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News Week of January 24, 2010

Apple iPad Misses the Mark

Apple did not live up to the hype with their introduction of the iPad yesterday.   Here’s my list of the design decisions that fell short:

1.       Using their own A4 processor.  The A4 processor is a ARM processor which is compatible with the iPhone and the iPod Touch.  If they had use an Intel x86 processor and OS 10, the iPad would have been a bigger hit because it would run all the existing desktop applications.  Further to say that the A4 is a fast processor is interesting.  All ARM processors are RISC (reduced instruction set computing) where they execute an instruction per cpu cycle.   So the limiting factor on the performance will be the front side bus which is tied to the ram and flash storage.

2.       Using a color display. Using a color display is not as easy to read as the black and white displays that the Amazon Kindle uses.  Plus color displays use more power.  The Kindle practically powers down between page changes which improves the battery life.

3.       Including 3G internet connectivity.  By including 3G, Apple is focusing on an online experience with Safari.  Since the iPad has a larger display and internet access, users will expect more applications that integrate with Safari.  Examples add-ins include Adobe Shockwave, Adobe Flash, Adobe Acrobat, QuickTime and Java.

4.       Lack of integration with the home theater experience.  The iPad could have included consumer IR and been the ultimate home theater remote control.

5.       Running existing iPhone/iPod Touch apps by pixel doubling will make them look worse.   Pixel doubling will make the applications look “blocky” and make the fonts harder to read.  To really take advantage of the iPad, developers will have to create new versions of their applications to take advantage of the larger resolution.

6.       Cost.  Who is going to buy an iPad at $499 - $829?  I see other competition at this price range, and display size with the netbooks which are under $500 and some are subsidized by cellular carriers to $100-200.  Also at CES there were netbooks with touch screens and multitouch such as a version of the Asus EEE PC.  Also, it’s clear that Amazon has recognized this by offering a desktop reader version of their eBook software.

So based on the market projections of ebook readers selling around 6 million, I expect that the iPad won’t be that hot of a commodity due to its higher cost and the decision to support the iPhone version of OS 10.   (Source: Chris De Herrera, Tablet PC Talk)

Posted Thursday, January 28, 2010 by ChrisD
Rating: 2.95 Comments ()

Inside the iPad: Apple's new 'A4' chip

Called the A4, ("A" presumably for Apple), the most obvious difference with the chip in the iPhone 3GS is speed. The iPad's chip runs at 1GHz, compared to the estimated 600MHz (0.6GHz) of the iPhone 3GS. On Wednesday, at the event in San Francisco, the A4 was billed as "the most advanced chip" Apple has done yet. While fast, it's also frugal with power. "The A4 chip is so power efficient that it helps iPad get up to 10 hours of battery life," according to Apple's iPad Web page.  (Source: Brooke Crothers, CNet)
Posted Wednesday, January 27, 2010 by ChrisD
Rating: 3.6 Comments ()

For Media Industry, a Mixed Bag in iPad

Apple Inc.'s iPad tablet device, shrounded in secrecy until Wednesday, has been hyped as a coming revolution for all corners of the media business. But while the gadget, in its debut, promised to upend how people read and pay for books, it offered few signs that a new model for distributing TV shows, movies or magazines.

Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs announced a new online bookstore—iBooks—and a deal with big book publishers, setting the stage for a battle with e-book front-runner Inc. Publishers will get to set the retail price for each of their titles, unlike with Amazon.  (Source: Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg and Shira OvideVIDE, Wall Street Journal)

Posted Wednesday, January 27, 2010 by ChrisD
Rating: 3 Comments ()

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