I am a huge sports fan, and have been since I was a child. I played a few when I was younger, and I still watch just about any team sport you can think of in some amount today. As we head into the middle of Spring, College Baseball is going strong and the Major Leagues had their Opening Day just a week ago. As such, it felt right to break out a little National Pastime parlance to describe Apple’s newest addition to the iPad family.
Before Apple’s stock price soared to even greater heights this week thanks to strong iPhone sales, growing services revenues, and rumors of spectacular devices to come, we got the bad news about iPad sales. During Apple’s quarterly sales call two weeks ago, we learned that sales were down 19% percent and revenue down 22% over last Q1, meaning not even the impressive iPad Pros have been able to overcome the forces of market saturation, slow upgrade cycles, and the encroachment of large screen smartphones.
Tim Cook keeps telling us that Apple remains committed to the platform, and to their credit, Apple has kept adding form factors and features to the lineup (and we hear more are on the way). However, the iPad’s glory days seem a distant memory, and it is now clearly a secondary device to the company’s true money maker- the iPhone.
That’s Engadget’s ‘tale of the tape’ chart listing the main tech specs for the current iPad and three of its supposed main rivals for 2011 – the HP TouchPad, the Motorola Xoom, and the Blackberry PlayBook.
The thing that immediately stands out in the chart is that the iPad compares well on specs with the others. Again, that’s the current iPad, released nearly a year ago – and the three potential rivals are of course not even on the market as yet. The iPad 2 will hit the market around the time or even before the other three shown, and there’s a good chance it will one-up them on at least some of these key specs.
Even if it doesn’t, and just matches them on specs, it still has the benefit of a huge head-start – in time on the market, momentum in both the consumer and enterprise spaces, and in the one area that leading tech blogger Robert Scoble feels is the only one that matters: Apps.
From TUAW this morning:
Sorry to burst your bubble, iPad owners, but owning and using an iPad doesn’t exactly make the opposite sex swoon, at least according to Retrevo ‘s Gadgetology Report. The report asked consumers if they notice other people’s gadgets and, if so, how they react to them, and it turns out that seeing someone use an iPad is lower on the standard "I find you attractive" scale than seeing them with a pile of books. Only 36 percent of men are attracted to a woman because of her iPad, versus 42 percent liking a woman reading a book. As for the women, 29 percent like a man with an iPad, and 30 percent prefer book readers.
Uh-oh. That’s a bit of a blow for those of us who consider the iPad to be such a cool device. Only to find out it’s less attractive than a book (I could’ve sworn Steve told us nobody reads anymore) and even less attractive than a laptop – what the?
If you’re planning on staying at the The Plaza hotel in New York, you have one more thing to look forward to, and that’s iPads in every room and suite. Since January, the five star hotel has put iPads in all guest rooms for a multitude of reasons. One of the coolest? The custom app that the iPad runs. Replacing an older touch panel, the new app allows guests to control lights in the room, change their heat and air conditioning systems, order room service, make restaurant reservations, request wake up calls, communicate with the concierge, and even print boarding passes.
Very cool. Sounds like a perfect job for the iPad. A couple more cool things that the hotel is getting right – the iPads are not replacing the human side of service according to the hotel’s general manager:
"They are not meant to replace our concierge service and the personal touch we are known for," Krige says. "It is to provide more choice. At a five star hotel you should have choices—if you want to use the iPad, you can do so. If you want a butler service, that is available, too. If you want to be left alone, that is a choice, as well. By putting the iPads in the guest rooms, we are bringing a new technology to everyone’s fingertips."
I am a notorious stickler when it comes to accessories for my beloved gadgets. I demand utility and versatility worthy of whatever price I am paying. After a few years of owning the various versions of the iPhone, I have developed a pretty strong feel for what I need and what I like as far as cases, chargers, car cradles, and the like go. However, when I got my iPad, I found myself on new and unsteady ground again. There are just so many cases, screen protectors, stands, and combinations of the three, that it is very easy to get lost in all of the reviews and ads. I was pretty lucky, as I ended up very happy with all but one of my purchases, and thankfully that one was fairly inexpensive. Here is a list of what I got: