Aug 072012

I am surprised how little rumours are about the iPod Nano while all is about iPhone 5 and iPad Mini.

iPhone 5
Wider screen, smaller dock connector, smaller SIM card, high-speed LTE. Nothing revolutionary, right?

iPad Mini
Oh yes, it is a smaller version of the iPad. Probably with the iPad 2 screen resolution and a more appealing price tag. Nice but not exciting.

iPod Touch
Better speed, larger screen. good, but .. well.

So what about the iPod Nano?

I reckon that Apple will announce a “revolutionary”“magic”“beautiful” new iPod Nano in September. I have no insider knowledge whatsoever. This is just me reflecting on what I consider another lucrative market ready to harvest. Here is my reasoning

  • Design: Watch
    The form factor of the iPod Nano makes it a very lucrative wearable device – like a watch (wristband) or brooch (clip). The success ofTikTok and Lunatik wristbands, the Pebble watch and the I’m Watch gadget is enough proof.
    “Apple is fixing the Pebble watch’s biggest flaw?” How generous! Apple is rather providing this capability for their own watch!
  • Technology: Bluetooth 4.0
    The lower power consumption of Bluetooth 4.0 leads to new wearable gadgets collecting personal data and transmitting it to a hub device without much recharging.
    The scenarios and sensors already exist: heart rate, pulse, blood flow, temperature, sleep patterns, steps, scales ..
    It will be interesting to see which display technology Apple will pick. E-Ink? Pixel Qi?
  • Strategy: Platform
    A personal hub that collects and displays data from the various sensors in a secure, ‘standardized’ way provides a perfect platform strategy. This nicely complements the larger iTunes and App Store platform on the lower end.In June Apple announced partnership with major automobile companies for the “Siri-enabled Eyes Free” car integration. I expect another partnership announcement around the iPod Nano and sensors. My candidates: Polar, Nike, some players in the health sector and some innovative companies such as Withings.
  • Money: New market, high profit margin
    I expect they can drop the base price for the iPod Nano below $100 (even $80?) including clip and still make significant profit. They can earn more money with a smart wristband copying the approach of the iPad Smart Cover.

Again, all of this is pure speculation. It just seems very compelling to me.

So what do you think?

[Originally posted on Google+]

Jul 212012

Reflecting on the Why the mini-tablet is the children’s toy of the year post from Mike Elgan.

We consciously limit the use of gadgets while our daughter is around. Nevertheless there are exceptions: browse photos, watch Peppa Pig when on vacation or when she is sick, and skype Grandma.

Today she asked to have her own iPhone?! What does she need it for? Quote: “Skype Grandma.”

The intuitive touch interface and engaging apps attract the child in us – and, of course, in our kids. And I agree with +Mike Elgan  that form factor and price of 7″ mini-tablets are good fit for children’s toy of the year.

Though did you know there is already a (very) mini-iPad available? It is called iPod Touch. So if mini-tablets really dominate holiday gift sales, Apple should be able to leverage a fair share for an adjacent cheaper iPod Touch.

Oh, and my current iPod Touch 4G will become my daughter’s first ‘iPhone’. Yes, it does skype!

Originally posted on Google+.

Jul 052012

+Jeff Jarvis proposes to call this thing “handy”.

As +Volker Weber puts it in his post: “Been there, done that, Germany.”
“Please switch your handys off” – I once used this pseudo-anglicism as a conference speaker in U.S. only to get a completely puzzled audience. 😉

Nevertheless I rather propose to name it:
“A personal assistant or personal aide (PA)”

This “thing” is named by the job it fulfills. Drop the digital as it takes over from the human representatives.

History repeats: Human Computer

You find other suggestions as comments to Jeff’s original post:

[Originally posted on Google+]

Oct 022011

Why Tuesday’s Apple Event is One of the Most Important Ever from Mike Elgan is another excellent analysis worth to contemplate about:

“Social Tablet era”
“People are designed to socialize with other humans, and also to explore the world with touch.”
Great one! Touch-based tablets – especially the iPad – plays to our deep hard-wired desire to touch things and – well – play with them. Hmm, is tactile experience the most ’emotional’?

So the symbiosis of tablet and social networks will revolutionize our social experience as built-in cameras in mobile phones did.

“Artificial Experience Phone Era”
Hmm, clumsy name. IBM is ‘commercializing’ AI on the high-end leveraging the visibility of Watson winning Jeopardy!.
However, bringing first class “computer assistant” experience to the consumer market shifts everybody’s experience. Voice recognition and control were around for many years – Dragon and ViaVoice are most notable contenders.

Well, PDAs were around for nearly 20 years as well but the breakthrough came when combined with multi-touch in iPhone and iPad.

I am still munching about these assessments. Definitely there is something in them. May be I am enchanted by Tuesday’s event.

Maybe companies will soon need a BYOCA to work policy: Bring your own computer assistant.

[Originally posted on Google+]

Mar 242009

This is absolutely amazing. It seems that they provide the final technical breakthrough that is needed to make reading a digital experience. Though still another year away from production. Obviously, they want to steer up the hype, now that Amazon and Sony try to rapidly gain market share now that the e-book market is ready for primetime.

Feb 222008

The BusinessWeek article “Building the Perfect Laptop” occurs shortly before the ThinkPad X300 is supposed to be announced.

It trails the recent announcement of the MacBook Air by Apple. The Air might be really the thinnest notebook. However its design seems to me to sacrifices a bit too much

  • Single USB port
    External mouse and USB stick require two ports or an external hub.
  • No built-in Ethernet port
    An optional USB Ethernet Adapter is available: extra cost, extra box, plugs into the single USB port.
  • No built-in CD/DVD drive
    An optional Superdrive is available: extra cost, extra box, plugs into the single USB port.
  • No microphone jack
    Useful for communication in busy places (think ultralight notebook, think traveling).

It seems that the Lenovo engineers got that right and the marketing department happily emphasizes it: “But the X300 is more than ultra-thin and ultra-light. It’s ultra-functional, too, thanks to available performance and convenience features […]”.

Nov 212007

The Kindle e-book reader from Amazon is now available on They call the display “revolutionary” – though several other vendors (Sony, IRex, Jinke) are already selling e-book devices for quite some time and there were a few updates and newcomers recently.

It is more the service that makes it revolutionary. Wireless connectivity anywhere – not Wi-Fi but cell phone technology. Variety of U.S. and international newspapers delivered automatically. Many electronic books available – Amazon had acquired in 2005. Access to some blogs and Wikipedia. Listening to audio books from – Amazon has invested in this company as well. (Actually you can use music players for this purpose – they are smaller, lighter and cheaper.)

Sounds really good? Yes, but … this could be The Future of Reading.