Results tagged “tablets”

The End of Tablets? Hardly.

By Michael Mulvey on July 30, 2014 9:42 AM

Was former BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins actually right about tablets? While we laughed at Heins' prediction last year that tablets would be dead in just a few years, there's now some evidence to suggest that he might have been onto something. In an interview with Re/code, Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly says that tablet sales at his stores have been absolutely plummeting this year while PC sales have actually experienced a rebound in the wake of Windows XP's demise.

"Tablets boomed and now are crashing," Joly tells Re/code. "The volume has really gone down in the last several months. But I think the laptop has something of a revival because it's becoming more versatile. So, with the two-in-ones, you have the opportunity to have both a tablet and laptop, and that's appealing to students in particular."

—Brad Reed, Former BlackBerry CEO's bold prediction might actually be coming true

The era of tablets is over? I say no fucking way. Especially for non-professionals who don't need all the extra complexity that comes with laptops.

Only time will tell.

Update: It always helps to read the source of the information you're reacting to.

So here's what Walt Mossberg at Re/Code asked Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly:

You said the tablet had "crashed." Do you believe it's going away?

Yeah, "crashed" is a strong word. So, the tablets have been an unbelievable phenomenon. I don't think there's a category that ever took off so quickly and so big in the history of tech.

The issue has then been that, once you have a tablet of a certain generation, it's not clear that you have to move on to the next generation.

This I agree with this 100%.

Last year I upgraded to an iPad 3 from an iPad 2, and despite the lower resolution screen, I was ok with my 2. I don't want to have to upgrade my iPad every year.

My iPhone? Now that's a different story. My iPhone is much more integral to my daily life than my iPad. I also don't expect as much from my iPad. I use it mostly for reading, watching videos/movies and surfing the Web.

'Real Work'

By Michael Mulvey on February 28, 2014 9:47 AM

Benedict Evans (via DF):

This brings us back to the mouse and keyboard that you 'need for real work', as the phrase goes. Yes, you really do need them to make a financial model. And you need them to make an operating metrics summary -- in Excel and Powerpoint. But is that, really, what you need to be doing to achieve the underlying business purpose? Very few people's job is literally 'make Excel files'. And what if you spend the other 90% of your time on the road meeting clients and replying to emails? Do you need a laptop, or a tablet? Do you need a tablet as well as a smartphone? Or a laptop, or phablet? Or both?

This is what Microsoft is trying to convince people with their Surface tablets—that you can't do 'real work' on a 'regular tablet' (read: iPad), yet you can.

Ironically, consumer-focused Apple is dominating mobile device sales in the enterprise market.

Of Course They Do

By Michael Mulvey on December 3, 2013 9:04 AM

BGR: Even Android users want iPads instead of Android tablets

The iPad was a top Black Friday seller, even among Android users. According to a report by InfoScout, about 40% of Black Friday iPad purchases were by Android users. These numbers are certainly good news for Apple. They suggest that Android users are not particularly loyal to their platform and are willing to try out iOS, at least on the tablet. While Amazon, Microsoft and Google tout their tablets, the iPad continues to be the most used device by a long shot, with 84.3% usage.

None of the reports about the discrepancy between Android devices sold and Android devices used surprise me based on what I see in the "real" world. Every time I travel, I always see a majority of iPads and iPhones to a minority of Android tablets and phones.

I'll admit to seeing more Samsung Galaxy phones than I used to, but the Android tablets must be hiding, because I don't see them.

Yeah, I Know

By Michael Mulvey on July 21, 2013 7:30 PM

Over at GigaOm, Janko Roettgers tells us to forget second-screen apps. Today, the TV is the second screen.

I said this back on 20 February of 2013.

I'm just saying, GigaOm should stop taking my exhaust.


By Michael Mulvey on November 6, 2012 5:07 PM

All of Shawn Blanc's internet nerd friends are loving the new iPad Mini. The fact that it's lighter, smaller and still uses all of the apps and games from their larger iPads seems to be making up for the lack of a Retina screen.

John Gruber points out even Paul "Windows Supersite" Thurrott's initial reactions to the original iPad in 2010 are coming true.

...and Instapaper's Marco Arment thinks the iPad Mini will be the best-selling iPad from now on.

This is making me think Microsoft is not only getting to the tablet party late with their Surface, but they're not even wearing the right attire. Everyone is changing into smaller, thinner and lighter iPad Minis and Microsoft is ringing the doorbell with a heavy, 3-piece suit, suitcase and let's not forget, a keyboard!

[cue the obligatory 1980's record-scratch, while everyone at the house party goes silent and turns to look at Microsoft standing awkwardly at the door, nervously *clicking* their Touch Cover]

Once again, Google is proving itself to be much more of the 'Microsoft of the 2000s' than Microsoft is. When the iPad came out, instead of racing to come out with their own 9/10-inch tablet, they saw where the puck was going, and that was to the 7-inch form factor. They debuted the Nexus 7 in 2011. They waited until November of 2012 to release a 10-inch tablet.

People are continuing to move even farther away from "tradition" PC experiences and it might be too late for Microsoft.

The mindshift is underway.

Last Call

By Michael Mulvey on August 17, 2012 5:08 PM

Engadget: HP creates Mobility division to focus on consumer tablets, taps ex-MeeGo maven Alberto Torres to run it

Hey HP, you're a little late to the tablet computing party. Like getting-close-to-3-years-late (I'm not counting that fling with the TouchPad). The bouncers are turning the house lights on and the bartenders are announcing last call.

You might be able to find someone to go home with your tablet, but almost everyone has found one already and they're getting in their cars to go home.

Yeah there's room.... on the bench.

By Michael Mulvey on March 22, 2012 8:41 AM

Reuters: Dell sees room to challenge Apple in tablets

Asked whether he envied Apple's ability to produce such coveted objects, Felice [Dell's chief commercial officer] said: "We come at the market in a different way ... We are predominantly a company that has a great eye on the commercial customer who also wants to be a consumer."

What the does that even mean?

If I were Dell I wouldtake the money they were going to use to produce an iPad competitor, and instead give the money back to Dell shareholders.

Couldn't resist.

Trucks and motorcycles are both vehicles, but not every motorcycle is a truck.

By Michael Mulvey on September 19, 2011 12:14 PM

As I've been listening to people from Microsoft in the news over the last couple months I've noticed a recurring theme - they like playing games with semantics. Sometimes I think they get cutesy but sometimes I think what they say aligns with their business philosophy.

The first time I noticed this was when Steve Jobs described us as being in the 'post-PC era' at the D8 Conference in 2010:

When we were an agrarian nation, all cars were trucks, because that's what you needed on the farm. But as vehicles started to be used in the urban centers, cars got more popular. Innovations like automatic transmission and power steering and things that you didn't care about in a truck as much started to become paramount in cars.

PCs are going to be like trucks. They're still going to be around, they're still going to have a lot of value, but they're going to be used by one out of X people.

I think that we're embarked on that. Is [the next step] the iPad? Who knows? Will it happen next year or five years from now or seven years from now? Who knows? But I think we're headed in that direction.

The next day at the conference, Ballmer responded:

I think people are going to be using PCs in a greater and greater numbers for many years to come. I think PCs are going to continue to shift in form factor. PCs will look different next year, the year after, the year after that... I think the PC as we know it will continue to morph form factor... Windows machines are not going to be 'trucks.' They will continue to be the mass popularizer of a variety of things that people want to do with information... I think there's a fundamental difference between small-enough-to-be-in-your-pocket and not-small-enough-to-be-in-your-pocket. There will be some distinct differences in usage patterns between those two devices.

So here we have Ballmer getting all philosophical. What is a PC? What is PC-ness? If we were to remap Jobs' truck analogy for Ballmer, Ballmer would have probably said everything is a truck. Scooters? They're just trucks without the flatbed and only 2 tires. Sedans? Sedans are trucks that are lower to the ground and have a trunk instead of a flatbed.

Fast-forward to Microsoft's BUILD Conference that happened last week and we can see that Microsoft's leadership is truly aiming for a PC experience everywhere with Windows 8. If you want to work within the Metro UI, go for it, but if you need that nasty, overly-complicated experience of the 'traditional' Windows, you can always jump back to it.

According to Steven Sinofsky, you never have to compromise:

Why not just start over from scratch? Why not just remove all of the desktop features and only ship the Metro experience? Why not "convert" everything to Metro? The arguments for a "clean slate" are well known, both for and against. We chose to take the approach of building a design without compromise. A design that truly affords you the best of the two worlds we see today. Our perspective rests on the foundation of the open PC architecture that has proven flexible and adaptable over many significant changes in hardware capabilities and software paradigms. This is the flexibility that has served as a cornerstone through transitions in user interface, connectivity, programming models, and hardware capabilities (to name a few).

And this leads me to the other big area I see Microsoft getting creative with semantics - their use of the word compromise.

A compromise is something created to appease people with opposing views on a topic. Each side has given up certain demands in order to come to an agreement. In my mind, when you compromise each side usually end up with something less than ideal.

John Gruber wrote a great post in response to this 'compromise' a few weeks ago:

Like I wrote yesterday, Microsoft and Apple are going in two very different directions, especially when you compare iOS to Windows 8. Apple has embraced compromise. The compromises in iOS are, for many people in many contexts, what makes the iPad better than a Mac. The compromises enforce simplicity and obviousness in design, and at a technical level they lead to iOS's excellent battery life.

Now I don't disagree with Gruber's core argument, again I disagree on the use of 'compromise'. If Apple's goal is to create the best tablet experience in the world, compromises can't be made, because compromising implies negotiating down from some ideal vision. If desktop-level applications aren't needed or appropriate for a tablet, then not supporting them is not compromising.

Giving a motorcycle two wheels instead of four doesn't mean you're compromising. What you're doing is giving a motorcycle the thing that makes it great.

Microsoft wants to have it's cake and eat it too by creating the Metro UI while holding on to the Windows (desktop) legacy UI. It's appeasing both sides of Windows. It's like driving a truck around with with a scooter attached to the side like an escape pod. Microsoft is compromising.

I think the big reason for this all-in-one approach to Windows 8 lies both in Microsoft's dependance on the Windows/Office franchise for the bulk of their revenue as well as their late entrance into the tablet race. It's too late to capitalize on the newness of the tablet market (they're 2 years late already) and they're afraid to put all their chips in on a Metro-only mobile UI. What they do have is the largest install base for PCs so they're backpedaling into the tablet market by way of the desktop PC.

Notice during the demos at the BUILD conference, how it's been a macro focus at the Metro UI on all devices, rather than a micro focus at just one form factor, the tablet. I think Microsoft feels that a Windows tablet can't stand strong on it's own, because, by extension, Windows Phone has not been able to stand strong on it's own.

Apple can do the iPad without their desktop business because it has an ecosystem grown from the iPhone. Conversely, as Windows Phone hasn't really taken off, their biggest ecosystem is on the desktop. So we end up in fun game of semantics where "everything is PC" and you can have "Windows everywhere" and compromising on your operating system becomes not compomising.

But let's be clear - not everything is PC, just as not every motorcycle is an automobile.

And when you're making concessions on the mobile side and desktop side when developing your next operating system, you're comprimising. You're not not compromising.

iPad - Passing Fad

By Michael Mulvey on August 24, 2011 4:22 PM

AppleInsider: Acer suffers first-ever quarterly loss, predicts iPad 'fever' will recede

Acer Chairman J.T. Wang chalked up his company's poor second-quarter performance as a "correction period," according to Reuters. His company has seen numerous struggles since the launch of Apple's iPad, which has cut into the sales of low-cost, low-power netbooks.

Wang reportedly added that he expects the "fever" for tablets to recede, and for consumers to regain interest in traditional style notebooks. Though he did not mention the iPad by name, Apple's touchscreen device has dominated the tablet market since it first went on sale in 2010.

Keep telling yourself that.

Reminds me of that Newsweek article from 1995 declaring the Internet a passing fad too.

By Design

By Michael Mulvey on July 1, 2011 5:24 PM

So HP says Apple is not TouchPad's target.

So says Richard Kerris, HP's vice president of Worldwide Developer Relations, to The Loop's Jim Dalrymple:

HP acknowledged Apple's dominance in the tablet market, but said Apple wasn't its target with the TouchPad.

"We think there's a better opportunity for us to go after the enterprise space and those consumers that use PCs," said Kerris. "This market is in its infancy and there is plenty of room for both of us to grow."

John Gruber over at Daring Fireball agrees:

Smart. Reminds me of that Steve Jobs mantra from the late '90s: "We have to let go of this notion that for Apple to win, Microsoft has to lose. We have to embrace the notion that for Apple to win, Apple has to do a really good job."


HP is a company who's senior Vice President and General Manager of the Palm Global Business Unit (formerly the CEO of Palm, replacing dipshit Ed Colligan) helped develop the iPod at Apple as a senior vice president. Apple's influence at HP, through Rubenstein, can be seen all over HP's product design, advertising and marketing. Rubenstein knows the important parts of Apple's business to copy and he has.

HP even based the price points on TouchPad models with the iPad. I can't find the link, but I believe it was Gruber who also pointed out even the name, TouchPad, contains the names of two of Apple's most popular products.

As Sherlock Holmes said, "No, Watson, this was not done by accident, but by design."

Aside from the part about not going after Apple, the other point of bullshit in Kerris' statement was about the "better opportunity for us to go after the enterprise space and those consumers that use PCs". If the iPad has proven anything, it's people in the corporate space love the iPad.

HP is clearlying being smart about webOS. They're focusing on what matters to people - the experience, the software, the Human Experience, but make no mistake, not only are they watching Apple's every move, but Apple's and HP's target markets for tablets very much align.


By Michael Mulvey on May 31, 2011 8:19 AM

When the iPad was announced in April of 2010, the jokes didn't stop.

Of all the great names to use — "Slate", "Canvas" (via Daring Fireball), hell even plain "Tablet" is good — I find it amusing how many other "Pads" are on the market now:

MSI WindPad

Viewsonic ViewPad

HP TouchPad

LG Optimus Pad

Asus Padfone

The advice you usually get when launching a new product is to set it apart from the competition. This isn't the case in the tablet market because none of the iPad competitors have a value-add or anything they do better than the iPad (OK, the TouchPad looks good, if it ever launches).

So instead of making themselves unique, even if it's on the surface, they've all decided to blend in with their main competitor.

Just Fix It Later

By Michael Mulvey on May 2, 2011 9:46 AM

Ben Brooks reacts to Justin William's reasoning on why Apple's going to keep it's lead in tablets for a while:

Justin Williams has a nice take on why Apple won't be losing its lead in tablets anytime soon. The bottom line is that too many companies are shipping incomplete products with the promise of updates that will fix all the problems to come later -- except that those updates are shipping.

It reminds me of photographers that snap a picture, look at it and realize it isn't very good -- then go on to state: "Umm, I'll fix it in Photoshop later." Except that "fixing" a photo in Photoshop takes just about as much talent as creating a great photograph to begin with would -- often it takes even more talent in my book.


Daily Exhaust is hosted by DreamHost, powered by Movable Type with Minted statistics.