Archive for rumors
Barnes and Noble might be in the late stages of bringing out a new 7-inch model that features “revolutionary screen technology.” The Nexus 7 is doing tremendously robust sales and Amazon is poised to release the second iteration of the Kindle Fire within the next month, Barnes and Noble has their work cut out for them.
Sources today have told CNET that “Barnes & Noble will continue to focus on the “reading experience,” adding new features related to that mission, but the Nook Store would also be expanded with additional media options, including some not seen before on a tablet. The source couldn’t tell us specifically what those options were, but given that the Nook lacks the sort of dedicated music and video store found on the Nexus 7 (Google Play) and Kindle Fire (Amazon video and music), that seems like an obvious avenue for an updated Nook.”
Barnes and Noble is obviously due for a new tablet and has been releasing a new model every single year. Realistically they might bring it into the market by November. The most interesting aspect of this news item is what screen technology will they be using? Will a big name company finally use Pixel QI or will Mirasol find a North American distribution partner? What about Plastic Logic or Samsung Liquidvista? Using either of thesecompeting technologies would bridge the gap between e-reader and tablet.
There is a new iPad rumored to be coming our way, but before you start the celebrations, it’s not going to be a whole new device. Rather, it’s going to be the same iPad 3 with enough modifications introduced to ensure people fall in love with it all over again. Of course, Apple hasn’t confirmed a word of it, though Digitimes is claiming that’s the next step with the iPad.
So it’s a sleeker iPad 3, thinner and lighter than the current version, and the camera hole at the back panel is also bigger this time to allow for a higher aperture camera to be fitted. Sources also point out Apple is bringing about some changes to the battery pack in the iPad 3 which, it is believed, will take care of the tablet getting over-heated.
All of this information has been sourced from a Taiwanese tech journal, who in turn got it from those involved in the actual manufacturing process.
The iPad 3 was released mid-March this year and boasted a superb retina display, among other niceties. However, to support that many pixels, a bigger battery was called for, which in turn added to the weight and thickness. Now with the resolution versus battery life issue being refined, the iPad 3 will go back to being slim and light.
As usual, we are only speculating and anything could happen. In any case, the new iPad is expected to arrive around the holiday season, if it even exists. Though that would hamper the usual yearly cycle of Apple launching a new iteration of iPad during the March-April period.
Needless to say it’s all up in the air right now and an official declaration might not be available soon.
No sooner has the Nexus 7 tablet transitioned rumor to reality, that word of a bigger 10 inch version got out. All the speculation did culminate into a the new 7 inch Nexus tablet and a 10 inch version of the same will be equally exciting if made available at an attractive price point. Also, look at what Samsung had done with their 7 inch Galaxy Tab, following it with the release of its more successful 10.1 inch version.
Digitimes is reporting Google is likely to source the 10 inch touch panels from Wintek and AU Optronics. Wintek is already believed to be involved in the Nexus 7 project, with some sources also claiming the company might have supplied Asus over a million 7 inch touch panels for building the Nexus 7. TPK Holdings is another company that is also touted to be supplying the touch panels for Nexus 7.
Needless to say, there is no further info available as yet about the 10 inch Nexus and it’s anybody’s guess when it’s going to be launched, though there are chances it could happen during the holiday period in December. A Nexus 10 tablet could pinch Apple hard if Google can ensure the Nexus 10 is also just as affordable, though let’s just hope it’s innovative enough to dodge clear of Apple’s legal web.
Zinio continues to be one of the largest digital newsstands on the internet with content available on Android, iOS, Blackberry, and many more. The company is feeling the pinch of Apple’s Newsstand and competing services from Barnes and Noble and Amazon. Fortune Magazine is reporting today that the company might be for sale.
The San Francisco-based company has hired investment bank Montgomery & Co. to manage the process, with one source saying that the company is seeking between $50 million and $100 million. No idea yet if there is buy-side interest at that price.
Originally Zinio did brisk business when the Apple iPad first launched. Sources within the company told us that they had developmental models months before it launched and Apple had courted them as a launch partner. Years later, Zinio continues to be one of the all time downloaded apps on the App Store.
They say imitation is the most sincerest form of flattery, but not if you lose money. When Zinio first started selling digital magazines they did not have very much competition and allowed them to expand at a rapid rate. When Apple introduced their newsstands as a bundled part of iOS, it cut deeply into the revenues of Zinio. Amazon and Barnes and Noble then launched their own services which comes pre-installed on every e-reader and tablet they offer.
Zinio continues to be most peoples favorite app of choice due to the wide array of content and the low prices. Magazines on the new iPad have been optimized for the retina display and look amazing.
We broke the story a few months ago that Amazon was opening up a retail store in the Seattle area, where they are based. Forbes, Fox News, CNN and many other news-sources picked up on our story and we have a new chapter to report on.
According to leaked sources from design firm NBBJ, the new Amazon store will be on the ground retail level in one of the towers the are constructing. It will feature a large bookstore where books published by Amazon will be sold. There will also be a cafe attached to it and is it unknown if Amazon will do their own in-house operation or contract it out to another Seattle based company, Starbucks.
In February, Amazon reached an agreement with Clise Properties to purchase the land in downtown Seattle. This was the companies first foray into actually buying land and developing a mega project on it. The online retailer has filed preliminary plans with the city to build three office towers of one million square feet each. Each tower would include a parking and sit on its own block. Seattle architecture firm NBBJ was commissioned to design the project.
The proposed store is slatted to face 7th avenue but it could take as long as eight years to finish, a project architect has revealed. The store and retail center is slatted to be designed first. John Savo of NBBJ recently told the city board that “On the block likely to be developed first, a small bridge would link the tower to a 40,000-square-foot auditorium type of building seating 2,000 that Amazon plans to build along Lenora Street, Savo said. The online retailer’s current Seattle offices lack such a meeting space, he added. It would be “more like a ballroom in a hotel” than an auditorium. The block closest to downtown — between Sixth, Seventh and Westlake avenues and Virginia and Lenora streets — probably would be developed first”, he added.
It is only a matter of time before Amazon starts their retail store and the plans for its construction are being finalized. This would give them an excellent place to sell their eBooks from their fledgling publishing division and also give incentives for authors who use Amazon Create Space and Kindle Direct Publishing. Patrons would even be able to purchase audiobooks and gain access to the internet via WIFI. Amazon has been pioneering NFC technology famously over last holiday season where customers could scan products and get cheaper deals on Amazon. Likely the company will introduce this type of technology in their stores for people to buy digital content right on their devices.
Don’t forget, Amazon is paving the way for a solid infrastructure right now. They recently introduced a Locker type system in Seattle and now Washington. This gives people a physical place to visit to pick up their online purchases. Slowly but surely they are laying down a foundation for a physical empire that is smaller in scale.
In the last few days we have given you a clearer picture of what the whole situation is all about with the new Microsoft Surface. The one crucial missing link (among several) is the extent of damage that will inflict on our wallet. However, news coming in from Taiwan isn’t making the Surface tablet a rosy proposition. As revealed by Digitimes, the consumer version of the Surface will be priced above $599, which makes it a $100 more than the base version of the iPad and a lot more in a disadvantage in the great tablet game. That said, Microsoft’s marketing strategy may be to target only the higher end model of the tablet as specs reveal the tablet will comes in memory options of 32 and 64 GB. In contrast, the iPad lineup starts with a 16 GB model, with 32 and 64 GB model higher up in the range. Similarly, the Surface Pro running Windows 8 is expected to cost a minimum of $799. Digitimes further reveals its Pegatron Technology that has contracted for assembling the Surface tablet though there are no firm estimates of the order volume available as yet.
In the end, it will be worth remembering the above mentioned prices has been nothing but rumors and will remain so until Microsoft comes clean with their plans. However, what is a certainty is that the Richmond, Washington based company will have to push really hard on the price front if they wish to see the Surface raking in numbers anywhere close to the Apple iPad. The Surface can be Microsoft’s golden chance to finally put to rest the ghost of its failed hardware ventures such as the Zune music player or the Kin smartphone.
Things seem to be picking up pace with the 7 inch Google tablet now that the Nexus 7 has been spotted in benchmark tests. Google is readying the device with Asus as the hardware partner. The test though does not paint a clear picture of the device that is slated for a release in June, possibly during Google I/O conference.
That said, a few interesting facts has come to the fore. Like the tablet may eventually be seen running Android’s next version — Jelly Bean. Jelly bean in turn is considered to be a minor upgrade over Android ICS and is believed to incorporate some tablet specific features. The benchmark tests reveal the tablet to be based on Android 4.1 which is labelled as JRN51B. Experts believe this is an indication of it being based on Android Jelly Bean.
This apart, the other features the Nexus 7 will come with include a 1280 x 768 pixel display and a 1.3 GHz NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad core processor.
More of it is expected in the coming days.
The Rumor: Is Amazon working on a new Kindle Fire 3G? A recent tip has mentioned that the company is internally toying around with the idea.
The Rational: Amazon has a long established track record during the last four years of providing free 3G internet access with their e-ink readers. They are always more expensive then their WIFI counterparts, but allow more freedom to purchase content while outside wireless areas. The drawback of their existing WIFI model of the Fire is that it limits the amount of impulse purchases that you may make when on vacation or during your daily commute. Amazon frequently offers the hardware at cutthroat prices and makes the money back selling you content. With a WIFI only edition right now, they are shooting themselves in the foot by limiting the amount of things you can buy. The 3G model would in essence allow more flexibility for people on the go. You will not have to pay anything extra for the 3G internet access, but the internal debate at the company is centered on what you can do while on 3G access.
The Amazon networks and S3 cloud servers maintain most of the content delivery networks on the internet. Some of the largest websites in the world use Amazons services to handle their bandwidth and server networks. I would imagine that the Kindle Fire 3G will not let you do high bandwidth tasks like streaming video or audio. Amazon wants people to buy books, newspapers, apps, audiobooks, and other low-bandwidth content while on the go. This has been a staple of their e-ink models with free 3G and it is good to have different models based on the needs of the customer.
If Amazon was really developing a 3G Kindle Fire it would probably limit the number of things you can do. There is no way the company could offer free 3G and let everyone watch Netflix or Amazon Prime movies while on the go. Likely you would receive a nag screen saying you need to be on a wireless network for this content. This would provide the solution for super high-bandwidth problems that plague the entire telecommunications industry. In essence, the 3G would let you buy books and other things that don’t take much room at all.
There is no dispute that the Amazon Kindle Fire has been very popular and currently controls 54% of the entire Android tablet market. There has been rumors for awhile that the company is working on an e-reader similar to the Barnes and Noble Glowlight and a 10 inch version of the Kindle Fire.
Although there is no concrete evidence that the company is developing a tablet with 3G functionality, but this is one rumor that actually makes a ton of sense. Amazon makes its money with content and sells hardware at near loss. It would make total sense to give people more freedom to buy content on the go, then be relegated to a WIFI zone.
Hewlett Packard’s effort in the tablet world is mostly known for a certain WebOS debacle that etched a place in computing history. So while the absence of the HP TouchPad signifies one tablet less for the consumers to consider, the company continues to maintain a presence in the enterprise tablet segment.
There is some great news coming from HP and the company seems to be in the process of bolstering its presence in the business tablet segment. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as HP had already made it known they are not quitting the tablet game altogether and that their next venture in the tablet segment will be based on Windows 8. Sources maintain the tablet will have Windows 8 Professional and not the tablet optimized Windows RT version.
The tablet in question is tentatively named HP Slate 8 and is based on an x86 chip. Details aren’t in abundant supply right now. Still, sources with Neowin maintain they are pretty sure of the tablet’s specs. It’s allegedly a 10.1 inch device that sports an all aluminum body about 9.2 mm thick, weighs at 1.5 pounds, and has 8 – 10 hours of battery life. There could also be an optional docking station and a pen based input for the Slate 8. No word on what the tablet will have at its core though an Intel Clover Trail Atom processor can’t be ruled out considering the 8-10 of battery life that is quoted, which is in line with what Intel has claimed the chip is capable of delivering. Also, considering the tablet is targeted at the business community, it is natural for the Slate 8 to come pre-loaded with a few business oriented apps. Another nice aspect of the tablet is the outdoor readable display that the Slate 8 is reported to come with.
HP though hasn’t confirmed any of this and has stated “we don’t comment on rumors or speculation.” However, if the specs are correct, this will be a device that can not only set things right for one of the largest technology companies, but also take things right to the Apple camp.
There is a new Kindle Fire coming our way if early rumors are to be believed. The current Kindle Fire continues to burn bright and attract new buyers in increasing numbers in the few months that it has been in the market. So while an upgrade to the current 7 inch Kindle Fire is in the cards, Amazon is also keen to enter a whole new segment with a 9 inch sized Kindle Fire tablet. There already are reports of the new Amazon tablets being readied for a launch sometime around May-June with components reaching manufacturing site during March.
However, Amazon is all too eager to make money out of its 9 inch Kindle Fire venture and is believed to have been successful in sourcing lower priced components to keeps costs low. Towards this, Amazon isn’t letting OEMs decide what components go in the making of the new Kindle Fire, as it has been with the current gen version of the tablet. Further, Quanta alone will not be putting together the Kindle Fire devices; Foxconn will also have a role to play in the manufacturing of the new tablet device. It’s no secret Amazon is losing money with each Kindle Fire sold and is having to make up for that with app and e-book sales.
Over the past few months, a number of display sizes have been associated with the new Kindle Fire, though it now seems that the 9 inch sized device is going to make the cut. Also, while details of the new Amazon tablets are being kept under wraps, there sure will be lots of rumor, speculation and leaks coming our way before we settle down with the real thing. So keep watching!
In other Kindle Fire news, the tablet is believed to have been picked up by 3.9 million consumers which is enough to let Amazon command 14 percent of the market curing the 4th quarter of 2011. However, with that figure, Amazon may have done more harm to other Android tablets than to the iPad. While sales of other Android tablets have gone south, Apple iPad continues to be the king with a commanding 57 percent of the market share. The Apple iPad has also been witness to a slump, as its share of the market dropped down from 64 percent during the pre-Kindle Fire era. What remains to be seen is whether the new 9 inch sized Kindle Fire will be just as popular as its 7 inch cousin.
Perhaps we have had enough of Galaxy Tab devices and its time we take note of another class of tablet devices from Samsung — the Galaxy Note 10.1. The name though should have been a secret but for an inadvertent leak from the company’s own website which has since been taken care of promptly. The upcoming Mobile World Congress is set to be the most likely event that would see the bigger cousin of the Galaxy Note being unveiled, as per text in the official blog by Samsung.
The event would be the venue where Samsung has sent out invitations to developers to meet where stuff like S-Pen SDK and Bada OS would be discussed. The latter bit is more compatible with a device such as the Galaxy Note so that a 10.1 inch sized Galaxy Note device might indeed make its debut at the upcoming MCW event. Now if that is exactly how things tun out to be then it would mark the first tablet device to include a digital pen. Samsung Galaxy Note is a 5.3 inch sized device and includes a stylus as part of the package. Also, Samsung is leaving no stone unturned in marketing the device as distinct from both a smartphone and a tablet with the stylus being shown prominently in all promotions.
We can expect to be bombarded with something similar with the Galaxy Note 10.1 soon.
via the verge
This is the aftermath of the success that the Amazon Kindle Fire has enjoyed. A whole new tablet segment is developing, where companies like Amazon, B&N, or Kobo will offer tablet devices that your wallets will love. The strategy seems to have been successful enough to entice Samsung to have a presence in this emerging segment with a new tablet device they are developing. Code named GT-P3100, the tablet device is still in a nebulous stage and betting on it might not be the wisest thing to do.
The tablet is believed to sport a 7 inch 1024 x 600 pixel display, which incidentally is the same as Samsung’s very first tablet device, the Galaxy Tab 7. Further, the tablet will likely have an ARM11 mobile processor, which would mean that Samsung plans to use the Samsung S3C6410 Application processor on the tablet. This would enable the tablet to go up to speeds of 800Mhz. The tablet is therefore expected to boast a good battery life, given the low power ARM Processor that it is expected to have. Other details of the tablet are not known, like whether a camera will be present, or what the OS will be (it is expected to be Android 2.3 Gingerbread).
We have already have a lot of tablet devices in both the 7 and 10 inch segments, most of which can’t be called cheap but usually have all the features loaded. While the segment currently led by the iPad seems to have settled down, the budget segment will take some more time to reach that stage. Until then, it’s not a bad idea to have many of the mainstream players develop a presence.
Amazon sources close to the situation have told us that the company is planning on rolling out a retail store in Seattle within the next few months. This project is a test to gauge the market and see if a chain of stores would be profitable. They intend on going with the small boutique route with the main emphasis on books from their growing line of Amazon Exclusives and selling their e-readers and tablets.
Seattle is where Amazon’s main headquarters is based and is known as a fairly tech savvy market. It is a perfect launch location to get some hands on experience in the retail sphere. A source has told us that they are not looking to launch a huge store with thousands of square feet. Instead they are going the boutique route and stocking the shelves with only high margin and high-end items. Their intention is to mainly hustle their entire line of Kindle e-Readers and the Kindle Fire. They also will be stocking a ton of accessories such as cases, screen protectors, and USB adapters.
The company has already contracted the design layout of the retail location through a shell company, which is not unusual for Amazon. When Amazon releases new products to the FCC it is always done through anonymous proxy companies to avoid disclosure to their competition on what they are working on. While we don’t know the actual name of the firm they are working with we have heard rumors that they are based in Germany.
The store itself is not just selling tangible items like e-readers and tablets, but also their books. Amazon recently started their own publishing division and has locked up many indie and prominent figures to write exclusively for the company. This has prompted their rivals such as Barnes and Noble, Indigo and Books-A-Million to publicly proclaim they won’t touch Amazon’s physical books with a ten-foot pole. Amazon launching their own store will give customers a way to physically buy books and also sample ebooks via WIFI when they are in a physical location.
This is exciting news and Amazon in a great position to make a strong go out of their retail endeavors. They are starting out local and small mainly to test the waters with the new store, but also to figure out how they’re going to avoid paying massive taxes. In the last few years, there has been a huge tax debate because Amazon sells things online and only pays State taxes if they have a distribution center within a particular location. Having a physical store means the company will have to start paying more taxes and they are currently working out the logistics and tax loopholes before they launch.
We have heard that the time-frame of their first location starting up will be before the end of the year to capitalize on the lucrative holiday season. The store may also roll out towards the Fall when their own publishing imprint will officially launch and the first few books will be released. I expect it to launch soon after the Kindle Fire 2 is announced to maximize the exposure they are going to get.