Greg's bite: Xoom info
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Greg's bite: Xoom info

By Greg Mills

From what I read about the upcoming Xoom tablet, it may not be the long anticipated iPad killer the PC crowd has been longing for. As I have mentioned in this space, the Tablet OS situation continues to be a problem for the companies that want a piece of Apple's pie.  Motorola, a household name in electronics has scrambled to offer something to compete with iPad. From what is known about Xoom, Apple's iPad is still safe.

Android for smart phones has been tweaked to accommodate a larger screen but will likely have most of the Android underpinnings. I have not read where Android apps can run on Xoom in the smaller mode as in the iOS iPad. Rumors are that Google has cooked up the tablet version of Android and calls it Honeycomb. Motorola has obtained an exclusive right to use Honeycomb for a period of time to allow them to launch Xoom.

The technical specs and price points floated are likely to sink Motorola's boat immediately upon launching. First of all, the Honeycomb OS is completely new, and you know how beta versions of a new OS are. The lack of apps will be another major selling point that is not available to them. The price points floated point to an immediate disconnect as consumers compare Xoom with iPad. You can be sure every new tablet launched will be compared to iPad. What is even scarier for Motorola, they don't know what the iPad 2 will offer that completely blows them out of the water before they can even begin to recoup the cost of bringing the Xoom to market.

Rumors are for a Feb. 17 launch and a price point of US$800. As with the Galaxy Tab from Samsung,  Xoom might have to be sold with a discount from a cell phone company that subsidizes the price with a two year contract for data. Since Apple products are generally perceived as top of the line, tying to sell for a higher price is likely to be hard.  

Sporting a dual core processor and a 10.1 inch color screen the Xoom will look at first blush a lot like an iPad. It comes with physical Bluetooth keyboards, dock and the like. It's advertised to have a touch screen at 150 DPI with "pinch to zoom" interface, 1220X800 Pixels, 720p video playback, upgradeable to 4G, runs Flash, 1G of internal RAM and front and back cameras. The Xoom compares well with the iPad 1, but you have to know the iPad 2 is likely to set a new and higher set of standards that will relegate the Xoom to being a bit player in the slate market.  

Motorola is comparing itself to last year's iPad, and the timing couldn't be worse for them.  Rumors are that iPad 2 will go into production soon and has two cameras, a dual core chip and all the more expensive things the Xoom boasts. If Apple can maintain its price points, the Xoom is toast. Also, pinching on a touch screen to change the size of graphics being displayed sounds vaguely familiar.  

Look for a Federal lawsuit against Motorola claiming patent infringement within a few months of Xoom coming out. It takes a while for Apple's lawyers to get a new patent infringement case into the system, as they are back logged right now.

Never having to look too hard at Microsoft goings on for a good laugh, it seems Redmond has prepared a PowerPoint presentation to suggest "talking points" to help partners understand why Windows based slates are better for them in business than iPads. It seem the recent financial report from Apple stating that iPad already represents 7% of the global PC market hit a nerve.  

Suddenly the little Apple in the rear view mirror seemed much closer. One of the reasons they cited for going with Windows slate computers instead of iPads was due to security issues? Talk about a distortion zone. Windows of any flavor has to rate at the very bottom of the list of operating systems for security issues. Apple need not respond in kind; Windows support techs all know where their bread is buttered. Macs tend to put them out of business. 

Kodak struck out in a patent infringement suit against Apple and RIM for using scaled down "thumbnail" icons to represent full images. You click on the icon to open the full image. One of the defenses against a patent infringement suit is that the patent is invalid due to obviousness. A slippery slope in patent law is where what is ground-breaking innovation to some is claimed to be obvious and not patentable by the company being sued.  

The US Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that: "Granting patent protection to advances that would occur in the ordinary course without real innovation retards progress and may, in the case of patents combining previously known elements, deprive prior inventions of their value or utility." The court wrote this in a majority decision penned by Justice Anthony Kennedy.  Read more: http://news.cnet.com/Supreme-Court-loosens-patent-obviousness-test/2100-1014_3-6180220.html#ixzz1C3Jyvqo2 . Look for the obviousness test to be used by and against Apple in the ongoing patent infringement actions regarding iOS devices.  

The Apple iPad is just being launched in Japan, and the country is going iPad mad. The Japanese are the world's greatest early adopters, and sales in Japan may well exceed expectations as iPad is getting rave reviews and everyone wants one. International sales of Apple product is gaining a lot of traction and may reach 50% of total sales soon. 

Bloomberg posted a story claiming they were sure Apple is going to put a near-field communications chip in the coming iPhone 5 and iPad 2. This allows users to swipe their iOS devices near a credit card terminal that has a near-field radio reader built in to charge things easily. This is particularly helpful with minor purchases such as a meal at McDonalds.

I have a near-field chip in a little rubber credit card CitiBank send me. I put it under the rubber cover on iPhone and now just swipe it to buy gas or pay for things with that credit card. I have mentioned the possibility that Apple would get into the credit card business themselves, but so far they only contract with a credit card issuer for financing options at the online Apple store.

Rumors give and take away features we can hope for in upcoming Apple devices.  The "retinal display" or high definition screens hoped for in iPad 2 may wait until iPad3. Doubling the screen resolution of iPad would give us 2048x1536. From what I read the cost currently for such a display is prohibitive to maintain price points.  

Apple tends to pack more into products at the same or a lower price and, while an HD iPad sounds great, will the extra $100 added to the price hurt sales? Yep, it isn't likely to happen.  Could the $4 billion Apple has prepaid be to allow some screen manufactures to tool up for an HD screen for future iPads? I think that the most likely part they are investing in.  

When RIM engineers were astounded at the battery life on the first iPhone they told management at RIM that Apple mounted a screen and tiny circuit board on a battery, and that is how Apple got the battery life they claimed. Touch screens are the most expensive part of an iPad and having an exclusive supply on an HD touch screen for iPad would certainly lock out the competition for a while longer.    

That's Greg's bite for today.

(Greg Mills is currently a Faux Artist in Kansas City. Formerly a new product R&D man for the paint sundry market, he holds 11 US patents. He's working on a solar energy startup using a patent pending process of turning waste dual pane glass into thermal solar panels used to heat water. Married, with one daughter still at home, Greg writes for intellectual web sites and Mac related issues. See Greg's web sites at http://www.gregmills.info . He can be emailed at gregmills.mac.)

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Posterino 3.3.5 - Create posters, collag...
Posterino offers enhanced customization and flexibility including a variety of new, stylish templates featuring grids of identical or odd-sized image boxes. You can customize the size and shape of... Read more
Skim 1.4.28 - PDF reader and note-taker...
Skim is a PDF reader and note-taker for OS X. It is designed to help you read and annotate scientific papers in PDF, but is also great for viewing any PDF file. Skim includes many features and has a... Read more
Apple macOS Sierra 10.12.4 - The latest...
With Apple macOS Sierra, Siri makes its debut on Mac, with new features designed just for the desktop. Your Mac works with iCloud and your Apple devices in smart new ways, and intelligent... Read more
Apple Numbers 4.1 - Apple's spreads...
With Apple Numbers, sophisticated spreadsheets are just the start. The whole sheet is your canvas. Just add dramatic interactive charts, tables, and images that paint a revealing picture of your data... Read more
Xcode 8.3 - Integrated development envir...
Xcode includes everything developers need to create great applications for Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Xcode provides developers a unified workflow for user interface design, coding, testing... Read more
Dropbox 22.4.24 - Cloud backup and synch...
Dropbox is an application that creates a special Finder folder that automatically syncs online and between your computers. It allows you to both backup files and keep them up-to-date between systems... Read more
Merlin Project 4.2.0 - Project managemen...
Merlin Project is the leading professional project management software for OS X. If you plan complex projects on your Mac, you won’t get far with a simple list of tasks. Good planning raises... Read more
Postbox 5.0.12 - Powerful and flexible e...
Postbox is a new email application that helps you organize your work life and get stuff done. It has all the elegance and simplicity of Apple Mail, but with more power and flexibility to manage even... Read more
Apple Pages 6.1 - Apple's word proc...
Apple Pages is a powerful word processor that gives you everything you need to create documents that look beautiful. And read beautifully. It lets you work seamlessly between Mac and iOS devices, and... Read more
RapidWeaver 7.3.2 - Create template-base...
RapidWeaver is a next-generation Web design application to help you easily create professional-looking Web sites in minutes. No knowledge of complex code is required, RapidWeaver will take care of... Read more

Hearthstone celebrates the upcoming Jour...
Hearthstone gets a new expansion, Journey to Un'Goro, in a little over a week, and they'll be welcoming the Year of the Mammoth, the next season, at the same time. There's a lot to be excited about, so Blizzard is celebrating in kind. Players will... | Read more »
4 smart and stylish puzzle games like Ty...
TypeShift launched a little over a week ago, offering some puzzling new challenges for word nerds equipped with an iOS device. Created by Zach Gage, the mind behind Spelltower, TypeShift boasts, like its predecessor, a sleak design and some very... | Read more »
The best deals on the App Store this wee...
Deals, deals, deals. We're all about a good bargain here on 148Apps, and luckily this was another fine week in App Store discounts. There's a big board game sale happening right now, and a few fine indies are still discounted through the weekend.... | Read more »
The best new games we played this week
It's been quite the week, but now that all of that business is out of the way, it's time to hunker down with some of the excellent games that were released over the past few days. There's a fair few to help you relax in your down time or if you're... | Read more »
Orphan Black: The Game (Games)
Orphan Black: The Game 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Dive into a dark and twisted puzzle-adventure that retells the pivotal events of Orphan Black. | Read more »
The Elder Scrolls: Legends is now availa...
| Read more »
Ticket to Earth beginner's guide: H...
Robot Circus launched Ticket to Earth as part of the App Store's indie games event last week. If you're not quite digging the space operatics Mass Effect: Andromeda is serving up, you'll be pleased to know that there's a surprising alternative on... | Read more »
Leap to victory in Nexx Studios new plat...
You’re always a hop, skip, and a jump away from a fiery death in Temple Jump, a new platformer-cum-endless runner from Nexx Studio. It’s out now on both iOS and Android if you’re an adventurer seeking treasure in a crumbling, pixel-laden temple. | Read more »
Failbetter Games details changes coming...
Sunless Sea, Failbetter Games' dark and gloomy sea explorer, sets sail for the iPad tomorrow. Ahead of the game's launch, Failbetter took to Twitter to discuss what will be different in the mobile version of the game. Many of the changes make... | Read more »
Splish, splash! The Pokémon GO Water Fes...
Niantic is back with a new festival for dedicated Pokémon GO collectors. The Water Festival officially kicks off today at 1 P.M. PDT and runs through March 29. Magikarp, Squirtle, Totodile, and their assorted evolved forms will be appearing at... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

13-inch MacBook Airs, Apple refurbished, in s...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2016 13″ MacBook Airs available starting at $849. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is free: - 13″ 1.6GHz/8GB/128GB MacBook Air: $... Read more
12-inch Retina MacBooks on sale for $1199, sa...
B&H has 12″ 1.1GHz Retina MacBooks on sale for $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 12″ 1.1GHz Space Gray Retina MacBook: $1199 $100 off MSRP - 12″ 1.1GHz... Read more
Save up to $260 with Apple refurbished 12-inc...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2016 12″ Retina MacBooks available for $200-$260 off MSRP. Apple will include a standard one-year warranty with each MacBook, and shipping is free. The following... Read more
13-inch 2.7GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for...
B&H Photo has the 2015 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina Apple MacBook Pro on sale for $170 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pro (MF839LL/A): $... Read more
15-inch 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for...
B&H Photo has the 2015 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro (MJLQ2LL/A) on sale for $1799.99 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $200 off MSRP. Read more
Save up to $160 with Apple refurbished 9-inch...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 9″ and 12″ Apple iPad Pros available for up to $160 off the cost of new iPads. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 32GB 9″... Read more
Apple Chip Foundry TSMC To Begin A11 System-o...
Digitimes’ Steve Shen is reporting today that according to the Chinese-language Economic Daily News (EDN), chipmaker and major Apple supplier foundery Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC... Read more
MacX MediaTrans 3.5 iOS Data Transfer Spring...
MacXDVD Software has announced general availability of the latest MacX MedTrans 3.5, featuring a new user interface (UI). MacX MediaTrans is ann iPhone manager that enables free data transfer between... Read more
Regular Price $19.95 DupeZap 4 Finder For OS...
Hyperbolic Software has announced the release of DupeZap 4.0.2, their modern duplicate finder developed exclusively for macOS. DupeZap 4 is an utility for Mac owners seeking to reclaim disk space... Read more
B-Eng Releases SSD Health Check for MVNe for...
Fehraltorf, Switzerland based B-Eng has announced the release and immediate availability of SSD Health Check for MVNe for MacBook Pro, their app that delivers important data and insights for MVNe... Read more

Jobs Board

Fulltime aan de slag als shopmanager in een h...
Ben jij helemaal gek van Apple -producten en vind je het helemaal super om fulltime shopmanager te zijn in een jonge en hippe elektronicazaak? Wil jij werken in Read more
*Apple* Mobile Master - Best Buy (United Sta...
**492889BR** **Job Title:** Apple Mobile Master **Location Number:** 000886-Norwalk-Store **Job Description:** **What does a Best Buy Apple Mobile Master do?** Read more
*Apple* Mobile Master - Best Buy (United Sta...
**492472BR** **Job Title:** Apple Mobile Master **Location Number:** 000470-Seattle-Store **Job Description:** **What does a Best Buy Apple Mobile Master do?** Read more
*Apple* Mobile Master - Best Buy (United Sta...
**492562BR** **Job Title:** Apple Mobile Master **Location Number:** 000853-Jackson-Store **Job Description:** **What does a Best Buy Apple Mobile Master do?** Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.