Amazon is planning a big biodome at the foot of its new HQ, because Jeff Bezos. [Gizmodo]
More people are using their tablets on planes. Someone actually paid to conduct this study. [USA Today]
Square has expanded to Japan. [The Next Web]
Kim Dotcom says he invented two-factor authentication and Google, Twitter and others are engaging in “massive IP infringement.” [The Verge]
Foursquare now offers more specific search and filter capabilities. [TechCrunch]
News from our neighbors to the north! BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins recently sat down with Bloomberg News for a chat and did a spot of prognosticating:
Trading in your twin bed for a sleepover-friendly double bed in a childhood rite of passage–one that allows you to stretch out among your pile of big girl CDs, magazines and clothes.
But tweens today may not ever know this meaningful transition, because sales for twin beds are dropping. Instead, kids are demanding double size beds early on so that they can comfortably sprawl out in bed next to their computers.
The Future of the Ebook
Let’s hope the various e-reader makers gathered their rosebuds while they could, because it seems the heyday of the e-reader is already passing. The Wall Street Journal reports that, according to one market researcher, e-reader shipments dropped 28 percent this year, to 19.9 million from 27.7 million in 2011.
On an anecdotal level, can you think of a single person who requested an e-reader as a holiday gift? Compare that to the number of people who got new phones or tablets.
Between the Windows 8 sales that hit “well below” expectations, empty retail stores and the numerous YouTube videos featuring a sweaty Steve Ballmer trying to amp up a bored crowd at a product launch, it appears that any person or thing that touches Microsoft is destined for a mortifying moment or two. Even Oprah Winfrey, Queen of All Things Ever, is not immune to the challenges inherent to hawking a Microsoft product.
Apple in Your Eye
Apple’s unveiling of its new iPad mini launched in a sedate manner with CEO Tim Cook recapping the successes of iOS 6, the new iPods and the App Store, which has distributed 35 billion apps.
After Mr. Cook and Apple’s senior veep of marketing Phil Schiller introduced a new, lighter MacBook and a pair of thinner, lighter iMacs, there came the great unveiling of the iPad Mini.
Apple’s smaller iPad is the same–but different.
In Tablet We Trust
We would write about the first time our luddite grandmother picked up an iPad–the seamless way she took to it, how the flustered confusion laptops evoked in her completely ebbed with a tablet in hand–but Chadwick Matlin already did that a few months ago at The Hairpin, and he did it oh so wonderfully. Instead, let us reflect on ZDNet’s piece today about the lure of the tablet–what makes the sleek little device suddenly so appealing to people who previously brandished their technophobia with pride?
They’re those people: the human being who buys a tablet that isn’t Apple’s iPad. They’re like Pepsi drinkers: Who are they? Why aren’t they drinking Coca Cola? What makes them decide to take the road less traveled (and defined) than everyone else? WHAT IS THE APPEAL OF THIS SPECIFIC BRAND IDENTITY? Etc. Whoever the hell they are, Barnes & Noble has just thrown a huge bet down, and it’s not just banking on that crowd, but the potential to win that crowd from the clutches of nu-publishing behemoth Amazon.com. How?
Well, for one thing, they’re hoping these people really love terrible books and Glee.
Tim Cook is going to enjoy his first year as CEO. Apple is oppressively in control of the tablet market, and stands to gain more ground in the next few months.
AllThingsD shared the not-at-all surprising news that the iPad 2 continues to lead the tablet market. Shocking, of course. With millions of sales expected for the next quarter, the competition is a handful of also-rans that would be thrilled with a tenth of the market.
Samsung Galaxy Tabs, BlackBerry PlayBooks; and Acer Iconia Tabs have all shipped hundreds of thousands of units—in some cases millions. But the flood-the-market strategy only works if you’re the company who regularly packs stores with obsessive, regular buyers on opening days—like Apple.
While competitors rush to turn out new generations and features like Hail Marys in the unwinnable game, Apple is sitting on two next releases, squeezing as much out of the market as they can before rolling out the next inevitable best seller.
Right now only four Time Inc. titles–Time, Sports Illustrated, People and Fortune–have gotten the tablet treatment. But the media giant says it’s planning to add its other 17 properties by the end of the year, a sign the company is still bullish on a market that continues to be dominated by Apple, which has yet to come to an agreement with Time over its cut of subscription fees from purchases made through the iTunes stores.
So despite the fact the more than 90 percent of consumer-owned tablet are still iPads, Time is diversifying to make its tablet editions available on Android, HP and the so called Hulu for magazines. Another revenue stream will come from subscription sold through the Amazon Kindle and Barnes and Noble Nook.