Tablet News Week of January 27th

Not a good week for Microsoft…

  • On Monday, news came of reference to a 128 GB capacity devices in the Beta 5 release to developers of Apple’s iOS 6.1 build. Rumors were that it could be an iPad 4 variant. This was confirmed the next day when Apple Announces 128 GB iPad 4 Priced. Not only will this new iPad 4 be released 4-days prior to the Microsoft Windows 8 Pro Surface tablet but it is going to $200 less.
  • Later that day Microsoft confirmed the 128 GB Surface Pro Features 83 GB of Free Space. The 64 GB model will have about 45 GB of space. Microsoft says users can free up space by booting from a USB stick or removing the recovery partition. If they still need more space they can use Microsoft’s cloud, SkyDrive.

In other Microsoft news…

  • Microsoft Promises to Expand Surface Lineup – CFO Peter Kline disclosed future Surface products (sort of) “We’re going to expand geographically, we’re going to expand the product lineup, we’re going to expand retail distribution and capacity.” The only thing we know for sure is the Surface with Windows 8 Pro is coming out on February 9th.
  • Microsoft Testing Outlook App for Windows RT – People still use Outlook? Which might explain why Microsoft may never release an Outlook for Windows RT.

Other Tablet news…

  • iPad 5 to Debut in October – So far all we know is it will have smaller left and right bezels. Small bezel is great on a TV, but no so great on a tablet as how are you suppose to hold on to the tablet without blocking part of the display? Oh wait, may be Apple is going to come out with an iPad 5 ‘holder’ which will snap on to your iPad so your fingers won’t block the screen.
  • Kindle Fire Accounts for 37% of U.S. Android Tablet Market – No big surprise here. When you say tablet most people think of the iPad or Kindle Fire as they are two most talked about products. Only after doing a little research do most people realize there is a lot more to the tablet market.
  • IDC: Apple Dominates in Tablets, but Share Shrinks [ABC News] – There was a time when the term ‘tablet’ was most associated with the iPad. Not anymore, Samsung (Galaxy) along with Asus (Nexus 7) are chipping away at Apple’s market share as well as that of Amazon (Kindle).
  • Acer Planning Low-cost 8-inch, 10-inch Quad-Core Tablets – $200 and $250 respectfully and running Quad-Core processors  Acer is expected to announce these during the WMC (World Mobile Conference) in Madrid later this month. Don’t know much about Acer products. I remember in the 1990’s when they use to make desktop computers the odd cases. I have owned a couple of Acer flat screen monitors and have been very pleased with those.
  • ZTE Teases 8-inch Tablet, Shift to Lucrative Enterprise – The Chinese company will likely unveil this tablet at the WMC later this month. The Android based tablet would feature an 8-inch capacitive screen (1024 x 768) and a dual-core SoC clocked at 1.4 GHz. Along with a 2MP camera on the back and a 0.3MP camera on the front. 1 GB of RAM, only 4 GB of internal storage, but a microSD card slot for an additional 32 GB of storage.
  • Report: Asus, Google Working on Next-gen Nexus 7 – Look for a higher resolution full-HD display and thinner display borders. No word though if HDMI out is going to supported. It will also run Android Jellybean right out of the box, though it could actually ship with the newer Key Lime Pie.
  • Shipments of Tablets Now More Than Half Those of PCs [Bloomberg Businessweek] – In the final quarter of 2012 IDC estimates about 52.5 million tablets 89.8 million personal computers shipped.