Apple Increases PC Marketshare with iPad

iPad mini
Apple’s iPad mini

According to a report released by the research firm Canalys on February 6th, one in six PCs shipped in Q4 2012 was an iPad. iPads make up a third of worldwide PC shipments in Q4 2012. The worldwide PC shipments also increased to 134 million units, a 12% year-to-year increase.

Apple, like before, continued to lead the PC market, shipping 27 million units and holding a 20% share of the PC market. Apple is followed by HP, which shipped 15 million PCs and took an 11% share of the PC market. Lenovo also shipped about 15 million PCs and also took an 11% share as well. Samsung shipped 11.7 million PCs and took a 9% share. Dell is in fifth place, shipping only 9.7 million PCs. Dell is declining but the potential buyout may change things.

Apple showed strong demand for the iPad mini, but Apple’s pad share dipped to 49% in Q4. Amazon’s worldwide pad shipments grew 18% to 4.6 million along with Samsung’s shipment increasing 226% to 7.6 million pads. With Amazon and Samsung’s increase in popularity, 46% of the pad share is Android-based pads.

With Android increasing it’s tablet market share, Apple has more to worry about in terms of competitors. Nonetheless, Apple’s iPad mini has helped Apple remain competitive and not lose its popularity in the tablet market.

Feel free to leave questions or comments!

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The iPad mini

On October 23, 2012, Apple released the new iPad mini. It is said to be 23% thinner and 53% lighter than the previous iPad. It starts at $329 for a 16 GB Wi-Fi model. It is also available in 32GB and 64GB and in Wi-Fi + Cellular models. There are two color choices: Black & Slate and White & Silver. The iPad mini is very similar to the iPad, except that it is a lot lighter and can easily be held in the palm of your hand, like other tablets in the market, mostly those running Android OS. Can the iPad mini compete?

Some of the features of the iPad mini are nothing new to those who have seen or used an iPad before. It has the standard built-in apps such as FaceTime, Email, and Message, and it also has access to the App Store, which houses over 275,000 iPad apps. In terms of tech specs, it uses the fast A5 chip that provides speed and fluidity to the tablet screen. It is stated to have a 10-hour battery life as well.

One feature specific to Apple products is FaceTime. It is a built-in app and can be used over Wi-Fi or cellular data. While using the iPad mini, you can take advantage of the front-facing FaceTime HD camera or the iSight camera on the rear. The iSight camera even lets you capture videos in 1080p HD and takes full advantage of the 5-megapixels to capture photos.

The iPad mini features dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, which means faster Internet connection with download speeds up to 150 Mbps. If you do get the Wi-Fi + Cellular model, you also have access to LTE, HSPA, HSPA+, DC-HSPDA, and cellular and wireless networks.

The iPad mini also comes with Siri: the intelligent assistant, iCloud: Apple’s cloud service, and iOS 6: the most recent and advanced of Apple’s operating systems. However, the most recent iPad contains these features, so the iPad mini is essentially only a miniature third generation iPad. It has the same resolution as the previous iPad, 1024×768, but has a smaller screen to pack all those pixels. On the downside, it doesn’t have the Retina Display that most iPads have. It does have the same front and rear camera as the iPad with Retina Display, but lacks the Dual-core A6X with quad-core graphics, meaning slightly slower performance.

For approximately $170 cheaper, you can get a miniature version of the newest iPad with slightly less advanced tech specs. Whether it can compete against the iPad with Retina Display or other similar tablets, has yet to be determined. Your best bet is to go to the nearest Apple Store and try it out yourself. Who knows, you may end up walking out with a brand new iPad mini.

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Apple iOS 6 to come this fall

Apple has announced that this fall, iOS 6 will be released. Most current iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users will end up upgrading to iOS 6 in hopes of new features, and we hope that Apple doesn’t let us down. Based on what Apple has announced so far, most people are excited to get iOS 6 on their devices and take advantage of the newest features. I will go over some of the new features that Apple has announced so far.

The first thing that iOS 6 will provide is an upgrade for the Maps app. For those who have used the Maps app on previous iOS, they will notice that Apple has completely redesigned the app and has made it much more vivid and detailed. The new Maps app also provided turn-by-turn directions and offers different routes if traffic conditions have changed. Maps uses real-time traffic conditions to help you avoid traffic accidents and slowdowns. The app also has a 3D view of major areas that gives you a very clear image of the location you are viewing. Siri works well with Maps to help you get to your destination. You can even tap a pin on the map and view different information about that location, especially with the integration of Yelp into the Maps app.

Siri has also been improved. Siri works in more countries, understands more languages, and will now be available on the new iPad. You can tell Siri to look up the scores for a sports game, look up movie show times, find local restaurants, and even tweet or update your Facebook. Siri can even launch apps for you.  Apple is also working on getting Siri integrated in cars, a feature called Eyes Free. This will allow you to press a button on your steering wheel to communicate to Siri and allow you to call people, select music, text message your friends, and much more, without even lighting up the device’s screen.

Facebook will now be integrated into iOS 6. You can share photos from your Camera or Photos app, post your location from Maps, post your score from Game Center, integrate your friend’s profile information into Contacts and integrate events into Calendars.  Facebook is now part of every aspect of your device and you can even click the Like button in iTunes and the App Store. Not only are Apple apps integrated with Facebook, non-Apple apps can also connect to Facebook. This update is definitely going to be attract those who use Facebook frequently to post updates and pictures because it adds even more convenience to the use of mobile applications.

iOS 6 also gives you the option to Share photos from the Photos app with friends and family. If they are using iCloud on an iOS 6 device or a Mac running OS X Mountain Lion, the photos you share with them are delivered straight to their Photos app or iPhoto.  People can even like or comment it, similar to Facebook. If you want to share it with someone who doesn’t have an iOS 6 device or Mac running OS X Mountain Lion, they can view it on the web on the iCloud website.

A new application that Apple is adding is Passbook. Passbook is your organizer that replaces a wallet for coupons, tickets, boarding passes, etc. Passbook also takes advantage of time and location to coupons and passes will appear on your lock screen when it is appropriate, like when you are about to reach the airport or walk into the store where you will use the coupon. Airplane tickets also update if the airline announced changes. Passbook provides convenience in one simple application. The only problem is that companies need to support the app for it to be useful.

Apple has finally announced the use of FaceTime over cellular networks, instead of only Wi-Fi. This means you can FaceTime with your iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, and Mac, wherever you are as long as you have Wi-Fi or a cellular network. This feature is something I would have expected of FaceTime previously, but it’s better late than never.

iOS 6 also improves the Phone app. This improvement will be very useful for those using the iPhone.  The new feature gives you the option to send a preset text message or custom text message if you can’t answer a call. You can also set a time- or location-based reminder to alert you to call someone back. There is also a Do Not Disturb setting that will silence all incoming calls and notifications for a certain period of time or schedule, depending what you choose. It can even allow calls from specific people but silence the rest. This provides you with a whole new set of features for your iPhone.

With iOS 6, even the Mail and Safari app is updated. In the Mail app, you can set up a VIP list for important contacts. When you receive an email from someone on your VIP list, there will be a notification on your lock screen and those emails can be found in your VIP mailbox. Apple has made it easier to add photos and videos with just a few taps and allows you to use the swipe down to refresh your mailbox. Safari now has iCloud Tabs to keep track of webpages open on any device connected to your iCloud account. Safari also saves webpages in your Reading List so you can view them while not connected to the Internet. You can also post a photo or video from your Camera Roll or take a photo or video to post without even leaving Safari.

There are many new features on the new iOS, but some features will also be removed. Something of note is that Apple will remove the YouTube app with the update of iOS 6. Its license with Google to include the YouTube app has expired, but Google is already developing a standalone app for the Apple App Store. This isn’t a major difference but may be taken as a move by Apple to deviate away from Google apps.

With all these new features with the coming of iOS 6, who can wait? Improvements to many of the apps already provided by the previous iOS will make a big impact on the user experience. I’m definitely going to upgrade to iOS 6. The most exciting thing about iOS 6 for me is the new features with Maps and Phone, and the use of Passbooks. What are you looking forward too?

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Apple Launches a New iPad: Here’s The Breakdown!

Apple recently released the update to its popular tablet device, the iPad. Instead of being called the iPad 3, this new iPad will be called exactly that, “the new iPad”. Why the change in the name? Apple claims that the move to drop the numbering system for the iPad is because the iPad is meant to serve as a replacement to standard laptop PC. The MacBook and iMac product lines are not numbered, and now the iPad isn’t, either. Despite my initial misgivings about this, I have to say that this was a good call by Apple. The older iPads are out of date, and when a standard consumer looks for a new iPad, they will buy the new one as it comes out, trusting Apple to put the best specifications in to the new model. The new iPad, in addition to the name change, also offers several new features and updated specs.

The first major difference between the iPad 2 and the new iPad is the display. The retina display, also featured on the iPhone 4, increases the number of pixels in the screen drastically to improve the viewing quality and making images look sharper. In fact, Apple claims that the iPad has a million more pixels than an HDTV! The technology of the Retina display is incredible, and if you want to see how Apple engineers managed to fit so many pixels in such a small area check out this video.

The next major upgrade of the new iPad is the new processing chip, the A5X. The A5X is a quad-core processing chip that makes gaming on the Retina display look absolutely stunning, without any lag. The new chip still manages to conserve the battery life of the iPad, know for its longevity, to 10 hours with standard usage.

Another major upgrade Apple made to the hardware of the device is the iSight camera. The new iSight camera is 5 megapixels and records 1080p HD video, but that’s not what makes it amazing. As any camera aficionado knows, more megapixels does not always mean a better picture, and Apple had this in mind when designing the new camera. The new iSight features advanced optics technology to make the best use of the lighting of an area, and uses advanced features like IR light filtering that is typically used in high-end cameras. All of this comes together to produce beautiful images that look absolutely stunning on the new iPad’s Retina display.

A major upgrade that Apple users have been waiting for is 4G internet connection. 4G speeds means incredibly fast internet and the end of looking for free Wi-Fi while on the go. The iPad also offers tethering, so the iPad can serve as a mobile hotspot for your iPhone or other devices. Apple is finally making the move to supporting 4G, and now it is only a matter of time before it makes its way to the iPhone.

Apple, in an effort to make the iPad closer to the desktop experience, launched the full iOS version of iLife. This means that iPhoto, iMovie, and Garageband are now available on the App Store to download. The iLife suite allows users to effectively manage their photos, movies, and music on the go, allowing iPad owners to get rid of their computers completely and still be able to access and edit their important files. Combined with iWork, iLife allows users to work and play on the iPad in a way that was previously impossible, meshing the desktop and tablet experience.

Since the release of Siri on the iPhone 4S, questions of how the iPad will incorporate this feature have been flying around the internet. The new iPad finally answers these questions simply: it won’t. The iPad’s screen is too big to accommodate the bar on the bottom for Siri, and no one takes out an iPad just so that they can make a quick reminder to themselves. However, the iPad does not totally do away with voice control, as it adds dictation. The keyboard in the new iPad has a microphone icon identical to Siri’s which, when pressed, allows the user to speak out what they would have typed. This feature works in every application, making it easy to type out long emails or make a Facebook status without setting down your iPad to type.

An interesting feature that Apple included in the new iOS built for the new iPad is AirPlay mirroring. This feature allows the screen of an iPad to be projected on to a TV screen with an Apple TV connected to it. Apps can be opened to show presentations and games can be played on the large screen for everyone to see. This feature is incredibly helpful for using the iPad in the classroom as well, allowing teachers to work a math problem or read a book in real time through a TV screen.

The new iPad isn’t a revolutionary change from the iPad 2, but it adds some much needed hardware improvements that make it a great buy. Apple looked to combine the PC and tablet experience with the new iPad, creating an impressive and great looking product. Many of the new changes made to the iPad were carried over from the iPhone 4S, such as the Retina display, and others were expected, such as 4G and the new processing chip. However, Apple, as with all of their products, managed to incorporate new ideas and subtle changes that make the iPad great.

What are your thoughts on the new iPad? Do you feel that Apple left anything out in its design?


An Ode to Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs was more then the CEO of Apple. He was the one that started a trend for decades to come. With his innovative ways, Steve Jobs entered the technology world into a whole different category. iTunes, iMac, iPod, iPad, iPhone, all of these devices that Steve Jobs created, have been a huge success in the past decade and they won’t stop there. Not only will Apple miss Steve Jobs, but the world will miss Steve Jobs.