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Tablet Wars

back to May-June Issue
 
by Cyril Eberseiler

Not so long ago, n a galaxy not so far away, the Apple Empire dominated everything that comes into the form of a tablet. In 2010, Apple innovated once more on a concept that wasn’t new. The result was staggering: 7 million iPads were sold! Most leading mobile and PC makers like HP, Motorola, Samsung and others have been trying to get a piece of a market which disrupted the previous netbook craze, which happened not while ago.


Apple “i”series devices are legendary. Every launch made by Steve Jobs is considered textbook marketing. iPad 2 is the 10th “i device” and launched on March 11th.


So to make things simple, the iPad2 is the iPad, but better. It is thinner, lighter and dramatically faster. There are cameras on the front and back which will bring “Face Time” (a real-time video chat program) to a whole new level. The processor is the Apple A5 dual-core chip and RAM is doubled to 512MB. What do people love about it the most? Surprisingly, it is the stylish case that auto-cleans the traces of your butter fingers! So should you switch from your first iPad to this one? Only if you are a fanboy/girl (or want to offer the first one to a friend). If you ever dreamt of owning an iPad, it’s probably time buy. Just note that the device still has its limitations: no built-in memory card slot or USB port and no flash support. iPad 2 is available in both white and black. Price is same than the original.

 

Features

iPad 2

Lenovo-LePad

Weight

1.3lb

760g

Operating System

iOS 4.3

Android 2.2 and LeOS 2.0

Browser

Safari

???

Camera

HD video rear, VGA front

Front camera 2.0 Megapixel

Processor

Apple A5 dual-core

1.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon

Memory

512MB

1GB

Storage

16, 32, 64GB

16, 32GB

Flash support

No

Yes

Battery

Up to 10 hours

8 hours

Color

White & Black

Red, White, Brown & Black

Price

RMB3,268-RMB5,429

From RMB3,499



 

 

 










 
So who can compete? While tablets running on the Android OS have been fairly disappointing, Samsung seems to have the best chance at being a player, with a mixed format (bigger than a smartphone but smaller than the iPad).


At the end of March, Lenovo also launched its very originally named “LePad”, marking the company's entrance into one of the hottest emerging areas of the gadget sector. LePad’s appearance is similar to iPad 2, although the LePad screen is slightly bigger (10.1-inch) and since it’s based on Android, it supports flash (and has USB slots). LeOS 2.0 system is clearly not great, as users can’t even categorize the applications on the desktop. Its only strength lies in its Chinese interface and applications developed by local developers. I can’t say this will make Apple faint when it goes out worldwide in June.


CHINA INTERNET UPDATE


Do you Tweet? Try Weibo-ing
With Weibo, users can update their status by writing less than 140 characters and sharing it with other users. A copycat of Twitter - the earliest and most famous microblog in the world -Sina launched Weibo in August 2009 and immediately became a success story with influence at every level in the Chinese society. With already 150 million people “weibo-ing”, Sina intends to boast a massive 250 million at the end of next year. That’s half of the total number of Chinese people connected to the web!


Daily-posted microblogs have reached over 25 million, with 38% from mobile devices. Sina Weibo have 6 potential business models: linked advertising, real-time search, bundle sales, integrated with other Sina businesses, crossing sales, and profit sharing with APP developers and content suppliers.


Sina Weibo just opened its recruitment section on 29th March. 20,000 resumes were posted in 3 days. Job seekers promote themselves by posting less than 140 words. Over 5000 Weibo fans will have an advantage over regular job seekers. Whether Weibo recruitment will endanger the traditional recruitment industry, like job hunting agent, career agent, is unknown.


Who is Weibo-ing? Kevin Garnett (Basketballer), Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United Footballer), Tom Cruise, Minhong Yu (New Oriental Chairman), Jun Feng (Agio president), and many more…
Have you updated your Weibo today? How many fans do you have?


Sina says goodbye to Google…
China’s largest Internet portal Sina has replaced Google’s search engine on its websites with its own technology. The US Internet giant has been losing search engine market share in China since January 2010, when it said it was no longer willing to self-censor content in order to comply with government regulations. In late March, Google again accused China of interfering with its Gmail service. China has denied any state involvement in this issue.


Other net giants are thriving
 

Qihoo 360 Technology Co. Ltd successfully listed on NYSE on 30th March; share (NYSE:QIHU) is traded at $29.59 on 1st April. If you have never heard about Qihoo, the company provides Internet and mobile security products in China and is used by a whopping 328 million active users! Its star products are 360 Safe Guard and 360 Anti-virus, while 360 Mobile Safe operates on mobile. Qihoo generates revenue mainly by offering services such as online advertising and value-added services. The funds raised through this IPO will be used to develop new internet and mobile security products and services, enhance the R&D capabilities, invest or acquire technology, products, business. And probably go after the biggies such as McAfee, Norton or Symantec…


Baidu has officially released Android mobile map with integrated map browsing, spot searching, route planning, real-time transportation service, and location sharing. Baidu is expected also to release its own web browser this year…


In other tech news…
 

Chinaccelerator bath 2 is launching…
Chinaccelerator is the first mentorship-driven seed-funding entrepreneurial accelerator program in China. It provides a catalyst for the next generation of great entrepreneurs who want to start their own business through a 4-month accelerator program. The program invests in early-stage Internet, software, telecommunication and technology field startups, and offer extensive support for startups, including seed funding, mentorship, and free office space.
 

So if you are you a talented and innovative entrepreneur with passion and willingness to move forward in improving your company and your life perspectives, it’s time to apply to the program held every year in Dalian. Deadline for this year is May 15th, on http://www.chinaccelerator.com


Rockband 3 Rocks with a Real Fender
Last year, Boston-based game maker Harmonix launched Rock Band 3, after many year as the leader of the “serious instrument gaming” market. This long-awaited new sequel features for the first time a real guitar as a controller! Marrying the reward-based game-play of the Rock Band franchise with feel of a real six-string guitar, the developer managed to create a teaching tool that also happened to be a fun videogame. In March, Fender released a six-string Squier designed specifically for use with for Rock Band 3 -- an amalgamation of a real guitar and a videogame controller. This is a full-size guitar which can be played through a standard guitar amplifier, used to play Rock Band 3 Pro Modes using the MIDI adapter, or even used as a MIDI instrument if you have the appropriate equipment.


If you’re at all interested in learning guitar but haven’t known where to start, I can’t recommend Rock Band 3’s Pro Mode enough. It’s the perfect jumping off point for beginners, using a basic gaming language you’ll likely already understand. Of course, the big consideration is price – the previous 102-button Fender Mustang controller was $100, while the Squier plus the required MIDI adapter means over $300 out of pocket. But trust me, it’s pure dynamite.