During Apple’s earnings call the other day, Steve Jobs essentially said that 7-in tablets suck and that Apple will never make them… Research in Motion’s co-CEO, Jim Balsillie, responds and he doesn’t hold any punches…
“For those of us who live outside of Apple’s distortion field, we know that 7? tablets will actually be a big portion of the market and we know that Adobe Flash support actually matters to customers who want a real web experience. We also know that while Apple’s attempt to control the ecosystem and maintain a closed platform may be good for Apple, developers want more options and customers want to fully access the overwhelming majority of web sites that use Flash. We think many customers are getting tired of being told what to think by Apple. And by the way, RIM has achieved record shipments for five consecutive quarters and recently shared guidance of 13.8 – 14.4 million BlackBerry smartphones for the current quarter. Apple’s preference to compare its September-ending quarter with RIM’s August-ending quarter doesn’t tell the whole story because it doesn’t take into account that industry demand in September is typically stronger than summer months, nor does it explain why Apple only shipped 8.4 million devices in its prior quarter and whether Apple’s Q4 results were padded by unfulfilled Q3 customer demand and channel orders. As usual, whether the subject is antennas, Flash or shipments, there is more to the story and sooner or later, even people inside the distortion field will begin to resent being told half a story.”
I might be making this next part up, but, Balsillie might also have said that he will definitely get some time in the penalty box next time he and Jobs play hockey…
Hate to say it, but a 7″ pad wouldn’t do it for me.
For me, it absolutely would. I want something the about the size of a nook, but, with a color screen. Honestly, a 7-inch iPad would be perfect for me. Listen to our last podcast… I had a lot of commentary on why a 7-inch tablet would be great.
Here’s why I believe Jobs is correct.
This is the beginning of a shift, in which we’ll see folks slowly convert over to tablet based devices. The interest now as opposed to years ago is; 1) better and more efficient hardware (especially the battery), 2) integration of mobile device OS’s and the tablet OS, 3) the ease and portability of these devices, 4) software has improved. Today, the market and technology is mature enough for a move in this direction.
In my opinion, a 7″ tablet only allows certain tasks to be completed, limiting the experience. A slightly larger 10-11 inch device allows hospitals, insurance companies, hotels, restaurants, etc. to use these devices effectively. It’s easier to see a picture or chart on a slightly larger device when sitting down with a doctor, client, etc. Viewing web sites, videos, or simply reading a book is easier on the eye. Typing as well. And as far as applications go, Jobs is correct, the more room you have, the more options and creativity can be applied.
Another reason I don’t think the 7″ tablet is as appealing is due to the lack of a significant enough jump from the 4+” phone devices out there. I think doubling the size may make it worthwhile, which would equate to at least 9 inches. Today, you’re only looking at a 2+ inch increase in size from the options available in the phone market. Not enough.
With virtualization and VDI’s slowly taking over the corporate infrastructure, it shows how companies are looking at backend hosting and cloud environments. The same can be said for the consumer market with offerings such as Dropbox and removable disk memory. The OS is changing, and much smaller and efficient than some of the desktop options of today. I’m really excited to see where webOS will go. HP is slowly incorporating printing capabilities into mobile devices. As of now, look at devices such as the iPad and HP Slate. The iPad has solid battery life. The HP Slate runs a smaller version of Windows 7 and offers the full desktop experience. Not sure if an OS such as Win7 is really going to be needed down the road when you can incorporate something like webOS, which will demand less battery and resources and provide the essentials to get most folks through the day.
All of it won’t happen overnight; it’s too large of a footprint to overcome, but in due time it will take its course. This is the beginning, though.
Hopefully, RIM’s prices will differ from Samsung’s at Verizon.
A 7″ Galaxy or a 9.7″ iPad at very close to the same price point. And both are in the same store.
Which would you choose?