Bad Apple

A couple of observations coming out of the Apple announcement the other day.

Apple really missed on the pricing for the new iPad Mini. The $329 price point for the 16GB flavor of the new “must have” iPad Mini feels too expensive especially when compared to the tablets of competitors Amazon and Google that each start at ~$200. You could even see Apple trying to justify that price point by having Phil Schiller make a very rare but overt “point, counter point” (Jane, you ignorant slut) comparison of the iPad Mini to the Google Nexus. As soon as he started in with that comparison, I had a feeling that the pricing was going to be expensive relative to the competition. His comparison was basically trying justify the benefits of the iPad Mini ahead of revealing the price, so to ease the pain. I never thought the iPad mini was going to come in at $200, but I was thinking somewhere in the $249-$299 range. If they came in at that range, I think that would have sealed the deal for the Tablet marketplace. Now, I think there is still a window for others to play in.

Secondly, I think Apple did some damage to their brand with how they have handled the “new” iPad (i.e iPad 3 and iPad 4). Releasing an updated version of their iPad on Tuesday, just six months after they released the “new” iPad (3rd Gen) is not going over well. Beyond a Twitter storm, a site called ran a flash poll on their site (granted, not exactly scientific but still…) that conlcuded:

Forty-one percent of the respondents, who all stated that they owned at least one Apple product, said they had bought the third generation iPad. Of these, 83% said they felt “cheated” by the announcement of the fourth gen tablet.

Not the kind of feedback I’d want around a product release.

And personally, I purchased a “new” iPad in late August, just about 2 months before the Tuesday’s announcement, because my iPad 1st Gen died but also because I didn’t think an another upgrade would be happening until early 2013. I have called Apple and even went to my local store to plead my case and to no avail.

For a company that takes such efforts to make sure things are done pixel perfect, you would think they would manage things like this a bit more effectively.

via Macrumors

iPad Arcade Cabinet

OK, this may be the coolest iPad accessory I’ve seen so far. Slide your iPad into the jack and you have a mini video game unit, full with real joystick a la 1980’s video games. So instead of using the 2D flat “joystick” on the screen, you can use a real joystick and have a mini desktop arcade.

Now, if they had a slot for quarters, you could have a retro business model here. Buy up a bunch of these and set up a mini arcade in a local downtown space and host birthday parties for 10 year olds. I suppose you could get a bunch of Square credit card readers or just take care of the finances before the kiddy party starts.


New iPad2 Covers Hitting The Market

Much of the buzz around Apple’s new iPad 2 is about the cool Smart Covers that attach to the iPad using powerful magnets, while also offering the flexibility not to impede on the new cameras that are part of the device.

Now we are seeing some 3rd party companies coming to market with their own flavor of the Smart Cover, none more interesting than Miniot’s all Wood cover. Its garnered so much interest, their website is crying for mercy. You can see a video of how it works here.

Earlier this week, I purchased an iPad 2 for my wife…a late Valentines Day gift. I have to admit that the form factor of the new iPad is quite nice – its noticeably thinner and lighter – and the Smart Cover is quite slick.


iPad Playbooks in the NFL

CNET reported over the weekend that NFL teams like the Dallas Cowboys are considering replacing the “traditional” paper playbooks and the massive index cards coaches use to call plays with iPads or similar digital tablets.

In a lot of ways, this is exactly what tablets are meant for: easy access to data via wireless networks, high-quality photos, and portability. And from a coach’s or player’s perspective, imagine being able to quickly sort through a large set of plays, look at them in a stylish graphical presentation, see animations of them in action, and more–or to download a photo of the last play seconds later.

From a geek perspective, I think this is a super cool idea and could really be beneficial to teams – consider when they need to look up plays quickly, or check out a photo of a formation the opposition just ran. I think the hang up is that athletes and coaches are supremely superstitious animals. They like their routines, they find comfort in knowing their system so they don’t have to worry about anything else other than the game and its elements. I think there is a place for tablets on the NFL sideline, and other pro sports sidelines for that matter, but I think its going to be a bigger U/X transition than is anticipated. And thats saying nothing about the security issues that need to be factored in and managed.

via CNET News

Does Steve Approve Of This?

You knew it was only a matter of time. The folks at Accessory Workshop (hailing from Paramus, NJ here in the Garden State) have developed theĀ tyPad, a bluetooth keyboard and portfolio Case for your iPad. While this is not the iPad’s intended use case, this device does solve what I have heard is the biggest issue with the device…creating content. Having a keyboard is a nice addition for those “on demand” circumstances when you need one. This is especially true when you consider the iPad’s slick touch screen navigation combined with a keyboard (as demoed on their video). Nice work.