Posts Tagged tablets
BARCELONA, Spain–Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI) CEO Sanjay Jha confirmed that its first tablet, the Android-powered Xoom, will retail for $800 when it goes on sale unsubsidized from Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ). Speaking to reporters here on the sidelines of the Mobile World Congress trade show, Jha justified the price of the tablet, which is higher than a similar version of Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad, by saying that the Xoom’s eventual upgrade to LTE gives it a leg up on the competition.
A 32 GB version of the Xoom with Verizon’s EVDO data service will retail for $800. The 32 GB version of the iPad with AT&T Mobility’s no-contract (NYSE:T) HSPA+ service retails for $729. “We felt that our ability to deliver 50Mb/s would justify the $799 price point,” Jha said. “It is 32 GB with 3G and a free upgrade to 4G. Being competitive with iPad is important. We feel that from the hardware and capabilities we deliver we are at least competitive and in a number of ways better [than the iPad].” Verizon has said its LTE network delivers average real-world downlink performance of 5-12 Mbps.
The Xoom runs on Android 3.0, or “Honeycomb,” and boasts a dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor. It also features a 10.1-inch widescreen HD display. The device supports 1080p HD video and HDMI output to display content on larger HD screens. Additionally, the Xoom has a front-facing, 2-megapixel camera for video chats over Wi-Fi, EVDO or or LTE, as well as a rear-facing 5-megapixel camera that captures video in 720p HD. The Xoom will be upgraded to LTE sometime in the second quarter.
Jha said that Samsung’s return rate and sell-through rate with the Android-powered GalaxyTab have been “concerning,” but said he was confident enough to launch the Xoom at the $800 price point. Importantly, Verizon has not yet revealed its LTE data plans for tablets or smartphones.
Jha also said that Motorola will release a Wi-Fi-only version of the Xoom. He would not be drawn on the exact price, but said it would be “meaningfully cheaper. The price is set by iPad at $599, and we will be right around there.” The 32GB Wi-Fi-only version of the iPad sells for $599.
In an apparent slip, Jha also seemed to divulge the existence of Google’s music service, which Google has never publicly acknowledged. Jha said that an ecosystem is composed of applications, developers and services. “Google’s mobile services–and that includes music services, video services…” Then, according to the Wall Street Journal, correcting himself, he said, “There will be music service, there will be video service.”
New device allows you to display PC imaging wirelessly to an HDTV, great for ‘real estate client interaction’ or webinars / RealtyGo blog |
The Altona AT-HDAir ($219) enables you to display content from your PC to an HDTV (HDMI or VGA connections) Completely wirelessly, no cables needed, much like RealtyGo’s Mobile Real Estate Application. The Device uses wireless technology to transmit content you are currently looking at on your PC (laptop or desktop) to an HDTV, within range. (needs to be within 30 feet but can transmit through walls).
Great for Agent-client relations in any real estate office or networking area. Review contracts or properties on RealtyGo/MLS/Realtor.com/Zillow etc not to mention the great value add for your clients, to have a larger display vs. huddling around your laptop or desktop computer in your office. With the prices of HDTV’s continuing to drop you could pick up an HDTV monitor/display for anywhere between $149 and $500 depending on how large of a display you want. Then simply put it on the desk next to you or better yet mount it on your office wall with a bracket that is adjustable and pull it out when you need it.
In the past this was available in lo-res but now it’s available in HD (720p) and it also will broadcast audio along with the video. You simply plug a small USB transmitter into your laptop/desktop PC (Windows only at this time) and then have the receiver located near your larger HDTV.
Great for the office – integrate this with a large HDTV in your near-bye conference room so Potential Buyers/Agents/Brokers can take advantage of a webinar together?
RealtyGo.co – Your Real Estate Listings Best Friend!
Special thanks to Max Pigman for turing us on to this new technology.
Now you can pay for that latte with cash, credit card or mobile phone.
Starbucks (SBUX) , which tested mobile payments in select stores and Target outlets in the past year, expanded the program nationally to all its 6,800 company-owned stores starting Wednesday.
There are a handful of mobile payment experiments in operation now, including Bling Nation in Palo Alto, Calif., and Mocapay in Denver. But this is the biggest rollout to date for mobile payments, says Gwenn Bézard, analyst with the Aite Group, who follows mobile payments. Tech analysts expect substantial growth in mobile payments in coming years as more of us lead our daily lives on our phone.
“This is a more convenient way to pay,” says Starbucks Vice President Brady Brewer. “Your wallet or purse isn’t always with you, but the mobile phone is.” Customers pay using apps available on their iPhones or BlackBerrys. Download the app, and fund it with your credit card. When you reach the barista at the counter, hit the “pay” button, show the bar code, and scan it to complete the transaction. Starbucks says it’s working on an app for Android phones.
“Starbucks is using an interim technology that’s available today,” Bezard says. But he thinks the future of mobile payments will be based on a technology called near-field communications (NFC), which embeds a payment chip inside the phone.
NFC is popular in Asia, where many phones already have built-in chips, and retailers to support them. Juniper Research says $200 billion will be spent worldwide via mobile payments by 2012, up from $100 billion in 2010.Verizon Wireless, AT&T and T-Mobile recently announced plans for a joint venture, Isis, to offer NFC purchasing via phones. Testing is scheduled to begin next year.
The success of its gift card sparked Starbucks’ interest in mobile payments. “Customers liked the speed of the card,” Brewer says. About one in five retail transactions are done with the card, and customers have loaded more than $1.5 billion onto them, Starbucks says.
Starbucks began testing mobile payments in 2009. To expand nationally, it had to retrofit older scanners with new ones that could accept the bar code from the apps. “We’re going to see big adoption,” Brewer says. He wouldn’t say how much the changeover cost the company.
If anyone has information at the estimated costs for starbucks to integrate this modality and upgrade their hardware and Scanners, please share. Thank You!
LAS VEGAS–Remember the days when Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Intel ruled the world? Everyone used desktop or laptop computers running Windows software and powered by Intel chips. While there were alternatives (think Mac), most of the world computed with Wintel whether they wanted to or not.
Today, thanks in large part to the smartphone and tablet cavalcade, the world’s primary computing platform may change. Microsoft and Intel are relatively minor players in both smartphones and tablets, whereas upstarts Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) are leading the game. At the Consumer Electronics Show here, Motorola (NYSE:MOT) and LG took the wraps off tablets powered by Google’s Android 3.0, dubbed Honeycomb, and Nvidia’s Tegra 2 processor. Though Honeycomb is not yet complete, vendors are promising to ship devices in the coming months.
Further, Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) is gearing to release its PlayBook tablet this quarter, while Apple likely will soon introduce an updated version of its iPad. And Hewlett-Packard has scheduled a Feb. 9 event where it may announce a webOS-powered tablet.
If consumer and enterprise users move the bulk of their computer use to tablets and smartphones–as some believe they will–then the relevance of Microsoft and Intel could fall into history.
“The future of computing is mobile. That doesn’t mean that desktops and notebooks go away, just that the growth appears to be in smartphones and other light computing platforms,” wrote Current Analysis analyst Avi Greengart in response to my questions on the topic. “Right now, ARM and phone vendors have a decided advantage over Intel and PC manufacturers. This is not only relevant for tablets, but for smartphones as well–it’s why Apple, Dell, Asus, Acer, HP, et al are all trying to become smartphone vendors.”
Microsoft and Intel are attempting to reinsert themselves in the smartphone game, though their efforts are still in the early stages. As for tablets, Intel is working to supply chips for the gadgets but silicon vendors such as Nvidia have managed to capture the lion’s share of awareness in the space. For its part, Microsoft has said Windows Phone 7 is not intended for tablets and that tablet vendors should instead use its Windows 7 operating system for their devices, despite criticism that the platform is not suited for touch-based tablet computing.
Interestingly, according to a Financial Times article, Microsoft is at work on a “rewrite” of Windows geared toward touchscreen tablets. Microsoft representatives weren’t immediately available to provide details on the reported effort.
“Google’s Honeycomb poses a much bigger threat to Microsoft than it does to Apple,” wrote Forrester Research analyst Sarah Rotman Epps. “Of the 24.1 million tablets we expect U.S. consumers to buy in 2011, the majority will still be iPads, but consumers looking for a cheaper, feature-rich alternative will turn to Google, not Microsoft.”
Asymo’s Horace Dediu took a broader view. In a post titled “This is the most exciting CES ever,” Dediu noted that PC makers have embraced platforms beyond Windows, and Microsoft has moved Windows beyond Intel architecture by embracing ARM Holdings. “These actions confirm the end of the PC era. Although most people would characterize the era as exemplified by a particular form factor or market, for me the definition of that era is the way the value chain was structured and hence how profits were captured.”
So what does this mean for the current crop of tablet and smartphone vendors? Despite evidence of a withering Wintel, it’s not a panacea. CCS Insight analyst Geoff Blaber told me that Android tablet vendors are already caught in a race to the bottom–a trend highlighted by Android tablets nearing the $100 mark–which indicates that vendors will have to innovate on the service layer to effectively compete. And they have a steep hill to climb, considering the work Apple has already done on the service layer (think iTunes and App Store).
Concluded Current Analysis’ Greengart: “One thing is certain: There is a rush to market here, and products that can deliver a clear and differentiated value proposition have a shot at standing out in the crowd. Slapping components together with a stock OS may work if you’ve got a time to market and distribution advantage, but that won’t be sustainable for long. There will be a lot of carnage along the way.”
Slightly more than a third of all U.S. subscribers used a downloaded mobile application in November 2010–up 1.1 percentage points over the previous three-month period–according to digital research firm comScore. In addition, 67.1 percent of subscribers used text messaging services in November, up 0.5 percentage points, and 23.5 percent accessed social networks or blogs, a 1.0 percentage point increase. comScore adds that mobile gaming attracted 22.6 percent of the U.S. wireless audience, and 15.0 percent tuned in to mobile music services.
According to comScore, about 61.5 million U.S. subscribers own smartphones as of November, up 10 percent over the preceding three-month period and a figure certain to increase even more significantly following the recent holiday season. Research In Motion’s (NASDAQ:RIMM) BlackBerry operating system continues to lead the U.S. market at 33.5 percent of subscribers, but its dominance is shrinking rapidly, decreasing 4.1 percentage points over the previous three months. Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android is now in second overall at 26.0 percent market share (a 6.4 percentage points leap), edging past Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS at 25.0 percent (up 0.8 percentage points). Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone fell further off the pace in November, sliding 1.8 percentage points to capture 9.0 percent of the U.S. smartphone market.