Archive for Tablet PC News
Apple has just had a bumper November for sales, which saw demand for its products rise 19 to 20 percent month over month. This is much higher than the normal six percent increase in sales during Novembers over the past several years. Sales are usually robust during the month which marks the onset of the holiday shopping season, though demand for Apple products seems to be exceptionally high this year. This prompted Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White to declare this year’s performance to be the best so far.
Much of the demand can be attributed to the new range of Apple devices. These include the new iPad Air, which comes with a new design that has made it among the thinnest and lightest tablet in the world, and a new iPad mini with Retina Display that has been in short supply, prompting buyers to lap up the first gen iPad Mini which continues to flourish. The new iPhone, which incorporates a fingerprint scanner, has also been selling in record numbers. The iPhone will get a further boost in sales if the deal with China Mobile to launch the iPhone in that country has indeed gone through as expected.
“With approximately 97 percent of the sales now accounted for in our Apple Barometer, we estimate sales in November rose by approximately 19-20 percent month-over-month, and well above the November average of up 6 percent over the past eight years,” said White. “As such, we believe this November will prove to be the strongest in the history of our Apple Barometer.”
The good performance no doubt will lead to a much better showing during the holiday quarter, even after taking into account a 10 percent drop in sales during December. “If we assume an average MoM sales decline of 10% in December, we estimate our Apple Barometer will grow sales by 28% QoQ in 4Q:13, or more than double the average increase of 13% over the past eight years,” said White in a research note to investors.
Apple’s Barometer is a measure of sales achieved by the company based on data compiled from the Taiwan based companies that supply the components that goes into the making of the Apple devices.
The staff at Good e-Reader have been working on fumes this year with such a copious amount of e-reading devices that have come out in 2013. We have reviewed close to 70 different tablets, e-readers, smartwatches and the tech that goes into consumer devices. Today, Peter looks at the top 5 e-reading devices of 2013!
There has been no dearth of prototypes of some form or the other showcasing displays exhibiting varying degrees of flexibility. However, it’s only now that bendable display technology seems to have matured enough to make the transition to a commercial entity. Both Samsung and LG have come up with smartphone which they claim to incorporate flexible displays. Of course Samsung isn’t just stopping with the Galaxy Round smartphone device but has announced flexible displays will form a major chunk of their product portfolio starting 2014 onwards.
Unfortunately, Samsung isn’t revealing all its cards which leave a lot of questions unanswered. The broad picture that has emerged is that Samsung will be relying on transparent displays and touchscreen metal mesh panels for its future smartphones and tablets. The company is also reported to have filed a patent application for a transparent display that will have touch based controls both at the front and the rear. These apart, Samsung has also been showing off flexible and even bendable display quite regularly. This makes us wonder if the future Samsung device will in reality be bendable or flexible.
Meanwhile, LG has released a video showing just how flexible their G Flex smartphone really is. Unlike Samsung’s Galaxy Round that bends vertically, the LG G Flex bends horizontally along the center. Also, with the G Flex, it is not just the display that is flexible but the entire smartphone device which is flexible. LG is claiming the device can even withstand forces of up to even 32 kilos directly on its rear before returning back to its original curved shape. What this means is that it is not the display alone but the entire smartphone construction that incorporates flexibility. Even the rear has been shown to be self-healing, having the ability to regain its original texture within minutes even after having been scratched vigorously.
As such, what is amply clear is that it is not just devices with flexible displays that are going to win the race but devices that as a whole exhibits flexibility, including the display. As for the benefits of such devices, there are many with the prime being that these are much better off in handling stress and strain. Theoretically, such a device will be able to withstand stress much longer than conventional LCD based devices though it also depends on the design and build of the specific device. Another advantage with flexible as seen on the Galaxy Round or G Flex is that they will have less glare on the eyes. Even Apple is believed to be considering incorporating flexible displays for its forthcoming iPhone 6 though its more wrap around in nature.
Other challenges that manufacturers will have to take in their stride is to come up with economic means of producing flexible devices in enough quantities. Currently the Galaxy Round has only been released on a limited scale which has seriously limited its wider availability. Let’s just hope such issues have been sorted out before companies takes to launch device with flexible displays.
Market research firm IDC has projected the Windows-based tablet segment to grow to 39.3 million units by 2017. This will include both stand alone tablet devices as well as hybrid tablets, devices that come with a detachable keyboard and can be operated as either a tablet or a notebook device. This rise is expected to fill the void created by the shrinking PC sales, at least to some extent, which has been steadily declining since the advent of the tablet device. IDC pegged the PC segment to stabilize at around 300 million units by 2017, claiming these might have lost relevance to some extent, even though they cannot be replaced by portable devices yet.
It is only the emergence of Windows 8.1 along with low power consuming Intel Bay Trail chips that has led to some degree of acceptability to Windows tablets. Windows based tablets accounted for less than 1 million units in 2011, though it is expected to grow to a bit more respectable 7.5 million by end of 2013. In contrast, Apple has sold 14.1 million of its iPad devices in the third quarter of 2013 alone, while the Android tablet segment reached 16.8 million devices in Q3, 2013.
IDC has stated that the entire tablet segment itself is registering slower growth of late and has been forced to revise its estimates for 2013 to 221.2 million, down from the originally estimated 227 million units. The research firm also stated the segment could end up registering just single digit growth rate by 2017, from the present 53.3 percent.
IDC analyst Tom Mainelli attributed the lower demand for tablets to the emergence of big screen smartphone devices.
“In some markets consumers are already making the choice to buy a large smartphone rather than buying a small tablet, and as a result we’ve lowered our long-term forecast,’ said Tom Mainelli. “Meanwhile, in mature markets like the US where tablets have been shipping in large volumes since 2010 and are already well established, we’re less concerned about big phones cannibalising shipments and more worried about market saturation.”
Meanwhile, there have been a slew of tablet launches running Windows 8.1, which includes the Dell Venue 8 Pro, Dell Venue 11 Pro, Lenovo Miix 2, Toshiba Encore, Asus Transformer Book T100, and others. All of these have had positive reviews so far and are expected to fare well in the market, though it remains to be seen if these can unsettle both Apple and Android’s tablet market share by a significant margin just yet.
HP is quietly building up its tablet strength that has been recently reinforced with the launch of 4 new models. After having launched the rudimentary Slate that failed to make much of a mark, the company has now come up with 4 new offerings that will help it field a contender across a wider spectrum of the tablet market. Interestingly, all the four tablets run Android Jelly Bean, version 4.2 with the company yet to come up with a tablet running Windows 8.1. Several manufacturers such as Dell, Lenovo and so on have come up with affordable 8 inch tablets based on the new Intel Bay Trail chips and running Windows 8.1. However, the one big positive aspect with the new HP tablets is that that all of them include quad core chips, which means performance is not compromised even with the cheapest tablet.
Coming back to the latest HP tablets, the range starts with the HP Slate7 Plus which is the cheapest of the lot at $149.99. The 7 inch display is lit up by 1280 x 800 pixels and includes a 1.3 and 5 megapixel front and rear camera and a 4000 mAh battery pack. Powering the device is a 1.3 GHz quad core Tegra 4 chip that works in association with a gig of RAM and 8 GB of storage.
Next in line is the Slate7 Extreme which though belies its naming with just a slight increment in specs over the base Slate 7 Plus. The Extreme shares the same display as the Plus but gets a slightly uprated 1.8 Ghz quad core Tegra 4 chip, 1 GB of RAM and a higher 16 GB of storage. The Extreme also shares the same 0.3 and 5 megapixel front and rear comera setup as the Plus but is powered by a bigger 4100 mAh battery.
Next up is the 8 inch HP Slate8 Pro which also is the most expensive of the lot at $329.99. However, the higher price tag notwithstanding, the Slate8 Pro shares several of its internal make-up with the Slate7 Extreme though there are enhancements elsewhere to justify the higher price tag. Among the similarities include the same 1.8 Ghz Nvidia Tegra 4 quad core processor, 1 GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal storage. The Pro however benefits from a better 8 megapixel shooter at the rear and a front facing 720p HD enabled camera at the front. Up front, it is a 1600 × 1200 pixel 8 inch display.
Thereafter, it is the Slate10 HD which is the biggest of the lot while being priced $299.99. Specs read a 10 inch 1280 × 800 pixel display, 1.2 GHz dual core Marvell PXA968 chip, 1 GB of RAM, 16 GB of internal storage and 2 and 5 megapixel front and rear webcams. The tablet also hosts the biggest battery rated at 7000mAh.
All the four tablets are now listed at the HP online site though the Slate7 Extreme is currently listed at out of stock.
Amazon has been making tablets for a number of years and only has two of them that feature 8.9 inch screens. Today in another installment of the Good e-Reader Video Comparison Series, we look at both models to give you a sense on what they both bring to the table.
There are a number of differences on the hardware level, with the latest generation Fire HDX having a faster processor and higher resolution. It also has a number of software enhancements such as Mayday, which gives you the ability to receive live help from an Amazon agent. Sure specs are great on paper, but it is all about real world performance. As you can see in the screen capture leading off this article, video on the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 looks very solid.
In this video we mainly look at the e-reading experience and how the same content, side by side, performs. Peter looks at newspapers, magazines, comics, eBooks and even conducts an audio/video test. If you have the older model and are wondering if you should upgrade or not, this video is for you.
Google has come up with a new app aimed at optimizing the use of tablets in classrooms in sync with its Google Play for Education program, introduced earlier in the month. The Google Edu Device Setup app is meant to be used exclusively by the administrators to help them make the most of the Nexus tablets in the classroom. Also, the app is compatible with the Google Education purchase program and it is imperative for the user to have an administrative account at Google Play for Education.
The new app will guide the user in connecting to the school wi-fi network, as well as offer child-appropriate values for key settings, among others. Administrators will also have the option to enable or disable particular groups from receiving content from Google Play For Education.
Amazon has unveiled another of its popular services, Instant Video, in Japan as it attempts to match up to the local player Rakuten. On offer will be more than 26,000 films and TV shows that are either of foreign origin or sourced locally. Of these, about 15000 are in HD and are available for streaming or download on compatible devices. Movies or TV shows can be rented for 100 yen for 24 hours, though this applies largely to the older titles. Newer films such as Monsters University, can be picked up on rent for $5 or outright purchase will cost $25. Apart from its Instant Video service, Amazon also offers ebooks and music services in Japan.
The timing of the launch of the Instant Online Video service is interesting in that it comes just a day ahead of the official launch of the Kindle Fire HDX in that country, slated to happen tomorrow. So it’s hardly surprising the tablet that has been priced will also accompany a 2000 yen (about $25) coupon to entice buyers into trying the service instantly. Amazon also stated there is a single 100,000 yen coupon as well to be picked up.
However, with the debut of its Instant Video platform, Amazon will be up against some established like Hulu, Apple, and Google. There are also several domestic companies offering video services that Amazon will have to contend with. These include GyaO Corp, Tsutaya TV and NotTV.
Shochiku Co. and Toho Co will serve as Amazon’s content partners while NHK and Fuji TV will be the local broadcasters.
Black Friday is within sniffing distance and rattles of discounts and freebies are hanging heavy in the air. Retailers resort to every trick they know of to woo consumers which make this time of the year the best to pick up things they have long cherished. Tablet devices have already topped consumer preference this year, it is but only natural for the latest Apple iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina Display to garner a lion’s share of consumer attention. Retailers too have been busy chalking out lucrative deals to appeal to the buyers. Mentioned here is a roundup of all the best deals currently on offer for the Apple tablets.
Those who’d like to pick up the new iPad Air, its Target that they should be headed to to avail of the best bargain. Price being quote for the 9.7 inch tablet is $479 which is also inclusive of a Target Gift Card worth another $100. This makes the new iPad Air to be up for grabs for a cool $379, several notches below the original price of $499.
Best Buy and Staples too have lined up discount schemes on the iPad Air but isn’t offering any gift cards. Instead, what buyers will get is a flat $50 discount thereby making the iPad cheaper at $449 – $450 at both the retailers.
With the iPad Mini with Retina Display , you can consider yourself lucky if you are able to lay your hands on one this time round what with supply still to settle down. As such, most stores are forced to do with the first gen iPad Mini and Walmart is above the rest when it comes to the best price for the mini iPad variant. Price quoted at Walmart for the iPad Mini is a sweet $299, which is made even more sweet with the inclusion of a $100 gift card in the deal. Target too is offering the first gen iPad Mini for the same $299 but includes a gift card worth $75. Staples too has a discount scheme running for the iPad Mini which includes a $80 price cut for all of its iPad Mini stocks. This makes the entry level version of the tablet to cost just $249. As for the iPad Mini with Retina Display, it is only Target that is reported to have received a small shipment of the tablet and is offering a $75 gift card with purchase of the same.
For those who are looking to pick up the second gen iPad 2 on the cheap, this is the best time to do so. The 9.7 inch tablet is now on sale for just $299 after weighing in a $100 discount offered by both Staples and Best Buy. The price mentioned is applicable to the entry level 16 GB version of the iPad 2 while Staples is extending the $100 discount across all versions of the iPad 2.
With the iPad 4 that comes with a retina display, the discount being offered is an even higher $150 which makes the 16 GB Wi-Fi only version of the 9.7 inch tablet to cost $349. This is applicable to Staples though others too have enticing deals covering the iPad 4. For instance Target is offering the iPad 4 for $449 which includes a $100 worth of gift card.
However, the prices can change during last minute adjustments or depending on stock levels. Also, consumers will have to hurry if they do not wish to be left out of all the fun, particularly with items that are in demand. These include the iPad Air along with both the first and second gen iPad Mini devices.
Research firm Canalys has predicted the rise of tablet PCs to continue unabated in 2014, by which time it could be seen emerging as a level player vis-à-vis the notebooks and desktop PCs. Canalys has pegged the rise in tablet shipments to settle around the 50 percent mark of all PC shipment, with the desktops and notebooks together making up the rest of PC shipments. Of the latter two, it is again the notebook devices that are expected to hold a greater sway of the market than desktops, signaling a shift in user preference towards systems that are portable and handy.
To put the above perspective in figures, it is 285 million tablet devices that are expected to be shipped in 2014, compared to 192 million notebooks and 98 million desktops. Canalys also predicted a continued upward trajectory for tablet PCs and has projected its shipment to increase to 396 million by 2017. While the above should be sweet news for tablet makers, it is predicted to be not quite so for Apple that could be seen losing its dominant position to Android toting devices in 2014. Apple’s market share could drop down to 30 percent while Android tablet will grow to make 65 percent of the market. Microsoft will have to remain contend with just 5 percent of the tablet market in 2014.
Apple has just upped its ante in the tablet segment with the new iPad Air and iPad Mini with Retina Display and both have received extremely positive response so far. However, the entire Apple tablet strategy is centered around premium offerings which appeal to the high value consumers. This in turn has ensured it remain highly profitable so far as tablet devices are concerned, with the California company making dollops of money not only from sale of its tablet but from the entire tablet ecosystem. As such, a further shrinkage of its market share by a few more percentage points should be of little worry for Apple.
In contrast, the Android tablet strategy is based on low cost devices with some of the best selling Android tablets typically priced well below the $300 mark. For instance the new Kindle Fire or the Nexus 7 range starts at $229, several notches below the $299 that the cheapest first gen iPad Mini sells for. Also, the Android app market has to cater to those who buy the relatively cheaper tablet devices and are also flooded with more affordably priced apps. This makes it imperative for the Android tablet makers to have volumes on their side to remain profitable.
As for Microsoft, they have just started the tablet journey and it could still be some years before it gets to a position to pose a strong challenge to either Google or Apple. Its iPad Pro 2 has received some positive reviews though could be of little trouble to the iPad given the cross-segment position it is slotted at.
Flipboard is on the verge of adding another $50 million in the form of venture capital funding that is in the final stages of negotiations. This will be in addition to the $50 million that the social news app had picked up just about two months ago, raising the amount it has raised so far to $160 million since launching in 2010. The investors who have picked up stake in the company include Goldman Sachs, Index Ventures, Insight Venture Partners, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. The latest funding will raise the company’s valuation to $800 million.
Meanwhile, Flipboard CEO Mike McCue stated the company’s user base has grown 60 percent to 80 million, compared to what it was just six months ago. The company, whose app allows users to read digital magazines on tablets, now boasts a catalog of 3.5 million magazines. The company also added some exciting new features, which includes a desktop version of the app as well as the ability to share content with others even if they are not members of Flipboard. The app allows individuals to create their own personal magazines as well.
“It’s definitely early days for us still but the traction this quarter will be 2x or 3x what last quarter was,” said McCue while also adding: ”The combination between the traction we’ve seen on the revenue side with these brand advertisements and brand magazines combined with what we did with 2.0 where anyone can build their own magazine—that really got us moving towards doing another round of fundraising.”
The company first started out by developing an app for the iOS platform before registering a presence on Google Android. An app compatible with Windows is also believed to be in the making, though that is still privy at the moment.
Black Friday is just round the corner and retailers too are busy making last minute adjustments to their sales strategies. It’s raining discounts right now and justifiably so as this marks the onset of the holiday shopping season in the US. Consumers too are ever on the lookout for the best deals that offer maximum bang for their hard earned buck.
Mentioned here are the deals currently on offer for the Apple iPad series. As things stand right now, the best place to procure the iPad Air seems to be Target that is offering a gift card worth $100. This makes the iPad Air to be essentially priced $379. Target also has a scheme going for the iPad Mini with Retina Display as well, with the offer inclusive of a $75 worth gift card to accompany any iPad Mini version they pick up. Similarly for those who’d like to bring home the original iPad Mini sans the retina display, its Walmart that they should be headed to where the tablet is priced $299 including a Walmart gift card worth $100.
The latest iPhone devices too are very much part of all the shopping fun and Walmart is offering the best deal with the iPhone 5s, priced as it is at $114 including a gift card worth $75. The same is a bit more pricey at Target, where the iPhone 5s can be availed of for $150 after a $50 discount. As for the iPhone 5c, its Walmart again that is offering the best deal, $45 for the device which includes a $75 gift card. What this means is that Walmart is actually paying $30 for each iPhone 5c they sell.
Meanwhile, there still is a few days time before Black Friday sale kicks off, which means there still are chances of other retailers joining in to offer the best discounts. So keep watching!
Blackberry 10 phones have always enjoyed a basic Android Emulator that allowed users to convert APK to BAR files and install them on your phone. This was often very complicated and warranted using our online convertor and then another piece of 3rd party software to load apps on your phone. Needless to say, this was quite the barrier to the vast majority of phone users that just want a better way to install apps. We now have that way.
Blackberry has issued new firmware that will allow you to update your phone to Jellybean and install Android Apps (APK Files) at the click of a button. The only thing you need to do is install the latest firmware update, by download it from HERE and then plugging your Blackberry into your PC. The file is almost 1.9 GB and will factory reset your phone, so make sure you back it up first using Blackberry Link. After you install that file your Blackberry will reboot. The next step is to open up the default web-browser on the phone and type in http://apps.goodereader.com/android-apps/android-app-stores/?did=171 and this will download our App Store and install it. Once you have the app store installed on your phone, you can use it to download any app and install it whenever you want. You can browser the store on WIFI or on Data and there is no registration required.
The Good e-Reader App Store currently has over 48,000 Android Apps and Games, and new content is added daily. The client will allow you to browser one of our 65 different categories and our robust searching mechanism will assist you in App Discovery. If you fancy leaving a review, you can login using Facebook Connect and leave a starred rating and review. Once you connect with Facebook you will have the power to store any app you download to the Good e-Reader Cloud. This means you can use the same account with all of your Blackberry and Android devices and easily install any of your prior files at the click of a button.