We think Amazon's Kindle Fire is pushing Apple to a smaller iPad format. But Sony's Vita and the interest in a small device for portable gaming may create the real threat. Keep your eye on the tablet-gaming space!
Good points; Apple said that it had shipped 172 million non-PC devices of all types in 2011 and made 76% of its revenue from that. The cut in price on the iPad 2 may be enough to keep the Kindle Fire at bay for now, and as you say they can go to a smaller form factor or even a completely different kind of device if they have to.
I think we might someday get a small-medium-large iPad line, but only when the market for tablets has grown to a sufficient size... Apple might have shipped more iPads than HP sold computers, but it hasn't sold more than the computers that HP+Dell+Asus+Lenovo+etc+etc makes (yet).
We didn't get a different form factor; the launch was yesterday and the "new iPad" is the same size (actually a little heavier). We did get a show that was clearly designed in part to demonstrate how it was superior to today's gaming consoles, and it seems clear that the display/graphics of the iPad have been optimized for gaming. That may mean that rather than go after e-readers and game consoles by competing with their form factor, Apple will try to up the game (no pun!) in its current form factor to offer something better. That would suggest that Apple will use iCloud and its own iBook stuff to differentiate in reading, and may use the display quality and size to differentiate in gaming.
Game developers have traditionally created games based on the available hardware and displays -- so it does seem unlikely that Apple would see "gaming" as an opportunity to alter their available display sizes. Perhaps someday there will be a small, medium and large iPad (just like there are S-M-L versions of the MacBooks), but the creation of these different sizes are not based on a single category of apps. The 17" MacBook doesn't exist because of Photoshop or video-editing software -- it exists because there are some people who prefer a near desktop replacement when using a laptop.
"In the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king"; that's a fair comment I think. Apple's consumer innovations were built on the ubiquity of mobile broadband, something that other players could just as easily have exploited. But in another sense, market savvy is relative and even if Apple has only one eye, it's seeing things pretty clearly up to now.
What we don't know is whether the culture of Steve Jobs was a team culture or a cult of personality. People like him who are highly charismatic often don't create the most important product of all--successors.
I think you could argue that the "glasses" rumored to be on Google's launch ramp is potentially revolutionary for gaming. People are already speculating about games that mix reality and artificial reality. Add body sensors and you have perhaps the ultimate game system. Could Google be taking a lead here, I wonder?
The whole Amazon.reader debate is a double-stupid. It's stupid to think that there's any e-book buyer who doesn't know Amazon's URL, and it was stupider to let ICANN launch the whole free-form TLD initiative to start with.
YouTube's move to a partial pay-for-view model could help relieve a dearth of good new content but it could also complicate debates in many parts of the world over payment by content providers for delivery of their material to customers.
That's what Larry Page said on Google's earnings call, referring to the conjunction of mobile and the cloud. Well, let's chart it then! We need to be thinking about an Internet where 90% of our traffic goes to 70 destinations within 40 miles of us.
Facebook's Graph Search may face some profound challenges and risks, first, because Facebook users haven't been thinking of their posts as product reviews; and second, because Facebook will now have to contend with the social-network equivalent of SEO "gaming" of results.
EU operators are considering joining up to create a pan-European network to reduce competitive overbuild and cost. This might lower costs and focus operators on higher-level, more interesting services.
Amazon's new Fire isn't an iPad competitor, but it is a device that will rival Barnes and Noble's Nook. It also may signal a shift toward retail-dominated Web media versus the ad-dominated form. In short, be prepared to pay more for content!
A survey by JD Powers found that customer interest in product features is lessening as phones evolve. Rather than features, price is driving purchases, and that change could have a dramatic impact on how IT departments secure these devices.
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