First of all, I want to apologize for these show notes being so late. I've had some problems with my computer this past week and this post got left by the wayside. My apologies.
No surprises here: we spent a lot of time discussing the Kindle Fire from Amazon. Everyone has something to say about this thing, me included. Do I think it will succeed? Yes. Why? Check out the video or read the show notes below to see my thoughts. Another big topic was the Apple vs. Samsung lawsuit; this always dominates the news anytime we hear something new about it. Apple has given us more insight into their thinking and, quite frankly, it sounds like they’re simply whining to the court. Apple also sent out invites to their iPhone event and we have a few clues as to what we may see. We discussed those rumors later on in the show.
Not to be over looked is Microsoft’s new Mango update to Windows Phone. This began rolling out last week and the smooth process made more than one of us wonder why Google doesn't do the same thing with Android. Speaking of Google, we got some leaked footage of Ice Cream Sandwich, at least we think it is. I’m impressed by Google’s efforts to beautify Android and I think ICS will bring a lot of improvements. We finished the show with a few extras and an open Q&A.
Just about every time a new tablet comes out, bloggers and writers debate whether or not it will be the “iPad killer”. The debate gets old since no one ever really believes someone when they say that a certain tablet will “kill” the iPad. In truth, a tablet doesn’t have to kill the iPad to be successful. If you need another company’s product to fail in order for yours to be successful then your product must not be that great to begin with.
And this is where Amazon’s Kindle Fire comes in. People say, “Stop comparing the Kindle Fire to the iPad. It’s only half of what the iPad is.” Well, that’s kind of the point. If the iPad is the “post-PC” device, then the Kindle Fire is the “post-tablet” device. ‘You can make a fun, portable, and productive computer, we can make a fun and inexpensive tablet.’ That’s Amazon’s approach and that’s why the Kindle Fire will sell.
Ask yourself this, “If the majority of people say that tablets are useless and are simply toys, then why do tablet manufacturers (Apple included) still try to sell them as productivity and learning devices?’ Why? Because they cost $600-800 and not many people want to pay $600-800 for a toy. So, they have to hide the “fun” aspects of the tablet and instead focus on the usefulness of it.
Amazon is embracing it. The entire presentation and demo focused on the multimedia features of the Kindle Fire. In fact, to this point people are still going back and forth on if it actually has an e-mail client. (It does, by the way.) Amazon isn’t afraid to say, ‘Yeah, our tablet is for games, reading, web browsing, and movies. Isn’t that what you want a tablet for anyway?’ But what really drives the point home is the price. ‘You don’t want to pay $600-800 for a toy? Well, here’s one for $200.’
The Kindle Fire is what every tablet should be. It’s what we want every tablet to be. It’s what all the other tablet makers wish they had: a cheap, fun, and cool piece of technology.
Reports from the court hearings in Australia give us insight into Apple’s concerns about the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the Samsung Galaxy S. Apple argues that the Galaxy Tab will hit the market “with the velocity of a fire hose” and customers will be “seduced” or “sapped away by the Galaxy Tab and its infringements”. Apple also argues that, because of Android and Samsung’s tight ecosystem, investments consumers make in the Galaxy Tab will not be useful on an Apple product.
Now, I’ve tried to be understanding with Apple, but this just sounds like whining. If Samsung infringed on your patents then fine, they infringed on your patents. However, if a customer walks into an electronics store, there’s no way they’re going to mistake an iPad for a Galaxy Tab, not with the signs, name plates, and separation that Apple insists on for their products. And because the Galaxy Tab and the iPad are around the same price, the only reason a person would buy a Galaxy Tab over an iPad is because they prefer Android, not because it looks similar to the iPad. So if a person buys a Galaxy Tab over an iPad because they prefer Android or because they feel that the Galaxy Tab is better, then it seems that the fault is yours, Apple.
It was only a matter of time before this came up. Android doesn’t have many negatives, but one thing you can’t deny is that Google is having a hard time regulating the update process. In Google’s defense, there’s nothing it really can do to “regulate”, what with Android being an open platform and all. As Taylor Martin brought out in the editorial we discussed, when an update reaches your phone largely depends on the carrier or the manufacturer. Google has made promises to improve this process, but in reality, their hands are tied.
Enter Microsoft who just rolled out its brand new Mango update. Things went quite smoothly this go-around and the update seems to be rolling out without a hitch, not to mention the fact that there’s no question whether or not your Windows Phone device will be getting the update. With Microsoft’s controlled environment, it’s simply a matter of waiting a few weeks and everyone is updated. Could Google take a lesson from this? As I mentioned in the previous paragraph, there isn’t a whole lot that Google can do with the present system it’s using. So maybe this isn’t even about Google. Maybe the manufacturers should be a little more customer-oriented. The problem is, when you have companies like HTC and Samsung who make both Windows Phone devices and Android devices, they don’t care if you switch from Android to Windows Phone because of slow updates. They get money either way.
I’m not saying I have a solution to this problem. I’m just saying that it’s unacceptable for people to still be waiting for Android 2.3 when it has been out for a year, or at least it should be unacceptable.