Monthly Archives: January 2010

Is Apple’s iPad media tablet the “Magical & Revolutionary Device at an Unbelievable Price” that Steve Jobs claims it is? Or will it be an embarrassing failure like the Apple Lisa, the Newton and Pippin?

We will have to wait until the iPad goes on sale in the US towards the end of March for the definitive answer to that question. But based on the iPad’s specifications, Apple’s new baby does appear to avoid many of the pitfalls that have plagued earlier tablet and slate-style devices. Read more

We may have got our handson the new Apple iPad , but analysts have yet to break one open and see what’s inside.

However, guesses can already be made as to the winner and losers among component makers. Read more

Apple’s new iPad gives the company new opportunities to compete against devices from e-readers and netbooks to digital picture frames.

Trying the device out after its unveiling on Wednesday, I was impressed by the elegance and ease of use of the software – Apple’s trademark – and the performance of its hardware. Read more

To the critics, fanboys and sceptics who have been waiting for Apple iPad for months, today’s first impressions ranged from elation to exasperation.

Writing at, Farhad Manjoo said the iPad is the second computer he’s been looking for. “I wanted a flat, portable, easy-to-use machine that I could use for e-mail and reading the Web,” he writes. “The iPad is that device. Jobs described it as the perfect hybrid of a laptop and a phone, and I agree. Everything about it—its size, shape, weight, and fantastically intuitive user interface—feels just right.” Read more

Steve Jobs unveiled the long awaited  Apple iPad in San Francisco on Wednesday in another showbiz-style event.

Mr Jobs and other Apple executives revealed the iPad will be available in two months starting at $500. It will have eReader functionality and an iBooks store.

A games console, artist’s palette and portable media player are among its other functions. See our slideshow of photos taken from our view from the audience after the jump. Read more

It was only last month that Yelp was almost Googled. The local reviews site came a breath away from inking a $500m deal to sell itself to Google, but for reasons still unknown, the deal ultimately fell apart.

The company, it seems, is not looking back. Today Yelp announced an investment of up to $100m from Elevation Partners, the private equity firm that counts U2 frontman Bono among its directors. Read more

“This is our most advanced technology in a magical and revolutionary device at an unbelievable price.”

That was how Steve Jobs described the iPad when he unveiled it on Wednesday at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco, and he went backstage afterwards to show off the device.

I had a chance to get a close-up view with an Apple demonstrator backstage and was impressed with the iPad’s many capabilities.  See the video first-look after the jump. Read more

The iMac in 1998 , the iPod in 2001 , the iPhone in 2007, the MacBook Air in 2008.

Steve Jobs has launched one iconic design after another since his return to Apple and today unveiled the Silicon Valley company’s latest creation – the iPad – a tablet device  that promises to shake up the technology and media industries.

Preparations have been underway for the event at the Yerba Buena Center (pictured) in San Francisco all week, and we liveblogged the event. Read more

Sony has been thrilled with sales of its eReaders over the Christmas period, but could their comparative success be about to be eclipsed by the arrival of an Apple tablet?

We’ll know better later today but, in the meantime, I have been trying out the new Sony Reader Daily Edition for the past three weeks to see if it is as hot as the news it provides. Read more

One of the most terrifying concepts for a journalist is the notion that one day someone will invent an algorithm that will take a basic set of text inputs and output a complete story in elegant prose.

Well ProfileWiz, launched today, does not actually do this, but it does create a 500-word personal profile of the type required by most online dating services based on a user selecting the most appropriate photographic answer to 22 questions. Read more

Personal View: Michael Gartenberg

With the Apple event just hours away, here’s a final view in our series on what it would take to turn its impending tablet computer into a true breakthrough product – and prompt gadget lovers to actually go out and buy one. Scroll down for earlier posts.

“Tablets, up until this point have not been very successful for the most part. Consumers have viewed them as in between a laptop and a cell phone, with lots of duplications in functionality and therefore one more thing to carry with them. It’s going to be interesting to see if Apple can come up with a way that can change the role of a tablet in a way that’s additive – something that you are going to want to use and not something that just duplicates what you already have. Read more

As Ebay has moved to attract bigger sellers and more fixed-price listings better to compete with Amazon, critics say the e-commerce titan has abandoned the small auctioneers that fuelled its early growth.

John Donahoe has worked to reverse that perception since he took over as chief executive almost two years ago — seeking to woo back the basement auctioneers, even as he keeps the big sellers happy.

On Tuesday Ebay made changes to its already complicated pricing structure it says will reduce seller fees and spur new activity on the site. But the changes also include higher commissions for Ebay on some transactions, while pressuring high-volume sellers to sign up for new monthly fees. Read more

Personal View: Marc Benioff

This is the latest in our series on what it would take to turn Apple’s impending tablet computer into a true breakthrough product – and prompt gadget lovers to actually go out and buy one. Scroll down for earlier posts.

“Anyone with a Kindle knows that getting a book in ten seconds is an incredible experience. But the Kindle is a pioneering product, not a great product. I have several: it’s not an Apple quality product. The Kindle is the IBM PC of tablets.

That’s really the opportunity: for Steve Jobs to wave his magic wand, twinkle his eye, stomp his feet, and deliver the magic product that is cool and fun and easy. Read more

The Daily Me newspaper concept has been around a long time and has been forgotten to a large extent as RSS readers and then social media streams have come to dominate.

It may seem no longer relevant and we’ve no indications that Apple could revive personalised news with its rumoured tablet announcement on Wednesday, but the startup iCurrent is launching its own stab at the concept today. Read more

Personal View: Robert Scoble

As the world awaits the impending Apple tablet, gadget enthusiasts are wondering what exactly it will be used for. Is it a gaming device? An e-reader? A video player? We’ve asked some people in the tech world what they would want from an Apple tablet, and the answers might surprise you.

“I was a tablet evangelist back in 2003 and that’s how I got my job at Microsoft –  I sold tablets for NEC and back then we had a quarter-inch thick 10.5-inch [screen] tablet. So tablets aren’t anything new, that’s what a lot of people forget that they’ve been around a while. Read more

Perhaps the auto industry can learn something from Steve Jobs, in addition to building pieces of technology that attract admiration and premium prices.

David Carr discusses in the New York Times this morning Apple’s ability to build suspense before one of its launches, typified by the commotion over the unveiling of its tablet on Wednesday.

One of the reasons this works is that Apple used to have a strict rule that it only revealed new products on the day they were ready to be sold. More recently, it has let that rule slip a little, with the tablet reportedly only going on sale in March.

Still, it is a lot better than car companies, which routinely unveil “concept cars” at auto shows that are very far from being built, and sometimes never are. Read more

Wandering the aisles of my local Costco at the weekend, I spotted a Sony networked Blu-ray player on sale at $110, $70 off.

Blu-ray players are much more affordable now, starting around $150, so $110 was quite a bargain and an indication of the way prices are going, according to In-Stat’s latest report. Read more

It is over a decade since I dumped my Sony Walkman mini-disc player in favour of one of the first portable digital music, or MP3, players – a device called the Rio PMP300 manufactured by Diamond Multimedia.

It had a small LCD screen and a circular pad with control buttons, and could store 12 tracks on its 32MB of internal memory. One AA battery provided power for eight hours or more.

Devices such as the Rio paved the way for a slew of innovative portable digital music and multimedia players, including Apples iPod, launched in October 2001, and a huge accompanying ecosystem of add-ons, ranging from cases and chargers to docking stations and speaker systems. Read more

Personal View: Max Levchin

As the world awaits the impending Apple tablet, gadget enthusiasts are wondering what exactly it will be used for. Is it a gaming device? An e-reader? A video player? We’ve asked some people in the tech world what they would want from an Apple tablet, and the answers might surprise you.

“I have a very serious and legitimate attachment to yellow pads. I probably use 100 a year. I’m an obsessive user and buyer. That’s the competition to me. I’ve played with every tablet out there in the last ten years, and none of them come close to a yellow pad. Read more

As financial forecasts go, it wasn’t delivered with the sort of ringing conviction you might like.

But today, for the first time, Google’s CEO disclosed that he was expecting YouTube to make it into the black some time in 2010.

If he’s right, it will be a significant turning point, and bring vindication for one of the most controversial internet acquisitions ever mounted.

It came in a brief conversation I had with Eric Schmidt after the analyst call to discuss Google’s latest earnings. Read more