This is all about the company Apple!
As many people will know, I am not a big Apple person. I have been a PC guy since before I can remember. I have admittedly owned an iPhone for the last 5 years and had an iPod since the 4th generation iPod Photo. I have recently changed over to the Android side of things for my main phone and loving it! Now, with all of that out of the way, I want to get to my main point, about my distaste for Apple and their pricing. I will say this on the front end. Apple makes GREAT products, don’t get me wrong there. My problem is, the pricing that they apply to their products, claiming their superiority over all things, based upon their design and quality. I get that, in a sense, but after seeing the latest black Friday promotion from Apple (and many other pricing issues) and seeing their “discounts”, it just disgusts me. They think they are doing the Apple FanBoys a favor by giving them such a small discount on their products, and they are STILL making, I am assuming, a sizable profit off of the product.
So let me show you what I am talking about. Black Friday is suppose to be about deep discounts on items that are either meant to get you in the door or to buy multiples of one item. And when I say deep discounts, I am talking about a 50″ LCD HDTV that is going for $298. I am talking a 32GB SD Card for $15.99. I am talking an iPad 2 for $399 with a $75 gift card. Now the latter is what I was really getting at. Apple is holding their own black Friday “event” as well. Just not as much of a discount. So lets compare the Walmart deal and the Apple deal. You can get an almost 2 year old product for the GREAT LOW price of $399 direct from Apple today, right now with no discounts or anything like that. They just released the 4th generation iPad back a few weeks ago if you didn’t know. So worldwide retailer Walmart has added in a nice $75 gift card with their iPad deal. What has Apple done? $31 off. Let me repeat that. $31 off. Walmart is beating you by $44. Now don’t get me wrong, that isn’t $44 cash, it is a $75 gift card for you to spend more at their store, because the idea is, that you will buy more than $75 worth, and see the gift card as a discount. It’s a psychological thing that they hope that you do after you get the card. Even all of that aside, it seems the place to get your iPad 2 is Walmart. Apple? Why not offer more off and do it as a gift card, or just take more off of your 2 year old tablet, without Retina display, I may add.
There are many more instances I can speak of, but this was the only one that really sparked my interest. Apple thinks so highly of itself, that basically, they don’t allow their retailers to go much cheaper, or give much of a discount in their own store. I just don’ think they should call their sales, a black Friday event. More like a , “hey, we know you want our stuff, and everyone else is doing better discounts, but c’mon, you know you want us” event.
Just a thought that I had today on this day of giving thanks.
So with the iPad 3 looming, a lot of people are wondering and speculating what is going to happen this Tuesday, March the 7th. Apple has always been a company of secrecy since the beginning, all starting with Steve Jobs. It seems though, as the years have gone on, and Apple incorporates more and more manufacturers in the process of building their products, it makes it even harder to keep things under wraps. We are now under 3 days away from finally getting the official announcement from Apple, and it seems we already know all about this tablet. Many of the rumors are still in speculation, but four of them seem to be up in the air. There are apparently going to be 3 flavors of this new iPad 3 (as well as a new Apple TV, not the iTV). We currently only know of two for the two carriers, wifi only and the wifi +3G versions. The third one is where the rumors start to really separate themselves out, and we won’t know the truth until March 7th.
iPad 3 has a third version and it is going to be a 4G iPad, both for Verizon and At&t. (Wall Street Journal reporting)
iPad 3 has a third version and it is going to be not an iPad 3. It is going to be an 8GB iPad 2 for the lower end market. Possibly to fill the iPad orders that all of these schools are going to order for their new text books.
iPad 3 has a third version and it is going to be a smaller iPad, somewhere between 7″ and 8″ to compete with the Amazon Kindles or any other small sized tablets on the market. This also can get them down in price as well.
iPad 3 has a third version and it is not going to be an iPad 3. It is going to be an iPad 2S. Along side the iPad HD (3).
Any takers on what it will be? My guess, is going to be the new iPad 2 with 8GB that is cheaper and more deploy able in the schools and business districts. Also helping keep the cost down for those schools or businesses that want to mass deploy these things, they really don’t need a 64GB (or 128GB) iPad, especially if they are using iCloud to backup their data. I can even backup my guess because the US Airforce has just put an order for 18,000 iPad 2’s. No one ever said what size they were. Running at $9.4 million dollars for the 1 year contract, let’s see here: $9.4 million/18,000 iPad 2’s=$522.22 per unit. But according to the report, they got a discount. So you could speculate this to be the $599 iPad 2 32GB. Now that I think about it though, the math doesn’t really help the case that it would be an 8GB iPad 2. We’ll skip the math part. Just act like you never read that. I’m just saying that who puts a year contract out there, on a product that is already about to be phased out, and by times end, it will be time for iPad 4!
Either way, I am sticking with my guns on that one. Let’s just hope that Apple doesn’t jack up the price though, since these screens apparently are going to be more expensive. It could be though, that iPad 2 sticks around much like the iPhone 3GS is still loitering around for $0.99 with AT&T. Apple may want to keep its iPad 2 as a backup, that they can sell at a cheaper price and still make huge amounts of money. Heck they were doing it with the MacBooks for a little while. They were able to market having a portable laptop for $999, but since then, the Macbook Air has taken that spot. The MacBook Air rumors are even more fun!
Now with all of that out of the way, it seems no matter what the rumors are, we do have the parts floating around out there, but they can’t all seem to match up in the same hands. The iFixit team, seems to have gotten their hands on the new 2048×1536 screen from the “iPad 3” (as she will do many times in that video). You can see the reports here or here. If you don’t like reading very much, you can just see the video here below:
There is another “leaked” team from MIC Gadget that says that they have the casing and the front bezel and glass. They will even show you the full video here below as well. Just watch, it looks like the Smart Covers will still work, which is good for those of you that have invested into those. It is quite possible that these may NOT fit into the iPad 2 cases though, because they look to be thicker and more tapered. Again, if you don’t want to read the report, feel free to watch the video here:
it does seem however though, that iPad is already out there running iOS 6, but it is doubtful that we will see it in the iPad 3, maybe just a glimpse of it, like Apple has always done before. My bet is the iPad 3 will be loaded with iOS 5.1 with only minor changes to possibly include some of the new features that will allow it to do SIRI (along side the iPhone 4S), chat with iMessage users on OSX Mountain Lion or something to incorporate the new display all together. While we are waiting though on iPad 3 to be announced, it seems the people who brought us the iPhone 5 Concept video, has now brought us the iPad of the future design concept video as well:
but no worries… This coming October will be a lot more fun when we get to finally see the iPhone 5!
With the iPad 3 on the imminent horizon, there are plenty of rumors floating around. A new Sharp screen and some new case leaks. The only problem I have with this new release is, we just watched Apple talk about iBooks 2 and how they are going to revolutionize the text book industry and start keeping the educational system up-to-date with these interactive books and signing on the 3 BIGGEST producers of these textbooks. The other thing that seemed to be revolutionary was the price, with “most being priced at $14.99 (USD) or less. This overall is a wonderful idea in my opinion, and helps compact the 40 pound backpack that these poor kids have to lug around. This is great as far as the weight it relieves from the kids and how quick these text books can be updated. The two fold problem as far as the consumer and the educational sector will have to deal with, is price and availability/upkeep.
Will the price of the iPad hinder many school systems from being able to use this great technology? The cheapest iPad is $500. Just imagine, that is one per student. Can you imagine sitting in a budget meeting for oh say, 2014 and there is a new sector: iPads (I would hope that it replaces hardback textbooks part of the budget all together though). This would be expensive! Let’s just say we have a school of 1200 kids.
The next step for me, would be, how do we implement this? Does every student get one for the school year? ($600,000) Do we add this to the school fee? Do we buy these and keep them in the building? Do we have one for every teacher? There are many more questions that come along with implementation, but just imagine trying to get all of these questions answered and then seeing how much it would cost the local school system. Then whether or not they could afford it!
My thing about it, would be: Why isn’t Amazon capitalizing on this market? They have a $200 tablet and it works! They could kill Apple in the educational market. Plus, the Kindle Fire doesn’t have any cameras on it or 3G, which helps keep down the cost of the final product. So for this fact, kids aren’t trying to use cameras in class or able to use these things on the go. It would only be useful around wifi, which for a typical kid (not all) these days is at home, school and the library, and the occasional restaurant.
I see Apple taking over this market, because no one has really come out with the “iPad killer”, but the Kindle Fire, I would say has given it a run for its money. The money issue just seems to hinder some of these schools that need technology like this, from being able to chime in on this. So if Apple works out a deal where the schools get a discount for ordering so many for their schools or even districts, then I would be more prone to say that price isn’t an issue, but who’s to say, it will be many, many years before we see iPads as the norm for textbooks.
The other problem I foresee is Apple has historically updated these things every year. Can the school systems keep up with that? What’s my opinion? NO! Schools like to make an investment and see ROI. I just don’t see the school systems trying to keep these things up to date. Apple on the other hand likes to keep the new, old. By that, I mean, they are constantly updating, the iPhone, iPod touch and the iPads have all been somewhat close to a yearly refresh rate. Most schools and businesses are either on a 3-5 year plan. They like to see more use out of the product than they are worried about refreshing it. I could see in the future that like iPad 7 is out and some schools still using iPad 2.
As far as a bleeding edge consumer is concerned, this is great, get a new toy every year. Even the non-bleeding edge, because they are usually right behind the bleeding edge and getting last year’s model at a reduced price. Schools and businesses are not worried about being on the bleeding edge. Shoot, the business I work for currently still massively supports Windows XP (original market release 8/24/01) and have a very little amount of machines on Windows 7, which coincidentally is almost 3 years old. (original market release date 10/22/09) This is how companies work, that are not technology based. They want to be able to use their investment for a very long time, which Windows XP has proven to be.
Will Apple be able to keep these iPads up to date with just software? Will they pressure these school systems (and businesses) to have to update every other year? I have found personally, that every other year is good with Apple. For example, I bought the iPhone (2G), then the 3G, because of the speed increase on data. I skipped the iPhone 3GS, a year later, and look what I got for an upgrade, the iPhone 4! As previous, I skipped the iPhone 4S, and who knows what is coming for the iPhone 5. Again, historically, the iPhone has been good for me, to follow this pattern. The pattern may not always be that way, but for the last 5 phones that Apple has produced, I have stayed with it and it works for me. Will the schools have to start following that same pattern? Will Apple always follow an AWESOME Product then a speed bump, no hardware changes, then AWESOME Product change format? Who knows? Only time will tell, but these are just my thoughts and musings.
Well it seems as the iPhone 4S starts to trickle down to the rest of us over the next 24 hours, (or later) there are others who are already having some hands on time with the SIRI beta inside the iPhone 4s. I saw an article yesterday in which Jason Snell of MacWorld.com got to play with the SIRI beta in about an 11 minute video. If you go to about 5:18 in the video, you will see a funny reference to the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy book/movie.
Continue to watch, because just after that, it seems the SIRI programmers have added some quick wit to the digital assist as well. It’s a pretty funny little bit to watch. It’s pretty cool to watch exactly what SIRI can do on the iPhone 4S, and because it is still in Beta, there is a lot to be done. I do think, on a side note, that SIRI will come to the iPhone 4, eventually. Either way, as more and more people get their hands on the iPhone 4S, they are all trying out the new digital assistant to see what all it can do. There is even a few videos out there showing us what happens if you tell SIRI “I love you“. So as the days come and some of you start messing with it, let me know what you come up with. In the mean time, I think that this is the best one yet, and it happened just before iFixit started to do the teardown of the phone.
iFixit: “Siri, may we disassemble you for all to see?”
iPhone 4S (Siri): “42”
iFixit: “I didn’t ask for the meaning of life, Siri…”
iPhone 4S (Siri): “42 is the number of seconds you have left until I initiate the self-destruct sequence…”
iFixit: “Message received.”
Maybe I am the only one seeing this, as the iOS gets updated EVERY year, but I am seriously getting ticked at the amount of icons that I have to have on the home screen. Remember iOS 1? Those were the simple times. Look at this, my iPhone from stock now has to have 2 home screens to fit everything on it!
What?!?! If you saw my post earlier, you saw I already don’t like the idea of Music and Video being separated into two different apps. They are doing the same function. Playing media, you know what else USED to do that? the iPod app. I don’t want my iPhone looking like an iPod Touch. It looks tacky. The bad part is, even apple groups together the crap you don’t use, under utilities. Voice Memos, which seemed to have turned blue? Did I miss that? Contacts? Why did we ever pull that out of the phone app? That is duplicating what you already have. I guess there was such an outcry to have a one click access to it? Who really uses the compass? The only utility I use is the calculator. I don’t use Weather or Stocks and I hardly use the notes app. Oh wait, we added a ‘new’ app. Reminders. I guess this adds a checklist or some other feature to reminders that are already in the calendar. I just won’t really ever use it. Also, why can’t the iTunes and App store be one icon? When I click on the iTunes store on the PC or Mac, it’s one place, why not on the phone too? I don’t need all this crap filling up my screen before I even get started. I LOVED the folders when they finally implemented it in iOS 4, and I think it was a GREAT design choice. Less clutter is better! Oh, Newsstand and Gamecenter, I don’t like you much either. I use the feature of gamecenter RARELY to find people to play with, but I never actually click on the icon. I don’t think I will ever use Newsstand either. The phone just has too small of a screen to read anything on. ALTHOUGH, the new reader feature in Safari is great! (Another GREAT design choice!) Why can’t I pick a custom install where I get to choose what shows up? Just like iBooks, I don’t have to install it, but if I want to, it is a free download away. Please work on this in the future. Maybe iOS 5.1? Here’s to dreaming.
In a follow up to my previous post about Apple copying Samsung, I came across this story about a new phone that Samsung just released in the UK on Vodaphone. It is the Galaxy S II carrying the android gingerbread OS. When I saw the announcement on Engadget Mobile, I had to laugh again. Mainly, because if the rumors are true, it seems it is only half true. They just have the who is copying who backwards. If the next iPhone is suppose to be the mockup that MacRumors is showing off, man do these phones look awfully close. Again, I submit for your consideration the evidence: