Tag Archives: Sony

Which Android tablet is actually selling like hot cakes?

Asus Eee Pad Transformer Goes on Sale for $399, Sells Out Immediately

“This mirrors the Tranformer’s success in the UK where its first three production runs have already sold out. Either Asus didn’t anticipate high demand and lowballed their stock, or the Eee Pad Transformer is the perfect example of what can happen when you mix powerful hardware, Android Honeycomb, and the right price.”

My gut feeling is that the fact that the Transformer can be effectively turned into a netbook is making it much more attractive to one segment of the audience – one that wants a tablet occasionally but otherwise wants a small, light laptop.

It also shows that the way forward for Android tablets, at least for the time being, is to try and be different from the iPad rather than just being a (slightly hokey) alternative.

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Apple denies content purchasing change, confirms content purchasing change

Apple’s Trudy Muller, talking to John Paczkowski:

“We have not changed our developer terms or guidelines,”

But wait…

“We are now requiring that if an app offers customers the ability to purchase books outside of the app, that the same option is also available to customers from within the app with in-app purchase.” (my emphasis)

So there’s been no change in the rules, but we are now requiring developers to do things differently. But that’s not a change in the rules. Oh no. Citizens, we have always been at war with Eastasia.

Yes, this destroys the model that Kindle currently employs. Kindle offers customers the ability to purchase books outside of the app, either via Safari or a desktop browser. That clearly means that Amazon must now offer the same content via Apple’s in-app purchasing, delivering Apple its 30% due.

We shouldn’t be surprised, because Jean Louis Gassee wrote about this in January:

“Three months ago, without explanation, Apple began withholding approval of new apps using the subscription loophole. Wondering publishers were left without answers.

Then came terse emails recalling the §11.1 of the App Store Review Guidelines :

11.2     Apps utilizing a system other than the In App Purchase API (IAP) to purchase content, functionality, or services in an app will be rejected

with the following the punch line :

For existing apps already on the App Store, we are providing a grace period to bring your app into compliance with this guideline. To ensure your app remains on the App Store, please submit an update that uses the In App Purchase API for purchasing content, by June 30, 2011.”

Apple has a perfect right to do this, of course. But my bet is that either Amazon will ultimately sue, or it will offer content through IAP – at 30% 42% more than it usually charges. I wonder who will blink first.

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CrunchGear catches the TechCrunch bullshit bug

Apparently, Apple is now responsible for via killing hardware innovation throughout the industry, at least according to John Biggs.

Remember when Apple bought up all the Flash memory? Well, Apple has also cornered the market in touchscreens. A few months ago I spoke to one inventor who had a horrible time trying to grab capitative touchscreens for a project, even at the smaller electronics markets. Manufacturers knew that something from Apple was about to drop so they drove up prices, resulting in a standstill in innovation.

By pricing the iPad at about $500 on a good day, Apple has forced Asia’s hand. The company clearly did plenty of deals with Foxconn and the rest of the suppliers down the line and while folks like LG are making a mint on screens and other components, they have essentially closed the spigot overseas leading companies like Asus and Acer to announce that they won’t try to compete.

This also explains why other companies just couldn’t get past the resistive touchscreen for so long. Suppliers knew that Apple was sniffing around and so they kept prices high. As a result we had almost two years of me-too garbage coming out of Samsung, Sony, and Nokia until – at long last – the smaller touchscreens are ubiquitous.

First: Where’s the actual evidence that Apple ever bought up all the flash memory? Sure, there was a rumour they had bought a vast amount of supply. But as I remember it, other manufacturers seemed to have no problems shipping the hundreds of products which also feature flash memory. And prices for flash devices as a whole came down.

Second: high quality capacitive glass might well be in short supply. Apple might well have bought up a lot of supply from key manufacturers. And John’s friend who wanted 100 or 1,000 panels for whatever his project was might well have found it hard to buy them in those numbers.

But do you seriously think for one second that if Nokia or Samsung (who MAKE panels) or any other major player wanted to launch a product and went to a manufacturer with a potential order for 10 million panels, they wouldn’t find a way to get what they wanted?

If Nokia went to a manufacturer of capacitive touch screens and said “Hey, we’d like to buy lots of them. By the way, we sell three times as many phones as Apple” who do you think that manufacturer would make first in line for supply?

Sure, it might take some time to make it happen. But the biggest customers get the best deals, and in LCDs Apple is by no means the biggest customer.

Third: Apple is a master of supply chain management. One of the main characteristics of the Steve Jobs era is that, thanks largely to terrific work by Tim Cook, it does not hold much inventory. And that includes inventory of parts. The idea that Apple is buying up a year’s worth of any kind of part is laughable.

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Why Sony’s eReader beats the pants off the Kindle

Sony‘s set to release some new ebook readers following on from the very-nice PRS505, and Jordan Golson at GigaOm looks at them and finds them wanting. His point is that the killer feature for ebooks is wireless. and makes some snarky comments about Sony’s lack thereof.

Jordan also seems to be under the impression that Sony is somehow “proprietary” compared.

“The new devices, of course, don’t connect to either of the high-profile e-book stores, Amazon’s Kindle store nor Barnes & Noble’s newly launched entry, but instead uses Sony’s proprietary e-book store, which has more than 1 million titles (mostly public domain titles from Google’s Books project) — but, because your device has to be connected to your computer to buy books, it’s not the great leap forward we’ve been hoping for.”

How is Sony’s store more “proprietary” than Amazon’s? AZW, used by Amazon, is a closed, proprietary format used by a single vendor. With Sony, you have a choice of formats even if you buy DRM’d books (ePub, BBeB and Secure PDF), some of which (ePub) are open standards. Or, you can choose to avoid DRM and use a completely open standard like ePub.

With Sony, I have a choice of stores. I can buy from Sony (of course), BooksOnBoard, Waterstones (in the UK), and others. I can shop around for the best price. With the Kindle, I can buy from… erm… Amazon. Or Amazon. And it has to be Amazon.com – no other International stores allowed (yet).

(Of course, at the moment, Amazon is selling ebooks at very good prices – in fact, some reckon, at a loss. But does anyone seriously think that will last if/when Kindle is established as the de facto ebook platform?)

So is Sony a lame alternative? No – it’s a better alternative. It supports more formats, and gives me the choice of more stores. The only advantage the Kindle has is convenience, and if you’re outside of wireless range that evaporates into nothing. What’s more, because my ebook reader doesn’t have a constant connection to the net, there’s no opportunity for Sony to pull the plug on books remotely, either.

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Win a Sony P-Series

The Sony P-Series might have got some mixed reviews (is it really a netbook at the price of a laptop?) but there’s no doubt it looks good.

And if you fancy getting hold of one without shelling out roughly £1300, you can: Sony is giving one away, along with some nice city break holiday, as part of a promotion on its “European Top Spots” site.

Of course, having told you that I’ve actually reduced my chances of winning it. So don’t go along. No, really, you wouldn’t want one anyway…