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Ma su iPad si legge bene?

| mercoledì 10 febbraio 2010

E’ lecito dubitarlo, perché è retroilluminato a differenza degli e-reader che usano la tecnologia E-ink a ionoforesi, come Kindle, il reader proprietario di Amazon in bianco e nero che ha venduto quasi 2 milioni di esemplari fra West Coast e Cina, ma che ci mette più tempo a girar le pagine. Va anche considerato che il gadget di Cupertino pesa il doppio di un netbook e più largo e costa il doppio. Un’altra cosa che rende sospetti sull’ultimo miracolo della Apple (agogniamo un iPhone, quindi non è per partito preso che parliamo male di MacWorld). Al magnate aussie sta sulle palle che Bezos fa pagare tutto $10.99: non importa se l’e-book è bello e brutto, se l’ha scritto Stephen King (il cui copyright si è infranto sullo sharing online qualche anno fa) o Lino Banfi. La verita è che l’iPad piace sopratutto agli editori, e siccome noi siamo consumatori, stiamo un po’ in guardia. Non è che diciamo che l’iPad non ha futuro, è che non ci convince molto come lettore di e-books (sembra infatti fatto più per newspapers&magazines), ma a molte altre funzionalità rispetto a un wireless device dedicato, che probabilmente saranno più importanti per determinare il suo successo di mercato. Amazon è scesa in borsa ed è corsa ai ripari accordandosi al ribasso con Macmillan che minacciava di portare altrove il lucroso mercato dei libri di testo (eh sì, gli studenti pagano sempre un po’ più degli altri…).

(articolo positivo su Kindle seguito da articolo positivo su iPad)
Kindle boosts Amazon’s e-book sales

NEW YORK, Dec 28 – shares rose on Monday after it said customers bought more e-books than physical books for the first time ever on Christmas Day, thanks to its hot-selling Kindle electronic book reader.

The US-based internet retailer said over the weekend its Kindle reader had become the most-puchased gift in the company’s history.

While Amazon does not disclose specific sales data for the Kindle, it is believed to be the market leader among growing competition from devices sold by Sony and Barnes & Noble.

With electronic readers one of the hottest selling items over the holidays this year, the Kindle also gained ground as both Barnes & Noble and Sony were unable to keep up with demand. The two companies both sold out of their stock of holiday readers more than a month before Christmas.

The Kindle Store now includes more than 390,000 books, Amazon said. The company also provided details on its holiday season sales, saying that December 14 was its peak shopping day with more than 9.5m items ordered worldwide.

Best-selling items over the holiday season other than the Kindle included Apple’s iPod Touch, Nintendo’s Wii Fit Plus with balance board, Sarah Palin’s book ”Going Rogue” and men’s Levi’s 501 jeans.

Per una visione positiva dell’iPad:

Is Apple’s iPad media tablet the “Magical & Revolutionary Device at an Unbelievable Price” that Steve Jobs claims it is? Or will it be an embarrassing failure like the Apple Lisa, the Newton and Pippin?

We will have to wait until the iPad goes on sale in the US towards the end of March for the definitive answer to that question. But based on the iPad’s specifications, Apple’s new baby does appear to avoid many of the pitfalls that have plagued earlier tablet and slate-style devices.

Most of these devices including those bearing the names of some of the biggest names in technology such as Hewlett-Packard, Toshiba and Fujitsu, have failed to make much of an impact outside industry vertical markets like healthcare.

One reason perhaps is that many of these devices were basically laptops without keyboards, while others were mobile phones with big keyboards. In both cases, they failed to identify a real market need.

But that has not stopped companies trying and some recent devices like HTC’s Windows Mobile powered Advantage, which has a 5-inch touch sensitive screen and a detachable keyboard, or the Archos 9 PCTablet with its 9-inch touch screen and Windows 7 operating system, have been well received.

Meanwhile, at least a dozen companies including HP, Dell and Lenovo were showing prototypes of touch-based tablet PCs at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this month. Others including Asus, Mobinnova, MSI and Quanta were showing slate-style devices built around nVidia’s Tegra 2 processor while Aluratek was showing a large touch-screen-based digital media player.

But unlike most of these would-be competitors, Apple is clearly targeting what it believes is a distinct gap in the market with the iPad which, to all intents and purposes, is a supersized iPod Touch/iPhone rather than a keyboardless-PC or a relatively ‘dumb’ e-book reader like the Kindle or Sony e-Reader.

“While laptops are focused on productivity, and mobile phones are still primarily about communication, the main focus of media tablets is entertainment,” says ABI Research senior analyst Jeff Orr.

The elegant design of the iPad, which is just 0.5 inches thick and weighs 1.5 pounds despite its stunning 9.7-inch multitouch-enabled colour screen, coupled with its pricing is clearly designed to appeal to the consumer market while minimising the risk that it will cannibalise sales of either the iPod Touch/iPhone or MacBook laptops.

The built-in 802.11n Wi-Fi and optional 3G connectivity, flash memory storage (up to 64Gb) and extended battery life (up to 10 hours) make for an appealing hardware package, though in the current configurations the iPad lacks a video-capable built-in camera which would have been nice for videoconferencing.

Because the iPad is based on the iPhone operating system, it also lacks support for Flash video and cannot handle true multitasking (running multiple applications at once). That effectively rules it out as a laptop alternative – even with an add-on keyboard – for all but the most basic tasks like email and web browsing.

But for Apple’s target market that may not matter. Apple describes the iPad as “a revolutionary device for browsing the web, reading and sending email, enjoying photos, watching videos, listening to music, playing games, reading e-books and much more.”

Most importantly perhaps, Apple has ensured that from the outset, there will be plenty of digital content available for the iPad. Both iPad models will use existing Apple services including the iTunes music and app stores. Apple is also taking direct aim at the e-book reader market with an iBooks app which provides access to the new iBookstore which will feature books from major and independent publishers.

In addition to 12 new apps designed especially for the iPad, Apple is also introducing a new multi-touch version of its iWork office productivity suite for the iPad.

Personally, I had been rather skeptical about the iPad before the launch. But, despite a few niggles, the final clincher for me was the announcement of the $500 price tag for the basic model – significantly cheaper than many had expected. I think the iPad will help define the emerging media tablet market and be a success for Apple – the only questions are how big a success, and how quickly.