Apple iPad is Launched by Steve Jobs

The new product from Apple, the iPad, has been launched by Steve Jobs that allows for reading of books, magazines and newspapers, and the ability to download straight from the internet.  I found the BBC’s write up of it interesting, see below.

Apple has put an end to weeks of speculation by unveiling its tablet PC, which it has called the iPad.

Steve Jobs, Apple’s chief executive unveiled the touchscreen device at an event in San Francisco.

Mr Jobs described the tablet, which will cost between $499 and $829 in the US, as a “third category” between smartphones and laptops.

The device, which looks like a large iPhone, can be used to watch films, play games and browse the web.

The firm has also done a deal with publishers including Penguin, Macmillian and Harper Collins to allow e-books to be downloaded directly to the device through a new iBook Store.

“You can download right onto your iPad,” said Mr Jobs.

He also showed off magazines and newspapers on the device.

‘Gold rush’

He told an audience of journalists, analysts and industry peers that the device lets people “hold the whole web in your hands”.

“What this device does is extraordinary. It is the best browsing experience you have ever had,” he said.

The device has a 9.7-inch multi-touch display, allowing people to type directly on to the screen, as well as manipulate pictures and move control the action in games with their fingers. However, users can also plug in a keyboard.

Apple claim it has a battery life of 10 hours.

It comes preloaded with twelve applications – essentially multi-touch versions of existing Mac software such as iPhoto.

However, owners can also download third party apps – both specially designed for the iPad and those already available for the iPhone. People with both can synchronise their apps between the two devices.

“We think it’s going to be a whole other gold rush for developers,” said Scott Forstall, who runs Apple’s app division.

Apple revealed that more than 3bn apps have been downloaded from its App store.

The New York Times showed off its app for the iPad, which recreates the look and feel of the newspaper but allows it to have new features, such as video.

“We’re pioneering the next version of digital journalism,” said Martin Nisenholtz, a senior executive at the newspaper.

It also includes the firm’s iTunes software built in, allowing people to purchase songs and movies straight to the device.

‘Cheap laptops’

It is not the first touchscreen tablet computer on the market. Earlier this month, manufactures such as Dell and HP showed off devices at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

Some industry experts have questioned the need for another category of device, alongside laptops, smartphones and netbooks.

Analyst firm CCSInsight said that it remained “sceptical” of the market. It described the iPad as “a supersize iPod Touch that would get little interest if not from Apple”.

Mr Jobs dismissed netbooks as “just cheap laptops”.

“Netbooks aren’t better at anything – they’re slow and have low quality displays,” he told the audience.

“They’re not a third category device, but we have something that we think is.”

The cheapest iPad, which will come with 16GB of flash memory and wi-fi will cost $499. The most expensive version, with 64GB of storage and the ability to connect via a mobile 3G signal, will cost $829.

Users will also have to also a monthly subscription for 3G connectivity, but in the US owners will not have to sign a yearly contract.

CCSInsight said the high cost would put it “beyond most consumers”.

Mr Jobs said that he hoped to have international prices in place in June or July.

However, all the 3G models are unlocked, meaning they will work with any network.

The launch puts to rest months of speculation and rumour in the blogosphere.

Apple – famous for its secrecy – had remained silent in the run up to the launch, unwilling to release any details publicly.


Interests of Chris – Since July 2008 – Top 10 Posts

I thought I would share with you the top 10 posts with the most hits since the launch of the blog back in Jul 2008.  So here they are below in order of most hits – many of which are in there thousands!!

1. New Tupac Album on the way?

2. Video Vixen – Book Finished!!

3. Topless – Dr Dre, T.I. and Nas

4. Trials of TQ: Independence – The Reality

5. Dos Santos moving to Spurs

6. Crooked I interview (part 2) – Death Row

7. Trials of TQ – Cash Money!!

8. Video Vixen – Karrine Steffans

9. Coffee Shop Brands – How do they compare

10. Death Row Records Sold!

Branding for Orange and T-Mobile after Merger

Orange and T-MobileSince news last week of the merger between mobile phone network providers Orange and T-Mobile, I’ve been questioning myself constantly about what they will do with the brands and whether the merger will mean that either of the Orange and T-Mobile brands will go, if they will be combined, or something else!

Both T-Mobile and Orange are extremely strong brands with values attached to them so it would be pointless to remove either.  I would say they should continue to act as individual brands but be positioned slightly differently so that the customer can understand what they get from each.  Both T-Mobile and Orange have huge brand recall and awareness levels – T-Mobile do globally.

An interview in The Telegraph newspaper in the UK on September 13 or 14 (13 on the website, the CEO of Orange, and the merged enetities, Tom Alexander, talks about keeping the brands seperate but using a line of… “Powered by…”.  This would give the whole merger some equity as it would then play into the benefits and competencies that both T-Mobile and Orange have individually.

I’ll be sure to post again on this very soon!

Office of Fair Trading to Investigate T-Mobile and Orange deal!

Further to the merger between T-Mobile and Orange, the office of Fair Trading is being called upon by consumer groups to potentially investigate.  There are some concerns that there could be damage to fair competition following the formation of the UK’s largest mobile phone operator.

There are also some concerns that the merger could mean a few thousand job losses – the current total is over 19,000.  T-Mobile and Orange will now have a combined customer base of 28.4 million, which is 37% of the entire UK mobile phone market.
As I said in a previous post, O2 and Vodafone now lag behind, with Virgin (that rents lines off of T-Mobile) and 3 a long way back still.

Share of UK Mobile Market – T-Mobile and Orange now rule

With yesterdays reported merger between T-Mobile and Orange, the UK Mobile phone market has changed in terms of market share to the below!  Vodafone and O2 no longer rule the roost.

– T-Mobile and Orange: 37% (28.4 million subscribers)

– O2: 28% (21.5 million subscribers)

– Vodafone: 23% (17.7 million subscribers)

– Virgin: 6.2% (4.8 million subscribers)

– 3: 5.8% (4.5 million subscribers)

Loyalty cards based on local shops?

I had a thoughon Sunday morning while having my regular Sunday Americano coffee at Caffe Nero. When you go to your local shops where the shop assistant knows you, they know what you want and they will give that to you. They know your buying behaviour and also what you might like. Therefore they are in a position to say… “would you like to try this?”. It is similar to the vouchers you receive through the post from the likes of Tesco and Boots…. they are tempting you with things based on your previous buying behaviour.  My local Caffe Nero treats me in this way – upselling based on what they think you may like, which is normally pastries.  I’m not sure that Starbucks would do this…

Investing in brand during an economic downturn

Investing in your brand during a downturn is an important tactic that organisations should consider. It means that you’ve prepared your brand through investment, public exposure and increased awareness levels, which means that when the economy becomes stronger and people are spending again, your brand is already out there and doing strong with a loyal customer base.