The iPad

28 01 2010

With so much hype around Apple’s latest event, I woke up this morning thinking that I was going to be disappointed.  My experience with Tablet PC’s have been less than stellar.  My first exposure to one was seeing the IBM X61 tablet which was a great design.  The user had the ability to use the device exactly like a normal laptop, but swivel the screen around and write on it like a notebook.  The problem was not the design, but rather the performance.  As soon as you used the tablet functionality, the computer would slow down dramatically and all of the elements on windows would not function properly.  I always wanted a tablet PC but I could never find one that was powerful and fast enough to truly be effective.

I came to the realization recently that I use my personal computer for very limited things.  Essentially most of the things I do on my MacBook revolves around the browser.  Here are the applications I currently have loaded:

  • Google Chrome (Gmail, Facebook, YouTube, WordPress, NYTimes, Grooveshark)
  • Tweetdeck
  • ITunes

I use my work laptop for more traditional clients like Outlook, Word, Excel, Powerpoint etc.  I can count, however, the number of times I’ve truly used those applications on my personal laptop.  In today’s world, we browse the internet when we want to get information.  The computer has essentially turned into the browser and as more and more people begin to understand this concept, the traditional guardrails that we think about in purchasing a computer go down.  Speed of the computer is now measured on the bandwidth in connectivity versus the speed of the processor.

The iPad, however is not a personal computer.  It’s a media device that focuses on allowing you to surf the internet in a completely new way.  There is a reason why Apple did not align the product to the Mac line.  It’s not meant to be a low end computer and the consumers that focus on using it as an alternative will be truly disappointed.  Our dependance on connectivity has allowed us to browse the internet in a number of different ways.  For me, I use my smartphone to get most of my news updates (and I don’t even have an iPhone).  As I take the train every morning, I tether my blackberry to gain connectivity to my laptop and browse the web to check mail, read news, etc.

For me, the iPad makes a ton of sense.  It’s a device that allows you to perform the same function in a completely new browsing experience.  A coworker of mine asked, “what is so great about the device if it’s the same thing as a netbook”.  My response is pretty much nothing.  It does the same thing (arguably less) than a netbook/kindle does.  When the iPhone first came out, however, there were plenty of other phones in the market and in comparison it was amazing.

I’ve been looking for an e-reader and was thinking very closely about buying a Kindle (even though I’m not a fan of Amazon).  When I compare the iPad to the Kindle, the sheer platform that Apple has created gravitates me towards buying the iPad.  I can only imaging in 4-5 months the number of incredible apps that will come on this device.

To be perfectly honest – I was disappointed in the lack of webcam, SD slot and USB.  But I had very low expectations on what Apple would provide.

Will I buy the device?  I’m not 100% sure.  When I look at $499, it’s enticing but it’s not a personal computer…it’s essentially a media device on steroids.  Time will tell if I need it to my already heavy arsenal.

$0.02..

-SD





How Steve Jobs duped the world into thinking that the new iPhone is cheaper

10 06 2008

Okay so the title might be a tad dramatic but after reading on how much the new iPhone actually costs, I couldn’t hold myself back.  After hearing Jobs keynote yesterday where the audience practically treated the event like a rock concert, I was shocked by the price reduction of $200.  The new iPhone 3G will cost $199 which is significantly cheaper than the previous model.

What Apple doesn’t tell you, however, is the added costs that come right after you sign up for a contract.  For an average user, here is the extra features they will have to pay for:

  • 3G network – $30 (previously, an iPhone user paid $20 for an EDGE data plan)
  • 200 Text Messages – $5 (previously an iPhone user got it for free)
  • Mobile Me Push/Sync program – $8/month ($100 / year) – if you want to sync your mail with MSFT Exchange/Outlook – you need this program

When it’s all said and done, you’ll need to pay $43 on top of your AT&T minute plan to take full advantage of your iPhone 3G.  Well lets quickly do the math.  For the $200 you are “saving” from buying the new iPhone, you’re actually going to be paying that amount back to AT&T in about 9-10 months.   Now that AT&T requires you to lock into a 2 year contract, you’re basically going to pay $1000 for a new iPhone during your next two years when you add it to your minutes.

It’s a genius move by Apple on making the device significantly cheaper but its a model that is used by most smartphones.  There is a reason why AT&T advertises Blackberry Curves for $99 these days.  They make money on the variable cost, not just the fixed cost.

That being said, I think the average consumer will be drawn to the beautiful devices sitting in the shopping malls fully functional.  Once they go through the first sign up flow and look at their first AT&T bill after the first month, they may sing a different tune.

I think I might look at this picture in a different way now….

Just my $.02…

-SD





Multi-touch 2.0

22 02 2008

Apple just filed a patent to expand on its ever popular multi-touch technology.  Rumor has it that the Macbook Air will be turned into some sort of tablet surface where the user can do significantly more types of movements on the actual trackpad area.  It’s meant to easily draw pictures and navigate through the OS system using your entire hand versus simply your fingers.  The patent filed is shown below:

Can someone say getting ready for MacWorld in August?

Would you buy an Apple Tablet PC?  I don’t think I would but if this technology was really responsive, I might consider it…

My $.02..

 -SD





The next step in the iPod product line

12 09 2007

With all of the hoopla with the changes in the iPod line, I figured we could begin to go one step further to predict the next line…..

Behold:

Quick $.02…

-SD





Say hello to the new iPod

5 09 2007

UPDATED: I wrote this while Steve Jobs was still announcing his product line.  Latest news: iPhone Price cut – $399 for an 8GB.  I think they’ll be getting rid of the 4GB model now.  $200 price cut within 2 months of the release….is someone a little tense about selling a million units by the end of Q3?

UPDATED: I’m going to update this post but I wanted to quickly put down what came out @ Apple today. For those of you that didn’t want to shell out $500 for a cool iPhone, you can now get essentially the same hardware without the phone for $200 less. This by the way, is absolutely genius. Jobs makes sure to rope people in with the unveiling of the iPhone and gains consumer interest. He sets a price point high enough so that pioneers will buy it but normal folks will be intrigued. Finally – he unveils a similar hardware product that gives people the choice to choose between phone and mp3 player. Not to mention, he makes sure that the price is consistent what it always has been.

I think the reason why the iPod is so successful is because there has been no change in pricing since its unveiling. As a result, when new updates come about, users get very excited because of the new technology it integrates. The iPod went from black and white, to color, to enabling photos, to enabling videos, and now, to enable YouTube.

The other thing that was announced today was the Apple ITunes WiFi. Essentially with this product, you’ll be able to download/purchase songs from the music store straight onto your iPod (look out Zune). They’ve also partnered with Starbucks so that you can go into a Starbucks store and use their wireless for free to download songs. This allows starbucks to get incremental users to their homepage to drive traffic, and allows iTunes to create effective partnerships.

The new iPod is called the iPod Touch

Here are the price points for the new items:

 

 

Gizmodo.com photos

As the rumors were true, the iPod Nano came out today as well….the fat nano.

Not too shabby….too bad the stock is taking a beating…I guess everyone expected it…

Just my $.02..

-SD





GPhone vs. iPhone?

24 08 2007

A lot of this post will be based on a rumor proliferated by rediff news, a popular Indian news source, which claimed that Google will be releasing the new GPhone in 2 weeks.  They even provided a picture to go along with their claim which shows that Google has taken an iPhone approach in their user interface.

Now we have to ask the question who would realistically win in a battle of the GPhone versus the iPhone.  Granted the iPhone has already gotten a headstart and there has been no confirmation that Google is even coming out with a phone, although numerous sources indicate that Google has hired a plethora of people to work on this “secret” project.  But what’s with all the secrecy.  Steve Jobs was secret about the iPhone until his keynote when he indicated that it won’t be available for another 6 months or so.  As a result, it garnered a ton of people getting interest, companies began to develop apps, and the rest was history.

I had a chance to open an iPhone yesterday and sync it up and I must say, I was thoroughly impressed.  Apple and AT&T created such an amazing integration with the product, that you may begin to believe that cellular technology in America is actually getting pretty good.  Here are some of the key highlights:

  • Uses iTunes as a platform –  Apple was extremely smart in sticking to their core products.  They know that they have a ton of people using iTunes both on Windows/Mac consequently resulting in placing the entire integration on that platform.  I.E. you plug in your iPhone and activate your SIM card, sign up for a data plan, all on iTunes
  • SIM Cards come preinstalled – This was an interesting move in that they simply disable your current SIM card and start from scratch.  It solves any integration issues with new technology – i.e. if you had a razr 2G sim card and then transfer to a 3G phone.  A bit more expensive for AT&T but with the iPhone’s margin’s and royalty fees, I’m sure it’s not a big issue
  • Activation takes 3 minutes – Speed with activation is key.  One of the things I hate about lithium battery’s is that you have to charge it – you can’t use it out of the box.  The iPhone comes charged well with everything at your fingertips

So how can the GPhone compete?  What does Google have in it’s arsenal that makes it superior to the iPhone.  Well, if Google can come up with an OS is as visually appealing, easy to use, and cheaper it would be a better product.  Additionally, if it can utilize its user base with Gtalk, Gmail and finally get some traction on their office suite products, the GPhone could be ideal.  But the biggest factor would be if it can be compatible with any carrier.  The iPhone was revolutionary as a device, not as a phone in my opinion.  It did not change the way we use our phone or change the way America used cell phones.  If the GPhone can change the way cell phone technology works/handled, I can see this thing really taking off….

Even though this is for Microsoft…I thought this was funny:

Just my $.02…

-SD





The new iPod Nano leaked…

23 08 2007

Apparently some visual designers were playing around with some possible nano mockups and posted a couple on the internet. Essentially, they got one of them right because Apple told them to take it down.

So if you’re currently thinking about purchasing an ipod and don’t want to shell out $500 for an iPhone, the nano will begin to have video capability and is looking like it will be much wider than usual. Personally, I’m not a fan at all. If they patented multi-touch technology, they should begin to properly utilize them in all of their core products.

Here it is:

Just my $.02…

-SD