iNews Review

iPad 2 Stealing New iPad Sales?, iPhone Nearly One-Third of Smartphone Market, and More

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

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2012.07.09

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

Rumor Roundup

The Competition

Accessories

iPod Deals

These price trackers are updated every month.

News, Reviews, & Opinion

Bill Gates: There Is 'a Strong Possibility' Apple Needs a Surface-like Device

AppleInsider's Mikey Campbell reports that during a PBS Charlie Rose Show interview on Monday night, Microsoft founder Bill Gates said that Surface may prompt Apple to shift its iPad strategy in order to compete with the capabilities offered by the upcoming Windows 8 tablet.

"You don't have to make a compromise," Gates is quoted observing. "You can have everything you like about a tablet and everything you like about a PC all in one device. And so that should change the way people look at things."

Editor's note: I agree that it should; whether it will remains to be seen. cm

Publisher's note: There are numerous ways of adding a keyboard to an iPad and making it work as a "Surface-like device", but by designing the iPad as a touch-only device it is optimized for use when a keyboard is not an option. The other big difference is that the Surface is designed as a PC replacement and normally used in landscape orientation, while the iPad is more commonly used in portrait orientation. dk

Is iPad 2 Stealing the New iPad's Profits?

GigaOm's Rags Srinivasan says Apple's fiscal 2012 Q3 earnings report, due in about a month, will reveal the number of iPads sold and revenue from the iPad product line, with these two metrics to determine the fate of of the $399 iPad 2, whose days, he suggests, may be numbered.

He notes that despite being well into its second year of production, the iPad 2 still offers power and features that other tablets don't come close to matching, helping it lure new customers who might otherwise have bought a Kindle Fire, but with its $399 price point also attractive to those who otherwise would have bought the New iPad at higher price points, estimating that for every customer who chooses to buy the iPad 2 instead of the New iPad, Apple loses $100-plus in pure profit, since he contends that production costs are little different for the two machines.

[Editor's note: It may not be quite that cut-and-dried, as the new iPad's Retina Display, larger battery, and quad-core graphics engine must have somewhat higher OEM costs than the iPad 2's corresponding components. cm]

A rumor has the iPad 2 being replaced by a 16 GB 7.85" iPad Mini later this year (see below). The iPad 2's production life extension has been a bonus to those of us who bought them last year, as well as a great deal for folks who bought the (mildly upgraded with a more efficient variant of the A5 CPU) $399 holdover version.

comScore: iPhone Smartphone Market Share Approaches One in Three Subscribers

PR: comScore, Inc. a leader in measuring the digital world, this week released data from the comScore MobiLens service, reporting key trends in the US mobile phone industry during the three month average period ending May 2012. The study surveyed more than 30,000 US mobile subscribers. and found Samsung to be the top handset manufacturer overall with 25.7% market share. Google Android continued to grow its share in the US smartphone market, accounting for 50.9% of smartphone subscribers, while Apple captured 31.9%.

Top Mobile OEMsOEM Market Share

For the three-month average period ending in May, 234 million Americans age 13 and older used mobile devices. Device manufacturer Samsung ranked as the top OEM with 25.7% of US mobile subscribers (up 0.1 percentage points), followed by LG with 19.1% share. Apple continued to grow its share in the OEM market, ranking third with 15.0% (up 1.5 percentage points), followed by Motorola with 12.0% and HTC with 6.1%.

Top Smartphone PlatformsSmartphone Platform Market Share

Nearly 110 million people in the US owned smartphones during the three months ending in May, up 5% versus February. Google Android ranked as the top smartphone platform with 50.9% market share (up 0.8 percentage points). Five years after the release of the first iPhone, Apple's share of the smartphone market reached 31.9% in May (up 1.7 percentage points). RIM ranked third with 11.4% share, followed by Microsoft (4.0%) and Symbian (1.1%).

Mobile Content UsageMobile Content Usage

In May, 74.8% of US mobile subscribers used text messaging on their mobile device. Downloaded applications were used by 51.1% of subscribers (up 1.6 percentage points), while browsers were used by 49.8% (up 0.6 percentage points). Accessing of social networking sites or blogs increased 0.6 percentage points to 36.7% of mobile subscribers. Game-playing was done by 33.5% of the mobile audience (up 1.3 percentage points), while 27.0% listened to music on their phones (up 2.2 percentage points).

MobiLens data is derived from an intelligent online survey of a nationally representative sample of mobile subscribers age 13 and older. Data on mobile phone usage refers to a respondents primary mobile phone and does not include data related to a respondents secondary device. comScore, Inc. is a global leader in measuring the digital world and preferred source of digital business analytics.

21% of iOS Users Say They Wouldn't Leave Apple at any Price

AppleInsider's Neil Hughes reports that iPhone and iPad users are so loyal to Apple and unlikely to switch to another platform that one analyst has pegged their total collective value at nearly $295 billion, noting that Bill Shope with Goldman Sachs said in a note to investors on Friday that he believes the average single iOS customer is worth $1,053.

Goldman Sachs recently conducted a consumer survey of over 1,000 respondents, finding that 21% of respondents said no discount, regardless of the amount, would make it worthwhile to leave Apple's platform.

Remember, iOS Wasn't Made for Geeks

iMore's Rene Ritchie says now that Google's Chrome browser has hit the App Store, there's renewed consternation in geek circles over iOS' inability to set something other than Safari as the default web browser. (Unless you jailbreak). Ritchie notes that those of us with geekish tendencies want control of how we use computer devices, but the thing is that iOS is not now, nor has it ever been, made or meant for us geeks, but mainly for Steve Jobs, mainstream market consumers for whom previous computing devices were inaccessible and/or off-putting, enterprise and education people, who make up the bulk-buying market.

This is the reason, says Ritchie, why year after year, geeks rate iOS preview events like iOS 6 at WWDC 2012 underwhelming, and jailbreak remains popular. Geeks are just not a high priority for Apple on the iOS (and somewhat alarmingly, not so much on OS X any more either).

Tablet Shipments to Surpass Notebooks in 2016

PR: Tablet PCs, such as Apple's iPad, are expected to be the growth driver for the mobile PC market over the next few years. Tablet shipments will surpass notebook shipments in 2016, according to the latest NPD DisplaySearch Quarterly Mobile PC Shipment and Forecast Report. Overall mobile PC shipments will grow from 347M units in 2012 to over 809M units by 2017.

While notebook PC shipments are expected to increase from 208M units in 2012 to 393M units by 2017, tablet PC shipments are expected to grow from 121M units to 416M units in this period, for a compound annual growth rate of 28%. A key driver for tablet PC growth is adoption in mature markets (including North America, Japan and Western Europe), which will account for 66% of shipments in 2012 and remain in the 60% range throughout the forecast period. Tablet PC shipments into mature markets will grow from 80M units in 2012 to 254M units by 2017.

Worldwide Mobile PC Shipment Forecast

"Consumer preference for mobile computing devices is shifting from notebook to tablet PCs, particularly in mature markets," says Richard Shim, senior analyst at NPD DisplaySearch. "While the lines between tablet and notebook PCs are blurring, we expect mature markets to be the primary regions for tablet PC adoption. New entrants are tending to launch their initial products in mature markets. Services and infrastructure needed to create compelling new usage models are often better established in mature markets."

Emerging and Mature Market Tablet Shipments

Building on convenience-oriented features including instant-on capability, long battery life, and extreme portability, tablet PCs are expected to evolve in form factor and performance, making them a compelling alternative to notebook PCs. Tablet PCs are expected to incorporate multicore processors, increasingly stable operating systems, growing app libraries, and higher resolution displays.

In addition, notebook PCs are also evolving to meet the challenge from tablet PCs, with thinner form factors, higher resolution displays, and touch functionality features are expected to increase. The notebook PC market is projected to remain the largest part of the mobile PC market during the forecast period, accounting for 60% of mobile PC shipments in 2012, declining to 49% by 2017.

The DisplaySearch Quarterly Mobile PC Shipment and Forecast Report covers the entire range of mobile PC products shipped worldwide and regionally. With analysis of global and regional brands, the Quarterly Mobile PC Shipment and Forecast Report provides an objective, expert view of the market with insight into historical shipments, revenues, forecasts and more.

Gartner: Top 5 Daily Uses of Tablets

PR: People are rapidly adopting media tablets for daily personal activities, according to a new survey by Gartner, Inc., finding that the main activities moving from PCs to media tablets are checking email (81% of respondents), reading the news (69%), checking the weather forecast (63%), social networking (62%), and gaming (60%).

Top 5 Tablet Activities

  1. checking email
  2. reading news
  3. checking weather
  4. social networking
  5. gaming

Gartner conducted the study at the end of 2011 in the US, UK, and Australia to gain a better understanding of how early adopters of media tablets were using personal connected devices. The survey was run as an online seven-day diary in which respondents recorded what they did with their three most used devices (media tablets, mobile phones and PCs [desk-based or mobile]) on a daily basis.

"The rapid adoption of media tablets is substantively changing how consumers access, create and share content," says Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner. "The survey found that more than 50% of media tablet owners prefer to read news, magazines, and books on screen, rather than on paper. On average, one in three respondents used their media tablets to read a book, compared with 13% for mobile PCs and 7% for mobile phones."

"At present, the shift from paper to screen-based consumption is not yet a straight substitution of one medium for another. We do not believe that the paperless home will prevail, but it is clear that the less-paper model is the new reality," says Meike Escherich, principal research analyst at Gartner.

"The ongoing convergence of previously distinct devices seems to be turning the market for consumer devices from hardware-centric to usage-centric," says Ms. Escherich. "Other than their tablets, most respondents also owned PCs, TVs, and mobile phones. The respondents, early adopters of media tablets, said they use their multiple devices interchangeably, rather than substituting one device for another. They seek to use whichever device is at hand or the most convenient to use at a particular time and for a specific task. However, respondents use their PCs (desk-based or mobile) 20% less at weekends."

"Media tablets play a more dominant role in the home than mobile phones or PCs, with the highest usage taking place in the living room (87%), the bedroom (65%) and the kitchen (47%). Weekday evenings are the most popular time to use media tablets, and this usage flattens out during the weekend as people tend to be away from home," adds Ms. Milanesi.

The survey confirmed that the main reason for buying a media tablet is the form factor. More specifically, respondents purchase a media tablet, in preference to a PC, for its convenience, small size, and light weight. The survey also found that 45% of respondents do not share their tablet at all. This confirms that a media tablet is almost as personal as a mobile phone in terms of usage and consumer attitude. The survey showed a trend for men to purchase their own media tablets and for women to receive them as gifts.

The Mobile Phone Is the Device Most Used Throughout the Day

"The mobile phone is the most personal device in the hands of users, and it enables more private activities," says Annette Zimmermann, principal research analyst at Gartner. "It is the device that the respondents use most throughout the day, with the average user in the survey using it eight times a day for tasks requiring connectivity. This compares with an average usage frequency of twice a day for media tablets and three times a day for mobile PCs."

Mobile phones play a role both inside and outside the home. Within the home, users recorded the most activities on their phones when in their living room (78%). 65% used them outside the home or while in transit, and 66% used them at work. This aligns with Gartner's scenario for screen usage in the living rooms of today and tomorrow: even though the TV remains the largest screen in the living room, it shares users' attention with other devices with smaller screens, often used simultaneously, as people access complementary or distinctively different services.

Across all activities conducted on the Internet, checking email (74%), and social networking (57%) are the most common activities on mobile phones. Gaming is in fourth place (42%), and appears more popular than checking the news (40%) and listening to music (40%). Watching live TV remains a very limited activity for mobile phone users (5%), but on-demand content has a slightly broader reach (15%).

The survey also found that both male and female adopters show similar attitudes toward the use of mobile devices. Both groups use the Internet more at home than elsewhere, and they use it for research, shopping, learning and socialising. However, the women in the study connect significantly less than the men when outside the home, and the difference in location might be partly linked to gender-specific usage patterns. While men seem to prefer to gather information, women use their devices more for personalised entertainment activities like gaming and socialising via Facebook or Twitter.

Additional information is available in the Gartner report "Survey Analysis: Early Tablet Adopters and Their Daily Use of Connected Devices." The report is available on Gartner's website.

TomTom and Fiat Expand Partnership with Connected Navigation for the New Fiat 500L

PR: TomTom will supply Fiat the semi-integrated TomTom GO LIVE for the new Fiat 500L, delivering navigation with our award-winning real-time services. Fiat 500The TomTom GO LIVE navigation solution features a special cradle and dashboard system that enables clear visibility for the driver allowing for a safer driving experience. With the connected TomTom device, Fiat 500L drivers will enjoy a stress-free navigation experience while leveraging HD Traffic to save time and money. Additionally, drivers can leverage social media apps to access restaurant reviews, hotel options and tweet location updates - all from the TomTom device in the Fiat 500L.

"An increasing number of drivers recognize the benefits of connected navigation; TomTom HD Traffic provides a dynamic navigation experience which has become essential for OEMs to meet the demands of their drivers," says Charles Cautley, Managing Director of TomTom Automotive. "By extending our partnership, Fiat is now able to offer this navigation experience to an even broader range of drivers."

Fiat 500Key features of the TomTom GO LIVE for Fiat 500L include:

  • TomTom HD Traffic - delivers the quickest routes through traffic, with more coverage and more frequent updates than any other provider
  • Search & Go integration with Expedia, Trip Advisor and Twitter allows users to not only access reviews to make informed decisions but also navigate to friends, places and events more easily (Available in Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and UK)
  • TomTom Speed Cameras - gives drivers access to fixed and mobile speed camera alerts, keeping them informed and improving safety throughout their journey

Founded in 1991, TomTom is a world's leading supplier of in-car location and navigation products and services focused on providing all drivers with the world's best navigation experience. Headquartered in Amsterdam, TomTom has 3,500 employees and sells its products in over 40 countries.

Rumor Roundup

7.85" iPad Mini to Cost $249-299, Come with Sharp IGZO Display

Unwired View's Vlad Bobleanta says that the iPad Mini is now, alongside Amazon's Kindle Fire 2, pretty much the only tablet left for rumor-mongerers to focus on since the Google Nexus 7 was unveiled (see last week's iOS News Review), noting that the rumor du jour, coming from those oh-so-reliable various analysts, says that Apple will launch a smaller tablet priced at $249 to $299, and that also confirmed apparently, via the even more reliable anonymous industry sources, is that the iPad Mini will have 7.85" IGZO (indium gallium zinc oxide) display panels made by Sharp. IGZO is a thin-film transistor (TFT) tech that allows the tablet to be thinner than similar models, while increasing endurance and display quality.

Analyst: Apple Could Sell $10B Worth of iPad Minis in Fiscal 2013

Forbes reports that anticipating huge demand for an Apple iPad Mini that is as yet rumored vaporware, Pacific Crest analyst Andy Hargreaves has upped his EPS forecast for the September 2013 fiscal year to $55 a share from $53, estimating that Apple can sell 35 million iPad Minis in fiscal 2013 at $299, with 25% cannibalization of the larger version of the tablet, and that a lower level of cannibalization or a higher average selling price could drive his estimates higher still.

The report says Hargreaves also anticipates a mild refresh for the current 9.7" New iPad in October, with slightly tweaked screen technology, a repositioned camera, and a lighter battery, with the iPad 2 likely to be end-of-lifed to make room for the $399 price point to be filled by a 16 GB mini or even an 8 GB New iPad.

The Competition

Gartner: Windows 8 Marks the Beginning of the Window RT Era, Beginning of the End of the Windows NT Era

PR: Windows 8 marks the beginning of the new WinRT (Windows Runtime) computing era and the beginning of the end of the WinNT era, according to Gartner, Inc. The combination of the WinRT programming model, a new user interface (UI), and legacy WinNT support will allow users to continue running their Win32* programs alongside new WinRT apps.

Gartner analysts said WinRT is a new platform designed to keep Microsoft relevant in a future that will be dominated by mobile devices. Microsoft will position WinRT as its strategic platform for new development, but most users will continue to run Win32 applications for ten or more years.

"Windows 8 is the start of Microsoft's effort to respond to market demands and competitors, as it provides a common interface and programming API set from phones to servers. It is also the beginning of the end of Win32 applications on the desktop," says Michael Silver, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. "Microsoft will continue to support Win32, but it will encourage developers to write more manageable and engaging applications using WinRT."

Gartner expects that the Windows Desktop and legacy Windows applications will decline in importance in future Windows client releases. Metro is a new interface model that will lock organizations into the next generation of Windows. However, Mr. Silver said that enterprises will take many years to move their applications to the new model, and it will take at least five years for significant traction of Metro-style apps to pervade all areas of user-facing enterprise apps. Organizations planning to develop new Win32 applications should switch to Metro for all new user-facing applications beginning in 2013 and should focus on external apps first and internal apps later.

"Windows 8 is more than a major upgrade to Windows - it's a technology shift. We don't see technology shifts too often; the only other one Microsoft's client OS has gone through was the move from DOS technology to Windows NT technology, which began in 1993 and took eight years, ending with the introduction of Windows XP in 2001," said Steve Kleynhans, vice president for client and mobile computing.

While Microsoft is not forcing anyone to eliminate Win32 applications or preventing developers from writing them, Gartner believes that Win32 and the Windows Desktop will become less strategic over time. Most business users who adopt Windows 8 through to 2015 will spend most of their time in the desktop running Win32 applications and the desktop browser. However, by 2020, analysts believe enterprise end users will spend less than 10% of their time in Win32 applications. Most applications (including OS-neutral ones) and the browser will be run from Metro. Eventually, most Win32 desktop applications are likely to be run using server-based computing (SBC) or from hosted virtual desktops.

"The user computing world is changing. PCs, although still critical components of the computing landscape, are no longer the only devices for delivering services and applications to users. Smartphones and tablets are fulfilling the role of the primary device for an increasing group of users, and most of these devices are from vendors other than Microsoft," says Mr. Kleynhans. "In this environment, Microsoft needs to move to a platform that enables a new type of application, and embraces new types of user experiences. Microsoft is responding to competitive pressures that have made it rethink not only how its products should look, but also how they should be architected for security and manageability."

* Publisher's note: The Windows API (application programming interface) has its roots in the 16-bit Windows 1.0 released in late 1985. The 32-bit version (informally Win32) arrived with Windows NT 3.1 in mid 1993, and Win64 has been slowly displacing it since the first 64-bit versions of Windows XP shipped in 2002 (for Itanium) and 2003 (for x86). Windows apps created using the Win32 API cannot be compiled for (and thus not run on) Windows 8 RT. Additionally, software for Windows 8 should be designed to use the new Metro interface, which is included with both versions of Windows 8 and the only interface on Windows RT.

Google's Nexus 7 Tablet a Great Device for the Price

MIT Technology Review's Rachel Metz says Google's Nexus 7 tablet (see last week's iOS News Review) developed by Taiwanese computer maker Asus and announced last week at Google's annual I/O conference in San Francisco for release this month, combined with Google's ability to control the hardware, software, and app ecosystem make the Nexus 7 a great value at $199.

While the Nexus is (necessarily at that price) a few frills device, Metz says it feels strong and solid in your hands, has a bright, crisp screen, and at 12 ounces, is lighter than Amazon's 14.6 ounce Kindle Fire, and also includes near-field communications (NFC) capabilities that will enable users to beam content like photos and videos to other NFC-enabled Android devices directly, while the combination of Android's latest version Jelly Bean and Nvidia's quad-core Tegra 3 processor makes the Nexus 7 a fast machine, supporting Google's Google Now answer to Apple's personal assistant, Siri, and rated for up to eight hours of battery life during what Google terms "active use."

On the downside, the 8 GB of storage capacity is pretty stingy, and Metz thinks (and your editor agrees) that it will be wise to pony up the extra $50 to get the 16 GB version.

In summary, no iPad challenger, but probably the best choice on the market in a cheap tablet.

Accessories

Speck's New CandyShell International Collection for iPhone

PR: To help show support as your country goes for Olympic gold in London this summer, Speck has released a collection of limited edition iPhone cases featuring national flags from around the world.

Speck CandyShell Flag Cases for iPhone 4Available now are cases designed around the country flags of Mexico, Brazil, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Great Britain, England, Australia, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Russia, Canada, China and the USA. New cases are being added daily in the run-up to the summer games in London, and you can find them all online.

The cases are debuting at the US Olympic Track and Field Trials going on now in Eugene, Oregon. A Speck popup store is onsite for fans who want to outfit their favorite gadgets, and Speck is outfitting athletes with the USA case to protect their iPhones from bumps and drops. For the latest from Hayward Field in Beaverton, visit Speck on Facebook.

The CandyShell International Collection is for iPhone 4/4S and sports colorful flag patterns on the back and sides. The cases are made of a formfitting one-piece construction that combines the flexibility of a skin with the durability of a hard shell. Like all Speck iPhone cases, the CandyShell International Collection is built for superior protection with reinforced perimeters, shock-absorbent corners, rubberized button covers and a raised bezel that protects the screen.

Visit speckproducts.com to see the complete collection of CandyShell Flag cases, and all of Speck's other smartphone, e-reader, iPhone, and iPad products. Whether the priority is secure protection, enhanced function, sweet style, or all of the above, Speck has gadget enthusiasts covered.

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