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CES: Analysts grow skeptical of iPad competitors due to iTunes

post #1 of 55
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Two analysts monitoring the tablet extravaganza at CES have issued reports indicating that euphoria about new tablets outside of Apple's iPad may fall short of expectations because those products lack the iPad's extensive App Store software library and access to the wide range of media in the "digital ecosystem" of iTunes.

iPad may dominate tablets as iPod did MP3 players

Shaw Wu, Senior Research Analyst at Kaufman Bros, wrote in a note that after "investor meetings with the managements of Lenovo, HP, Synaptics and Toshiba at the CES trade show in Las Vegas," and having spent some time with product and marketing specialists at Samsung and Motorola Mobility, his firm has concluded that "tablets expectations may prove too high."

"One of the key focuses at the show is of course tablets," Wu wrote, "with many trying to come up with an answer to the strong selling iPad. This may sound controversial, but we are concerned that expectations may be set too high by market research firms with aggressive forecasts."

Wu noted that "we are not convinced that tablets outside of the iPad will see high volume success. The reason is that we believe success is dependent on: 1) the number and quality of apps and 2) a rich content library including music, movies, TV shows, e-books, podcasts and photos, such as that offered and managed by iTunes. To us, the iPad appears similar to the iPod business where one vendor (that being Apple) is likely to end up dominating the space."

Toshiba joining tablet, app store bandwagon

In the same report, Wu noted that Toshiba will be bringing an Android tablet to market "using similar components to the Motorola Xoom including Android 3.0 Honeycomb software and a Tegra 2 processor and is on track to launch in the Spring."

The company told Kaufman Bros. that "its strength in the channel could prove to be a key differentiator in doing better in tablets relative to competitors." The report added that Toshiba "sees a strategy toward driving a universal app store across its PC, tablet, and TV business which we believe could be a key differentiator."

An Android site reported in November that Toshiba would be launching an Android Appstore with Handster, an online website that has been selling Windows Mobile, Java, Symbian, BlackBerry and Android apps. It published an email from Handster to its Android developer mailing list, saying, "Do you have any new PAID apps that are not published in your Handster account yet? Please let me know if you wish to submit your paid apps for Toshiba appstore. You can login to your Handster account and upload paid apps. Or you can also send APK files for paid apps to me in ZIP and I will add them to your account."

Toshiba currently operates "AppPlace," which offers "cloud based" (web) apps for Toshiba PC users which are sold on a subscription basis $5 to $10 per month. The company also opened a Windows CE app store for its JournE Touch web tablet in October 2009, but it appears it has since been shut down along with Microsoft's Windows CE as a tablet platform.

Motorola Xoom "reasonable," but lacks iTunes, Apple experience

Brian White, the Senior Research Analyst at Ticonderoga Securities, said that Motorola's new Xoom (below), unveiled at CES, "seemed reasonable to us but wasn't our cup of tea as we still favor Apple's iPad and look forward to the second generation."

White noted that "the 10.1 inch (vs. 9.7 inch for iPad) Xoom will include the new Android 3.0 Honeycomb operating system (vs. iOS 4.2 for iPad) and 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 dual core processor (vs. A4 1 GHz for iPad). Keep in mind, we expect the second generation iPad to be released in March/April with enhanced features and performance."

Echoing Wu's comments, White wrote, "as we talk through CES and analyzed the various tablets, we are reminded that one of the most attractive features of the iPad is the seamless connection within Apple's digital ecosystem that extends across devices, combined with Apple's focus on aesthetics. Competitors will try to replicate Apple's ecosystem but we believe most will fail to provide the Apple experience."



PlayBook demo wows Mike Abramsky, Wu not sold

A third note, by RBC Capital Markets's Mike Abramsky, did make favorable mention of RIM's new PlayBook (below), noting that in a demo, "PlayBook is simultaneously running multiple processor-intensive apps like a Quake 3D game, HD video playback, web browsing, and several 3D demos, with no loss of fidelity.

"This desktop-like performance is possible due to PlayBook's QNX-based OS and architecture, and may be difficult for iOS and Android to duplicate," he stated.

While the PlayBook isn't yet finished, performance hasn't been the main target of its doubters. Instead, Apple's chief executive Steve Jobs has criticized competitors' decisions to use 7 inch screens in their attempts to match Apple on price, while analysts, including Wu, have warned of engineering problems including "relatively poor battery life of a few hours," which he blamed on the PlayBook's OS.

"QNX wasn't originally designed for mobile environments," Wu stated, adding that that developers are "questioning the wisdom" of RIM maintaining two operating systems, BlackBerry OS 6 and QNX.



RIM denied experiencing any engineering problems, saying that it "is on track with its schedule to optimize the BlackBerry PlayBooks battery life and looks forward to providing customers with a professional grade tablet that offers superior performance with comparable battery life.

The company's co chief executive Jim Balsillie recently touted the PlayBook as "way ahead" of the iPad. "I think the PlayBook redefines what a tablet should do," Balsillie said, asserting that the tablet's redefinition involves the web, not apps.

Earlier this week, Wu again repeated that the PlayBook would be unlikely to match the iPad's ten hour battery unless it added a larger battery.

Wu noted that Apple engineers its own battery chemistry and designs many of its own semiconductors, allowing for power optimization that competitors like RIM cannot yet compete with. Wu also noted the PlayBook's inclusion of Adobe Flash, which he said could be a major factor in the battery life of the PlayBook.
post #2 of 55
I wish AI would list the author next to each headline.
post #3 of 55
That's an interesting read.

Personally I think a little too much is made of the whole "iTunes ecosystem". For me, the iPod utterly dominated the MP3 player market because it was such a nice piece of kit by itself. I ever saw any MP3 that came close to the iPod in terms of ease of use and design asthetics.

I think the iPad may prove to be the same. Sure iTunes makes putting things onto it pretty simple, but personally I only connect to the computer once every month or so, and the rest of the time I use it as is. It's the wonderful simplicity of the device itself that sets it apart.
post #4 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

That's an interesting read.

Personally I think a little too much is made of the whole "iTunes ecosystem". For me, the iPod utterly dominated the MP3 player market because it was such a nice piece of kit by itself. I ever saw any MP3 that came close to the iPod in terms of ease of use and design asthetics.

I think the iPad may prove to be the same. Sure iTunes makes putting things onto it pretty simple, but personally I only connect to the computer once every month or so, and the rest of the time I use it as is. It's the wonderful simplicity of the device itself that sets it apart.

Yes, but the point is that every app you install, whether connecting to your computer is done with your iTunes account.
post #5 of 55
deleted
post #6 of 55
Lets help DED a little:

The PlayBooks 7 inch screen is just 45% as large as the iPad yet it still has over 78% of the pixels. So like the iPhone 4, it is much clearer and sharper.
post #7 of 55
Competitors will just have to churn out a couple dozen more configurations to compensate for the lack of iTunes.

btw: I think Xoom is a fantastic, almost magical name for a now-you-see-it, now-you-don't product!
post #8 of 55
Here's an interesting read:
Quote:
Android tablet vendors are already caught in a race to the bottom--a trend highlighted by Android tablets nearing the $100 mark--which indicates that vendors will have to innovate on the service layer to effectively compete. And they have a steep hill to climb, considering the work Apple has already done on the service layer (think iTunes and App Store).

http://www.fiercewireless.com/cesliv...utm_source=rss
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post #9 of 55
It looks like these analysts have been reading Daniels articles or just come to their senses.

It will be the complete package that determines success and although some of the tablets announced at CES will find a niche most wil be as they say DOA.

But with so many variations and competitors it will be very interesting to see how it all plays out.
post #10 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wookie01 View Post

... it will be very interesting to see how it all plays out.

And with all the competitors finally getting ready to hit the streets, our long wait for play to begin may be nearing an end. It's kind of like enduring the pre-game festivities while waiting for the kickoff in the Super Bowl.

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post #11 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

Given the sort of "journalism" AI is known for, the absence of a byline may be at the author's request.

whoop thar it is: Daniel Eran Dilger

And for the record this is not journalism bucko - it's a blog. A highly informed and linked-in blog but a blog nonetheless. And as such doesn't need to conform to what ever you were taught in Journalism 101 is the credo of journalism in term of objectivity or what-have-you.

As a blog they do a pretty decent job, despite detractors with false expectations or unrealistic standards.
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post #12 of 55
I liking this whole who's table will win debate to something everyone who owns a car and has to put gas in it once a week can related to.

We all drive cars, they all use gas, we all know where our local gas stations are, and we all know how to find them when traveling. We all agree there are better methods of getting around and there are less evil fuels like electric and propane or natural gas or even hydrogen.

There has been many attempts to bring out any one of these solutions however they all failed or lack real success, why, not because they did not work, they failed because there is no real infrastructure around those solutions.

This is what we are dealing with here, Apple have put in place the infrastructure to support their products and guess what no one else has the knowledge, ability, willingness or what ever the reason to create the same support. Yes people will buy these product give them a spin around the block and then decide it not work the effort to be different or use the others guys products.

Unless someone comes out with a solution where all android, Mobile 7 or QNX can come and park and get full service, one stop shopping, only the real geek with nothing else better to do with buy and keep using these products.
post #13 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

Unless someone comes out with a solution where all android, Mobile 7 or QNX can come and park and get full service, one stop shopping, only the real geek with nothing else better to do with buy and keep using these products.

Yeah, although anything can happen, I sort of felt the same way. If someone came up with an overarching store for all that is mobile, a one-stop for anyone's phone/pad regardless the operating system, they'd have a slam-dunk. Right now it's becoming simpler and simpler to just use the Apple ecosystem, and since they have a toe in most of the individual tech I would want, it's just so much more convenient (and fail-safe). And I have no problem going elsewhere or finding things all over, it's just easier to get 90% from one place. Easy is good for me.
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post #14 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by mzaslove View Post

Yeah, although anything can happen, I sort of felt the same way. If someone came up with an overarching store for all that is mobile, a one-stop for anyone's phone/pad regardless the operating system, they'd have a slam-dunk. Right now it's becoming simpler and simpler to just use the Apple ecosystem, and since they have a toe in most of the individual tech I would want, it's just so much more convenient (and fail-safe). And I have no problem going elsewhere or finding things all over, it's just easier to get 90% from one place. Easy is good for me.

I think that's what Amazon is doing with their app market. Amazon could be the eco-system for all non-Apple devices. That's when things would get interesting. The question is whether Google/Microsoft/HP/etc and Amazon can play nice.
post #15 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by poke View Post

I think that's what Amazon is doing with their app market. Amazon could be the eco-system for all non-Apple devices. That's when things would get interesting. The question is whether Google/Microsoft/HP/etc and Amazon can play nice.

Yeah, we'll see if that happens. Not so much in the past, so I'm not holding my breath, even if it mattered to me. Amazon has a rough road ahead to be the gateway for all of those companies.
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post #16 of 55
In related news, RIM resurrects BeOS to launch their own desktop OS so they can develop an iTunes killer, dubbed "BlackTunes."
post #17 of 55
All the CES talk of zillions of tablets is reminding me of that car commercial tune, you know, where the kid sings "Zune Zune Zune ..."
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post #18 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by poke View Post

I think that's what Amazon is doing with their app market. Amazon could be the eco-system for all non-Apple devices. That's when things would get interesting. The question is whether Google/Microsoft/HP/etc and Amazon can play nice.

As they all stagger around with knives in their respective backs ...
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post #19 of 55
My only experience with Apple was an iPod Touch (3rd generation) in 2010.
I didn't like the iTunes "walled garden", but I am looking forward to an iPad 2 or Droid Xoom, and will go back to iTunes if the Andoid Market doesn't have sufficient quality filter for the APPS sold there.
In either case I buy few songs and get them through Amazon (eBooks through Amazon, too), and even fewer movies, and I imagine using a Netflix Streaming account for that. I still see Xoom and iPad 2 as a tie, and may just buy whichever is available first.
post #20 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post

In related news, RIM resurrects BeOS to launch their own desktop OS so they can develop an iTunes killer, dubbed "BlackTunes."

I think that's a load of BeOS
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post #21 of 55
A third note, by RBC Capital Markets's Mike Abramsky, did make favorable mention of RIM's new PlayBook blah blah blah

Less than two years ago, Abramsky saw apple as worth no more than $70 a share; and his company RBC (which is Canadian) is heavily invested in RIM, of course he thinks it's a great product
post #22 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

To us, the iPad appears similar to the iPod business where one vendor (that being Apple) is likely to end up dominating the space.

It would be better to compare it to the iPhone business. And we are seeing how quickly Android has been catching up to Apple there.

The iPod (excluding the touch) is largely a one-trick pony. A simple device with not really much variation. So there's not much the competition could do to offer alternatives to Apple's iPod. And remember, Apple offers a full line of iPods for various needs. They only offer one iPad.

But the tablet market is a bit different, I think. There are many form factors (size, aspect ration, etc) and features (ports, accessories, etc) that they can use to offer something different from Apple's singular design, just like they are doing with smart phones now. And just like iPhone apps will run on iPad, won't Android phone apps run on Android tablets? And there is a fast-growing Android market for apps.

So why in h*ll are these idiots comparing the tablet market to the music player market instead of to the smartphone market? Oh yeah, they are analysts.

If Apple really wants to dominate the tablet market, and continue to dominate the smartphone market, I think eventually they will need to offer a full line-up of products, just like they did with the iPod.
post #23 of 55
Atlast, one analysts speaks sense.
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post #24 of 55
You know, of all the things i read about iPad, one thing that sticked to me is this:
What iPod to mp3 is iPad to tablets!
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post #25 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcsegenmd View Post

A third note, by RBC Capital Markets's Mike Abramsky, did make favorable mention of RIM's new PlayBook blah blah blah

Less than two years ago, Abramsky saw apple as worth no more than $70 a share; and his company RBC (which is Canadian) is heavily invested in RIM, of course he thinks it's a great product

RBC is the second largest share holder of RIM with a little over 15 million holdings... This Abramsky should be taken with a grain of salt
post #26 of 55
Apple revolutionized the mobile phone industry with the iPhone and everyone followed by copying Apple. When rumours of the iPad were floating around, so many in the industry dismissed its usefulness, calling it just a big iPhone (was that really a bad thing?). Now that Apple has had the iPad out for a while, everyone is again jumping on the bandwagon, trying to again copy Apple's iPad.

I mean, seriously. Don't these other companies have any creative minds working for them at all? It's not like the concept of the iPad in inconceivable after the iPhone's release. And yet, everyone is still scrambling and playing catch-up to Apple's iPad (and doing a crap job of it).

I love Apple but it would be great to have at least one other truly innovative tech company out there producing useful tools for consumers. 13 years after Apple's "Think Different" campaign and still, few if any have taken that advice.
post #27 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by canucklehead View Post

I mean, seriously. Don't these other companies have any creative minds working for them at all?

Sure, they have creative people working for them, but they have ignorant nincompoops managing them.
post #28 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by mzaslove View Post

Yeah, although anything can happen, I sort of felt the same way. If someone came up with an overarching store for all that is mobile, a one-stop for anyone's phone/pad regardless the operating system, they'd have a slam-dunk. Right now it's becoming simpler and simpler to just use the Apple ecosystem, and since they have a toe in most of the individual tech I would want, it's just so much more convenient (and fail-safe). And I have no problem going elsewhere or finding things all over, it's just easier to get 90% from one place. Easy is good for me.

The future is web apps and cloud. Either way, the 'apple wins because of thr apps' argument will soon be invalid. Soon devs will go android first when it hits majority marketshare and the android market revamp is complete. 2011 is the year of android. Its getting more and more backing and with big players like nvidia throwing their weight behind it the possibilities are huge
post #29 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by striker_kk View Post

You know, of all the things i read about iPad, one thing that sticked to me is this:
What iPod to mp3 is iPad to tablets!

It's more like "what iPod was to MP3 players, iPad is to tablets". The difference being two fold: a ergonomically sound and desireable design coupled with the ecosystem.

This author is restating what Jobs' originally figured out 9 years ago when they released iTunes, then a few months later, the iPod. It's not just a player, a complete solution.

When you get an iDevice, you know exactly where to go to get music, videos, apps, etc. And all iDevices work together. When you get a Doid, it's not a clean, easy thing to get cracking with.

To compete with the iPad, you don't just need a better device, you need a better system. More pixels, slightly lighter, yada, yada, doesn't do it by itself. You gotta beat Apple's system, not their one product.

Jim
post #30 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacksons View Post

Lets help DED a little:

The PlayBooks 7 inch screen is just 45% as large as the iPad yet it still has over 78% of the pixels. So like the iPhone 4, it is much clearer and sharper.

And how does that help the interface issue? No one is claiming 7" is bad. But 45% of the area means not-so-amazing apps. Which is the context in which this was quoted. Steve even considered the resolution argument, then dismissed it claiming users would have to use sandpaper to shrink their fingers...

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post #31 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by tjw View Post

The future is web apps and cloud. Either way, the 'apple wins because of thr apps' argument will soon be invalid. Soon devs will go android first when it hits majority marketshare and the android market revamp is complete. 2011 is the year of android. Its getting more and more backing and with big players like nvidia throwing their weight behind it the possibilities are huge

Not with Verizon iPhone coming.

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post #32 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcsegenmd View Post

A third note, by RBC Capital Markets's Mike Abramsky, did make favorable mention of RIM's new PlayBook blah blah blah

Less than two years ago, Abramsky saw apple as worth no more than $70 a share; and his company RBC (which is Canadian) is heavily invested in RIM, of course he thinks it's a great product

Let's not forget too that Abramsky works for Bank of Canada and is reporting on the product of a Canadian company. The guy is, or has to be, biased!

I also recall that his past judgment calls on Apple a while back were little short of appalling.


And all the whiners at the top of the page. Is this turning into an anti-DED campaign? Don't read AI if it all offends your little brains so much.
post #33 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

Given the sort of "journalism" AI is known for, the absence of a byline may be at the author's request.

What are you tools talking about. First, the byline is there when you actually click on the article. Is that one click too hard for you? Secondly, DED is perhaps the most articulate and knowledgable tech writer in the apple space today.
post #34 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by tjw View Post

The future is web apps and cloud. Either way, the 'apple wins because of thr apps' argument will soon be invalid. Soon devs will go android first when it hits majority marketshare and the android market revamp is complete. 2011 is the year of android. Its getting more and more backing and with big players like nvidia throwing their weight behind it the possibilities are huge

What absolute nonsense. What have you been smoking? Devs are having a hard enough time already making money in the Android market. And those that are rely on ad revenue which sooner or later, consumers will revolt against. Further, we are a long way off from web/cloud being the only/main implementation for these devices as the necessary wireless infrastructure (speed/bandwidth/reliability/capacity) is nowhere near being ready. Either on a local level or a country by country basis. And that is what is truly required for ubiquity, for mobile devices to rely solely on the web and the cloud.
post #35 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacksons View Post

Lets help DED a little:

The PlayBooks 7 inch screen is just 45% as large as the iPad yet it still has over 78% of the pixels. So like the iPhone 4, it is much clearer and sharper.

That is a nonsensical statement. The sharper iphone screen is compared to similar size smartphone screens. In this case we are talking about RIM's screen that has less than HALF the real estate of an iPad. Two totally different things. Try a course in geometry.
post #36 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeRange View Post

What are you tools talking about. First, the byline is there when you actually click on the article. Is that one click too hard for you? Secondly, DED is perhaps the most articulate and knowledgable tech writer in the apple space today.

This "tool" knows where the byline is. Is asking for byline initials after the headline too hard for A.I?
post #37 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Two analysts monitoring the tablet extravaganza at CES have issued reports indicating that euphoria about new tablets outside of Apple's iPad may fall short of expectations because those products lack the iPad's extensive App Store software library and access to the wide range of media in the "digital ecosystem" of iTunes.

iPad may dominate tablets as iPod did MP3 players .

Somewhat agree. iTunes integration of music, apps, books and TV shows is absolutely a huge advantage. We are moving towards more mainstream use of iTunes, which means people will pay money to buy these things. Back in the niche days, users knew how to torrent, hack, patch, crack, find serials etc for the content. Mainstream users really don't know how to do this, and the ease of installation and fair prices will lead to a big advantage for iTunes.

That said nothing is stopping Amazon from joining forces with Google to deliver a similar seamless experience if there is enough demand and money to go around for both.
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post #38 of 55
since Samsung Tab has sold 1.5 million in a short time. And the Tab has a handful of apps.

Any reasonably intelligent person with a minimum of work can sync any device to iTunes software. I own a Zune HD and an iPod Touch. I use the Zune for music and video. I use the iPod mostly for apps. I have no problem figuring out what media goes where. I buy my music/video/books wherever I want and syncing is not a problem.

Besides, if people use tablets mostly for web surfing, who needs iTunes?
post #39 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by easy288 View Post

Besides, if people use tablets mostly for web surfing, who needs iTunes?

I think you are confusing tablets with netbooks, and iPad with PlayBook. iPad users buy it for the apps as much as its browsing abilities.

I can see where you are coming from, in that the surfing the web is the most common task if you look at usage in general, but a lot of people read books, magazines, watch movies, make documents in iWork and use apps in general, along with using the web to get information.
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post #40 of 55
Bettieblue is nowhere to be found ! Did she and Daniel make-up at long last ?

I met a couple of android geeks at a party last night, the propaganda they spouted about iPhone4 was amazing, as in, lies and ignorance.
They rubbished Apple for the so called antennae issue, yet simply brushed aside my comments about massive fragmentation (soon to be 6 OSs and counting), and that lots of apps are crap, or simply cannot run properly on some of android offerings.
I gave up talking to them about this topic, its like talking to religious nuts about religion, which I consider to be the greatest rubbish ever perpetuated on our planet.

It never ceases to amaze me about critics who talk down Apple products, especially their incredible Macs, actually have never used them.
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