Opinions and Editorials
The latest meme circulating, gathering momentum after Apple’s fiscal 3rd-quarter financials were announced showing a second consecutive quarter of negative sales iPad sales growth, is that tablets—our beloved iPad included—are passé. The IT market is once again proving to have the attention span of a fruit fly.
I’m not sure the world really needs a 5.25mm thick iPad mini. It would be interesting technologically, but he current mini seems comfortably small, light, and thin enough for me. However, if Apple indeed does launch an iPad mini Air, I hope enough people will disagree with me on that point to make it a success for Apple and secure the mini’s future.
Last week, Tim Cook told the Wall Street Journal that he does 80% of his computing work as Apple CEO on his iPad, and he thinks you should too, maintaining “There’s no reason why everyone shouldn’t be like that.” But it’s that last 20% that’s the sticking point, preventing the iPad from displacing a laptop or desktop PC as a completely satisfactory general work platform.
While 4x increased crash risk with cellphone-gabbing drivers is plenty bad enough, texting while driving raises the risk ante by factors between 6x to 20x (depending on whose metrics you’re reading) more dangerous than driving over the legal blood alcohol limit. Logic would dictate that if people driving drunk outrages you, to be consistent, driving while cellphone gabbing and driving while texting should outrage you 4x and 6x to 20x more, respectively.
A month and a half ago, I switched to a satellite Internet service from the tower-based wireless broadband service I’ve been using since 2009, and which I would still be using were it not for reliability issues. Here are my early-days impressions of satellite service as an alternative to land-based networks.
Researchers find online reading has a negative impact on people’s cognition, with concentration, comprehension, absorption, and recall rates when engaging with online material all much lower than with hard copy. I don’t think Internet-enabled instant access to information from a firehose, as it were, is making me smarter. More broadly informed in a chaotic way, perhaps.
Adobe is now branding/naming their software on an annual basis. Thus, this years updates will be CC-2014, and it’s safe to assume that subsequent releases will be CC-2015, CC-2016, etc. This is important because some of the software is radically changing, most specifically Photoshop.
A degree of iPad mini sales cannibalization by the iPhone 6 is inevitable. The operative question is “how much?” If a large enough proportion of potentially prospective iPad mini buyers actually do decide that the compromises imposed by an iPhone 6 phablet as a tablet surrogate are tolerable, then the market will have spoken and it will be goodbye iPad mini.
While it is possible to be productive on an iOS device to a degree, iPad productivity is simply not as high as with a Mac or Windows PC. For some tasks it’s not even close, or not possible at all. The fact is, at this stage of its development, the iOS does not support getting the same work done as on a desktop computer, at least in a timely and efficient manner.
Aside from padding Apple’s profit margins, there is no justification for the iPhone and iPad $100 per step-up tariff, and we all know it. But one thing Apple could do to ease the sting of its memory upgrade prices would be to start at a higher base, making the upgrade progression 32/64/128 instead of 16/32/64.
You can get a new Windows laptop for less than $649 or even $499, but those who argue mainly on up-front price when it comes to computers have always epitomized for me Oscar Wilde’s observation about “people who know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” I consider myself a value cheapskate rather than a purchase price cheapskate, a persuasion that has kept me buying Apple computers for the past 22 years.
The iPhone 6 phablet is coming, and for better or worse, a lot of users are leaning to mobile computing, increasingly using smartphones and phablets for web surfing, videos, TV and movie viewing as well as for texting, messaging, and voice telephony.