Tag: tablet

Are foldable/flexible phones coming in 2017?

Apple has been criticized in the press from several points of view (for example) that their recent product releases have not been innovative enough, and they’re no longer pushing the boundaries of what’s currently possible. I came across a comment somewhere (I forgot to bookmark it), that the mobile phone industry in general has reached it’s peak of what’s possible, and to continue growth there needs to be a new revolution to innovate beyond the current form factor of the smartphone as we know it today.

I’ve said many times before that each device form factor has unique benefits and limitations according to its size and user interface. For example, a phone that fits in your pocket it a poor replacement for a desktop computer with a large LCD monitor, full size keyboard and mouse, and the reverse holds true too, a desktop computer is hardly a portable computing device.

The recent rumors and articles (in 2015, in 2016 and Lenovo’s concept phone here and here, and more recently: here, here, and here) about new phones from Samsung and LG possibly coming with folding screens starts to blur what’s possible. What if you have a phone that’s small enough and portable to be a phone (as we know it in the current form factor), but it has a screen that unfolds into something larger, say with a 7″ or larger screen that can be used in place of a tablet? That would certainly shake things up, allowing you to carry a device with a large enough screen to sit down and use it at a desk, but still carry it around in your pocket. I’m really curious and hope these come to market soon.


Wired: “Microsoft kisses up to Tim Cook in front of millions”

I was recently looking at the IDC global tablet sales and was surprised to see that sales of Microsoft’s Surface are not yet showing up. I thought I’d read somewhere that the were selling reasonably well, but I guess not enough to show up on the global sales numbers. That means they’re selling less that 1 million units a quarter because LG and Huawei, both selling 1.6 million in 2Q15 take slot 4 and 5 in IDC’s stats, and others (?) are grouped together as 20M, but who knows what’s counted in that category (there’s probably as many as 20M different companies flooding the market with Android tables at this point).

The only Surface sales I could find mentioned was a $888M revenue number that Microsoft announced in it’s last quarterly earnings statement. Given that the Surface price ranges from models around $500 up to $1700 for a full loaded Surface Pro 3 (why wouldn’t you just buy a MacBook Pro for that price?) let’s take an average: $888M at $1000 a unit, well, yeah, that’s 888,000 units a quarter. That’s not too many. Not when Apple are flogging 11M units a quarter and that’s even with their numbers dropping quarter after quarter.

So the Wired article really summed it up for me. I was about to write something witty about why Apple are producing a new tablet with a keyboard and a stylus, something that Jobs said people would never want or need. But 888,000 sales of Surfaces is 888,000 of lost sales to Apple, so, hey, why wouldn’t they produce one of those too.

Choice quote from the Wired article:

For Microsoft, it was a moment of apotheosis. Since Satya Nadella took over as CEO last year, the company has pushed Office onto the iPhone as well as the iPad; open sourced its crown jewels of software development so people can build more Microsoft software that runs on Apple gear; and jettisoned its $7.6 billion effort to dominate the smartphone market with Nokia, a Finnish company famous for recent failure.

Kissing Cook’s ring was the next logical step.


And here’s the truth of the matter:

If you hadn’t noticed before, the mobile wars are over. For a while there, Microsoft was confident its Windows operating system would capture a sizable portion of the market. But that’s not gonna happen. The company still sells phones and tablets, but relatively few consumers will ever buy them.


That’s a harsh reality in a changing, post-PC world.

Android tablets a plenty. New Nook Color, Amazon Fire coming soon, and quad-cores on the way

There’s an amazing variety of Android tablets out there right now. Barnes and Noble are giving their press conference this morning on their new Nook Color, which they’re saying outdoes the coming soon Amazon Fire in terms of a media consumption device.

Things are about to start getting real interesting though with the new nVidia Tegra 3 chipset which is rocking quad cores. Given that the Tegra 2 is the current powerhouse for all the fastest Android devices, this one is going to be a rocket for sure. The latest eee Transformer Prime from Asus is expected to be the first tablet to be released with the new processor, and a benchmarking app has already showed up with records of benchmarked Transformer Prime running the new chip, and surprise surprise it’s multiple times faster than anything currently out there.

Could an Amazon tablet make it big time for non-iOS tablets?

Rumor has it that Amazon is planning an Android based tablet, with a price somewhere between $249 and $299. Given the failure of HP’s entry into the tablet space with the WebOS powered TouchPad, Amazon may be gambling in a market currently dominated by Apple and it’s iPad. However, given Amazon already is the leader in eBooks and eReader hardware with it’s wildly successful Kindle, this could be the stepping stone to further success with a more fully featured tablet, rather than the one trick eReader.

To be successful the price could make or break Amazon’s new tablet – HP cancelled their TouchPad because it wasn’t selling, but when the price was lowered to $99 to clear stock it flew off the shelves. This must have been some surprise to HP since more recently an HP exec has said that they may be thinking of resurrecting the dead device for another attempt, presumably starting off at a lower price point.

$99 HP TouchPads find the sweetspot

Despite being cancelled by HP and knowing that there won’t be any future upgrades or support, with the price lowered to $99 to clear the remaining unsold stock the TouchPads have been flying off the shelves.

The reason the product wasn’t selling wasn’t the product itself, it’s just that it was priced too high. With a lower price, and even despite the fact that the product has been discontinued with no future support or upgrades, the $99 price point for a tablet has the things flying off the shelves. That has to be a marketing lesson for someone…

Windows 8 UI is a confused mess

Microsoft has a video on YouTube giving a demo of the new UI for Windows 8. It looks impressive, relying heavily on a touch based interface which would suggest it’s being geared towards supporting tablets. However, halfway though the video, the presenter shows that you can still access files on the file system and use Office to edit your Word docs etc. What, with my finger as a mouse? I don’t think so. This is just as bad as trying to squeeze the Windows interface into Windows Mobile for phones which was just as awful and hard to use even with a stylus replacing the mouse. It’s taken all these years later for Microsoft to try another attempt at a new/improved UI for mobile devices (with the new Windows Phone 7), so apparently it takes them a while to learn from their mistakes.

I’m not sure what the point of this video is. You can’t please everyone all of the time, and trying to just results in a half-baked solution. If the video was demonstrating that Windows 8 will support touch based tablets as well as desktops with two different interfaces, then that’s not as bad, but using Office on a touch based device with your finger as a mouse and the existing desktop UI, that’s a disaster.