40% of Australians own a Tablet now, 71% by y/e 2013

Via @joannejacobs

ALMOST 40 per cent of Australians own a tablet computer, a figure that is expected to rise to 50 per cent by the end of this year and 71 per cent in a year’s time, according to a survey conducted by digital industry body AIMIA. – The Australian

Do you think sales of ‘standard’ PCs will be up or down in Australia next year?

The Tablet Market Is Changing

This was Carphone Warehouse about a month ago. The display unit you see in the picture is covered with different types of tablet, on both sides. From Aconia to RIM, from Samsung to Asus.

20120923-215047.jpg

Today, when I went to Carphone Warehouse, there was one tablet on display (a Nexus 7) and the only other with any presence was a Samsung 10″ tablet, free with a contract phone worth £15.50 a month.

In any war, there are casualties. I think the industry is solidifying around a handful of players. And retailers simply can’t afford to invest in every player. They’re going to pick the winners.

iPad

There were a few people complaining about the new iPad. Apparently it wasn’t innovative enough. That a faster processor (presumably more RAM), 4G networking (and faster 3G), quad-core graphics, Bluetooth 4, 1080p video recording and pushing 4 times the number of pixels (Retina Display at 2048×1536*) while still maintaining the battery life and the same cost is not innovation.

The iPad was revolutionary because it consisted of a screen with a border. The screen was everything. The screen was the gateway to the magical software that runs on the device. Not the Apple-supplied Springboard but apps like Pages, iPlayer, pUniverse, The Elements. The software changed the entire purpose of the device with just a tap. That was the magic and that is, in my opinion, the singular reason for the success of the iPad.

Which is why the most important part of the upgrade was the Retina Display and the quad-core graphics processor to push those millions of pixels. The singular magical feature of the iPad just got four times better. Not ten percent better, 300% better. The touch interface will be just as accurate but the pixels which make up the display will be, for nearly every instance, invisible to the naked eye.

Tim Cook made a big deal that none of their competitors managed to beat their Retina Display in the iPhone nearly two years later and none managed to beat the iPad to release with a similar class of display. As the screen is the most visible part of the device and in many ways; is the device ; it surprises me that none of the competitors have bothered to improve the most important part of the device.

Technology journalists can’t just embrace the success. They get eyeballs from presenting jeopardy so every headline is about how Apple still needs to look out for a series of unlikely competitors because one of them is bound to unseat the Cupertino giant. They wanted the iPad to debut with haptic feedback, fold out keyboards, anti-gravity repulsors and the ability to transform into a pony. They’re also seething that their puerile predictions that it would be known as an iPad 3 or iPad HD were also torpedoed. And they’ll rail in their little gilded cages about how the device will only appeal to the Apple faithful; an assertion that if true, means there are millions of new faithful followers appearing each year. In truth, they’re just angry about being wrong. And they’ll take their anger out on Apple by writing glowing reviews of third rate plastic tablets running outdated versions of second rate software. Or in touchy-feely tones about how Apple was better, you know, before Steve died.

I’ve been a long-time user of Apple equipment and software. The equipment was the only way to get to the software and the software, nomatter what you may have thought of it, was worth paying extra for. I’ve always had the choice of software and hardware over the years due to working for a couple of huge corporations but I came back to Apple every time because it was simply better. They understood what I wanted out of a computer and they still do.

People will buy the new iPad in their millions as they have in previous quarters. The new lower priced iPad 2 (£329) willow, I predict, further push Apple into places they could never have considered before.

* Putting that in perspective, Apple’s 27″ display costs twice as much as an iPad and offers 2560×1440.

iPad growth curve: I have run out of superlatives

Lovely visualisation by Horace Dediu @asymco

It’s hard to appreciate how popular the iPad is until you see it compared to its peers. In the same time frame, the iPad has completely obliterated the amazing success of the iPod and the fantastic success of the iPhone. At this point, I have run out of superlatives.

Tabula Rasa…not quite

At CES, HP has unveiled it’s new ‘Slate’ product.

Or more accurately, Steve Ballmer of Microsoft presented this Window 7-running mini tablet PC with no reference to specifications. Engadget has some coverage but for the real skinny, head on over to Gizmodo for some real photos including this clever bit of cross-marketing.

ballmernote43

Take note, it’s not Courier, the two screen slate Microsoft distracted us with ages ago (which was aimed entirely at interior designers) but it will apparently be a shipping product at some point this year.

There are some other contenders for iSlate also-rans.

Camangi Webstation
There’s the Camangi Webstation which ends up being a slow internet tablet device described as “sluggish” and “confined”. It also has an unboxing an initial review over at GearDiary

Camangi Webstation
Camangi Webstation

Paradigm Shift 10″ Android tablet.
Engadget also have details of the Paradigm Shift tablet.
paradigm-shift-01-06-2010

Set to be available in your choice of black or white, this one packs an 800MHz Marvel PX166 processor (slightly faster than the Camangi’s), along with a 1,024 x 600 touchscreen (no word if it’s capacitive or resistive), 2GB of flash storage standard (upgradable to 16GB), built-in WiFi, VGA out, an SD card slot for further expansion, and even the option of built-in 3G. Look for this one to hit the US sometime this March with an MSRP of $369.95.

and last but not least, we have the JooJoo / CrunchPad. This 12.1″ tablet has been a media darling from when it was called the CrunchPad right up until they ditched the name (and TechCrunch) and decided to go it alone with the JooJoo.

JooJoo

Of these, only the HP/Microsoft effort seems to indicate anything much more than being a web tablet and even then, they’ve showed us a demo which could have been built in Silverlight for all we know. We do know it runs Windows 7 so it’s likely an Atom processor in there and the presence of the Taskbar means there’s not going to be any innovation present.

OK – lots of people are expecting the Apple tablet to finally appear but wouldn’t it be typical if it doesn’t?

Apple have never admitted to working on something called an iSlate, which will be a large touchscreen. Has there been enough traction in the Tablet industry for Apple to step in and ‘do it right’ the way they did with MP3 players and mobile phones in the 2000s?

So what will this tablet be for?

Well – we hear that some iPhone app developers are already working on a series of apps to be available at launch (the lack of Lists support in Tweetie and the lack of any updates for EchoFon would make me think they’re both working on a larger screen version of their apps). So we’ll have Twitter, we’ll have some games and we’re likely to have a heap of other content as the videos below indicate…

Mag+ by Bonnier R&D:

Mag+ from Bonnier on Vimeo.

Time shows off Sports Illustrated

Condé Nast and WIRED magazine

My use case for the Tablet is something that works in Landscape and Portrait (in exactly the way that my iPhone does and my MacBook doesn’t).

It needs to be able to play HD video (even just YouTube HD), browse the web, have decent WiFi, run a few apps and be capable of a little text entry.
I’m not sure if it needs local storage other than synced copies of iTunes stuff? Maybe this thing will be like an Apple TV with built-in display on steroids rather than an iPhone?

I don’t think it needs 3G or GPS but the latter would be a wasted opportunity if not included.

What do you want a tablet for?

Analysts and their fevered iTablet dreams

The hype mill is running overtime.

TheStreet’s Scott Moritz writes: Apple’s Tablet Can’t Prevent Sales Malaise

Like never before, Apple is at the top of its game. But like any champ, the focus has to be on the next big win.

For Apple, the stunning growth streak lives or dies with the upcoming Tablet.

So, Apple’s success is dependent on a device which may not appear, which may not exist and which Apple has never announced nor promised. Not only that, even if the unannounced Schrodinger’s Tablet does finally exist, apparently it’s not going to sell as well as it might? How does he know? Well – of course – he doesn’t. He just has to fill some column inches. (also see: Scott Moritz: always wrong but keeps trying )

And is this just a rehash of his previous article from March this year?

No question, the tablet will dazzle Apple fans who typically don’t think twice about paying upwards of $2,000 for the latest, greatest Mac. But beyond the core fan base, Apple will discover what other PC makers have known for a while: Consumers find big tablets hard to swallow.

Very droll.

This is why Apple’s stock always dips after their planned events. They might come out with the most revolutionary phone in the universe, but they didn’t produce a Tablet. They might produce the Tablet but they won’t have produced a 48″ screen that folds into a pocket. They might produce a giant folding screen but they won’t have produced a Moon Pony.

Things we know.

The iPod touch will be updated. It’s overdue.
The AppleTV will be updated. Shipping times are long.
Scott Moritz is probably wrong. He usually is.

That’s pretty much it. Anything else is fevered conjecture and link-bait.

Will the Tablet fail?

Frankly I’d rather not offer conjecture here but considering Apple’s turnaround with the iMac, the turnaround of the company into music, the success of the iPod, iTunes and the iPhone, the rise of interest in Mac OS X: I’d rather not bet against them.