Palm Pre set to expire in four months, I'm willing to jump to "Big Red" to get a pair of iPhones for my wife and I.  Either way, it looks like I'm ready to take a break from HP/Palm webOS devices.


[Via PPCGeeks.com...]

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Daily: I'll Probably Subscribe

Tomorrow, News Corp and Apple are scheduled to introduce, and hopefully, launch, a new digital only newspaper for the iPad called The Daily.  The Daily will be provided by a new subscription service Apple has been developing as part of their iOS and iTunes ecosystem.  An update to iOS 4.3 is in the works, however, it is not yet clear if that update or an update to iTunes is required to enable the new subscription service.

If the rumors are correct, subscriptions to The Daily will cost $0.99 a week, a very reasonable price in my opinion.

There has been some chatter on the Internet about whether or not The Daily will be heralded as a success or if it will be a bust.  Those who think it will be a bust point to the face that there are plenty of news websites that are free on the Internet, and they are correct.

Call me old fashioned, but I still like to get my news from papers like The New York Times and The Washington Post.  The Wall Street Journal is another outstanding newspaper.  But I don't subscribe to the print editions anymore because I'm looking to cut costs and the same articles are available for free on the respective websites.  (The Wall Street Journal is the exception.)

On my iPad, I have the New York Times, Washington Post, and USA Today apps loaded.  The first two have already indicated that they will start charging for access to their news.  USA Today, as far as I know, will remain free for the time being.

For me, there lies the rub.  I'm looking to cut costs and the writers who work hard every day to bring me news from around the world want to get paid so they can put food on the table.  And that is why I'm willing to give a subscription to The Daily a try.

The price is right and with only a half dozen sections, I can read the entire edition even on my busy schedule.

I'll be interested to see what gets unveiled when News Corp Chairman & CEO Rupert Murdoch and Apple Vice President of Internet Services Eddy Cue take the stage tomorrow morning in New York.

[Photo via AppleInsider.com...]

Samsung Uses New Math To Talk Galaxy Tab Sales Figures


Samsung management have some egg on their face that needs to be wiped off with regard to the "new math" they used to report sales numbers of their Galaxy Tab.

Not only did Samsung have to back track and report that the 2 million Galaxy Tabs that where shipped where to retailers, not to consumers.  The "sell through" number that indicated how many consumers are buying devices, was not disclosed my Samsung.  The only consumer figures that Samsung's Vice President of Mobile Communications was willing to state, was "quite small."

Adding to the deceptive sales figures, investment research firm ITG is now reporting that their survey of 6000 retailers indicates that the Samsung Galaxy Tab has a consumer return rate of 15-16%.  Yikes!

I guess Samsung really should have listened to Google when they warned that Android 2.2 Froyo really wasn't geared to to be run on tablet computers.

Since Samsung was hell bent on getting the Galaxy Tab out the door as an iPad killers, I think it's fair to point out that the return rate on the Apple iPad is only 2%.  As for sell through to customers, well, I think we all know the answer to that question.

At least the Galaxy Tab has a cool looking wallpaper.

[Via Digital Daily...]