MediaFile

No-nonsense, and no names, at Apple iPad event

Apple has a reputation for developing hit products.

But the company also has a rep for maintaining an iron grip on its image and its message. Wednesday’s launch of the iPad, a product whose details have been closely guarded by Apple for months ahead of the launch, showed Apple’s operation at its best.

To the surprise of many, Apple CEO Steve Jobs turned up at the demo room after the main event and appeared to be casually hobnobbing with Wall Street Journal tech columnist Walt Mossberg.

IPADEVENT1But the scene was hardly the impromptu, open conversation it appeared.

Most of the people gathered around Jobs and Mossberg were not fellow reporters hunting for a quote, but a squad of no-nonsense, plain-clothed Apple staffers who had formed a human cordon around their leader. The only other person allowed within the safe zone was Mossberg, and any reporters who attempted to get near were physically blocked and pushed back.

Conversations with Apple staff about the iPad itself proved equally trying, with the mere act of getting a company spokesperson to confirm or clarify a fact feeling like an exercise in the theatre of the absurd.

“How do I spell your name?” this reporter asked an Apple staffer following a short conversation to confirm certain basic features of the iPad.

Leftover Apple…

photoThere were plenty of interesting little nuggets sprinkled throughout Apple’s iPad extravaganza Wednesday, some of which may have gotten lost in the headlines:

    The iPad is an impressive device to handle. It’s light and fast, with a bright screen and easy functionality. Movies appeared without a stutter and the gaming experience was an obvious asset.  The iBook e-reader application had a nice look, but it doesn’t mimic old-fashioned print in the same way that Amazon’s Kindle does. Steve Jobs pointed out that since the iPad runs on a version of the same software that powers the iPhone and iPod touch, many people will be quite comfortable using the new tablet: “Because we shipped over 75 million iPhones and iPod touches, there’s over 75 million people that already know how to use the iPad.” Jobs also noted that between the iTunes Store and the App Store — and the forthcoming iBook store — “we have over 125 million accounts with credit cards all enabled for one-click shopping on all these stores.”

 

    No details on what books will cost on the iBook store. Also nothing on a potential TV subscription service, as had been rumored. The iPad has no camera, as many had speculated it might, and doesn’t support Flash. Not exactly news, but Jobs is still no fan of netbooks:  ”The problem is netbooks aren’t better at anything. They’re slow, they have low quality displays and they run clunky old PC software. So they’re not better than a laptop at anything. They’re just cheaper. They’re just cheap laptops.” As many had predicted, the iPad features Apple’s own silicon, the A4 chip. Apple acquired a semiconductor company, PA Semi, in 2008. Apple just sold its 250 millionth iPod. Safe to say it would be thrilled to see that performance from the iPad.

Apple’s iPad in Jobs’ words

In case you weren’t among the members of the fourth-estate lucky enough to get an invitation to Apple’s highly-anticipated unveiling of the iPad on Wednesday, here are some of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs’ key comments about the new device and its importance to the company:

“Apple is a mobile devices company. That’s what we do.”

“When you feel all this power, and this much fun, and the internet in your hands, you’ll never want to go back.” Reuters

Reuters

“When we set out to develop the iPad, we not only had very ambitious technical goals, and user interface goals, but we had a very aggressive price goal. Because we want to put this in the hands of lots of people.”

What Apple’s “iTablet” could mean for Asia

Apple Inc. Chief Executive Steve Jobs walks through the crowd after a special event in San Francisco September 9, 2009. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

global_post_logoJonathan Adams serves as a GlobalPost correspondent, where this article first appeared.

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Here comes, maybe, Apple’s “iTablet.” Or “iSlate.” Or “iWhatever.”

Apple’s so-called “Jesus Tablet” has been described as the ultimate gadget: A netbook, e-book reader, movie player and games platform all in one. It’s going to revolutionize publishing, and education. No mention yet on solving Middle East peace, but surely it’s only a matter of time.

VOTE: Will you buy the Apple tablet?

apple tablet pic Is Apple’s much-talked about tablet destined to be a hit, or is it a product in search of a market? Apple has said nothing about the device expected to be unveiled by CEO Steve Jobs on Jan. 27 but mockups are everywhere. How much are you willing to pay for Apple’s tablet?

    Not interested $500-$699 $700-$899 $900-$1,000 More than $1,000
Created on Jan 21, 2010

View Results

poll by twiigs.com Photo Credit: Fotoboer.nl

Google steals CES spotlight, and a page from Apple

When it comes to blockbuster product introductions, Apple is king. So it’s not surprising that Google, which is looking to challenge Apple’s iPhone dominance, is stealing a page from the Steve Jobs & Co. playbook. Reuters

Reuters

Google emailed invitations to reporters on Tuesday for “an Android press gathering” that will take place at its Mountain View, California headquarters on Jan 5, as rumours continue to swirl that the company is preparing to release a Google-branded smartphone.

Yes, that’s the same week as the big Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where Sony, Microsoft, Samsung et al will dutifully convene to show off their latest doodads.

Sony’s PlayStation chief: We’ll get iPod game dabblers

So what happens when the Apple suggests your handheld game device is sub-par? Out of touch? Passe? ‘Dems fighting words, right?******That’s what I asked Sony’s PlayStation boss Jack Tretton during a recent interview. His response? Keep talking, Apple — you’re only creating more future PlayStation users.******A little background: Earlier this month, Apple’s Phil Schiller said this about Sony’s PlayStations Portable (PSP) and the Nintendo DS, which have together sold more than 150 million units around the globe:***

When these things came out they seemed so cool. But once you play a game on the iPod touch, they don’t really stack up anymore. They don’t have this amazing multi-touch user interface. The game are kind of expensive. they don’t even have anything like the Apps Store to find great games and titles. And they certainly don’t deliver a media experience like the iPod that is built into the iPod touch.******But worst is the buying experience. Having to go to the store and trying to find a hot new title is not a lot of fun.

***Not long after, Apple CEO Steve Jobs piled on to the New York Times, saying that the new lower price for the iPod Touch would draw in gamers.******Tretton, whose full title is CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment of America, counterpunched:***

The gaming heritage and the home of gaming is PlayStation. Dabbling in gaming is nice and ‘thank you’ for getting people interested in gaming — because they are going to end up with us.******Its sort of like saying, I got my drivers license and my first car was a beat up Subaru, but if you are ultimately going to be on the track, you are going to be driving a race car, and not something that’s basic transportation. So if you are going to be seriously interested in gaming you are going to end up a PlayStation consumer.

***Tough talk between two consumer electronics giants.******Personally, I have played games on all three devices — but not the same games — so I can’t testify to an apples-to-apples comparison. But I’ll say this: Poker and Tetris on the iPod Touch? Fun. Super Mario Bros on the DS? Cool. FIFA Soccer on the PSP? Wicked.******(Photo: Sony’s Jack Tretten at E3; Reuters)

Apple products overshadowed by Jobs’ return

Steve Jobs’ return to the public eye on Wednesday stole some of the attention from Apple’s products announcements which, if not earth-shattering, weren’t exactly chopped liver either.

The company unveiled new, cheaper iPod touches and affordable iPod nanos with video cameras. It also showed off the latest version of the iTunes software with new bells and whistles likely to cheer music lovers, including iTunes LP, which offers additional content such as liner notes, making a downloaded album a bit more like its vinyl predecessor.

Analysts liked the new nano most of all, although some wondered why the touch didn’t also receive a camera, as had been rumored.

Apple’s Steve Jobs steals the show

New colors, video camera, price cuts. Whatever. The Apple show belonged to Steve Jobs.

So how did he look? Rail thin, as you can see from this picture (see below or click here for a bunch more shots of the 54-year old chief executive). That shouldn’t come as a surprise, given he’s recovering from a liver transplant.

Even looking frail, however, his presence pumped up the crowd. “Steve Jobs making an appearance was definitely a pleasant surprise,” said Shaw Wu, an analyst with Kaufman Brothers. Another analyst, Brian Marshall of Broadpoint AmTech added, “I was surprised to see Steve. It’s great to see that he’s doing well.”

from Photographers' Blog:

Live from the Apple media extravaganza

Reuters will have live updates and photos from Apple's live event at 1 pm ET on Wednesday.

Apple Inc's Phil Schiller, Senior Vice-President of worldwide marketing, speaks about the iPod touch's game playing capabilities.  REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

All photos by Robert Galbraith.