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Jun 5, 2008

NEWS: "50% Chance" New Apple Tablets Next Week (AAPL)

AmTech: "50% Chance" New Apple Tablets Next Week (AAPL) 

from Silicon Alley Insider by 

newton.jpgFinally, an entertaining prediction for next week's WWDC event. AmTech's Shaw Wu forsees a "50% chance" we'll see a "hybrid between a Mac and iPod Touch" on Monday -- some sort of touchscreen device with either a 4-inch or 7-inch screen. That sounds a whole lot like a tablet computer to us -- a device that's seemed like a no-brainer for years, but really hasn't taken off. Ask Bill Gates. Or, for that matter, Steve Jobs, who tried this many moons ago with the Newton.

In any case, Shaw isn't banging the desk that hard on this prediction: "Timing is not clear, but we believe these devices will eventually be brought to market.". The rest of his WWDC forecast:

  • 3G iPhone at current $399 iPhone price; old iPhone discounted by $50 to $100.
  • New iPhone features: Thinner; better keyboard, GPS.
  • New Macs "less likely"; anticipates "radically refreshed design this summer or fall."

Why Apple's iPhone Apps Platform Could Spark Huge iPhone Sales 

from Silicon Alley Insider by 

iphone-pong.jpgNext Monday, Apple (AAPL) chief Steve Jobs is expected to show off the long-awaited, second-edition iPhone. But some of the most important products Jobs will demo won't be made by Apple -- they'll be software apps created by other companies for the new iPhone/iPod touch platform.

Here's who we know is involved: Big firms like Time Warner's (TWX) AOL, Electronic Arts (ERTS), Sega, THQ (THQI), Salesforce.com (CRM) -- and startups like SixApart, ReaddleWebISPelago, and whoever's making that cool multi-player Pong game. We also expect coders who made apps for "jailbroken" iPhones to develop official apps, like the popular Twitter client Twinkle and the Last.fm MobileScrobbler. And at some point, we think Microsoft (MSFT) and Google (GOOG) will create some nifty iPhone apps, too.

Why is the iPhone platform so important? Because it's the first mainstream mobile software platform with a centralized app store, a purchasing system iTunes users are already accustomed to (and are already signed up for), and a user-friendly installation system. Because of this, we think the iPhone has the chance to be the first phone that most users -- not just a few -- buy, install, and use third-party software for. Which could lead to huge success down the line for Apple.

To be sure, it's still a gamble for companies to throw a lot of resources at iPhone apps. Even if Apple sells all 10 million iPhones it plans to sell this year, that's still a market opportunity of less than 14 million phones at the end of 2008. (Plus however many million iPod touches are sold.) But people will buy about 990 million other phones this year, none of which can run iPhone apps.

And some developers may be turned off by Apple's terms: Apple must approve all apps, and will take a 30% cut of each one it sells. And it has the right to refuse certain kids of apps, like Internet phone software that screws their carrier partners; we can also see it nixing software that could compete with their own services, like an iTunes-rival music store. For those reasons, we think some developers will take a wait-and-see approach, or will skip the iPhone platform altogether.

But from what we've seen so far -- admittedly, not much -- we're think Apple's mobile platform will be a hit. We think a lot of people will buy a lot of software for their phones, and that with a thriving apps platform, Apple will sell a lot more iPhones than they'd be able to without it.

Location, location, location: The iPhone with GPS nears

from VentureBeat by 

The GPS-enabled iPhone is coming — is your application ready?

Location Technologies Primer

from TechCrunch by 

Mobile location-based services (LBS) are generating renewed interest as both the market and technology mature to support the growing set of innovative services being released and in development today. This is being driven by new Location APIs and new location technologies, which are making it easier for mobile location developers to gain access to location information and develop innovative new LBS apps.

This article is a brief primer on the key location technologies that are emerging.

Location PrecisionTTFFRequirements
WiFi MACRelatively High
Depends on WiFi AP density
~ 4 secondsRequires device support and network request.
Requires WiFi DB.
Cell-IDRelatively Low
Depends on cell density
~ 4 secondsRequires support from MSC and HLR, or
Requires device and Cell-ID DB.
Medium Precision
Depends on cell density
~ 6 secondsRequires support from BSS, MSC and HLR.
(require carrier network involvement)
A-GPSHigh Precision
“Sky Line of Sight”
~ 10-30 sec start
5-10 sec updates
Device support (HW), GPS reference network.
GPSHigh Precision
“Sky Line of Sight”
10-15 minutes start
1-2 sec updates
Device support (HW)

WWDC: IPhone to Take up One-third of Developer Sessions

Anyone who doubts how important developing applications for the iPhone is to Apple needs only to look at the upcoming...

Ed: Cell phone universe is 3 times the size of PCs and laptops.

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