Tag Archives: iPad rivals

Latest Enterprise Mobility Report: iPad Dominates, Microsoft Surface Invisible

Enterprise Tablet Activations

They say a picture’s worth a thousand words. The chart above is a great example of that. The thousand words it reminds me of are all the ones used in all those Microsoft TV ads for the Surface tablet that seem to be on every 10 minutes. The ones that always feature an actor blabbing about how the iPad is not for ‘real work’ and how the Surface is the right tablet for anyone who needs to do ‘real work’.

The chart above is from the Good Technology Mobility Index Report for Q4 2013. This tracks the impact of mobile apps and platforms in the enterprise – an area where people have been know to do quite a bit of real work. The iPad is the runaway leader, with over 91% of activations. Android tablets come in second, with under 10%.

The other thing that jumps off the page on the chart: where’s the tablet that’s so perfect for real work? Nowhere. Zero percent. Not even on the chart.

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Saying Hello to My First Windows Tablet

Dell Venue 8 Pro


I’ve been wanting to try out a Windows tablet for quite a while now. I even once spent several hours at a local Microsoft store with every intention of buying one of their Surface tablets – and then just couldn’t do it after spending a few hours trying them out.

I’ve owned and used a couple generations of Kindle Fire, the sadly short-lived TouchPad Pro that ran webOS, a Samsung Galaxy Note 8, and both the 2012 and 2013 Nexus 7 – so a Windows tablet is one of the few mainstream (ish) types I haven’t had a chance to get to know.

This week I’ve found a Windows tablet that looks like a better fit for me – the Dell Venue 8 Pro. It’s a better fit for me partly because it’s an 8 inch tablet and I am now solidly a fan of the more ‘mini’ tablet form factor. I also like that it is priced much more attractively than the Surface line.

Since I’m now back at work as an IT consultant as my ‘day job’ I’ve been using a laptop running Windows 8 for a few months now. The Dell Venue 8 Pro runs Windows 8.1 – so it will be interesting to see whether this tablet can help be more productive and where it might fit in my work routine.

I won’t bore you with further detail here, since this site is all about the iPad, but I do plan to write up some first impressions and other thoughts as I spend time with the Dell Venue 8 Pro. If you have any interest in seeing those, check out my little baby site, Tech & Nonsense.

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Another Day, Another Surface Beats iPad Ad

iPad vs Surface RT

This week Microsoft have released yet another of their TV ads comparing the iPad to a Surface or another Windows based tablet. In this new ad it’s the Surface RT that’s pitted against the iPad.

The newest in this series of ads trots out some of the same supposedly killer advantages for the Surface over the iPad – like the knock on the iPad because it doesn’t include Microsoft Office.

Another advantage cited for the Surface is ‘integrated kickstand and keyboard’. Only in the very tiny fine print does it mention that the keyboard is sold separately. Sold separately for $100 if bought at the same time as the tablet and $120 if not. Pretty stiff price for something that’s ‘integrated’.

Despite every indicator showing that the Surface has had just about zero impact, Microsoft keeps pounding away with these comparison ads. Here’s this latest one, below. Does anyone believe these are having any effect?

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Now Microsoft Lowers Price on Surface Pro Too

Surface Pro

Following its big recent price cuts on the Surface RT tablet line, Microsoft has now dropped the price for its Surface Pro tablets by $100.

As The Verge reports, Microsoft has confirmed that customers in 5 countries – the US, Canada, China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan – will pay $100 less for the Surface Pro between August 4th and August 29th.

The price cut affects both the 64GB Surface Pro, which now goes for $799, and the 128GB model, which is now available for $899.

Given the Surface’s current status as a major flop, it will not be at all surprising to see these price cuts become permanent sometime soon.

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Microsoft’s Surface Tablets ‘Officially a Flop’

Surface tablet

Lots more bad news for Microsoft and their Surface tablets this week. Microsoft’s most recent financial results filing (for their fiscal year that ended June 30 of this year) show a total of $853 million in revenue from Surface sales – which some are saying is less than they’ve spent on marketing for the Surface line.

BGR, along with many others, have declared the Surface a flop when referencing the Surface revenue numbers:

That figure doesn’t include the $900 million write-down it took or the huge amount of cash it spent on marketing and advertising, so Microsoft has clearly lost a substantial amount of money on its Surface bet so far — yes, the Surface is officially a flop.

The latest estimate of total Surface sales, by GeekWire, is just 1.7 million units sold. That’s 1.7 million sold in the 8 months since the first Surface release. For a little perspective, 3 million iPad minis were sold in 3 days at its launch time.

Over the years I’ve seen many Microsoft fans argue that the success of the iPhone / iPad / Apple themselves was largely down to marketing. Well, Microsoft have marketed the hell out the Surface line. They’ve ripped the iPad in their recent TV advertising and painted it as a far less useful device than the Surface.

Maybe they should focus more now on making a tablet that actually lives up to their hype.

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Latest Tablet Market Share Report Shows Android Way Ahead

Tablet Market Share Q2 2013

The latest report on the global market for tablets, from Strategy Analytics, shows that Android leads in shipments and market share – by quite a big margin. As The Next Web reports, these figures for Q2 of 2013 show Android shipments at 34.6 million – well ahead of Apple iOS shipments at 14.6 million.

In market share percentage, Android registers a huge 67% while iOS is at just over 28%.

I know that many Android zealots will hail these numbers as a sign of the iPad losing momentum (or worse) and ‘Android winning’ and so forth. I’ve seen a fair bit of that already on Google+. I think there a a few things worth considering along with these numbers though:

— There’s the ever-popular shipped vs. sold subject. The Q2 numbers for iOS tablets are the actual number of iPads sold, as announced by Apple on their Q2 earnings call last week. Many of the leading Android tablet makers never release sales numbers. Amazon never does, Google doesn’t, and Samsung only talk about shipments to distribution channels. Microsoft’s recent writedown of nearly a billion dollars for unsold Surface RT tablets shows how worthwhile those sort of shipment numbers can be.

— iOS tablets means iPad. There’s only one iPad, though with a few different models available, as compared to the myriad of Android devices from numerous vendors. None of the individual vendors or tablets have been shown to be close to iPad in sales or market share.

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Someone Should Explain to Microsoft How Trash Talking Works

That’s Microsoft’s latest Siri-mocking, iPad bashing, Surface RT bragging ad shown above, released yesterday. Pretty ballsy stuff when you consider they literally just announced a huge $900 million writedown due to unsold Surface RTs, and various reports have shown that their tablet has had just about zero impact with consumers or with the enterprise.

I think somebody needs to explain to Microsoft how trash talking works. Revenge is a dish best served cold they say, and trash talking is not too effective when you are right smack in the middle of getting your ass kicked. Just a thought.

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How’s the Surface RT Doing? Microsoft Writes off $900 Million for Unsold RTs

Surface RT

Wow. Just when you think the news can’t get much worse for Microsoft’s Surface RT tablet, it does. Yesterday TechCrunch reported that Microsoft has reported a huge writedown for unsold Surface RTs in its latest earnings report:

The company took a massive $900M writedown last quarter because of unsold Surface RT’s. Even more telling is that Microsoft actually revealed this loss. It’s that big. The company had to tell investors why it didn’t meet Wall Street’s expectations.

Just last week Microsoft slashed the prices of Surface RT models by nearly 1/3, and last month we saw that Microsoft tablets are almost invisible on the latest tablet web usage charts, with a less than 1% share; and that Surface tablets don’t even make it onto a chart showing the leaders in enterprise tablet activations.

Despite all of that, I’ve seen recent rumors that Microsoft will be releasing new Surface RT tablets early next year. They’ll need to be much lower-priced and have an operating system that’s not schizophrenic and downright painful to use, otherwise they might as well start planning for the next billion dollar writeoff.

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Microsoft Slashing Price of Surface RT Tablet

Surface RT Price Cut

It looks like Microsoft is about to slash the price of their Surface RT tablet line. As The Verge reports, the price for all models of the Surface RT is set to drop by $150 starting this Sunday, July 14.

With the new price cut, the price for the entry level 32GB Surface RT will come down from $499 to $349.99, and the 64GB model will be available for $449.99. The Touch Cover keyboard is still a $100 add-on.

This is yet another bad sign for the Surface line. Lowering the price by nearly 1/3 looks like a bit of a desperate measure, or maybe even a sign that the RT won’t be around for that much longer. This follows on the heels of a report last month showing Windows tablets had less than 1% adoption rate in the enterprise and a tablet web usage report that showed Surface tablets with a less than 0.5 share.

I think both Surface tablets have been hugely overpriced, especially as the latecomers they are to the tablet market. I’ll be shocked if we don’t see a similar price cut for the Surface Pro line soon.

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Latest Enterprise Mobile Device Activations Report: Who Cares about a Powerpoint App?

Device Activations by Platform

The latest report on enterprise activations of mobile devices from Good Technology has very good news for Apple, the iPad and iPhone, and Android. And some very grim news for Microsoft and their Windows Phone and Surface tablet lines. See the teeny, tiny sliver of red in the chart above? That’s the Windows Phone share of device activations in the report. The Surface tablet line doesn’t even manage a sliver of the chart for tablet activations.

Here’s a little background on the Good Technology Mobility Index Report for Q1 of 2013:

With a diverse global customer base that includes FORTUNE 100™ leaders in commercial banking, insurance, healthcare, retail, government, and aerospace and defense, Good is uniquely positioned to provide insight into the adoption of new mobile platforms and devices. Good Technology analyzed the mobile devices activated by its customers over the first quarter of 2013 to highlight trends in mobility and device preference.

Some of the report’s numbers that jump off the page include:

iPad Dominating: The latest generation of iPad devices (iPad 3 and beyond) now lead as the most widely used tablets among Good customers, and Apple continues to hold a strong grasp on the tablet market with 88.4% of total activations.

Android Gaining Momentum: Activations from Android tablets almost doubled during Q1 2013, while Android smartphone activations remained consistent compared to Q4 2012.

The Only Way Is Up?: Windows Phone has the largest opportunity for growth, with less than 1% of total activations, as it continues to be dwarfed in comparison to the global market leaders.

When I see these sort of numbers I can’t help but think about those cocky Microsoft TV ads touting Windows 8 tablets and trashing the iPad. The ones that highlight how terrible it is that there’s no Powerpoint app on the iPad – something that would seem like a big deal to, say, enterprise users maybe. Well, the Powerpoint-less iPad is going like gangbusters in the enterprise, Android tablets with no Powerpoint app are showing some momentum too. Windows 8 tablets with Powerpoint – not even a 1% sliver on the chart.

Maybe it’s time to talk about an Excel app in the ads.

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Bill Gates Says iPad Users Are Frustrated Because They Can’t Type, Create Documents, Use Office

Gates on Frustrated iPad users

Bill Gates has shared some thoughts on the iPad again, during a CNBC interview – this time claiming that lots of iPad users are frustrated at their lack of ability to do things like type or create documents.

At about the 7:45 mark of this video clip at 9to5Mac, Gates talks about how with Windows 8 Microsoft is trying to gain share in a market that’s been dominated by the ‘iPad type device’ and says:

… but a lot of those users are frustrated. They can’t type, they can’t create documents, they don’t have Office there. So we’re providing them with something with the benefits they’ve seen that have made that a big category without giving up what they expect in a PC.

Really? People used to talk a lot about Steve Jobs and a  ‘reality distortion field’ – I’d say that the Delusion Bubble that Gates and Microsoft seem to live in is just as powerful. iPad users can’t type, can’t create documents – has he ever been near an iPad?

For me, this is a bit like Tim Tebow talking about how many Denver Broncos fans are frustrated with that Peyton Manning guy. Microsoft might want to show that they can make a tablet that shows any sign of appealing to users before they dish out their thoughts on the supposed frustrations of iPad users.

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