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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Apple tablet to ship in March

Apple will be shipping the tablet computer in March, according to the Wall Street Journal. Problems with battery life and damage durability have been solved to Steve Jobs satisfaction, according to printed reports. The journal reports that the screen will be ten to eleven inches and fully interactive similar to the iPhone.

"he tablet is expected to be a multimedia device that will let people watch movies and television shows, play games, surf the Internet and read electronic books and newspapers. Though companies like Toshiba Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co. have introduced Windows-based tablet computers before and Inc. and others sell similarly-sized digital-book readers, people briefed by Apple say the company intends to carve out a new product category." 

The device is not an Apple version of tablet computers from Microsoft, HP and Dell. It will "change the way" people interact with media in everyday life. The product is rumoured to allow interface with images of print media in ways we interface with on-line media. It will be a one stop divice for everything form Kindle-like book and print reading to watching high definition films.

In preparation for the divice, which Apple will not confirm or deny, and which may be officially revealed later this month at Mac World in San Franisco, the company has been updating iTunes, preparing for a new delivery system for film and television content, preparing for live streaming of television and on demand media and upgrading its infastruture.

The price point may be, according to the Wall Street Journal, around $1,000 for a fully fuctional new form of computer-"net-book"-media device.

Again, Apple is officially "mum" on the product. The talk and "leaks' have been coming through blogs and reporters tasked with covering technology. Even coverage of this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas has been overshadowed by Apple, which has long chosen to hold its own show in San Francisco, moved back this year to February 9 to 12th.

Serbia salute Nick Slaughter

Nick Slaughter is an icon in Serbia.

A strange thing for a fictitious character from a television show that barely made a dent in the US in the 1990's is well known in Serbia. I first heard the story on Public Radio international's "The World." When the star of the "Sweating Bullets" a.k.a. "Tropical Heat" Rob Stewart Goggled himself he was shocked to find out that he was popular in Eastern Europe on Facebook, and he was credited with inspiring a non-violent revolution movement in Serbia. The show was the only "American" show (actually Canadian-Israeli-Mexican co-production) to make it past the embargo and air on local television during the turbulent years of "upheaval" or what the US would call the war in Bosnia.  A documentary by Stewart on his unexpected fandom and the important cultural phenomenon is due to be release this fall.

Most pirated film in history

"Avatar" has topped billion dollars in box office revenue Christmas weekend, in just three short weeks. The London Times reports that "Avatar" has hit another record: The most pirated film in history. It surpassed "Twilight", the previous record holder. The Times estimates that over one million times in one week.

Highest Box Office in History

This weekend "Avitar' is expected to become the highest box office earner world wide in history, topping the previous champ, James Cameron's "other film", "Titanic".

Bring on the gadgets

CES pre-show

I will spend what time I can at the Consmer Electronics Show, CES, between tomorrow and Sunday here in Las Vegas.

SAG will be there for panels and research with both members of the New Technology Committee (which I co-chair) and paid SAG professional staff.

While nothing groundbreaking is expected, and most of the pre-show talk is about Apple's confab later in the month in San Francisco, the show will be large and intersting.

There will be discussions of Digital Convergence, corporate mergers, the future of Hollywood, 3D, the New Internet, the recession, on-line marketing and other issues covered in this and my other blogs.

Among the "hot" items dominating floor space;

3D TV with and without goggles (glasses)

Launch of 3D networks for satellite and cable

Mobile TV

Touch screen everything, even things that do not need it...

Home controlled drones and divices, with the iPhone as the remote control.

Consumer eivices and products to view movies, television and Internet programming.

Budget televisions and devices

"Invisible" speakers that can be heard only within projected ranges of space

Improved computer screen images

Touch screen computer screens and interface

Net-books and net-book variants, smart-books, smart-phones, tablet laptops and net-books, televisions as Internet interfaces

e-books are there, but are being upstaged by tablet technology that can read books without straining the eyes.

For automobiles, despite documentation that texting, cell phone use (even hands free) and other electronics cause driver distraction and accidents, the push will be monitors, screens, internet and even video for the driver to use. All in the name of a corporate buck.

In the middle of the recession expect most of the show to be...

Lower quality crammed full of features gadgets

"Avatar" everywhere.

The following is from Media Posts Online Spin' s Dave Morgan:

Slate/Tablet PCs - Everyone wants to know what Apple's rumored tablet is going to look like. With Ballmer unveiling HP's new entry into the space here, the topic is already front and center. Many are looking to the devices and their capacity as e-readers to also breathe new life into some of our analog media, like magazines, newspapers and books.

Networked TV - The coming together of the Internet, Web services and TV's sight, sound and motion in the living room is part of virtually every television manufacturer's booth here. We are finally going to see TVs shipped that are truly "Internet-ready" and can run Web apps and services like Skype.

3D TVs - "Avatar"'s success at the box office is translating into extra prominence for several new 3D TVs. I personally don't know  how many folks want to wear special glasses to use their TVs -- excluding gamers, of course -- but the new TVs are here, and they're cool.

Networked Devices - It's not just TVs that are getting connected to the Web, it's cars and clock radios, too. This morning Alan Mulally of Ford announced that the company is building in-car communication services into new vehicles that will support Web wervices like Twitter. Sony yesterday announced the Sony Dash, a networked, touch -screen device for the bedroom and living room to replaces the clock radios of old.

Digital Ad Folks in Front - After being relegated to eating scraps at the "kids' table" for many years, and then getting lousy seats at the adults' table for a number of years more, this year it is clear that the digital advertising folks are taking charge. No longer is it about TV vs. Internet or print vs. Internet. Now everyone wants to know how all of the other media are going to work with their company's digital strategies. It's the digital folks that are the most popular at the parties here this year, and the elevation this week of digital marketing guru (and all-around great guy) Rob Norman to run Group M North America says it better than anything else.

Chinese Innovation - The exhibit floor is filled with extraordinary devices from companies with hard-to-pronounce names from provinces across China. Anyone who believes that China is just about manufacturing, and that the U.S. and other western economies dominate innovation, hasn't been to CES lately. It is something to see.