No tablet maker has made much of a dent in the iPad’s share of the market, so why should we expect more from a couple of eReader makers looking to expand beyond books?
Price is the key reason. The Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet are more than 50 per cent cheaper than the cheapest iPad and could win a new audience looking for value and pure content consumption, if only in the US. I have had a limited time using both in their launch week and initial thoughts are after the jump. Read more
The iPad era has already held more than a few twists for news publishers: hailed as the saviour of newspapers, media owners then fell out with Apple over changes to its terms of service, only to fall back in love in time for this month’s release of its Newsstand application.
But where has all this wrangling left consumers? A timely survey by the Pew Research Center, in collaboration with the Economist Group, finds that for more than half of US tablet owners, skimming headlines or settling down for longer reads is central to their daily routine. Willingness to pay for news remains stubbornly similar to the regular web, while apps – the main mechanism for charging – are still less popular than the browser. Read more
When HTC chief executive Peter Chou said this month that he was on the lookout for further acquisitions, he wasn’t kidding. The Taiwanese smartphone company on Tuesday announced it had acquired Inquisitive Minds, a US company that developed Zoodles, a kids-friendly browser designed to give children a safe browsing environment. Read more
The Kindle Fire looks to have the price, services and marketing muscle to take significant share of a US tablet market thus far dominated by the iPad.
Amazon, with its music, video and eBook services in the US can capitalise on the key usage of tablets as consumption devices, although its weaker offerings abroad would be one reason the Fire will have no international launch this year. Read more
An Amazon tablet by the end of the year has seemed certain since a journalist got to play with a 7in Android-based one earlier this month. But how about two appearing?
After a trip to supply-chain companies in China and Taiwan over the past four weeks, analysts at Credit Suisse believe Amazon will also launch a 10in tablet. Read more
Adding insult to an injurious two weeks at Hewlett-Packard, the world’s largest computer maker has discovered that the discontinued TouchPad is a hit, at least at going-out-of-business-sale prices, and has pledged to manufacture some more. Read more
Lenovo has announced its first family of tablets, with two being launched under the IdeaPad brand along with a ThinkPad tablet that uses Google’s Android 3.1 operating system. Lenovo had recently released LePad, a 10in Android tablet that can dock with a laptop base, in China only, but rumours of these new tablets for the US had been rife for months and the ThinkPad version looked the most interesting of the three when I was shown them recently. Read more
When the media were first shown the HP TouchPad in February, we were not allowed to touch it, ironically.
Well, from hands off to hands on. The long awaited tablet goes on sale on Friday in the US, France and Germany and I have been trying it out for the past week. Some video first impressions after the jump, ahead of a review in this Friday’s Personal Technology column. Read more