Tablets phablets everywhere

As Apple inadvertently leaked its new iPad family members  (we will report back after the official launch later today) Google announced its new (mainly Nexus) range yesterday with a sort of  9, 6, player headline with an associated lollipop!

We’re surprised / disappointed that there’s not a smaller tablet even an 8 would have been our preference.

The 9 & 6 tablet/phablet will be available for pre order  in the UK likely next month but the player (their new set top streaming box) has no UK release indications yet. No formal prices for the UK yet but early indications are  Nexus 9 (from) – £250 ish / $349 and Nexus 6 (no contract) – £420 ish / $649.

The phone is from Motorola and the tablet from HTC.

Google had their traditional blog post on the new products and were unsurprisingly concentrating on the android brand. Especially the “and” bit andyou!

We’ll leave you with their video.

Apple’s Food For Thought

As anticipated Apple will be holding what is billed to be a low key event announcing updates to their iPad and Mac ranges on Tuesday next week. As its on campus this again restricts the numbers involved

As ever an enigmatic invitation was communicated yesterday the long and short of which is …. unknown!

For further info on what the possible detail of the product updates might be professional Apple followers such as Apple Insider  & MacRumors attempt to spill the beans!

In other news that rather active small shareholder in Apple Carl Icahn (a mere 53 million shares so that’s over $5 billion) has come up with some calculations which value the shares in Apple at $203. Or as he says Sale: Apple Shares at half price as the header for his open letter to Tim Cook

He is pushing for increased share repurchases of course. Much more rather interesting detail within the letter on both existing and possible future product categories, devices and developments.

October 16 is World Food Day!

A tablet worth every penny – 7,900 of them

fire HD 6 & 7 spec - click to enlarge

Amazon are now shipping in the UK their starter fire tablet the Fire HD 6 which at the economy end of the scale is definitely worth considering.

In the US it comes in at the magic $99. So that’s a sort of, conversion rate of  £1.26 = £1.

The Wall Street Journal reckon it’s a $100 Tablet Worth Buying and did some basic comparisons with some of its competitors.

Over here Tesco’s Hudl 2 (with its larger 8.3″screen) is shipping from today (and is instore tomorrow) but is a bit more pricey at £129 or half that if you have plenty of Clubcard points to burn!

Over there Amazon have introduced a Kids Edition of the HD at $179

We’ll leave you with their video;

Sources: Amazon, Wall Street Journal

Disclosure: We have marketing affiliate arrangements with Amazon

Will you pass your DQ test?

Ofcom  in connection with the publication today of the eleventh edition of its Communications Market Report (CMR) has included both the results of its research into the Digital Quotient of our population as well as a somewhat shortened test so that you can quickly (3 minutes they claim) come up with your own level.

TAKE THE TEST

It consists of 18 questions with a maximum score of about 144 we reckon but to achieve that you will have to use a Smartwatch a 3D printer and glasses!

The overall average at 100 we reckon converts to a percentage of just under 70% and the “with it” 14-15 year olds just under 80%. Everybody passes with even the 75+’s scoring 55%.

We may return to the full UK report at a later stage to comment on some of its 429 pages and the consistently colourful charts

Report links:

Our Top life changers are Broadband and the Internet

This is according to a new survey carried out by Hotpoint in connection with the launch of their Home IQ promotion which attempts to assess how smart your home is, mainly it has to be said in an appliance sense!

The survey was of 2,000 British adults and we found it noteworthy that 30% of the life changers were of  a technology nature (using our wide definition).

Of the 9 life changers 5 (56%) relate to devices led somewhat surprisingly not by the ubiquitous iPhone but by the iPad. Somewhat surprisingly the Blackberry also features.

Hotpoint offer to make an assessment of your Home’s IQ  if you are prepared to accept the challenge!

Here’s Hotpoints video with Suzi Perry which explains it all!

 

Almost time for Google I/O 2014

The two day event starts later today at 5pm BST with the Conference Keynote and you can follow much of it live.

Possible features of the event commentators think might be:

  • Wearables
  • Glass
  • The Internet of Things
  • Updated Nexus tablet(s)
  • Android TV
  • Updated Android operating system release – what follows Kit Kat ? an unsponsored L with Lollipop favoured over Latte or Liquorice!
  • The Cloud
  • Apps, apps & more apps

Here’s an explanation of “the experiment”  by Ben Purdy  and we’ll leave you with his video.

 

 

The All New Mi Pad

Launched yesterday by Ziaomi  in Bejing, initially for the Chinese market is the intriguingly named Mi Pad. Its spec is alarmingly close to the Apple iPad mini (retina display 7.9” screen 4;3 form factor etc etc) but of course its android (their own version) and the entry price (16GB) is $240 ish (1,400 yuan) moving up to $275 (1,600 yuan) for 64GB.

As the third largest domestic supplier of smartphones Ziaomi are no slouch and cannot be ignored in their home market.

Whether or not they will roll out globally remains to be seen but they did hire Hugh Barra last year – Googles then VP of  Product Management for android and his joining comment was “ …  I’ll be joining the Xiaomi team in China to help them expand their incredible product portfolio and business globally — as Vice President, Xiaomi Global,”

The company, and the groups founder Lei Jun, have been likened to Apple and Steve Jobs but he prefers to differentiate the companies.

Recently Ziaomi bought the domain mi.com for a reported $3.6 million saying “The new domain is simpler and more accessible to an international audience,” This makes the domain purchase globally the highest priced one this year to date.

As a brand we rather like “mi” as it’s short and of course there’s the “i”!

We’ll leave you with their Mi Pad video

Both Tablet Growth, and PC Decline Slow, but Should Crossover This Year

The premier global provider of market intelligence in the technology sector IDC yesterday, came out with their tablet shipment estimate for the first quarter of 2014 which at 50.4 million units was a bit lower than the other two estimates released so far. It shows we reckon a 3.7% increase year on year although they calculate it at 3.9%!

The top 5 are predictable but we wonder if Amazon with their Kindle Fires could now get up to around the 2 million a quarter level outside the year end holiday festivus.

Digitimes are already forecasting quarter 2 to show growth of nearly 5% over Q1 reaching over 61 million units which would be the second highest quarter in history. Interestingly they estimate white box shipments to have been 20.4 million units (35% of their total) in Q1 and reckon this could rise to 23.3 million in Q2 which would be a Q on Q increase of 14.4% indicating that their growth continues to outstrip branded tablets.

Whilst our view that tablet shipments might outstrip PCs in the last quarter of 2013 failed to materialise we reckon it will now definitely happen this year!

Our header graphic relies entirely on IDC data.

UK Device Usage Reminder for Traditional Broadcasters

Ofcom produced the latest in their line of rather colourful reports yesterday. It’s the Adults’ Media Use and Attitudes Report 2014 (pdf). For adults read 16 & over and for 2014 read late 2013!

Their headlines/press releases, which were picked up by the media, highlighted the increased usage of devices by the silver surfers as they are affectionately known by the Mail Online amongst many others,  BUT what caught our attention was the demographics in particular of the Most Missed Media responses.

The overall top 3 devices being chosen as being those most missed at 79% being the TV Smartphone and Online devices (computer, laptop, netbook tablet etc). Across all demographics this total varies between 72% and 83%.

BUT and it’s a big one the TV constituent v’s the online devices including smartphones which overall is about 50/50 (42%/37%) starts with the 16-24 year old group at 13%/65% only going above half with the 45-54 year olds.

This group also figured as  the most increased users of tablets compared to last year increasing from 19% to 44% and on the smartphone front the next group 45-54 year olds were found to be the top increased usage going up from 46% to 66%. As they adopt surely they will increasingly, more likely, be able to do without their TV’s for content!

Smart TV’s have been added to the list of devices added to online access this year and make a pretty impressive start at 9%. We wonder if they include all streaming devices which are another online content source

Undoubtedly much more in the 95 pages of the report

The arrows in the charts relate to any significance testing between 2012 and 2013.    

The Internet of Everything Reinvents the Wheel

Cisco in the form of their UK & Ireland CEO Phil Smith at the launch of their “The Internet of Everything: Bringing the future to life” report yesterday said ” With just 1% of the physical world connected at this time, this is just the beginning of an amazing future.”

They reckon that by 2020  50 billion “things” will be connected globally. So that’s 7 for every one of us!

The report itself looks at the UK situation in 5 main areas:

  1. Healthcare: The innovations anticipated are almost endless and range from wearable video cameras for emergency response units through connected asthma inhalers to smart pill boxes.
  1. Retail: Not only will the high street be smarter they think it will be intelligent as well. “For example, as a consumer moves through the high street and into different shops, an integrated Internet of Everything strategy can see them receive different location-specific content. Marketing tools will enable retailers to provide offers through push notifications, while time-related promotions will encourage consumer spend. Done right, cross-promotion based on immediate location will drive visitors from one retailer to visit others locally. All the while, consumer analytics based on demographic information and activity, such as dwell time conversion rates, and retailers also visited, will provide an intelligence service to improve the customer offer.”
  1. Transport: We can look forward to “Stations-as-a-Service” smart cities smart parking an numerous other evolutions as we reinvent the wheel!
  1. Energy: We will be connecting to conserve.
  1. Manufacturing: “Today, just 4% of devices in that space (the manufacturing floor) are connected to a network of any kind; connecting more could help to dramatically reduce wastage and error.” Consumers’ relationships with purchases are being transformed as sensors and monitoring devices are built into not only the production process but also products themselves. “Cradle-to-grave” strategies tracking product lifecycles from the raw materials in the field through to refurbishment and renewal present manufacturers with major opportunities in the face of spiralling costs and dwindling resources.

The future’s bright the future’s connected.