iNews Review

Tablets Are for People Who Hate Computers, Apple Has 61% of Tablet Market, iPhone Repair Mat, and More

This Week's iPad, iPhone, iPod, and Apple TV News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2011.07.29

Mac notebook and other portable computing is covered in The 'Book Review, and general Mac news is in Mac News Review.

All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

News, Reviews, & Opinion

Apps & Services

Accessories

Presentation & Protection

iPod Deals

These price trackers are updated every month.

News, Reviews, & Opinion

Tablets Are for People Who Hate Computers

Tech Republic's Jason Hiner says that while tablets may be stealing some of the thunder from traditional PC sales, that doesn't mean they're for everyone, and if you're already proficient with a PC, you may be disappointed by a tablet.

Hiner says that after working with the iPad since it launched last year, and most of the competitor tablets month after month, he's come to a bit of a sobering conclusion: If you're already highly-proficient with a computer, you're probably going to end up pretty frustrated with most of these tablets.

Consequently, he's come up with a new rule for technophiles thinking about which tablet to buy: "Tablets are for people who hate computers."

He also observes that tablets like the iPad are also great for children, but that if you've refined a way of doing things on a PC or Mac that enables you to speed through your most important tasks, then you'll probably be frustrated that a tablet can't do a lot of the things you're used to doing with a computer, or at least can't do them fast enough.

Hiner says that with every tablet that he's tried to use for an extended period in place of a laptop he gets frustrated because it's slow, clunky, or impossible to do what he wants to do, and he always ends up wanting to put the tablet down and pick up a laptop to speed through the task, concluding that the only real advantage that tablets have is that they are a lot easier to learn how to use and there aren't as many ways for people to mess them up.

Editor's note: Hiner's observations mirror my own after seven weeks of iPad 2 ownership. The iPad can be cool within its narrowly circumscribed limitations, but I find it massively frustrating when attempting to do anything approximating real work efficiently, and I go scurrying back to my fleet of laptops after a few minutes of that. cm

Apple Captures 61% of Global Tablet Shipments in Q2 2011

PR: According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global tablet shipments reached 15 million units in the second quarter of 2011. Apple maintained first position with 61% share, drifting from 94% a year earlier.

Global Tablet OS Shipments and Market SharePeter King, Director at Strategy Analytics, says, "Global tablet shipments reached 15.1 million units in Q2 2011, surging 331% from 3.5 million in Q2 2010. Consumer and business demand for touchscreen computers remains high. Apple shipped a record 9.3 million iPads and registered a healthy 61% global tablet market share during the second quarter of 2011. However, Apple has drifted down from 94% share in Q2 2010 due to a rising number of competing software platforms."

Neil Mawston, also a Director at Strategy Analytics, adds, "Android captured 30% share of global tablet shipments in Q2 2011. Multiple Android models distributed across multiple countries by multiple brands such as Samsung, Acer, Asus, Motorola and others are driving volumes. However, no Android vendor yet offers a blockbuster model to rival the iPad, and demand for many Android vendors' products remains patchy. If Amazon decides to enter the Android tablet category later this year, that will bring fresh excitement and buzz to the Android community, but Amazon will need to deliver a truly standout offering if it really wants to make headway against the popular iPad."

Shipments refer to sell-in. Numbers are rounded. The definition of tablet does not include ebook readers.

Other findings from the research include:

  • Microsoft captured a niche 5% global tablet share in Q2 2011, leveraging Windows 7 through partners such as Fujitsu;
  • RIM and its QNX platform captured 3% global tablet share in Q2 2011. The first-generation PlayBook model experienced a lackluster launch due to product design issues surrounding native email support.

The full report, Global Tablet OS Market Share: Q2 2011, is published by the Strategy Analytics Tablet & Touchscreen (TTS) service.

Heavy iPad Adoption Drives Mobile Device Deployments in Enterprise

PR: Good Technology, a provider of secure and managed enterprise mobility for iPhone, iPad, Android, and other leading smartphone platforms, has released its quarterly data report detailing the changing landscape of IT and mobile enterprise technology. The trend of personal smartphones and tablets infiltrating the workplace is being led by both Apple's iOS and Google's Android smartphone platforms, but in Q2 of 2011, iOS extended its rally from Q1, increasing in that time from just under 70% to just under eighty percent of total device activations. For the first time ever, Q2 also saw more iOS tablet (iPad and iPad 2) activations than the total amount of Android smartphones activated in the same period.

"In the second quarter of 2011, the most striking thing is Good's users activated more iPad tablets than Android smartphones and tablets combined," says John Herrema, senior vice president of corporate strategy at Good Technology. "While Android may be gaining smartphone market share with consumers, our business users are clearly gravitating to the iPad and doing so in large numbers. This is especially true in the Financial Services sector, which drove nearly half of all Good's iPad activations over the quarter."

Key Data Points

  • While Android continues to gain market share overall, Good's enterprise end users are showing clear preference for Apple products
  • iOS tablet (iPad + iPad 2) share of overall net activations outnumbered Android Smartphone activations for the first time - 27.2% to 24% respectively
  • Among the top 10 industry verticals, financial services continued to see the highest level of iPad activation, accounting for nearly half of net iPad activations by industry (46%)more than tripling the amount of activation in any other industry
  • iOS tablets represent over 95% of total tablet activations
  • Android tablets declined slightly to 3.1% of overall tablet activations for the quarter
  • Android smartphones represented nearly 33% of all smartphone (non tablet) activations compared to iPhone's 66%, despite Android's overall market share growth
  • This quarter shows the impact of the iPad 2, which was released at the end of last quarter and did not have sufficient time in market to impact overall Q1 trends

Findings

Good Technology's Q2 2011 metrics report takes a look at the mobile devices activated by Good Technology's enterprise customers over the second quarter of 2011. Due, among other things, to the strength of having multiple SKUs available at multiple price points and compatibility with the top two US carriers, Apple's iOS platform dominated with 78.7% of net activations, while Android accounted for 21.3%.

Executive Summary Excerpt

Tablet adoption continued to grow over Q2 with tablets averaging 27% of all device activations, driven by substantial adoption of the iPad 2. In fact, there were more activations of the iPad over the quarter than all Android smartphones and tablets combined. Motorola Xoom was the most popular Android tablet and the Motorola Droid 2 Global was the most highly activated Android smartphone.

Key Data Points

While Android continues to gain market share overall, Good's enterprise end users are showing clear preference for Apple products' iOS tablet (iPad + iPad 2) share of overall net activations outnumbered Android Smartphone activations for the first time 27.2% to 24%, respectively.

Top 10 Smartphones, March through June 2011In Figure 1, we see that devices based on Apple's iOS platform drove the majority of activations for the period from April 1 through June 30, 2011. The iPhone 4 was the most popular device, with a steadily growing activation rate averaging 22% for the quarter. The iPad 2 also witnessed strong growth, positioning it as the number two device for enterprise activations, averaging 16% of all activations. The Verizon iPhone 4 held strong at just under 11% of activations, and the Top 5 was rounded out by other iOS devices, the iPhone 3GS and iPad. The rest of the top ten devices each represented just under 2% of activations and included the Android Motorola Droid2 Global, Motorola Droid X, HTC Evo 4G, HTC Incredible HD devices, and the iOS iPhone 3G.

Since Good Technology began issuing its quarterly reports in October 2010, Apple devices have driven the majority of Good's enterprise activations. While Android devices began to close that gap towards the end of Q4 2010, Apple's domination of the rapidly growing tablet market and the introduction of the Verizon iPhone 4 have reestablished iOS as the dominant platform among Good's users.

In Q2 of 2011 iPhone represented a solid 2/3 of all smartphone activations while Android smartphones represented 1/3 of all activations. When tablets and smartphones are included in this breakdown, iOS drove 75% of all activations, with Android at 25% for the quarter. Together iPad 2 and iPad activations outnumbered all Android device activations as Good customers heavily deployed the iPad 2 tablet to their workforces in Q2 after its initial release in March. With new devices from Apple expected in Q3 2011, we expect iOS to finish the year as strong as it started. While we previously predicted that Android activations would overtake iPhone activations in the smartphone category in 2011, we no longer predict that will happen this year, given Apple's recent and planned product releases.

3 Cheap 15" Laptops for the Price of One Tablet

The Street's Jonathan Blum observes that when the Apple or Research in Motion spinmeisters dreamed up the notion of low-cost tablet computers, he seriously doubts they expected their brainchild would not just be pricier than a normal notebook, but a lot pricier.

However, Blum invites us to do the math. While the base WiFi iPad 2 starts at $499, true ready-for-business tablets (by which he means ones with 3G and lots of storage capacity) such as the 64 GB Verizon WiFi and 3G iPad can top $800 - and that's before the cover, the keyboard, and the $30 spare charger.

Meanwhile, he notes, over at Fry's electronics superstore, there's a nice online service to help your chances of finding a $300 Toshiba Satellite 15.6" notebook in stock somewhere, and these days, with just a bit of effort, a perfectly solid business-ready portable computer can be had for way less than $400, so his inner cheapskate wondered: "How many legitimate work PCs can I get for what I would spend on a $1,000 tablet?"

Three, as it turned out, if you go a measly $7 over budget.

  • refurbished Compaq 15.6" Presario, "snoringly slow" 2.2 GHz single-core Celeron 900, 2 GB RAM ($278 from Walmart.com)
  • close-out Toshiba Satellite 15.6", 2.13 GHz dual-core Pentium P6200, 3 GB RAM ($300 at Fry's - in-store only)
  • Lenovo 15.6" ThinkPad SL510, 2.2 GHz Core 2 Duo, 2 GB RAM ($429 at TigerDirect)

Publisher's note: For $1,000 ($171 more than the top-end iPad), you could supply 20 employees with an iPhone 3GS or two 16 GB WiFi iPad 2s, for that matter. Or you could pick up a pair of Core 2 Duo MacBooks. Or the new "twice as powerful" 11.6" MacBook Air. Or several "snoringly slow" G4 PowerBooks. In other words, you have lots of alternatives to buying a top-end iPad - but are any of them going to give you the same convenience away from a work surface? dk

Apps & Services

Dragon Remote Microphone App Turns Your iDevice into a Wireless Mic for Dictation

Dragon Remote MicrophonePR: The Dragon Remote Microphone app turns the iPhone into a wireless microphone, making it easier and more comfortable for individuals to use their Dragon Desktop software. Instead of using the microphone that comes in the retail box, users can now opt to use their iPhone as a microphone instead.

This app can be used with Dragon NaturallySpeaking for the PC (v11.5 and higher) and Dragon Dictate for the Mac (V2.5 and higher) - see this week's Mac News Review for info on Dragon Dictate for the Mac.

The app requires a WiFi connection to the PC running the appropriate version of Dragon software.

System requirements:

  • Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.
  • Requires iOS 4.2 or later.

Accessories

iPhone Repair ScrewMat Now Available at iFixit for Do It Yourself iPhone Repair

ScrewMatPR: ScrewMat, the illustrated magnetic mat used for iPhone repair by independent iPhone repair shops across the country, is now available to Do-It-Yourself repair enthusiasts at iFixit.com.

"The ScrewMat is an innovative product that takes the guesswork out of reassembly. Its so simple and clever, a great addition to any phone techs toolbox," says Eric Essen, Tool Guru at iFixit.com.

Alex Iser, the founder and inventor of the patent pending ScrewMat illustrated magnetic replacement guide adds, "We are extremely happy to welcome iFixit to our growing line of distribution partners and look forward to providing a great product for the Do-It-Yourself community."

ScrewMats are available at iFixit for all iPhone models. ScrewMats provide an easy to follow reference guide while magnetically holding screws and small parts during the disassembly and assembly.

ScrewMat is perfect for the Do-It-Yourself repair enthusiast, as it provides a simple and straightforward way to keep track of all of tiny screws and parts that often become elusive during the repair process, said Iser.

There are separate versions for the iPhone 4 (AT&T), iPhone 4 (Verizon), iPhone 3G/3GS, and 4G iPod touch.

Edge Table Mount for Tablet Computer Edge/Table Mount for iPad/Tablet Computer

PR: This mount allows you to mount to a flat edge thickness of 10~50mm. It allows you to keep your iPad (or other tablet) always in sight and in a place that you will never get blocked.

It also allows you to adjust your iPad in any angle, and accepts devices from 5" to 10.1".

Features:

  • Keep you iPad (or other tablet) in sight
  •  Keep your desk neat and tidy.
  • Allows tilt and swivel in all directions
  • Edge Table Mount for Tablet ComputerEasy to insert and remove iPad from plastic holder
  • Easy to assemble, easy to store

This accessory is suitable for:

  • Apple iPad 1, iPad 2
  • UMPC
  • eee PC (Netbook)
  • Samsung Galaxy P1000 Tab 17"
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9"
  • Samsung Galaxy P7100 Tab 10.1
  • Motorola Xoom MZ601
  • Motorola Xoom MX604
  • Motorola Xoom MZ600
  • LG Optimus 3D P920
  • HP Touch Pad
  • Blackberry PlayBook LTE
  • Blackberry PlayBook

Edge Table Mount for Tablet ComputerSpecifications:

  • Device weight (Loading): <=1 Kg
  • Device's dimensions: 5 inches ~ 10.1 inches.(or adjustable between 13cm ~ 26cm)

Note:

  • Only ships to: USA, Canada, Australia, West and North Europe (Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Swissland, Austria, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden, UK, Ireland), Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan ROC, Korea, Japan). For other countries, we reserve the right not to ship or you may need to pay extra shipping costs for that.
  • only ships to PayPal address
  • Ships in 7 ~ 10 days.
  • All the items will be checked before shipping out.

$75.99

Glass Floor Stand for iPad/Tablet Computers

PR: This iPad (or Tablet PC) Stand Prop is a support bracket that can make iPad use more comfortable and more flexible. It can free users' hands from holding a tablet PC & iPad all the time and let you enjoy using the iPad (or tablet PC) in a more comfortable way in studios, living rooms, balconies, or bedrooms, you can use your iPad in a more free and relaxed way.

The stand prop is 360° rotatable, and the bracket part is made of metal so it is extremely durable. You can move it to any place you want, such as drawing room, balcony, or bedroom and so on. The stand prop can lengthen, and the full rotation part adopts high-strength spring, which let you use your computer at ease. The prop holders are four small rubber sponges which can avoid nicking your iPad.

Features:

  • The floor stand is made of durable glass - as a part of your living environment.
  • Allows tilt and swivel in all directions
  • Large range of height adjustment (from 0.17m to 1.5m)
  • Heavy duty base lets it stand reliably and easily
  • East to insert and remove iPad from plastic holder
  • Easy to assemble, easy to store

This accessory is suitable for:

  • Apple iPad 1, iPad 2
  • UMPC
  • eee PC (Netbook)
  • Samsung Galaxy P1000 Tab 17"
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9"
  • Samsung Galaxy P7100 Tab 10.1
  • Motorola Xoom MZ601
  • Motorola Xoom MX604
  • Motorola Xoom MZ600
  • LG Optimus 3D P920
  • HP Touch Pad
  • Blackberry PlayBook LTE
  • Blackberry PlayBook

Specifications:

  • Device weight (Loading): <= 1 Kg
  • Device's thickness: 5mm ~ 19mm
  • Device's dimensions: 5 inches ~ 10.1 inches.(or adjustable between 13cm ~ 26cm)

Note:

  • Gross Weight: 4.9 KG
  • Only ships to: USA, Canada, Australia, West and North Europe (Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Swissland, Austria, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden, UK, Ireland), Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan ROC, Korea, Japan). For other countries, we reserve the right not to ship or you may need to pay extra shipping costs for that.
  • only ships to PayPal address
  • Ships in 7 ~ 10 days.
  • All the items will be checked before shipping out.

Product Code#:UFAA002396

$139.99

Presentation & Protection

Power Case for iPad with 2 Powered USB Ports

Power Case for iPad with 2 USB Port PR: A perfect solution to protect your iPad and double its use time.

It comes a PVC case and a built-in 11000mah battery, what you need to do is put the iPad into the case and connect a cable to your iPad, then you can double the use time for your iPad.

Features:

  • A Protective Leather Case for your iPad
  • A stand case for your iPad (1 step only)
  • An extreme external battery for your iPad
  • Super High Capacity - 11000 mAh, double the use time of your iPad
  • with 2 additional USB ports for charging your iPhone, iPod
  • with additional connector tip for charging your mobile phone (e.g. Nokia, Motorola, Sony Ericsson)
  • Multiple protection for temperature, over current, over charges, over discharge, short-circuited
  • Smart LED to show the battery status

Power Case for iPad with 2 USB PortThis case is suitable for:

  • iPad WiFi
  • 3G iPad
  • iPad 2 WiFi
  • 3G iPad 2

Specifications:

  • Capacity: 11,000 mAh at 3.7V (41Wh)
  • Input: 2000 mA, 5V
  • Output: 1500 mA, 5V
  • Size: 233 x 135 x 6.2mm

Accessories included:

  • Retractable USB A male - USB Micro Male for charging Micro USB devices x 1
  • Sony Ericsson Connector Tip x 1
  • Nokia 2.06mm Connector x 1
  • Nokia 3.5mm connector x 1
  • Samsung Mobilephone's connector x 1
  • iPhone / iPad / iPod's 30 pin dock connector x 1
  • Mini USB 5 pin connector x 1

Note: This is not made of Genuine Leather.

$68.99

kiBORG iPad 2 Bluetooth Keyboard

PR: iPad 2 accessory provider SW-Box Co. Ltd. has just released kiBORG iPad 2 Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard made from aircraft grade aluminum. With the slogan Making Perfect More Perfect, the release of this kiBORG was quite a big event for the company. The kiBORG is offered at $48.52.

The kiBORG iPad 2 Wireless Keyboard Bluetooth Case is thin and light - its chassis constructed from aircraft grade aluminum with a bead blasted finish for borg baby bottom brilliance, and it features an innovative hinge so you can position your iPad 2 in portrait or landscape mode.

Besides the aircraft grade aluminum, the keys are worth note, claimed to be responsive and springy with just the right amount of spring tension. Kind of like the key tension from the keyboards that we used to use on the first generation IBM PC back in the day.

With a built-in Lithium ION battery, kiBORG features a standby time of several weeks. The iPad 2 sits firmly on this matte silverite Bluetooth keyboard. Multiple function keys are arranged strategically - kiBORG has done all it can to be user-friendly.

Function Keys

  • Return to the home screen
  • Display your photo collection
  • Change languages
  • Hide screen
  • Select all
  • Copy
  • Paste
  • Cut
  • Select the previous audio track
  • Play current playlist (loaded with cool tunes like Nas - Take it in Blood)
  • Select the next audio track
  • Mute
  • Volume adjust
  • Screen lock

Secure pairing: kiBORG will generate a random sequence of numbers to be displayed on your iPad 2 screen. Enter the numbers on the keyboard and then the connection is complete.

SW-Box says its professional customer service team are on standby to field enquiries regarding this Bluetooth keyboard case, while quality control and delivery teams are busily preparing its shipment.

$48.52

ZAGGfolio Multifunction Bluetooth Keyboard Case for iPad 2

ZAGGfolioPR: Zagg Inc. has introduced their latest all-in-one accessory for iPad 2, the ZAGGfolio. Zagg Inc. designs, markets and distributes innovative mobile device accessories, including the popular invisibleSHIELD, ZAGGskins, ZAGGbuds and ZAGGsparq brands. Zagg also recently acquired iFrogz, a growing company that develops and markets mobile device cases and audio products.

Featuring a carbon fiber textured design and a durable microfiber lining, the ZAGGfolio is a thin multifunction carrying case with removable Bluetooth keyboard for Apple iPad 2. The intuitive, built-in stand of the ZAGGfolio has no moving parts and holds iPad 2 securely in either profile or landscape orientation. Island-style keys provide maximum typing room, while special function keys operate convenient shortcut features directly from the keyboard.

"We are very excited about the flexibility and ease of use our ZAGGfolio provides for users of iPad 2. It is the perfect functional accessory for on-the-go use," says Derek Smith, vice president of sales and marketing for Zagg. "Our ZAGGmate changed the perception of everything a functional accessory can offer tablet users, and we believe the ZAGGfolio can have that same impact."

The ZAGGfolio is available for $99.99 at ZAGG's online store and at selected retailers.

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