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Pop Mechanic's look at the Tablet as the future of Magazines


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#1 of 92 Sam Posten

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Posted December 17 2009 - 06:39 AM

Some of the most compelling reasoning I've seen for the form factor yet.

http://berglondon.com/blog/2009/12/17/magplus/

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#2 of 92 Sam Posten

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Posted December 17 2009 - 07:58 AM

Giz commentary and links to previous vision pieces by Wired and Sports Illustrated:
http://gizmodo.com/5428619/mag%252B-concept-from-popular-science-publishers-shows-thinking-outside-the-tablet-box

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#3 of 92 DaveF

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Posted December 19 2009 - 04:46 AM

I've viewed the current eReaders as being like the early digital cameras, when they took 640x480 photos and stored them on floppy discs: an interesting technology demo but useless for most people.

But if readers and distribution evolve to provide high-resolution displays for full-color magazine reproduction, then it will be a complete and broadly useable solution.

The rumored Apple Table or others provide another step for complete eReader with their full color screens. And since they're multi-purpose devices, people don't feel like they're paying $800 just to read books and magazines. Rather, they're buying a new computer and get that feature as one of many benefits.

I'm looking forward to complete eReader solution. I've got too many magazines cluttering up the house and would enjoy a digital replacement. But despite being a web junkie, I don't like reading online magazines much: they lack the clear organization of the physical product.

My one worry is whether, in a digital world, can I no longer share a magazine with my wife? Or will we need two subscriptions since they're locked to the device?


#4 of 92 Sam Posten

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Posted December 19 2009 - 03:20 PM

DRM sux =)

If its through Apple tho I believe you will be ok with one subscription.  I have 6 iPods with my games on em farmed out to my family, and they even get to use the downloadable content within the games I have bought.

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#5 of 92 DaveF

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Posted December 20 2009 - 03:50 AM

Amazon is selling hardware to create the market for their eBooks. And so it seems their true goal is to sell eBooks for any and every hardware platform with their Kindle software system.

You're implying that Apple will get into the eBook market, competing with Amazon directly. I've not seen those rumors.


#6 of 92 Sam Posten

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Posted December 21 2009 - 03:29 AM

I think they will approach it from the Magazine and News angle, not books.  Surely you have seen rumors to that effect, no?

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#7 of 92 Ted Todorov

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Posted December 21 2009 - 04:51 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveF View Post

Amazon is selling hardware to create the market for their eBooks. And so it seems their true goal is to sell eBooks for any and every hardware platform with their Kindle software system.

You're implying that Apple will get into the eBook market, competing with Amazon directly. I've not seen those rumors.
For sure the iTablet will be (along with everything else) an eBook reader -- iPhone/iPod Touch already are (Andy Ihnatko classed the iPod Touch  as a clearly superior eBook reader to the Nook (heck, he had it above the Kindle 2 as well)).

As you know the iPhone runs Kindle, Barnes & Noble and every other book reader imaginable and you can buy from any of their stores.  The iTablet will inherit that capability.  Now in addition to that Apple may end up selling eBooks through iTunes, but my guess is that all this will live side by side.


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#8 of 92 DaveF

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Posted December 21 2009 - 01:53 PM

So, yes, I see the "iTablet" as an eReader in that it will run Kindle software as the iPhone and PCs do. And with a full-page, color format it could provoke color digital magazine distributions.

But no, I've not seen the rumors that Apple will directly compete with "printed" media distribution in iTunes. I can see the apparent fit with their current media distribution, but you're the first to bring that rumor to me :)

I won't get into why I think an iTablet will be a poor eReader per se. It doesn't matter. What matters is that, if it happens, it brings us closer to eReader equivalent of today's digital cameras that are basically meet film performance and exceed film in overall usability and convenience.


#9 of 92 Eric_L

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Posted December 22 2009 - 02:32 PM

reminds me of a vignette I wrote in college;  It was supposed to be about advertising in the future of my town.  I hypothesized a brochure which could speak and display images and text.  It would sense proximity of people then shout out to get their attention.   It was programmed to be intriguing enough to get you to listen to/read it.  After informing you of the intended message it would then irritate you enough that you would rather not keep it, and instead leave it behind, like on a tabletop, park bench, or other public location - where it would then scan for it's next audience...  The tablet PC is another step toward making that a reality...


#10 of 92 Cameron Yee

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Posted December 23 2009 - 04:08 AM

The British guy in the video could be the brother of David Heyman (Harry Potter producer).

Eric_L your vignette sounds a bit like the adverts depicted in "Minority Report."

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#11 of 92 Sam Posten

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Posted December 28 2009 - 05:16 AM

Everything you think you know about the Apple Tablet is wrong.  Just like it was wrong about the iPhone.
http://technologizer.com/2009/12/28/iphone-rumors/

Good on McCracken for reminding us how very little we knew about iPhone despite the incessant speculation about it for 5+ years before El Jobso stunned the tech world.

So, please tell us Steve, what good is a tablet other than surfing the web from the couch (or the john!)?

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#12 of 92 DaveF

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Posted December 28 2009 - 06:41 AM

I've assumed I know nothing about the alleged iTablet. No one wants a Tablet computer. Microsoft has tried for a decade to make it work, to no avail. There have been others the decade before. And today you can have an MBP modded to a pen computer. And for all this effort, there are like five people in the world that actually use these things. Tablet computing is a failure.

And yet, apparently, Apple is going to sell one next year. They've gone barking mad or have figured out the magic sauce to make a tablet people want. Or, it will be like the MacBook Air: essentially a tech demo, with key features showing up in other, more popular products, in the coming years.

Based on the iPod and iPhone, I won't be surprised if Apple figured out the right combo of hardware, software and application features to make it interesting to at least a large niche market.

I can't figure out what would make a Tablet worthwhile, but I'm interested in seeing what Apple has concocted.


#13 of 92 Sam Posten

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Posted December 28 2009 - 08:39 AM

Same.  Gruber just tweeted something juicy too.  He claims it's not running either iPhone OS or OSX.  It's something new entirely.  I don't know if that's good or bad.

But here's the thing.  If it's not OSX that means that Apple could be doing this so that it can have an independent app store.  And that is both good AND bad.  Good in that it will be very very easy to get apps for it at low price.  Bad in that it will be locked down and face the same jailbreaking foolishness that goes on now with iPhone.

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#14 of 92 Ted Todorov

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Posted December 28 2009 - 08:47 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveF View Post
Microsoft has tried for a decade to make it work, to no avail. ...
I can't figure out what would make a Tablet worthwhile, but I'm interested in seeing what Apple has concocted.
Already the Kindle & Co. have more mainstream success than all MS tablets put together.  If Apple manages to produce something suitable for reading books/magazines/newspapers while at the same time keeping the full abilities of the iPodTouch writ large, they've got a Kindle x10.  Add to that a full iTunes ecosystem of TV, magazine and newspaper subscriptions plus all the old stuff like the App store. And the potential is limitless.   Look, at some point in the future (a decade, a century) all reading will be done on a "tablet or eBook or ePaper", call it what you will.  That market alone is worthwhile.

All of the above is without any new and amazing things people outside of Apple haven't thought up yet.  

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#15 of 92 DaveF

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Posted December 28 2009 - 04:21 PM

The Kindle is $250 with a 14 day battery. An iTablet will (presumably) be $800+, have a 5-hr battery life, and lack the portability of an iPhone. It's not clear to me that would-be Kindle owners will pay 3x for color and not enough juice for a long flight; nor would-be iPhone owners would buy a device 3x the size of a phone.

I keep wondering: how many people want a 10" iPhone? How many people want an $800 Kindle? How many people want a netbook at double the cost and half the power? It's a weird form factor and price and feature set. That's why no one's gotten it right so far.

I think Apple needs more than "magazines" to make this a mass-market success. I'm keen on seeing success. I've had an idea for a specialized Tablet use for 10 years; perhaps one day it will be possible :)


#16 of 92 DaveF

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Posted December 28 2009 - 04:22 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted Todorov 

If Apple manages to produce something suitable for reading books/magazines/newspapers while at the same time keeping the full abilities of the iPodTouch writ large, they've got a Kindle x10. 
How many people want a 10" iPhone? How many people want an $800 Kindle? How many people want a netbook at double the cost and half the power? It's a weird form factor and price and feature set. That's why no one's gotten it right so far.

I think Apple needs more than "magazines" to make this a mass-market success. I'm keen on seeing success. I've had an idea for a specialized Tablet use for 10 years; perhaps one day it will be possible :)


#17 of 92 Sam Posten

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Posted December 29 2009 - 12:55 AM

Those are the same kinds of questions people were asking about a potential iPhone, they just failed to recognize that Apple doesn't see problems/markets/opportunities the way the rest of us do.  If Apple is serious about this then something about their plan significantly deviates from the way people think about tablets in order to answer Job's critical criticism of "what does this do besides allow me to surf while lounging around".  For iPhone the answer was multitouch combined with the all the other stuff thrown in for good measure, not even thinking about 3rd party apps. 

At this point I've just resigned myself to the fact that we are missing this one crucial bit of information that is going to make us say 'aha, that's why they are going there' and that this isn't a macbook air scale hohum product....

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#18 of 92 DaveF

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Posted December 29 2009 - 03:54 AM

I agree completely. Which is why I am unconvinced with Ted's perspective, that it need simply be a color Kindle to succeed. Not if it costs the expected $800+. It needs some pixie dust to overcome the cost / form-factor / software issues. I don't know what that is. But presumably Apple has it figured out. It will be interesting to see.

If that pixie-dust is cost reduction to create a Kindle-like tablet for under $350, with a superior magazine service, then I'll agree with Ted that it could be popular enough.

But perhaps contrary to all I've said, Ted is basically right: "simply" being a media machine is sufficient. A 1-lb device with 10" 720p screen for iTunes (movies, music, and books) and web browser, and an 8-hr battery, might be sufficient to sell for $999. With the virtual keyboard, it's usable for email and forums and even light work. Allow Bluetooth keyboard, mouse, headphones and it's a fully wireless computer for the mobile worker. Add a digital camera with an Eye-Fi card and you've got a wireless photo-editing system.


#19 of 92 Walter Kittel

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Posted December 29 2009 - 04:06 AM

As a Kindle owner, I agree with Marco...

http://www.marco.org...7<br /> <br /> I do not know what form or function the rumored Apple tablet will take, but as an E-Reader the Kindle's gray scale screen is far more comfortable for long term reading when compared to any other screen I've viewed - desktop or portable; and I seriously doubt that the Apple device will be the exception to that rule.

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#20 of 92 DaveF

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Posted December 29 2009 - 04:20 AM

What makes the dull gray of eInk more comfortable than a typical LCD display? I've only spent a minute or two with an older Sony reader at the book store.