Evidence that Apple’s New Tablet Will Be Called iSlate

Although it’s not much to go by, if you look at the registrars for the possible names “iTablet” and “iSlate” only iSlate uses the same registrar as the other Apple .  I guess we’ll find out next week.  Markmonitor’s header reads “Brand Protection, Domain Management, Anti Fraud Solutions”.   Sounds like something Apple would be interested in.

Domain Name: APPLE.COM
Registrar: MARKMONITOR INC.
Whois Server: whois.markmonitor.com
Referral URL: http://www.markmonitor.com
Name Server: NSERVER.APPLE.COM
Name Server: NSERVER.ASIA.APPLE.COM
Name Server: NSERVER.EURO.APPLE.COM
Name Server: NSERVER2.APPLE.COM
Name Server: NSERVER3.APPLE.COM
Name Server: NSERVER4.APPLE.COM
Status: clientDeleteProhibited
Status: clientTransferProhibited
Status: clientUpdateProhibited
Updated Date: 21-jan-2009
Creation Date: 19-feb-1987
Expiration Date: 20-feb-2011

Domain Name: ISLATE.COM
Registrar: MARKMONITOR INC.
Whois Server: whois.markmonitor.com
Referral URL: http://www.markmonitor.com
Name Server: NS1.MARKMONITOR.COM
Name Server: NS2.MARKMONITOR.COM
Name Server: NS3.MARKMONITOR.COM
Name Server: NS4.MARKMONITOR.COM
Name Server: NS5.MARKMONITOR.COM
Name Server: NS6.MARKMONITOR.COM
Name Server: NS7.MARKMONITOR.COM
Status: clientDeleteProhibited
Status: clientTransferProhibited
Status: clientUpdateProhibited
Updated Date: 26-oct-2009
Creation Date: 30-oct-2004
Expiration Date: 30-oct-2011

Domain Name: IPHONE.COM
Registrar: MARKMONITOR INC.
Whois Server: whois.markmonitor.com
Referral URL: http://www.markmonitor.com
Name Server: NSERVER.APPLE.COM
Name Server: NSERVER2.APPLE.COM
Name Server: NSERVER3.APPLE.COM
Name Server: NSERVER4.APPLE.COM
Status: clientDeleteProhibited
Status: clientTransferProhibited
Status: clientUpdateProhibited
Updated Date: 21-jan-2009
Creation Date: 24-aug-1995
Expiration Date: 23-aug-2010

Domain Name: ITABLET.COM
Registrar: DOTREGISTRAR, LLC.
Whois Server: whois.dotregistrar.com
Referral URL: http://www.dotregistrar.com
Name Server: DNS.ITABLET.COM
Name Server: WWW.ITABLET.COM
Status: clientDeleteProhibited
Status: clientTransferProhibited
Status: clientUpdateProhibited
Updated Date: 11-apr-2008
Creation Date: 08-oct-2001
Expiration Date: 08-oct-2011

Domain Name: IPAD.COM
Registrar: NETWORK SOLUTIONS, LLC.
Whois Server: whois.networksolutions.com
Referral URL: http://www.networksolutions.com
Name Server: A.NS.INTERLAND.NET
Name Server: B.NS.INTERLAND.NET
Name Server: C.NS.INTERLAND.NET
Status: clientTransferProhibited
Updated Date: 22-apr-2009
Creation Date: 21-apr-1997
Expiration Date: 22-apr-2019

Tablets and Slates

Seems like this year is going to be the year we find out whether print media is about to taken by a revolution as big as the rise of digital music players was for music. Although print may be an industry in decline, we are confronted with more reading than ever before. The only difference is that we have to swim through a flood of scattered and diluted information yet somehow synthesize it throughout the day. I know so many people who don’t follow the news much less read a newspaper or weekly. I’ve found myself vacillating between print and internet news, although I’m becoming more and more convinced of the solid value offered by print (I read the newspaper and a weekly these days).


I’m a bit puzzled by this recent surge in interest by companies rushing to enter the market with some kind of tablet or slate. Some are dedicated readers like Amazon’s Kindle that are designed exclusively for a reading experience (black and white, easy on the eyes, and low power consumption) while the ones arriving this year will lean towards more of a communication device tailored for reading and other uses (like Apple’s rumored tablet).


It’s an interesting phenomenon that seems to be hitting all the right spots whether it’s the nostalgia for a time when people curled up with a good book along with the realization that a phone screen is just too damn small to do any kind of extended reading or viewing. We don’t want to lug around a laptop and we don’t want to be burdened with a key board when it’s not needed. Until you actually use one in real life, these devices look so full of promise because they seem to fit every conceivable situation where a laptop is overkill and a smart phone is limited.


Although I can see a lot of great uses for a connected tablet-like device with music, movies, games, email and the internet (even better with TV and radio reception), and a variety of text content (whether it’s stuff you fetch from Project Gutenberg, digital subscriptions or downloadable books), I can also see myself getting quickly bored with it. A smart phone is something that I can have on me at all times without feeling a burden but a tablet feels like more trouble than it’s worth.


I have a Dell Mini 9 that’s under 1 kg and it’s no more than having a hardcover John Grisham book in your bag, certainly feels lighter than the average college textbook. While it’s been great for the times that I really need a computer on the go (like travel or getting something done on the road), those occasions are actually rare. Most of the time I can get by with my iPhone and pick up from there when I get home. Also, the bulk of information devices feel useless without a ubiquitous connection. The iPhone was about as helpful as a Palm PDA once I stepped out of Japan with it.


The table device definitely has potential but like the iPhone, we’ll have to see new models of interaction and presentation before it becomes a truly must have item that’s part of our culture. Right now it’s hard for me to visualize it.

You Say the Android is an iPhone Killer

Yeah, a variety of android phones have already sold millions. I also heard that Google has a new android phone too. Motorola and Sony are betting on android for their flagging cell phone fortunes too. It’s not going to kill the iPhone though. Or maybe I should say it’s not enough to kill the iPhone. Sure, consumers are going to be faced with a staggering array of choices and competition will be fierce. If you want to look at it as a zero sum game, China is the big winner because that’s where all these phones are manufactured. However, that’s not going to be how it plays out.


I’ve had some hands on experience with android phones and I think they are pretty cool. Certainly a much more enticing offering than a Windows Mobile cell phone. I’d rather use a Nokia from the 90s if that was my only choice. The android is open source and cutting edge (have you used the Google Goggles app?). Less restrictions. Even though it’s from google, the domination of the iPhone gives it that underdog appeal. In the end, there are people who are going to prefer the android over the iPhone just as a matter of preference. There are probably lots of iPhone owners using them despite hating Apple just because it’s the most compelling product out there.


Still, the iPhone has many distinct advantages even with Apple trying to exert an inordinate amount of control on what’s allowed on the platform to their own detriment. Let’s look at some of the advantages starting with the weaker ones.


App Selection


This is probably a short-lived advantage. Sure, Apple might have ten times as much apps than any given android phone but half of those apps are Twitter clients and 90% are junk apps created from source code copied from Apple tutorials. The number of apps is something that will change dramatically when a platform takes off. It also doesn’t take into account the freshness of apps. If updates and new apps aren’t coming as quick as they used to, consumers will feel it sooner than the numbers.


App Quality


This to me is the biggest advantage I see right now. Apple developers are keener to design and user interaction as a rule, especially the veterans with experience developing for the mac platform. Phones might rival PCs of a decade ago but the limited resources and interface quirks make it that much more important that developers can turn weaknesses into strength. I think Apple will continue to maintain a competitive advantage in this arena even as android continues to improve.


Economies of Scale


Apple has decades of experience building the whole package from software to hardware. It’s the reason why they almost went out of business. However, it’s hard to beat a company focused on quality with complete control from screws to pixels under the leadership of Jobs and Ive. While android may have an army of open source programmers, Apple has a wider variety of software spread out over diverse areas of expertise. Not only that, they have formidable retailing might with both stores and e-commerce.


Just looking at the OS, the foundation powering the iPhone is the same one powering macs and will be the same one powering the rumored iTablet. It’s such a rich playground for experimenting with interaction that one platform can’t fulfill. However, whether it be macs, tablets or phones, Apple can pick and choose what architecture to deploy on and that makes a world of difference.


All the handset makers may benefit from the common platform of the Android OS but they still make hardware separately.


Android


The strength of android is strength for Apple whether it’s the raw competition or interface inspiration. Even macs borrow good ideas previously spotted in the Microsoft Windows world. Android phones will continue to get better and keep Apple on its toes.


In short, it’s full of win for everyone as long as you pick the right 2 year contract for you!

Taking an Inventory

I think I’m at a point where I just want to lay back and sort things out. When you look for answers you only get more questions. The key is to find the right questions. I don’t really care if everything I do is wrong in 2010. I’m just going to set some goals for consistency and nothing more. No final results or performance objectives, just focus on one thing, keep going and try ever so little to make that one little moment better than the last even if it isn’t just as long as I’m doing my best or most.

The Power to Dream

Sometimes you underestimate the power of little things. Case in point, the power to dream. As people get more and more experience, imagination starts to take a back seat and you start thinking in terms of what might be possible.


It just struck me at a small gathering. We were planning an event and a group of us were talking about realistic approaches, what kind of strategies would work, what we need to do it. On paper, the obstacles are quite formidable. However, one person had the “vision” or the “dream” and somehow every time he said something there was so much conviction in his vision and hope in his eyes that nothing we could say would diminish it.


So we walked away with a little bit of that hope and started thinking of ways to do it anyway. It’s really amazing how we sometimes hold ourselves back for the stupidest reasons and draw conclusions when we get the greatest reality check for free: reality. Makes you wonder what the point of limiting yourself is when you can just deal with reality and keep adjusting your plans until reality eventually comes around.

2010

Like all bloggers, every new year brings on a fresh bout of “I shall blog more” syndrome where we trick ourselves into thinking that with the new year we will some how magically be transformed into diligent bloggers that are eager to share our witty insights and soaring intellect with the world at large. We bow and scrape, write out our apologies for neglecting our loyal readers awaiting the next exciting installment with bated breath.


It all starts magnificently. We rediscover the joys of blogging again and may even get back into a regular schedule of posting. Then the well runs dry. We stray to twitter or facebook and look on as other bloggers crank out content. The rich bloggers hire other fresh bloggers while the rest fade away and before you know it it’s another year, saying “maybe this time it’ll be different”.