Microsoft has released a second advertisement targeting Apple and its popular iPad this week. The company compares the iPad to an ASUS VivoTab RT, noting that the Windows RT device is slimmer, lighter and can perform more functions than Apple’s tablet. Microsoft highlights Windows RT’s multitasking ability, integration with Office, and convenience with features such as a built-in microSD card reader and compatibility with “nearly all printers.” This is the second advertisement released by Microsoft that targets the iPad, as an earlier video mocked the supposedly inferior voice recognition capabilities of Apple’s Siri voice assistant. Microsoft’s Windows RT commercial follows below. More →
In addition to scoring rumors about the low-cost iPhone on Thursday, Japanese blog Macotakara also published the latest news on the fifth-generation iPad, which it says will likely launch after Apple releases the iPhone 5S in September and will feature a rear microphone located directly next to the camera, similar to the design of the iPhone 5. AppleInsider notes that early prototypes of the iPad mini also had a rear microphone but that this design was apparently ditched for the final version of the product. Earlier rumors have indicated that the fifth-generation iPad will take more design cues from the iPad mini, such as having thinner side bezels.
It’s never surprising when Apple decides to make new versions of its products lighter and thinner than earlier models but a new report from Digitimes suggests that the company could really outdo itself with the fifth-generation iPad. Digitimes‘ sources say that the next iPad will be between 25% and 33% lighter than the fourth-generation model and will go on sale starting in September. Given that the fourth-generation iPad weighed in at 652 grams, a 25% reduction in weight would mean that the fifth-generation model would weigh just 489 grams. The publication’s sources also say that Apple will start production of the new completely redesigned tablet in July and that “LG Display, Samsung Display and Sharp are expected to be the suppliers of display panels” for the device.
Earlier this week, BlackBerry announced the arrival of BlackBerry Messenger for Android and iOS. A new report suggests that the messaging service will have some limitations, however. According to TrustedReviews, BBM will not be available for the iPad or for Android tablets at launch. Vivek Bhardwaj, head of the BlackBerry software portfolio, reportedly told the website that BBM will be limited to iPhones running iOS 6 or higher and Android smartphones. More →
The consumer electronics industry has gotten pretty boring lately. That’s not to say the new products that have debuted recently are boring, but we’re definitely in a period marked by iteration. Each new smartphone closely resembles the smartphone that came before it, each new tablet is a tweak and a spec bump away from its predecessor, and Windows 8 hasn’t reinvented the PC like we had hoped. The timing couldn’t have been better for Google to shake things up with Google Glass, the curious connected eyewear that will launch next year. But is Glass really the next big thing or are we all just so bored that anything seems like a breath of fresh air?
Apple shares now up 12% from their low, yet we’re the only ones talking about it ahead of a monster WWDC
Apple’s outflow of capital over the last five months is staggering. It makes sense, however, when you think of how many shares are institutionally owned, and owned by non-retail shareholders. Why not take some profits from Apple’s meteoric rise over the past couple years? Why not sell some shares before the new year (2013) when the capital gains tax rate is going up by 25%? And yes, Apple’s margins have slowly come down, and the breakneck growth of the largest company in the world has changed pace. Yet, Apple’s fundamentals have not changed. Apple is still the most innovative company in the technology space and it has the most talent, with the best hardware, the best software, and the best ecosystem in the world. More →
The iPad may have the highest customer satisfaction ratings of any tablet in the world, but Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates thinks that many of its users are “frustrated” because it doesn’t come with a physical keyboard and it lacks access to Microsoft Office. Business Insider reports that Gates, while being interviewed on CNBC on Monday, said that a lot of iPad users “are frustrated, they can’t type, they can’t create documents, they don’t have Office there.” As an alternative, Gates plugged Microsoft’s own Surface tablet that features the “portability of the tablet but the richness of the PC” and that not coincidentally has a physical keyboard accessory and access to Office. Of course, given how weak the Surface’s early sales have been compared to the iPad, it’s tough to argue that any frustration with Apple’s tablet is prompting consumers to flee to Windows-based tablets.
The United States Department of Defense will reportedly grant security approval to Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones and Apple’s iPhone and iPad running iOS 6 for use by Pentagon officials, according to The Wall Street Journal. Both companies have been pressing officials to grant them clearance and allow Defense employees to switch from outdated BlackBerry devices. The Defense Information Systems Agency, which is in charge of sanctioning commercial technology for use in the Pentagon, will reportedly determine in the coming weeks that Samsung’s Galaxy line of smartphones that come preloaded with the company’s Knox security software comply with the agency’s Security Technology Implementation Guide. In a separate determination, the agency is also expected to allow Apple’s smartphones and tablets running iOS 6 to be used by military agencies for “nonclassified communications,” such as email and basic Web browsing.x
It is difficult for big tech companies to create hot apps. Very difficult. A few months ago, Nokia’s mapping app called HERE created a big media splash when it launched, becoming a top-5 iPhone app the day after it debuted. It then tumbled out of top-100 in just six days. Twitter’s much-hyped music app annoyingly titled “Twitter #music” managed to cling onto a top-100 position 96 hours longer — it dropped out on its tenth day. More →
Despite increased competition from Samsung, Amazon and other rivals, Apple’s iPad is still America’s favorite tablet according to J.D. Power and Associates’ most recent survey. The organization released Volume 1 of its 2013 U.S. Tablet Satisfaction Study on Monday and found that the iPad still ranks highest in customer satisfaction among all tablets, albeit by a narrowing margin. J.D.Powers’ latest survey polled 1,857 consumers in the U.S. and found that Apple’s iPad scored 836 out of a possible 1,000 points. Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet line scored 829 and Samsung’s tablets retained their No. 3 position with 822 points. A graph that illustrating the results of the survey follows below. More →
A new report from Citigroup Global Securities confirms that Apple is planning to release both its next-generation iPhone and its long rumored low-cost iPhone in early September, China Times reported. The firm also claims that Apple is planning to launch a TD-SCDMA version of both devices for China Mobile in late September or early October. As for a new full-sized iPad and iPad mini, Citigroup expects both slates to also debut in September or October. The latest rumors suggest that the iPhone 5S will be equipped with a faster A7 processor, a 12-megapixel camera and a revamped version of iOS.
Apple posted its March-quarter earnings on Tuesday afternoon, which means the flood gates are open for market research firms looking to detail the global smartphone and tablet markets in Q1 2013. Strategy Analytics was among the first to start pushing out numbers and tablets took center stage in a report released late on Tuesday. While Apple managed a great quarter where iPad sales are concerned, it wasn’t enough to stave off the growing army of low-cost Android slates and Apple saw big losses this past quarter in terms of global market share. More →
Apple’s fifth-generation iPad hasn’t yet been unveiled, but at this point we likely have a fairly good idea of what to expect. The new “iPad 5″ will be thinner and lighter than Apple’s current model — which seems like an obvious assumption unless you consider the fact that the third-generation iPad was both thicker and heavier than its predecessor — and it will seemingly have a smaller overall footprint as well. In line with a series of earlier leaks, a newly published photo from case maker Tactus allegedly shows the next-generation iPad’s rear shell. It also reinforces numerous earlier reports suggesting the iPad 5 will feature a big redesign that adopts the iPad mini’s design aesthetic. According to a recent report from KGI Securities, which has a solid track record when it comes to information about unannounced Apple devices, the next-generation iPad will launch this coming August or September.