Apple has several sizes and shapes in their line of computers and iPods, but only one size and shape to their phone. Sure, you can get 3G or 3GS with a variety of storage onboard, but the device itself comes with the same processor, same graphics, same screen size, same camera, same ins and outs.
This same-ness has eased developer adoption to be sure. Having a single device to design for means there’s one stream of code, with some tinkering for backward compatibility. It’s also great for the accessory folks. A single physical shape means more consumers available per accessory.
There might be a problem with such a robust device running the iPhone OS. Folks who’ve purchased an iPad might not need the next iPhone. The iPad runs almost all the apps that the iPhone runs, and with the larger screen the apps are often far better. Owning an iPad means that users, like myself, could actually get by with a cheaper, run-of-the-mill mobile phone. Read more
Yesterday HP announced that it was going to buy Palm for $1.2 billion (HPalm?). I think it’s a stroke of genius. The more I dig into this plan the better both companies look to benefit from it. There are a lot of hurdles to overcome, but if they can execute on some key opportunities they could be perfectly positioned to give Apple a run for the money. It’s not rocket science to see the potential here or to come up with even a modest plan to give them a good shot. Early indications are that HP will leverage sales and market reach to push Palm devices into the market. I hope that’s not the end of the plan. It might yield a quick buck but there’s so much more they can do.
HP can learn a lot from Palm. The Palm Pilot was as ubiquitous as the iPhone at one time. You kids might not remember this, but there was eventually something that looked like an App Store (see: handango.com), versions of the Palm eventually supported peripherals (see: Handspring) and there was even a phone version (see: Treo 600). Today it seems absurd that you’d have a mobile device that wasn’t a phone (or would you? iPad), but back in the late 90’s and early 00’s it was pretty normal. Today Palm sells only a couple of devices. The differentiating factor is whether or not it has a physical keyboard. It’s a perfect line-up, but without the marketing bucks to compete against the big Apple Palm was struggling. But they’ve got the right products: smartphones, and the right number of them: 2. Read more
The launch of the iPad heralded the end of the netbook, the Kindle and the nook. None of these things will come to pass due to the iPad, however. The netbook will survive because people like a keyboard and people like their windows applications. The Kindle and the nook may survive as well, they will be single purposes devices like the calculator that still sits on so many office desks. No, the iPad won’t kill these devices, nor will it destroy the physical book. But it might make a wide array of books unavailable in print form. The iPad can’t be blamed for this alone, but consider it the last horseman of the books apocalypse. The Kindle, the nook and even the Web itself were all whispering about the death of print media long before thoughts of the iPad were dancing in the minds of Apple fan boys.
Let’s not forget the stepping stones to bring book buying online. Certainly Amazon and everyone Amazon crushed will have their place in the history “books”. Their online marketplaces showed everyone how to sell books on the web with reviews, technical details and even book previews that whet the appetites of rabid readers. And while Amazon sits in an interesting position having its own e-reader and a well established store, it couldn’t quite commit, or get the market to commit, to an entire catalog of all-digital books with no paper copies shipping. The Kindle, while great for novels, wasn’t a device for all types of books and without that versatility it can’t eliminate the need to publish books on paper and send them through the market to the consumer. Read more