Consumers are still buying larger tablets but it seems as though they’re now more drawn to cheaper, smaller models such as the iPad mini and the Amazon Kindle Fire HD. Research firm DisplaySearch has found that “LCD tablet PC panel shipments reached 27 million units in March… primarily driven by 7-inch panels, which accounted for 48% of total tablet PC panel shipments.” The rise of smaller tablets is hardly surprising given the aggressive pricing that both Google and Amazon have established with their $200 7-inch tablets. However, DisplaySearch says that some of biggest growth is coming from emerging markets where white label manufacturers are selling 7-inch tablets for as little as $69 and putting significant pressure on established tablet manufacturers’ profit margins.
European governments are casting a baleful eye on the explosive smartphone and tablet growth. The problem for many Europeans lies in the way these devices promote vehicles for American entertainment — from Amazon and Netflix to Apple and Disney. The new proposal made by the president of France would slap a 1% tax on all smartphone and tablet retail sales, with a goal to protect “l’exception culturelle”. This exception is a concept France created in 1992 to defend protectionist measures aimed at preserving the cultural heritage of France. More →
Tablets may indeed herald the coming of a “post-PC world,” but that world won’t arrive for another few years, NPD said on Tuesday. According to the latest NPD DisplaySearch figures, tablet shipments in 2016 will top 350 million units, putting them ahead of notebook shipments for the first time ever. NPD projects that tablet shipments will have a compound annual growth rate of 28% over the next five years as the total number of shipments rises from 121 million in 2012 to 416 million in 2017. Notebooks, meanwhile, will see shipments grow from 208 million in 2012 to 393 million in 2017. More →
Barnes & Noble has taken to personally debunking the rumor that it will be in any way involved in Microsoft’s mystery news today. Although speculation ran rampant over the weekend that Microsoft would be releasing a tablet in collaboration with the bookseller, a company spokesman today told Benzinga that it has nothing to do with the rumored Microsoft tablet. Without Barnes & Noble in the mix, speculation on the new tablet shifts to how it will integrate with Microsoft’s Xbox 360 gaming console. CNET, for one, reports on rumors that the new tablet will double as an Xbox controller that will “include an ARM processor from Texas Instruments for ‘Kinect workloads,’ as well as custom IBM engine for ‘scale out.’ ” More →
Windows fans who have enviously watched iOS and Android users toting around tablets won’t have to wait much longer. Microsoft sent out a press invitation on Thursday for a “major announcement” slated to take place in Los Angeles on Monday, June 18th, and All Things D is reporting that it will center around Windows RT-based tablets. According to All Things D, Microsoft is expected not just to show off its ARM-based Windows 8 tablets at the event but also to “highlight some of the kinds of programs and services that will run on the products, according to sources outside the company.” Having tablets in the fold would be a much-needed boost for Microsoft’s mobility brand, especially since Nokia, the company’s major Windows Phone manufacturer, is in such dire straits. More →
It didn’t take tech companies long to realize that nobody really wants an enterprise-centric tablet since tablets are just too gosh-darned fun to be larded up with all kinds of performance-degrading enterprise bloatware. While RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook has traditionally been the poster boy for the perils of making an enterprise-centric tablet, Cisco also foolishly tried its hand at this endeavor when it announced the Cisco Cius back in 2010. Cisco wisely decided to kill of the Cius two weeks ago and now Network World reports that Cisco chief John Chambers admits the company should have cut its losses with the tablet at least nine months earlier. “Once you realize you’re not going to reach the volumes you need, you should just stop,” Chambers said. “We should have made our decision to exit the Cius market nine months ago.” More →
Google will launch its first own-brand media tablet in collaboration with ASUS later this month, a recent report claims. Google has long been reported to be working on its own tablet that will follow a model similar to its Nexus-brand smartphones. The company is said to have partnered with ASUS to manufacture the device, which earlier reports said will begin shipping this month. While rumors suggested the tablet would be delayed until July, a new report from Android Authority cited an anonymous source at ASUS in claiming that the Nexus 7 quad-core tablet will launch in June. The Nexus slate will reportedly run Jelly Bean, Google’s next major Android release, and it may be unveiled later this month during the company’s annual Google I/O conference. More →
At the Society for Information Display’s Display Week in Boston, Tactus Technology showcased its next-generation mobile tactile technology, TG Daily reported. Using microfluidic technology, Tactus highlighted how a phone’s touchscreen will be able to transform to support a physical keyboard that will recede back into the device once input is complete. Perhaps the best news is that the technology adds no extra thickness to the standard touchscreen display, as it replaces an already existing layer of the display stack. A series of Apple patents dating back to 2009 and earlier revealed the iPhone-maker had an interest in such technologies, though the status of Apple’s research is unknown. Tactus hopes to bring its new haptic display technology to products in 2013. A video demonstration follows below. More →
After a number of failed attempts in the Android tablet market, Dell is looking to readdress the tablet space with Windows 8. According to a leaked document obtained by Neowin, Dell will launch a 10.8-inch tablet with 1,366 x 768-pixel resolution and a dual-core Atom processor later this year. The slate will also be equipped with a fingerprint reader, an 8-megapixel rear camera, a 2-megapixel front-facing camera, Intel graphics, 2GB of RAM and a massive 128GB solid-state drive. Unlike many other tablets, Dell has included a removable battery that will come in two sizes. A smaller battery will get between six and eight hours of battery life, while a larger one will offer between 10 and 12 hours of usage per charge. The tablet is rumored for a late fall launch, and no pricing details were reported. More →
BGR called for the death of the “phablet” this past February when we reviewed Samsung’s mammoth Galaxy Note, but the market has spoken loud and clear. End-user sales of Samsung’s first true smartphone-tablet hybrid topped 5 million units within about five months, placing Samsung well on its way to achieving the company’s goal of selling 10 million units in 2012. According to a new report from market research firm ABI, Samsung’s Galaxy Note is just the beginning. More →
What do you get when you cross a struggling vendor’s debut tablet with a mobile operating system that has spent the past 18 months running into the brick wall that is Google’s Android operating system and Apple’s iOS? One Dutch developer seemingly needed to find out, so he ported Microsoft’s perpetually-emerging Windows Phone OS onto RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook. The result is a somewhat responsive slate that gives us a look at what will never be; Microsoft is on record in stating that it has no interest in bringing Windows Phone — emphasis on “Phone” — to tablets. Of course, with the software giant’s next-generation Windows 8 platform on the horizon there is no reason to put Windows Phone on a tablet. But for those curious to know what a Windows Phone tablet might look like, a video of the developer’s PlayBook running Microsoft’s mobile OS follows below. “Gamer109X,” the developer behind this curious chimera, said he plans to release a Windows Phone build for the PlayBook to the public in the coming months.
UPDATE: A number of readers point out that rather than having hacked Windows Phone to run on the PlayBook, Gamer109X is running Microsoft’s Web-based Windows Phone emulator in the PlayBook’s browser with reading mode enabled. More →
Apple’s much rumored “iPad mini” will reportedly utilize new touch panel technology that allows the device to be thinner than previous models while also managing to cut Apple’s costs, likely a necessity if the company aims to hit the rumored $200-$250 price point. Citing anonymous industry sources, Digitimes on Tuesday reported that the Cupertino, California-based technology giant has contracted Nitto Denko to supply touch panels that utilize “G/F2” thin-film technology. Nissha Printing and TPK Holding will reportedly build the touchscreens, which measure 7.85 inches diagonally. Digitimes adds that Apple is expected by its sources to ship between 7 million and 10 million iPad mini tablets in 2012. Earlier reports suggest that Apple’s new smaller iPad tablet will launch in October. More →
Two 8-year-old twin orangutans at Miami’s Jungle Island zoo, draw, play games and communicate using an iPad tablet. The park is one of several zoos experimenting with the interaction of apes and computers, allowing six orangutans to use Apple’s tablet to communicate as part of a mental stimulus program, Fox News reported. “Our young ones pick up on it. They understand it. It’s like, ‘Oh, I get this,'” said Linda Jacobs, who oversees the program. “Our two older ones, they just are not interested. I think they just figure, ‘I’ve gotten along just fine in this world without this communication-skill here and the iPad, and I don’t need a computer.’ ” Jacobs began lettings the primates use iPads last summer. The tablets run a program originally designed for humans with autism, and it allows the apes to learn and interact with their trainers beyond traditional sign language techniques. “It would just be such a wonderful bridge to have,” Jacobs said. “So that other people could really appreciate them.” Orangutans are extremely intelligent but limited by their physical inability to talk, she said. More →