Posts Tagged ‘iPad’

Kindle vs iPad: The case for the dedicated e-Reader

Over at TechCrunch I’ve penned an op/ed piece on why I’m in love with the Kindle. Or more specifically, why the dedicated e-Reader still has a role to play in the context of Apple’s iPad and competing multifunctional tablet computers, such as the plethora of Android-powered devices that are about to hit the market.

I’m now a total Kindle convert.

Yes, I know. It’s a laughable notion to anybody that knows me well and judging by the number of unread books – mostly Christmas presents from friends who should know better – that occupy shelf space and the spare cupboard in my house. But I can’t get enough of the Kindle.


It’s the only gadget that encourages me – no, forces me – to go off the grid and get away from, as Mike Butcher puts it, the “background hum” of being always-connected. If fact, it’s for exactly the reasons that Carr states, that the dedicated e-reader can be seen as the anti-iPad. And that might well be its long-term appeal.

Head over to TechCrunch to read the full article…

I emailed Steve Jobs and got a reply (or why I don't own an iPad)

The weekend before last I fired off an email to Apple CEO Steve Jobs, and to my surprise, I actually got a reply (OK, I wasn’t that surprised as Steve has been replying to a lot of emails lately). I then decided to run the story of his reply and my initial email over at TechCrunch Europe as it was a bit of a scoop and I knew it would generate a lot of discussion.

The issue I raised was that of the trend towards touch/gesture and how in general more physically demanding User Interfaces impact accessibility from a personal point-of-view. It wasn’t so much a complaint as my own homage to the desktop/GUI era that Steve and Apple helped usher-in, and how times-are-a-changing once again. Here’s an excerpt from the post:

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3 throws its iPad hat in the ring

While 3UK’s CEO practically ruled out bidding to sell Apple’s iPad direct, with the mobile operator’s strength firmly rooted in data, it always seemed likely that they would offer up tariffs targeted at the device.

And that’s precisely what’s happened.

Announced today but available on the 28th of May (Friday) when the iPad officially launches this side of the pond, two dedicated tariffs are on offer with support for the micro SIM card required by the device. What’s more, 3UK appear to be coming in cheaper – quite a lot cheaper in some cases – than the other three major carriers.

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Nokia said to be readying iPad competitor – Windows or MeeGo anyone?

From the words of an “analyst”, so I won’t hold my breath. Nokia is said to be readying its own take on the now-credible Internet tablet, post Apple’s iPad. reports: “Nokia is working with suppliers and design manufacturers on a touch-screen tablet to have available as early as this fall, according to Rodman Renshaw analyst Ashok Kumar, who is close to Nokia’s technology partners. Nokia declined to comment.”

My take

With Internet tablets likely to soon become part of the carrier subsidy merry-go-round, Nokia will be forced to jump on the latest bandwagon – although it already has form in this space – so it would make sense if the handset maker is already putting into action plans to challenge Apple’s iPad. It’s not like we didn’t already know that 2010 is going to be the year of the tablet, just like 08/09 was for the Netbook – and Nokia was far too late to that particular party.

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iPad reviews are in – PC Mag sums up Apple's device in 4,000 words [video]

It was just the other day that I was mocking a recent claim by PC Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Lance Ulanoff that what made the publication different from competing tech sites and blogs was its testing ‘labs’ used to conduct product reviews.

“Who needs a lab?”, I scoffed.

I get to review plenty of gear where my lounge, bedroom or local coffee shop is my ‘lab’. A mobile phone or netbook, for example, can be reviewed almost anywhere. It’s not the environment that counts but how knowledgeable and thorough the reviewer is and what products he/she has used for comparison. Or at least, that’s what I’d hope.

Putting all of that aside, however, PC Mag has put out today the best iPad review so far. It’s easily the most thorough – at 4,000 words – and, as Dave Zatz points out, hasn’t suffered from the print-length restrictions that plague the coverage of the Pogues, Walt Mossbergs of this world, never mind their perceived closeness to Cupertino. PC Mag gives the iPad a lab score of 4.5/5 😉

PC Mag have also produced a nice video review, which I’ve embedded right after the jump.

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Hello iPad, surfing the web while watching telly up 35%

This one is from the bleeding obvious department but it’s noteworthy nonetheless.

The Nielsen Company’s latest Three Screen Report, which tracks consumption across TV, Internet and mobile phones, says that in the last quarter of 2009, Americans’ simultaneous use of the Internet while watching TV reached three and a half hours a month, up 35% from the previous quarter.

“Nearly 60% of TV viewers now use the Internet once a month while also watching TV”, notes the report.

Now I won’t regurgitate the other stats (see the table below) but I will point a finger at the likely culprits: Laptops, or more specifically Netbooks, and handheld devices such as the iPhone and other smartphones, and let’s not forget the iPod touch. Along with social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter etc.) giving rise to the virtual watercooler viewing experience.

The same ‘couch computing’ craze likely behind Apple’s decision to release a tablet computer, the iPad, now and in its particular form-factor.

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3's CEO talks iPad, the mobile network's 'perception problem', Spotify, and more

3logo3UK’s CEO talks about how the network is planning to address its ‘legacy perception problem’ and why bidding for the iPad would be like trying to sign a premiership footballer

I’ve just got back from a fascinating press briefing with mobile carrier 3UK’s CEO Kevin Russell and CTO Graham Baxter, billed as a discussion of the “themes, trends and challenges that will shape the mobile industry in the UK in 2010.” Although the subtext was something more along the lines of: how is 3 addressing what was described as its legacy perception problem.

People still, wrongly or rightly, often associate the network with poor coverage and/or service. This despite the fact that the network’s coverage and capacity has and is improving and that in my view 3 is one of the most, if not the most, innovative of the UK networks, especially on pricing, data services and positioning.

Here’s what I learnt during two presentations and the very frank Q&A that took place afterwards:

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People keep asking… what do I make of Apple's iPad?

iPadNow that the dust has settled and I’ve had time to gather my thoughts, here’s what I make of the iPad, Apple’s own take on the tablet computer.

It’s an Internet appliance not a computer

While the tablet computer is nothing new, the iPad is, arguably, a completely new product category, which appears to occupy the middle ground between a smartphone and a laptop. If, of course, such a middle ground exists.

Unlike the raft of Windows Tablet PCs, which Bill Gates once claimed would be the future of personal computing, replacing the desktop and laptop, the iPad doesn’t appear to replace anything. It’s certainly too big to replace a smartphone. And it’s not capable of undertaking many tasks for which a laptop or desktop computer – read: fully-fledged desktop OS/applications and mouse/hardware keyboard – is required. But in many situations – web browsing and consuming content – the iPad is arguably better.

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