Monthly Archives: November 2010

Tablet to Surpass PC’s in Sales 2011

Gartner Inc. cut its global personal-computer shipments forecast for 2010 and 2011 as consumers rein in spending and interest grows in tablet devices such as Apple Inc.’s iPad

112910digits_512x288Tablet devices are expected to displace 10% of PC shipments by 2014, according to the research firm. The impact of tablets is already evident this year, when PC shipments are projected to total 352.4 million units, up 14.3% from last year, according to Gartner. The group had earlier projected a growth rate of 17.9% for this year.

Next year, PC unit sales are expected to reach 409 million units, up 15.9% year-over-year, slower than Gartner’s earlier projection of 18.1%.

"These results reflect marked reductions in expected near-term unit growth based on expectations of weaker consumer demand, due in no small part to growing user interest in media tablets such as the iPad," Gartner analyst Ranjit Atwal said in a statement.

Read more: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704584804575644711818918710.html#ixzz16m7Mp2x5

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Galapago e-Reader Ready for Launch

Sharp is taking orders for two Android-based tablets designed to be e-book readers, starting Dec. 3 for the Japanese market.

To complement the new devices, the consumer electronics maker is also launching on Dec. 10 its Tsutaya Galapagos e-bookstore, which includes about 20,000 books, magazines, videos, and newspapers and will continue to expand, the company said. By the spring of 2011, the cloud-based media service business will also be available for Sharp’s smartphones. In November, Sharp signed a deal with Japan-based media company Culture Convenience Club to bring its Tsutaya content platform to the Galapagos tablets.

One of the e-book readers will feature a 5.5-inch LCD screen that will mimic a paperback book with a resolution of 1,024 x 600 pixels, and the other will have a 10.8-inch high-definition LCD screen with a resolution of 1,366 x 800 pixels for reading magazines formatted in two-page spreads. The dimensions of the 5.5-inch model are 92 x 167 x 12.9 mm. The dimensions of the 10.8-inch model are 177 x 286 x 14.7 mm. Both will support 802.11b/g wireless connectivity and come with an 8-GB microSD memory card, a built-in speaker, and a mini USB port. The 5.5-inch model will have up to seven hours of battery life while the 10.8-inch model will have up to 10.5 hours.

Galapago

Users can organize content, write book reviews, and export PDF files or text to the tablets’ clipboard and convert data such as documents or maps to an XMDF format for viewing. The two devices will also come with a web browser and social networking application.

The 5.5-inch e-reader will retail for 39,800 yen (about $473) and the 10.8-inch model will cost 54,800 yen (about $651). They will compete against other e-book readers including the newly launched 8-inch Asus Eee Note E800 e-reader, the Pandigital Novel e-reader, the Apple iPad, the Amazon Kindle, and Barnes & Noble Nook.

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Bonnier Sample

About 12 months ago, Swedish cross-media operator Bonnier tapped London design house BERG to conceptualise a possible future for magazines on tablets. The Mag+ concept became the underpinning of its Popular Science and other magazines on iPad.

News+ concept live from Bonnier from Bonnier on Vimeo.

Now Bonnier is thinking similarly about how to present newspapers on the devices. It’s unveiling News+, a related concept, developed with Adobe (NSDQ: ADBE), that will be the platform for how it goes to market with its Dagens Nyheter, Sydsvenskan, Expressen, Dagens Industri and Børsen titles.

As with much Swedish digital design, this is one of the most intriguing user experiences. It’s also an instructive look at how and why publishers are trying to recapture ye olde edition in the post-print digital future.

“We know you’re getting tired of the noise of the internet and the difficulty of putting things in to perspective.

“With News+, you get closer to the news and filter out the din of the web. It’s the daily newspaper as if it had been invented today.

There’s a clear beginning and an end …  We think that evenings will be an important time for our readers.”

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Color e-Paper Drawing Tablet

A mysterious color e-paper drawing tablet has gone on show in Germany this week, apparently part of the ongoing BnF Lab project in Paris. The slate allows for color sketching on an A4-sized e-paper panel; it’s unclear exactly who is responsible for producing the panel, though Bridgestone, Epson and Samsung – which have each developed color e-paper products – are listed as sponsors [pdf link].

color_epaper_tablet_1-580x380

photographer: Patricia Despagne, artist: Thomas Duchene.

ePaper Art

 

full article:http://www.the-digital-reader.com/2010/11/17/notes-from-an-electronic-ink-exhibit-conference-in-berlin/

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RIM: PlayBook to be priced under $500.00

blackberry-playbook

“The product will be very competitively priced,” co-Chief Executive Officer Jim Balsillie said in an interview in Seoul today, without being more specific than saying it will be “under” $500. RIM, maker of the BlackBerry smartphone, will start selling the PlayBook in North America in the first quarter and expand into global markets in the second quarter, he said.

The iPad starts at $499 for a model with 16 gigabytes of storage and Wi-Fi wireless technology. The price rises to $829 for a version with more storage that can connect directly to cellular-phone networks.

RIM, Hewlett-Packard Co., Motorola Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. are all moving into the tablet computer market after the iPad triggered demand for devices that can fill the gap between smartphones and laptops. Apple sold 3 million iPads in the first 80 days after they went on sale in April, eclipsing sales of its iPod music player.

Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM is trying to differentiate itself from Apple and other tablet makers by stressing the ability of its PlayBook tablet to handle Adobe Systems Inc.’s Flash technology that underpins much of the video content on the Internet. The iPad doesn’t run Flash video or animation.

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Kno Tablet Prices …

Single screen $599.00

Dual screen: $899.00

kno-double

When textbook tablet startup Kno raised $46 million in September from Andreessen Horowitz and Silicon Valley Bank, it was shooting to price its dual-screen tablet at under $1,000. On Tuesday, it will announce the pricing of its tablets at $899 for the dual-screen version and $599 for the single-screen version. It will also start taking limited pre-orders for shipping before the end of the year.

At $599, the single-screen tablet, will be $100 more than a WiFi-only iPad and the same price as a Samsung Galaxy Tab from T-Mobile without a contract. But the Kno is ginormous. Even the single-paned one, with its 14.1 inch screen, is nearly twice as big as an iPad. That one debuted at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco (see demo video below).

Although the Kno has a color touch-screen and runs a browser and learning apps, it is competing less with the iPad than with the extra-large Kindle DX, which sells for $379, has a 9.7-inch black-and-white screen, and also targets the textbook market.

Read rest at: TechCrunch http://techcrunch.com/2010/11/08/kno-tablet-599-899/

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Woodwing Expands Digital Magazine Tools with Subscriptions, New APIs

One of the challenges of designing for new devices, like the iPad, is that some of the functionality that’s commonplace on other familiar devices isn’t yet fully developed.

The release of version 1.6 of Woodwing’s Digital Magazine Tools aims to change that.

The key new features allow publishers the ability to enhance the reader experience via support for subscriptions, optimizing the download of digital publications and new APIs.

Subscriptions

Readers can log into their subscription license to read the issues they have access to. By promoting subscriptions via in-app advertisements, publishers let readers subscribe to the publication directly within the app.

Enhanced Downloading

Readers can access enhanced feedback about the process when downloading digital publications. Download status is shown in percentage and readers are informed about the content being transferred and installed on their tablet device. Should downloads be interrupted, they can be resumed from the point where they were paused.

However, publishers can ensure that their readers download their digital publications using a 3G mobile connection, either by displaying a warning message or by excluding this option entirely.

APIs

By opening a publications’s API, access to content can be transformed with the hope of enhancing the reading experience. Woodwing’s Navigation API lets publishers redefine the way they navigate to sections, pages and stories of the digital publication. Publishers can use the API to create custom navigation tools.

With the new Gesture API publishers can add custom gestures to their apps.

Woodwing’s Digital Magazine Tools have been popular among publishers and their developers. In October, more than 20 new apps were created using the tools and are now available in Apple’s App Store.

Supporting both

Adobe CS4 and CS5

, WoodWing’s tablet publishing solution affords publishers the opportunity to create digital publications that offer readers more functionality and publishers more flexibility.

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eInk Color Display–Triton

665-eink-color-epaper

E Ink have unveiled a new electronic paper display that is capable of reproducing thousands of colours, along with the 16 levels of grey already found on most current e-readers.  The first ever e-reader to feature this new Triton display will be from Hanvon, who will be competing with the colour LCD displays already on the market from Apple and Barnes & Noble.

http://player.vimeo.com/video/16625704

E Ink Triton Imaging Film from E Ink Corporation on Vimeo.

E Ink doesn’t actually make e-readers, they simply supply the technology to manufacturers.  E Ink chairman Scott Liu has said about his new product:  “E Ink Triton is a response to market need for a color ePaper display that mimics the printed paper experience,” adding “Triton will compliment our monochrome product line to enable new markets.”

 

The Triton color epaper is a reflective electrophoretic display that can handle images with 4 bits of depth for a total of 4,096 colors, plus the same 16 levels of grey existing E Ink monochrome displays can handle—and, like those displays, Triton holds its image even when the power is off. Triton is still slow compared to conventional displays: E Ink says Triton can take from just under a quarter second to almost a full second to update (depending on the image). And while the display is readable in direct sunlight and has a viewing angle of virtually 180 degrees, it offers a scant 10:1 contrast ratio.

There are a few different reasons for this, including its slow speed compared with conventional displays, and its poor contrast ratio and fidelity when compared with LCD technology.  However, there is a big pay-off in terms of power consumption, which is why this new Triton technology is likely to be used extensively in the e-reader market and beyond.

E Ink have said that Triton is capable of working with displays of many sizes, from 2 inches all the way up to 12.  With resolutions in excess of 200dpi and the low power consumption that this technology can offer, manufacturers of other portable devices such as industrial displays, game controllers, electronic signage, and wireless devices will also be looking very hard at this new breakthrough.

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Amazon: 70% Revenue Share with Publishers on Kindle Magazine and Newspaper

kindlekindle2kindleDXkindle3

Amazon is announcing new revenue share terms for Kindle magazine and newspaper publishers. According to a release, for each magazine or newspaper sold, publishers will be able to earn 70 percent of retail sales on the Kindle (net of delivery costs, notes Amazon). This is a significant change from previous terms, in which Amazon apparently took as much as 70% of subscription revenue from magazine and newspaper publishers.

Newspaper and magazine publishers must meet a number of qualifications to be eligible for the 70-30 revenue share, including the ability to read the publications on all Kindle devices and applications (The Kindle, Android, iPhone, iPad etc.) Consumers must also be able to read the content in all geographies for which the publisher has rights. Amazon says that these new 70-percent royalty terms will become available on December 1, 2010.

Peter Larsen, Director of Kindle Periodicals, says in a statement: “Building on the recent introduction of Wi-Fi-enabled Kindles and the upcoming availability of newspapers and magazines on Kindle Apps, we’re pleased to add an increased revenue share and a great new tool for making Kindle better and easier than ever for publishers.”

Amazon also announced the Beta release of the Kindle Publishing for Periodicals tool, which allows publishers to quickly and easily add their newspaper or magazine to the Kindle Store. It’s similar to Kindle Digital Text tool for books. Publishers can create their account, add content and preview Kindle formatting prior to making their titles available.

Many had complained about Amazon’s policies as being unfavorable towards the newspaper and magazine businesses, which as we all know, need all the help they can get in terms of revenue. And having a competitive revenue offering will no doubt encourage more publishers to format content for Amazon, as competitors like the Nook and the iPad join the Kindle in the e-book wars.

CrunchBase Information

Amazon

Information provided by CrunchBase

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Color e-Readers

hanvon_color

 

E-book readers are lightweight and use little power, but most have a distinct disadvantage to colorful tablet computers: their black-and-white displays.

But on Tuesday at the FPD International 2010 trade show in Tokyo, a Chinese company will announce that it will be the first to sell a color display using technology from E Ink, whose black-and-white displays are used in 90 percent of the world’s e-readers, including the Amazon Kindle, Sony Readers and the Nook from Barnes & Noble.

While Barnes & Noble recently announced a color Nook and the Apple iPad has a color screen, both devices use LCD, the technology found in televisions and monitors. The first color e-reader, from Hanvon Technology, based in Beijing, has an E Ink display.

“Color is the next logical step for E Ink,” said Vinita Jakhanwal, an analyst at iSuppli. “Every display you see, whether it’s a TV or a cellphone, is in color.”

Jennifer K. Colegrove, director of display technologies at DisplaySearch, said it was a milestone moment. “This is a very important development,” Ms. Colegrove said. “It will bring e-readers to a higher level.”

E Ink screens have two advantages over LCD — they use far less battery power and they are readable in the glare of direct sunlight.

However, the new color E Ink display, while an important technological breakthrough, is not as sharp and colorful as LCD. Unlike an LCD screen, the colors are muted, as if one were looking at a faded color photograph. In addition, E Ink cannot handle full-motion video. At best, it can show simple animations.

Hanvon’s first product using a 9.68-inch color touch screen will be available this March in China, starting at about $440. The price is less than an iPad in China, which sells for about $590. It will be positioned as a business product, with Wi-Fi and 3G wireless connectivity.

“It’s possible that we’ll sell this in the U.S. as well,” Mr. Liu said. Hanvon sells other products, like tablets and e-readers, to Americans online and through Fry’s, a regional electronics chain.

E Ink, based in Cambridge, Mass., was bought by Prime View Holdings of Taiwan in 2009 and was recently renamed E Ink Holdings. To create the color image, E Ink uses its standard black-and-white display overlaid with a color filter. As a result, battery life is the same as its black-and-white cousins, measured in weeks rather than hours, as with the iPad. The color model from Hanvon can be easily read in bright light, although the color filter does reduce the brightness.

The Hanvon e-reader is not intended to be a multifunction competitor to the iPad, but rather a dedicated reading device, like the Kindle. Ms. Colegrove of DisplaySearch said these types of lower-cost products should continue to gain market share, growing from four million units sold worldwide in 2009 to 14 million units by 2011. At the same time, slate-type devices like the iPad will increase from one million in 2009 to 40 million in 2011, she predicts.

“Color is absolutely critical for E Ink,” said James McQuivey, an analyst at Forrester Research. “Without it, they’ll either be replaced by LCD displays or other competitors.”

Full post:

By ERIC A. TAUB
Published: November 7, 2010

 http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/08/technology/08ink.html

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