Springtime for nerds

It’s spring and the mind of the geek turns to new hardware releases.

The iWatch is still the hot rumor, but I wouldn’t expect that to even be announced until September.  That is when Apple will, probably, announce the iPhone 6, and iOS 8.
I’ve seen rumors that Apple will include a range of fitness tracking options in the much debated iWatch.  If they do, then they have a chance to pounce on the market hole created by FitBit recalling their Force device.   This also puts a lot of pressure of FitBit to come up with a Force replacement (with a functional wrist band) PDQ.  If they wait too long, and the iWatch rumors get stronger, they will loose market share to Apple’s vaporware.
On the Amazon front, they have discounted their Kindle devices.  Given that they had razor thin margins at best at the retail price, I’m taking the discounting as a sign they want to dump inventory.  Flushing the channels of the current inventory in preparation for new model Kindles in the pipeline. I expect them to announce these well in advance of Apple’s big announcement in September.  Big retail sale days for consumer electronics include Graduation and Father’s Day (Dad loves his gadgets).  If they can make those dates, that would make up for the loss from discounting the current Kindles.   They count on the downstream sales on those devices anyway.
For the Android fans out there, take heart.  The Google I/O show is slated for June.  The rumor mill is expecting the next flavor of Android to come out as well as some new hardware.  A new Nexus and some more wearables to go with Google Glass are expected.

No iWatch

Well, the Apple WWDC came and went with no mention of the much rumored iWatch.

Oh well.  I have several friends who have Kickstarter Pebble watches and they are quite happy with them.

My guess is that Apple has several prototypes in the works and just doesn’t see the market demand to push one out yet.

The latest iPad2 rumors

Get your hot iPad2 rumors here.

Some of the highlights:

  • Thinner
  • Slightly smaller
  • better speakers
  • Camera

“iPad Killer” rumors are all the rage

I do like the look of this HP tablet. For the rumored $600 price tag, it supports an impressive feature list.

  • 1.6 GHz Intel Atom processor
  • an 8.9-inch, multi-touch display
  • 32 or 64 GB of Flash storage
  • 1 GB of DDR RAM
  • Windows Home 7 Premium
  • a VGA Webcam
  • an Intel UMA graphics chip that supports 1080p, high-definition video playback

Oh, and it supports Flash, has at least one USB port and a SD slot.

Hulu app for the iPad?

By way of Apple Insider, is this TechCrunch post about Hulu getting around the lack of flash support on the iPad/iPhone/iTouch by creating a dedicated app.

One rumor I’ve heard from an industry insider is that Hulu is working on an iPad-friendly version of its site that should be ready by the time the iPad hits the market. Hulu itself is still vague about its plans.

Hulu is a major source of online videos direct from the content providers (i.e. quality streaming videos instead of hacked, malware ridden stuff), so having it on the iPad will provide a lot of added value. I still hold that the apps customized to take advantage of the iPad will be a major factor in driving sales.

HT to Vodkapundit.

Best tech rumor I’ve heard lately…

From what I’ve read, there was nothing really eye popping at CES this year.  Some cool stuff, but nothing to really thrill anyone.

Apple is having their own press announcement next month.  So of course, Apple tablet rumors have been running hot and heavy again.  I heard the name “iSlate” dropped several times.

My favorite rumor was on a recent episode of TWiT, where one pundit quoted his inside Apple source as saying that there will be a lot of Kindle’s on e-Bay after this announcement.

Apple’s Announcement

Apple made a long anticipated product launch on 9/9/09. What was missing was more interesting than what was announced.

What was announced was interesting. An iPod touch with 64 Gig of memory, but no camera, and a Nano iPod with not just a camera, but a video camera and a FM radio. The Nano’s camera is VGA quality, not HD. The FM radio is a nice touch, but Microsoft is releasing a Zune with a HD FM radio soon.

The 64 Gig iPod touch is interesting, it takes a lot of video to fill up that much RAM. The strictly internal memory in the Apple devices is a solid money maker for Apple. What they charging for additional RAM is no where near what a SD card of the same size would cost. It would also provide a conduit for data in and out of their devices, which isn’t going to happen as long as Steve Jobs has anything to say about it.

What was missing was the Beatles catalog on iTunes and a tablet sized iTouch. The ‘iTablet’ would have made a big splash, and killed the Kindle. The resolution wouldn’t have matched the E-Ink display that the Kindle uses, but the increased functionality would have been the deciding factor. Apps would have to be rewritten to take advantage of the larger screen size, but I think the development community would step up to the challenge. I’m sure that Amazon would update their e-reader app for that platform, even if they understood that it would result in much reduced Kindle sales. Amazon would do so they wouldn’t lose a big chunk of the e-book market that they currently dominate.