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  • 1 Post By edwardreed037
  1.    #1  
    Apple creating touch panel shortages for tablet competition? -- Engadget

    AppleInsider | With 60% of world's touch panel capacity, Apple squeezes competitors

    I have said this tangentially in a few threads, but thought it would make an interesting discussion, as it's getting even more attention in the tech media. I am convinced the reason no one can touch Apple's iPad price is because they cornered the market on supplies. This is why the first wave of competitors opted for 7" parts. They simply couldn't get an equivalent iPad display in quantity, at a reasonable price.

    HP has taken the dangerous path of using Apple's panel of choice. This could very well leave HP dealing with shortages, or less quality parts, as Apple has, reportedly, pre-purchased 60% of the large, capacitive display market. I don't know that anyone can be certain of the exact amount, but Apple has planned for well into the future.

    Apple did something similar in the MP3 player space a few years back. This, combined with the fact that Apple is not completely reliant on off-the-shelf parts, gives them a substantial boost. They pioneer their own battery tech, custom silicon, and manufacturing processes.

    Much of this competitive advantage has been credited to Tim Cook, as well as SJ and JI. Together, they may well be the most powerful trio in Silicon Valley. For the last several years, they have set the trends that others have followed. There is a reason why capacitive, touchscreen phones with pinch to zoom are the norm. There is a reason why, suddenly, the world has discovered they desperately need a pad. There is a reason why the premium products will have 10" screens.

    The frightening thing is that even as we debate over who has the better iPad, Apple is working on the next big thing, and has likely already cornered the market on those parts as well. I would give your right arm to get a peak into their skunkworks lab.

    Anyway, how do other companies compete if they can't get the parts to build what Apple builds? Simple. They have to build something else. If they are going to compete with iPads, they have to go with a different screen size and resolution, and explain why that is better. Some have done this by making 16:9 formfactors, as Apple has rejected that idea. They have to go with smaller or larger sizes.

    More importantly, they need to make something other than a rebranded iPad. It is about time that someone else define the next trend. I got sick of seeing rebranded iPods. I am equally sick of rebranded iPhones and iPads. SJ, TC, and JI are only three people. Where are the rest of the out-of-box thinkers?

    Thoughts?
  2. #2  
    I don't think HP has a problem. I think it's the tier 2 companies that don't have the clout or purchasing muscle will suffer. Companies like Notion Ink will have a problem.

    Personally I don't like the screen on HP's or Apple's tablet. The screen isn't optimal for anything. For HD media I have black bars and a smaller viewing area. In portrait mode I like the longer screen for document viewing and editing. So I really don't get the embracing of 4:3 screens in a 16:9 world. I showed some girl watching a movie on an ipad that her movie was roughly the same size as mine on my nook color.

    And I think the atrax is the next trend. Granted Moto did a lousy job implementing the concept, but I think it's the way to go. I'd like to see that kind of integration all around. I'd like to see a 7" tablet integrated into a car's nav and media system. Snaps in like a big removable faceplate. Your gps runs through it. Your media runs through it. You embed 3g/4g into the car so it's always connected. Now something like Dash with their excellent wysiwyg traffic can make a comeback. When you leave your car you walk in the door and plug the tablet into a docking station where it syncs up with your home network and you have a dummy laptop that's active on your network and connected to the tablet like the atrix is, but with much better syncronization. That dummy laptop can have a dockport for the tablet for portable use as well.

    And it doesn't have to be a tablet, a phone like the atrix is just fine, but you have to scale the car's dock appropriately because the center dash now on most cars are such monstrosities.

    With the kickass processors just getting faster with more cores and more efficiency, they can easily integrate into other products and increase their functionality. We'll be less tied to windows as these mobile OS's become more robust while maintaining efficiency, instant access and such. For 80% of my work I could be happy on a more mature android OS with docstogo and a good browser that docks in a nice 11.6" 2lb laptop.
  3. #3  
    "HP has taken the dangerous path of using Apple's panel of choice."

    "Dangerous", or calculated? You are quick to take the former, and Im willing to admit that the latter is a large possibility - why?

    Because HP is a larger company, with more products world wide, than Apple, and no manufacturer would likely make a deal to supply parts that they can't deliver to HP without the fear of watching HP go to a competitor as a punishmemnt, and, by HP saying "Summer" for the TouchPad, I think such deals do, now exist.

    "The frightening thing is that even as we debate over who has the better iPad"

    Um, there is only one iPad, and it is the absolute best iPad in the world, amongst that field of 1.

    There will be many, MANY more pad alternatives to the iPad, and, when they make their debuts, the consumers and IT critics will decide on what is the best.

    I'm also not understanding why you used the word "frightening".

    Who is frightened? You? You are an Apple afficonado.. if anything, you'd be anything but frightened.

    HP? I dunno, but, read my reply above for why I believe they likely aren't "frightened", worried, or hesitant.

    "I would give your right arm to get a peak into their skunkworks lab."

    Thanks for the warning.. I'll keep my limbs close to my body when posting in response to you from now on!

    "Anyway, how do other companies compete if they can't get the parts to build what Apple builds?"

    I dunno, ask Motorola, for one, when the Xzoom goes on sale in a few days.

    "More importantly, they need to make something other than a rebranded iPad. It is about time that someone else define the next trend. I got sick of seeing rebranded iPods. I am equally sick of rebranded iPhones and iPads. SJ, TC, and JI are only three people. Where are the rest of the out-of-box thinkers?"

    Careful there, it would appear that you are drinking WAY too much of the Apple flavored koolaid, me thinks.

    Every new competitor pad hs something unique over the iPad, and some, like HP, are introducing complete ecosystems to integrate many devices, including their pad products - that is truly innovative, if not in concept, than certainly in thier particular way of incorporating it.

    'nuff said for now.. but, I think you get my point.

    "The more I learn, the more I realize just how little I really do know!" -Albert Einstein

  4.    #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by LCGuy View Post
    Every new competitor pad hs something unique over the iPad, and some, like HP, are introducing complete ecosystems to integrate many devices, including their pad products - that is truly innovative, if not in concept, than certainly in thier particular way of incorporating it.
    Naturally, competitors will iterate the basic idea. That is not what I mean. Essentially, everyone is working on a gen 2 iPad. They missed gen 1. But they are not making a different product; they are just trying to beat Apple to the next generation of the same product. Of course this must happen, but it is not leadership.

    You wonder why it is a frightening thought that Apple is the only one who seems to be able to produce the next big thing? That is not the world I want to see. I want to see everyone coming up with their vision of the next big thing. That is when the consumer reaps real benefit. Apple makes an iPad. If everyone just makes a slightly different version of the same thing, then we still only have one thing, the iPad.

    Where is the neural interface? I want my flying car, damn it! Do I have to wait for Apple to get around to that, or will some other big thinker please stand up? If Apple makes the best bicycle in the world, who cares if you can improve it slightly. Screw the bicycle! Build a spaceship! As long as other companies are trying to match the leader, there will be no spaceships.
  5. #5  
    With all due respect to the OP, I don't think component control will matter but so much in this space. The software/apps and UI/UX will be much bigger differentiators. WebOS itself is an ok start, but they need a lot more than that. It's one plus against a long column of minuses (e.g. inadequate video offerings, inadequate magazine offerings, inadequate book offerings, inadequate custom tablet apps, ect.) There are plenty of out-of-the-box thinkers and smaller software houses with innovative concepts, and HP should buy a few up. They should be looking for the next Kinect, not to be "as cool as Apple".

    Stop trying to entice developers. Own them.
  6.    #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by mikah912 View Post
    They should be looking for the next Kinect, not to be "as cool as Apple".
    YES! This is what I'm talking about. Apple had the first shot at owning Kinect. They make mistakes. Their not Gods. This is why it annoys me when others seem to be content to draft off of Apple's lead. If you can't invent the next big thing, keep an eye out for it, buy it, then productize it.

    To be clear, I know that there are other companies who think big. Most of them are too small to make a go of it. The big companies: Samsung, HP, Moto, MS, have a greater responsibility to do more than iterate on other people's ideas. They need to be working on flying cars. I congratulate Moto for the Atrix. I think it is a horribly flawed implementation, but it is a new direction. HP needs to come up with Atrix level new directions. They are too big to just follow others.

    Nintendo is another company that knows how to move the goal posts. Sony used to be that company. The real competitor to Apple is the company that produces the next big thing that becomes a standard everyone else wants to copy.

    I have a feeling I have ranted my own thread off topic. Time for a break.
  7. #7  
    "You wonder why it is a frightening thought that Apple is the only one who seems to be able to produce the next big thing? That is not the world I want to see. I want to see everyone coming up with their vision of the next big thing. That is when the consumer reaps real benefit. Apple makes an iPad. If everyone just makes a slightly different version of the same thing, then we still only have one thing, the iPad.

    Where is the neural interface? I want my flying car, damn it! Do I have to wait for Apple to get around to that, or will some other big thinker please stand up? If Apple makes the best bicycle in the world, who cares if you can improve it slightly. Screw the bicycle! Build a spaceship! As long as other companies are trying to match the leader, there will be no spaceships."


    This is what I meant above about the "Apple koolaid".

    Apple is one of many copanies that makes gadgets and devices. What changed the world was Windows 3.1 and then Windows 95, if you want to be technical, and even that wasn't innovative.. if you want the real inovators, go back to Xerox and thier thinktank in the mid 70's, where they came up with the idea of a mouse driven PC and GUI, that Jobs and Gates stole.

    Then fast forward 20 years to a little company called "Palm" who created the first portable PIM device.

    You want innovators today?

    Try these:

    Tesla electric cars.

    Supconductor research at MIT.

    3D printing companies.

    These guys who might have accidentally found a real cure for baldness.

    I can go on and on, but, again, I think you get my point.
    "The more I learn, the more I realize just how little I really do know!" -Albert Einstein

  8. #8  
    Apple's designs are, well, elegant. There is no better word for it. Sony and Toshiba can come close at times, but, on average, Apple has the best-designed hardware from an aesthetics point of view of any vendor. It is amazing that, after several years, no one has been able to design a better hard-drive-based MP3 player than Apple did with the iPod. Even Toshiba's design, which used many of the same components, sucked.

    Have you noticed that Apple doesn't live by the version-three rule? In the PC industry, there is this rule that some of the branded vendors take three tries to get something right. Apple often gets it in one try. The first iteration might not be perfect, but it is often so close to the ideal that the difference is insignificant. I'm clearly one of those folks who wish this rule didn't apply so well to companies other than Apple. You know in college many technical students have written competitive advantage essay about Apple.

    Where Apple really stands out is in marketing. The company simply seems to understand what will get people excited about its products, and then it executes on that vision. You don't see the company mainly talking about features or technology, but about how the computer will make your life better. The iPod ads actually won an award from AdWeek and, if it hadn't been for an even more stunning campaign from Citibank, they might have won best ad overall for 2003 as opposed to just being in the top 10.

    Simply look at where Apple puts its logo on its products. On the laptops, the logo is right side up when the screen is open. Many vendors don't understand the power of walking into an office and seeing a large number of logos advertising their products to everyone in the office and everyone else who comes into it. The logo even lights up on most Apple laptops. Apple understood that the logo is not for the person who bought the computer but for the person who is in the market for one. It is good advertising placement -- not a throw-away design element.
    Last edited by edwardreed037; 10/18/2011 at 01:08 AM.
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