Thursday, 28 January 2010
Wednesday, 27 January 2010
Well, not quite. I still have a Psychology Class Test next Tuesday. Bummer.
Anyway, I thought I'd post a list of things to remember, so that I remember them, in case I get amnesia/dementia. Which, judging from the way that my memory's been going, is quite possible.
Tonight, 6pm: Apple announcements.
Tomorrow, 28 Jan, 10am: Some Teleconferencing thingy that my College is organising with a school in Russia. Sounds interesting.
2 Feb: Psy Class Test on Eating Behaviour - Obesity.
6 Feb: First day for the Safehaven project. (Goes on every Saturday)
10 Feb: Exeter Open Day
14 Feb: V-day. B-day. CNY-Day.
17 Feb: Owl City in Concert @ Komedia!
18-19 Feb: Mid-term break
22 Feb: Owl City's Album release in the UK (at last!)
3 Mar: Warwick Open Day
19 Mar: Driving Practical Test (Subject to changes)
23-27/28 Mar: Matthew Lim coming to the UK (subject to changes, tbc)
Monday, 25 January 2010
Allowing Haiti Click donations access will let it pull your profile information, photos, your friends' info, and other content that it requires to work.
Friday, 22 January 2010
(ignore paragraph 5)
The basic gist is that apparently, boys are more likely to get involved in cultural and artistic activities which help with the development of the individual's emotional expressiveness. This is mainly because the absence of girls allow them to develop without pressure to conform to the "cool guy" stereotypes.
Seems quite true, in my opinion.
What do you think?
So they're assuming that Jobs know what he's doing, and that Apple's tablet-cum-eReader will be a huge success.
Well, hold on a minute there, wild stallions. Let me knock some sense of reality and tell you why the tablet might not succeed. And mind you, I'm your typical Apple fanboy, so my doubts over the possibility of this tablet thing being successful must be quite strong.
1) The Form Factor.
Anything that Apple does, Apple can deliver the X-factor. Look at the iPhone. Apple came from 0% market share, to an icon that everyone tries to emulate. So I have no doubt that the reality distortion field would still be there next Wednesday when Apple lifts the veil over the iSlate. But let's be real. My theory on why the iPod and iPhone are much more successful than something like the Apple TV is its portability and convenience factor. These things fit in your pocket/handbag/man-purse/whatever - they fit right into your lifestyle, they go where you go, and as a result, you become somewhat attached to them as these things pipe music into your ears and video or web pages into your eyes.
The rumors all say that the iSlate's screen is 10" diagonally. 10" is not exactly small. It's quite massive for a device you want to carry from place to place in your purse or pocket. Even if Apple can make it thin and light, it'll still be a burden to lug around, and you'll be worried sick about cracking that screen. That's not very convenient - that's not very Apple.
If this device was meant to surf web pages on the toilet bowl, it better be cheap, or it'll only sell as well as the Apple TV. Which brings me on to the next topic.
2) The Price.
When the iPhone first came out, everyone agreed unanimously that it was ludicrously and absurdly expensive. US$599 for a phone, tied to a US$30/month contract? And you don't even get MMS with that? Everyone thought that was insane. True enough, it was. The first few days did see queues of the mental Apple fanboys and bloggers who HAD to get one. The rest of us just said 'nay'. And yes, it was US-only (I'll get on to this in a minute). When Apple dropped the price down, to $399, then $199 with the 3G, sales grew exponentially within the US (of course, we have to factor out the fact that it actually went global. Fair test, right?). Activation servers were brougth to their knees as more people bought the 3G than the 1G, probably because of the great new price tag.
Will Apple continue with their pricing mechanism experimentation with this iSlate? I suspect they will. Don't be surprised if you hear the words "Nine hundred and ninety-nine dollars for a 32-Gig model, WITH contract on Verizon or AT&T". Apple really likes to gain as much revenue as they can from the early adopters while they face supply constraints. Just watch.
3) The Availability.
Not going to say much. except that the iPhone was initially only available in the world's 4th most populous country. That's just one market. But when it went on to sell in 70+ more countries, what happened to sales figure? It doesn't take a genius or economist to answer that question, does it?
Yes, I admit, there might be problems with the telco agreements. But if that's the hurdle, then can I suggest a model without the 3G chip in it? I mean, Wifi is almost everywhere, anyway, with hotspots and MiFis (Mobile Wifi). Look at the iPod touch. It doesn't have 3G or GPS, but it's selling as well, if not better, than its bigger brother, the iPhone.
4) The Utilitarian Device Beyond Toilet Bowl.
What is the purpose of a tablet? Yes, many of us (fanboys) will swipe our debit and credit cards for an iSlate. But what do we do with this slab after we pull it out of the box? Do we just sit on the toilet bowl and read books/surf the web with this thing? I thought we had similar devices that do the same thing already? The Kindle, the iPod/iPhone, or if you're not fortunate/interested enough to afford/invest in these tech stuff, the newspaper. What's wrong with these things? Nothing. And they are what the iSlate is going against.
There has to be a convincing reason why I would want to drop my iPhone and use the iSlate instead. And I just can't think of any right now. It'll be too big to go anywhere, and it's not meant to replace the desktop. So what is it?
Sure, Steve-O and Co can think of something to say - "The iSlate can cure cancer patients (i.e.: can be uses in a hospital). It can lead you from Nuremberg to Edinburgh, something the Nazis couldn't do. (i.e.: It's got GPS.)". It's the reality distortion field effect that you get from watching the announcements, you see. It hypnotises the Apple fanboys into saying "Take my money". But for the people who think about opportunity costs all the time (i.e.: Main Street), what is the benefit of buying this device? I, for one, am not interested in a Kindle-esque or iPhone-ish device. I don't need a netbook. And frankly, I think the whole world's had enough of these things, too.
This iSlate is supposed to answer lots of questions that people in the Tech circle have been asking: What is the purpose of a tablet? What is the way to interact with one? What size/shape should it be? If we see imitations, then this question's probably been answered. Otherwise...
5) A Load Of Hype Over A Journalist's Pipe Dream.
I now see why the iSlate is getting more hype than interest (from me, at least) at this point.
We all know that the Print Media industry is starting to suffer. It's been on a downhill ever since they started posting news stories on the Web - Why would anyone want to pay for a dirty, grey piece of paper about the news stories from 24 hours prior to 3am this morning, when you can check for the latest update (often for free, I should point out) on the website of the newspaper in question? Some have responded to the threat of Online. Rupert Murdoch, owner of News Corp and News International, has long been threatening to charge for access to their online content. And I suspect more will cave in to the demand of profits soon, too.
But imagine being able to keep profits (and shareholders) happy by charging for the electronic content, presented in a new and awesome device that consumers will all go gaga over. This device that the CEOs of media companies dream of, ladies and gentlemen, is the iSlate.
I really believe that if the iSlate becomes a hit, it'll do to the publishing industry, what the iPhone did to basement-based iPhone developers. And I'm guessing the media industry agrees. That is why, as I said in the beginning of this post, I've seen at least one article from each of the leading newspapers mention something about the iSlate, even though it's all just rumours at this stage. All of them really want this to happen, because it could very well save them from being a dying trade. That's probably why Apple gets a lot of press, even without saying a word.
In a SuperFreakonomics way of thinking, what incentives do journalists/newspapers gain from giving a company (which said nothing, did nothing, nada) so much hype? Normally, none. But in this case, quite a lot (A revenue stream that will help them survive the digital age, for example). Which is why I'm guessing that a lot of journalists will try to create their own reality distortion field to get people onto this platform.
Maybe I'm just being overly pessimistic. Maybe I'm being cynical.
But maybe, just maybe, for once, I am right. Maybe this iSlate is another "hobby" of Apple. Just like the Apple TV - too good to be .... well, good.