"The world's fanbois wait with bated breath."
I suspect that this is one of the very few cases where the word "baited" would be more accurate.
Rumours that Apple will launch an "iPad mini" at its unveiling event tomorrow intensified today after more pictures of cases leaked online and retailers started advertising screen protectors for a 7in slab. Mobile accessories manufacturer TeckNet has already touted packs of display protection sleeves that are supposedly "only …
that lovely curved back iphone 5 that never appeared last year. Some of these case manufacturers just take a punt on what device might appear in the hope of being first to market.
The iPad mini will be released alongside the much rumoured Apple TV set! you know, the one that doesnt exist!
Yep, I'd cheerfully buy a telly-sized screen for a telly price. When I bought my nice 1080p Panny, I didn't actually want the silly on-board DVB-T tuner and stuff- as I am much happier to supply my choice of signals myself, from PVRs, computers and the like.
As it is, I don't want much broadcast TV at all, and it mostly gets used for XBMC running on my jailbroken Apple TV 2 (thanks, Apple, a 99 quid box that does the job amazingly well, but won't make you any film rental money, mwah), or the odd console game. It could quite easily be a sort of jumped up large low dot pitch monitor, lacking any sort of tuner. I can't help thinking that would make more sense for a lot of folks, anyway, who have cable boxes, Sky (spit) boxes, Freeview PVRs and whatever else- at least to have the option.
Dumb displays all the way. The pace of software development and the hardware it requires far outstrips the development of display tech, so whatever fancy TV you buy is going to be incapable of operating the fancy new interface that's developed a couple of years after you bought it.
People don't need or want to upgrade their TVs that fast.
The only rational way to behave in such a rapid development environment is to seperate the stuff you need (or want) to upgrade from the stuff you don't.
Dumb TV/monitor + box is the only way to go.
What is in that box that your dumb display would connect to? A CPU, some RAM, some storage (flash, unless you want it to store a large DVR's worth of video) and some sort of Wifi, along with video encoding/decoding. You could put all that in a display, and anything important that makes a "smart" displayer "smarter" would be done via software. It wouldn't be unless there's a major change like the MPEG2 to MPEG4 switchover that you'd want additional hardware. Even then, you could have a little card that plugs into the display that is a small PCIe board that contains whatever you may ever want to update.
Look at how much Sony has been able to enhance the PS3 through software updates alone. The Blu Ray player has improved a lot, added 3D capability, and so on. Obviously no one wants a TV on a smartphone like replacement cycle, but I don't think people would mind too much if they had an expected lifetime of 5-10 years, which is about how long dumb displays are built to last today. If your TV lasts longer you can put it in your basement or spare room if you absolutely MUST replace it with a better model.
I don't get all the hype of images from leaked parts. Everyone knows Apple does testing of 5 different variants until the point of saying yes to one of them. As already noted, look at the iPhone 4S release last year. All the leaks of parts, cases etc really put every fanboi's nose out of joint when Mr.Cook revealed a predictable upgrade of the existing iPhone 4.
I'm going to sit tight until tomorrow's announcement and hoping the leaked parts are all duff to the point we'll get some nice surprises. Just sipping my virtual beer until that happens.
I hope they do release a smaller iPad. It will be cheaper. And cheaper, for me, is better.
My 4 year old already knows how to navigate iOS on the iPod touch and iPhone to select music or movies to watch. When travelling she has the iPod in the back of the car and keeps herself entertained with movies, games, colouring, etc. An iPad would be better suited to this purpose, and would be handy for me to play around with on the sofa while the wife watches her guff on tv. But i'm not paying £400 for one.
It only seems like less than two weeks ago, when the rumour mill was grinding out stories that there was going to be another event later in the year for the anticipated smaller iPad… it seems it, because it was it.
There was some comment that a separate event for the iPad would be done in order not to deflect attention away from the new iPhone. This makes sense, and it’s what Apple has done in the past. Bearing in mind that updated iPods and very likely, updated iMacs are going to revealed imminently, if all the new kit does get unveiled at the same time, the stage is going to be a bit crowded.
What, I wonder would be a good reason for Apple to unveil a new iPad tomorrow? Actually, I’ve just thought of one – to prevent the seemingly end of articles bemoaning that Apple didn’t announce a new iPad “as expected.”
It's true, the whole Cupertino complex is now powered by a dynamo attached to SJ spinning in his grave.
His main argument — among many — against seven-inchers was their seven-inchness. "One naturally thinks that a seven-inch screen would offer 70 per cent of the benefits of a 10-inch screen," he said. "Unfortunately, this is far from the truth."
Giving his audience a refresher course in plane geometry, he continued: "The screen measurements are diagonal, so that a seven-inch screen is only 45 per cent as large as iPad's 10-inch screen. You heard me right — just 45 per cent as large."
A display less than half the size of the iPad's — or, in Cupertinoese, "less than half the size of iPad's" — "isn't sufficient to create great tablet apps, in our opinion," Jobs said in royal third-person locution.
He did, however, make one suggestion that might mitigate the challenge of a smaller screen — albeit a painful one: "While one could increase the resolution of the display to make up for some of the difference, it is meaningless unless your tablet also includes sandpaper so that the user can sand down their fingers to around one quarter of their present size."
Touting Apple's "extensive user testing on touch interfaces," Jobs bragged: "We really understand this stuff. There are clear limits on how close you can physically place elements on a touchscreen before users cannot reliably tap, flick, or pinch them."
Having seen this quote from Jobs a few times, I must say it never made any sense. I'm typin Gris on an iPad I bought earlier this year. Before that I used my iPhone quite comfortably for we browsing, applications and typing comments on El Reg forums. Admittedly, if ind the iPhone a bits malodor this purpose now I'm used to the iPad, but the fact remains that I didn't need to sharpen my fingers to use the iPhone. This 'quote' from Jobs seems to imply that the iPhone would also be useless as a media device as its even smaller than 7 inches.
For years, Apple and their enthusiasts have been telling us that it's impossible to use anything larger than an iPhone or smaller than an iPad. It's not just because the user experience of a 7" tablet (simultaneously too large and too small) would be so bad, they say, but because developers cannot possibly be expected to produce applications which work on a range of screen sizes.
It's also inconceivable that the shape of the iPhone would change, since the present design is perfect and patented. So let's have an end to these silly rumours. There will be no changes to the Apple line up because changes are neither possible nor desirable. With 16% of the smartphone market in the US, albeit falling, Apple has clearly found a niche of retro enthusiast consumes who like phone which stay unchanged in appearance year after year after year. They would be foolish to ignore that in a pursuit of greater market share.
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