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Amazon, Apple Expected to Strut Their Small-Tablet Stuff Soon 115

Posted by timothy
from the 7-inches-is-plenty dept.
After a few years of rumors and hints, All Things Digital says that a smaller iPad will debut in October. And Amazon may be trying to steal their thunder with a revamped Kindle tablet: Nerval's Lobster writes with a report at SlashCloud that "Amazon could be readying a new set of Kindle tablets for unveiling in early September. That's the widespread speculation following the online retailer's invitations to media for a Sept. 6 event in Santa Monica, Calif. Even by the coy standards of most tech companies' event invitations, Amazon's is notably bereft of detail. It will take place at 10:30 AM PST at Barker Hangar, a noted (and quite large) event space. But the timing of the event is auspicious: with Apple rumored to be unveiling a smaller iPad in the near future, and the holiday shopping season a few months away, early September could prove the ideal time for Amazon to whip back the curtain from a new tablet and dominate the media conversation, at least for a few days."
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Amazon, Apple Expected to Strut Their Small-Tablet Stuff Soon

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  • It would mean bridging the phone and the tablet. I hope it's available before mid October, since my wife's birthday. Yes, it'll come out in September, I read that, but availability is a different thing.

    • Re:the right price (Score:4, Informative)

      by TwinkieStix (571736) on Saturday August 25, 2012 @03:23PM (#41124071) Homepage

      Phones and tablets currently cost roughly the same $200 - $700 depending on features. Cellular carriers hide this cost behind a subsidized contract when a 3g modem is included in either the tablet or the phone, but we are all still paying it. How much more can the price of the phone and the tablet be bridged?

    • by bluescrn (2120492)
      Nexus 7 got the price right

      Kindle Fire is irrelevant due to being US-only for so long.
      • Sadly the better cheap tablets are manufactured by lesser known Chinese manufacturers. Compare the Nexus 7 to nearly similarly spec'd tablets by the virtually no-name Ainol. http://www.ainol-novo.com/buy-products.html [ainol-novo.com] The cheaper models, which should be less expensive than even the direct online price of the Nexus 7, don't have Bluetooth, but all models have the one thing missing from the Nexus 7, HDMI output. Comparable to the Nexus 7, except for the GPU, is the unimaginatively named Ainol Flame. http:/ [ainol-novo.com]
        • You clearly can't read spec sheets. Go read what the Nexus 7 specs actually are and then try again.
        • by Meski (774546)
          Why would you be caring about HDMI output from a tablet? I've got it on the Samsung 10.1 and haven't even considered using it, it certainly isn't a deal-breaker for the Nexus 7 (which I like better than the 10.1)
          • If you want to carry a simple presentation or a movie you want to show without carrying an additional device, you can hook up the tablet to a projector or a 60'' TV. Modern tablets are powerful enough to replace standalone media players.
            • by Meski (774546)
              Hmm, yes, ok. Guess I'll save my 10.1 for that (but I need to get a mini-whatever->standard HDMI for the 10.1. The Raspberry does this, guess I should have thought of Nexus/10.1 too. The Raspberry is actually easier, has ports you can put SD, kb and mouse into, as well as a standard HDMI.
      • by Phoghat (1288088)

        Nexus 7 got the price right Kindle Fire is irrelevant due to being US-only for so long.

        I'm in Mexico and can't buy a nexus 7 either

    • to a 7 inch wi-fi tablet and I'd buy one immediately. With bluetooth earphones/microphone I'd be all set.
    • by DinDaddy (1168147)

      The more credible rumors have the second ipad coming out in October at a separate event from the new phone. But probably with immediate availability, so maybe in time for your wife's birthday anyway.

      • by Macgrrl (762836)

        Make sure you have a 'Plan B' before the day in case things don't work out though.

  • You can't steal Apple's thunder. They could release the iTurd, a literal green three-coiled turd, with a USB port squished into it, and people would buy it. People aren't interested in the hardware when they buy Apple -- they're interested in the brand, the experience, the ability to tell all your friends you have the latest iThing. Look at the iPod for example; Even when the very first version was released, there were plenty of alternatives that beat it on cost, service, feature set, and form factor. Peopl

    • by tooyoung (853621) on Saturday August 25, 2012 @02:53PM (#41123889)
      Please excuse my friend. Like many technical people, he is under the impression that a spec sheet defines a product, rather than nuances of user experience.
      • A million times this ^. We are at the hardware plateau where user experience is king.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by c++0xFF (1758032)

          Correction: user perception is king.

          However, most users are not qualified to speak about nuances of user experiences nor technical specifications. Most Slashdotters aren't qualified, honestly. Brand image plays a huge part of what a consumer perceives to be a good product.

          • by horigath (649078)

            However, most users are not qualified to speak about nuances of user experiences nor technical specifications.

            They are perfectly qualified to speak about their own, personal, user experience. No one better.

          • by Macgrrl (762836)

            User experience really is one of the few things where "I don't know much about art, but I know what I like" really applies. Randomuser may not be able to articulate why they prefer a particular user interface, but that doesn't make them any less qualified to decide which one they find the easiest or most comfortable to use.

      • rather than nuances of user experience.

        By which you mean a corporate logo.

      • by narcc (412956)

        Let's not play pretend that Apple has somehow mastered the mythical "user experience". Even the iPod didn't have a UI that was in any way superior to alternatives on the market.

        The iPod was running on Apples reputation for design, oddly enough, from the gum-drop-like iMac. Their well-executed "silhouette" ad campaign did the rest. All Apple did for digital music was make it "okay" -- bringing it out of the shadows in the wake of Napster. At the time, digital music was synonymous with Apple because cons

    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Does the iTurd have rounded corners? If so, I probably owe Apple $1.05 billion.

    • If you served me Pepsi and called it Coke, I would spit it back at you. When properly served, they are completely different. Coke is 'spicy', Pepsi is 'sweet'. You assume too much.
    • by Truedat (2545458)
      Wrong on two counts. Pepsi is horribly, sickly sweet to my taste buds - coke is clearly the superior beverage. Maybe you like that but either way there would have to be something wrong with you not to at least tell the difference.

      As for shipping iturds, apple could get away with that shit exactly once. Never seems to occur to some people that a brand becomes respected because it's repeatedly associated with good products. Out of all the willful blind spots nurtured here on slashdot I find this one frankly

      • by narcc (412956)

        Damn it, man, the Cola Wars are over. It's time to put the past behind us, pound our swords in to plow-shares, and rebuild.

        The battles still seem just like yesterday, and we've still got a long road ahead. But you've got to leave the fight on the battle field. It has no place in this new world.

    • by vux984 (928602)

      It's Goliath... and unlike the biblical parable, a few rocks will not down this beast.

      Fortunately it's likely to collapse under its own weight sooner or later anyway. Nothing grows at that rate indefinitely.

  • Are they looking at the success of ebook readers and trying to jump on board? Pearl e-ink technology is why those took off, not the form factor. I could go for a slightly larger reader to be honest.

    • I'm not so sure about that, between my Samsung Tab 10.1 and my Nexus X -- I find myself using my Nexus X much more frequently. There is something to be said for that smaller form factor.

      And no, except for reading mangas, I don't read much with it, I mostly play games, I use it as a remote control, or I watch Viki or CrunchyRoll with it. And I do switch to my Tab 10.1 for reading comic books/mangas occasionally, but that size of a tablet is a bear to hold in bed (even if it's supposedly lighter and thinner t

  • Not gonna be an iPad (Score:4, Interesting)

    by murphtall (1979734) on Saturday August 25, 2012 @02:52PM (#41123887)
    Ugh. It's gonna be the new ipod touch. Aka the new iPod. It's not gonna be a mini iPad. I wish people would get it right. I mean I know it's just an iName thing but i firmly believe this is the correct iName not iPad mini or minipad blech
    • by ATMAvatar (648864)

      What's the difference?

      The iPhone is just an iPod Touch that can make calls.

      The iPad is just an iPod Touch that's bigger.

      • The branding matters. It is intended as an upgrade for iPod Touch users, so that it does not eat into the sales of iPad. I believe Apple would expect people to own both an iPad and an iPod (7" one, not old generation one).

      • by Xest (935314)

        Perhaps it allows Apple to skirt round the otherwise embarassing comments they made previously about how no one would ever want a 7" tablet so they can hence claim "It's not a 7" tablet, it's a 7" media player with tablet features!" ?

        • by rjejr (921275)
          I've been thinking "New" iPod Touch for awhile now for the following reasons: 1. Last years iPhone 4s update updated the iPod Touch to both black and white w/ a price drop, nothing new at all. So it's overdue. 2. $199 iPod Touch, $299 iPad Mini, $399 iPad 2, $499 New iPad - that's too many price points for basically the same thing. 3. iPad Mini would eat into iPad sales, New iPod Touch would eat into Kindle Fire and Nexus sales. 4. It keeps the "iPod" name relevant. Who talks about iPods anymore when everyb
  • by rhavan (1755044) on Saturday August 25, 2012 @02:59PM (#41123923)
    I can see it now: Amazon vs Apple, with Apple suing for taking their idea for a 7 inch tablet 2 years before Apple got around to making a midsize tablet. Just because they hadn't made it yest doesn't mean you haven't pre-infringed.
  • by lilfields (961485) on Saturday August 25, 2012 @03:01PM (#41123939) Homepage
    Since the iPad is just a very large iPod Touch, why even both wasting my time with an iPad Mini? This won't be the reaction of the masses of consumers that love Apple (for whatever reason, they actually aren't that great anymore,) but I think it's legit. When will Apple actually embrace the tablet medium as something wholly separate from their iPod and iPhone platforms? They can share a core, have apps that are similar or easier to convert, but when I use an iPad I feel like I'm using an iPhone/iPod with a magnifying glass. It just scales so terribly. The iPad is a success because all other tablets are awful, not really because it's something great. The more I experience the iPad, the more I wonder, "why is this still popular?"
    • That is what's happening. It's gonna be the new iPod. Aka the new iPod touch. There will be no mini iPad. The iPod needs a refresh. It's the only logical way to go imo
    • I was going to buy an iPad mini/Air/whatever when it came out - because there are a few apps that I know will never come to android and which I would really really like, but after the monstrous patent bullshit that Apple have pulled I can't in good conscience get one.

      I've held out against Apple for a long time, and they make some great hardware - the Macbook Air is, IMO, a perfectly targeted piece of tech. And the new iPad would have been perfect for my needs. Even after I bought a Nexus 7.

      But I can't do it

      • by peted56 (1842988)
        Yeah right, what are these mystery apps that you "must" have?
        • I'm a big fan of Brian Eno and his music, and the apps I was referring to were Bloom, Air and Trope.

          I'd love to see them on Android, but I don't ever see it happening.

      • by Truedat (2545458)
        I agree that apple are assholes for this shit and it highlights the terrible patent system. However I also think that Samsung are the bigger assholes who basically get a free ride by copying competitor products. I don't care what the legal system has to say about it and which team wins in the long run but in my book it's plain wrong.

        Apple are guilty of this too of course, but do you want to know the difference? They have the confidence to enter fledgling markets where it's in no way obvious to anybody th

        • Well I've got nothing better to do, sorry for feeding...

          However I also think that Samsung are the bigger assholes who basically get a free ride by copying competitor products.

          Damn Samsung and their lack of innovation. It's so easy for them to just wait for Apple to release something and then make the exact same thing, taking customers that rightfully belonged to Apple.

          The software is kind of a moot point cause it's really just Android which is obviously nothing like iOS. Their hardware performs better than Apple's and it's way cheaper. It also looks good in a way that's different than the iPhone's brick-with-a-screen desig

          • by Truedat (2545458)
            You might not agree with my comments and that's fine, but why call me a troll? I took time to craft my arguments (about 20 minutes) and unlike you I definitely have many better things I could be doing. Quite possibly I didn't do a good job, but it's quite sad to come here for reasoned debate and be met with that kind of response just because my opinion happens to deviate from the masses. Sorry, there isn't really any incentive to engage with your post any further.
        • Samsung manufactured cellphones and tablets before Apple.
          • by Truedat (2545458)
            True but Apple didn't go after that market, they went after the much smaller high end smartphone market.
      • Sorry, but I don't buy the argument not to buy from ANY company because of legal actions they take, at least not when legal actions re not the core business model.

        Google is I think even more guilty than Apple of bad patent lawsuits, by having Motorola violate the RAND patents they were supposed to offer to all companies on equitable terms but they tried to shake down Apple for way more money on.

        Even if you disagree with Apple being able to sue for design patents the fact is they had a strong case and it was

        • 1. Googlarola is suing Apple for not paying FRAND royalties and demanding its own, lower, rates.

          2. Apple's case against Samsung was pretty awful: that they won had more to do with bad management of the case by the judge (and a failure to anticipate that by Samsung's lawyers) rather than anything about the merits of the case. The fact is, and this is not even open for debate, the look of Samsung's products has not changed significantly since before the iPhone - that is, Samsung already had products out or

    • by TummyX (84871)

      What do you mean by the iPad terribly? Are you trying to run iPhone apps on the iPad or something? Try running actually tablet optimised apps.

  • I wonder how Apple is going to spin the fact that every man and their dog was releasing a 7" tablet at the time that Jobs was vitriolic in his total contempt for that size. How times change.

    Welcome to the party, Apple. You'll discover that it's an excellent form factor for tablets, very mobile for use on the go instead of merely transportable like larger ones, and it doesn't force you to squint like a smartphone display. Best all-rounder size, I reckon.

    I love mine, it's proven repeatedly to have been the

    • I wonder how Apple is going to spin the fact that every man and their dog was releasing a 7" tablet at the time that Jobs was vitriolic in his total contempt for that size.

      Steve Jobs said, at one time, Apple wasn't interested in developing a phone - that didn't stop them from developing the iPhone.

      Steve Jobs also said, at one time, people don't read anymore - that didn't stop them from developing iBooks.

      Jobs consistently said whatever made sense for the company at the time he said it. But he obviously had no qualms about reversing himself once it made business to do so.

      • What Steve said was about PDAs ~" If we get into the PDA business (again), we have to get into the cell phone business." which anyone with a brain immediately knew that he was working on a PDA/phone.
    • by tooyoung (853621)

      I wonder how Apple is going to spin the fact that every man and their dog was releasing a 7" tablet at the time that Jobs was vitriolic in his total contempt for that size.

      Easy, it will be 6.9". Who would want a 7" tablet?

    • What about Samsung suing Apple for stealing it's design of a tablet with a size smaller than 10" but bigger than a phone ? After all, we DO KNOW (it was publicly said) that Apple came to that idea after using a Samsung 7" tablet !!! Blatant copy...

      I'd say that samsung should ask for... 1B$ damages ;-)

    • He thought they were too small, based on Apple's extensive UI testing AT THAT TIME. Things and markets change. Apple may not have wanted to lead the 7" form factor, but i see no justification for calling them hypocritical about entering it now.
      Sent from my Nexus 7
      • Exactly. At the resolution available at that time, the 7" would have sucked. He made the right call, and is still right about releasing the 7" now.

        • by narcc (412956)

          Ummm... No.

          It was not a limitation of the technology of the time. They could have had the same resolution with a smaller display.

  • ...sue them for making somthing that looks and feels like Gene Roddenberry invented it....

  • Who's copying now (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Hognoxious (631665) on Saturday August 25, 2012 @03:10PM (#41123997) Homepage Journal

    Everyone from Archos to Yarvik who already make 7" tablets should sue Apple for blatantly ripping off their IP.

  • Amazon should sue! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kenja (541830) on Saturday August 25, 2012 @03:15PM (#41124037)
    Clearly Apple is stealing the design of the Kindle Fire in an attempt to create confusion in the market place.
  • by Altanar (56809) on Saturday August 25, 2012 @03:17PM (#41124051)
    Not too excited about a new tablet. What I really want is a color e-ink Kindle. *sigh*
  • Microsoft Surface (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nastav (2611511) on Saturday August 25, 2012 @03:19PM (#41124061)
    I'm not entirely convinced that the game is settled in favor of Apple and the next rev of iPad. I'm extremely curious about Microsoft's Surface tablets. Surface is not in the same exact category as the purported iPad Mini or the next device from Amazon, or Google - it's an ~10" device whereas the rumor mills suggest a 7" form factor from other tablet competitors. Despite the size difference, it's worth noting that the main use-case for a consumer using one of these devices is web browsing, media consumption, note-taking, occasional (and typically RO) access to office documents, games, and platform specific apps.

    The last two categories (games, platform specific apps) give Apple, and Android based devices, a significant first-mover advantage (in that order). When it comes to web-browsing, office applications and familiarity of interface, Windows has an edge (now along with Mac OS X) - at least in the consumer demographic that's waiting to spend money on a new device. If the rumors of low-pricing of Surface RT are true, and they are sold in the vicinity (or under) USD 300, and if the curiously interesting keyboard-and-mouse-on-a-flap turns out to be a seamless peripheral, then there is a good chance that Surface RT + Windows RT will gain momentum. Microsoft has already announced that they will bundle Office with Windows RT - and that's going to be a big deal IMO. This will certainly upset Google, and Amazon offerings - but perhaps only make a small dent in to Apple. Nevertheless, the world could look like an Apple and Microsoft dominated one this holiday season, leaving behind Android offerings. If the sales momentum is even somewhat interesting for Surface RT devices, I think that App developers will start implementing Metro style applications quickly - and developer experience (using Visual Studio and .NET toolsets) has been a historical strength of Microsoft's.

    Of course, my analysis is predicated on two important assumptions - pricing and a great execution on the flap-keyboard, but I'll nevertheless be tempted to at least wait until Surface starts selling before deciding which tablet to buy next (and which ones to recommend to my non-techie friends).
    • by jbolden (176878) on Saturday August 25, 2012 @03:44PM (#41124245) Homepage

      Surface needs to be very cheap if Microsoft wants to make a splash. Microsoft cannot afford another failed product but I'm not sure if they understand how much money a successful product is going to cost them.

      • by nastav (2611511)

        but I'm not sure if they understand how much money a successful product is going to cost them.

        It's a toss-up, really. They succeeded with XBox despite entering a new market crowded with leviathans, and they are failing with Windows Phone despite having a real first-mover advantage. They have succeeded in building very good first-party peripherals - keyboards (esp. ergonomic ones) and mice, and they did terribly with Zune. Microsoft Router (for those who can remember their 802.11b offering) was one of the best in the market, but they stopped building more when other companies started flooding the mar

        • by Uberbah (647458)

          They succeeded with XBox despite entering a new market crowded with leviathans

          True, in marketshare if not in profit, because it focused on an area neglected by Sony and Nintendo: online play. If they could find a similar (large) niche to exploit, maybe they could make inroads into the tablet market.

          But: netbooks already provided keyboards in lightweight form factors. Maybe a sub-netbook would make a difference, but then the Asus Transformer line has been around for a while without setting the world on fir

      • Surface needs to be very cheap if Microsoft wants to make a splash.

        Very true.

        But can they afford the resulting backlash from other hardware makers? A number of them have already fired shots across Microsofts bow warning them they will be very displeased if Surface is undercutting the hardware they make.

        • by jbolden (176878)

          Yes they can afford it. The OEM's can't really go anywhere.

          That being said I'm nor sure if Surface exists as a reference implementation or as a product or as a serious push. I know Microsoft is getting frustrated with their OEM's selling crap and they are pushing for a better experience ( example: http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msstore/html/pbPage.MicrosoftSignature [microsoftstore.com] ). But... there is a huge difference between Microsoft bitching about OEMs and be willing to lose the bottom 3rd of the market.

          I think

    • by oakgrove (845019)

      pricing and a great execution on the flap-keyboard

      I've typed on my netbook plenty of times which theoretically should have a better keyboard than the Surface flaps and I still hate it. So does practically everybody else I've ever heard discuss it. I just don't see how they think relying so much on the keyboard gimmick for their tablet is going to shift units. As for the price, yes, if Android tablet OEMs think they can keep pushing their 10 inch stuff for 499 then it could be a rout but I think Google is showing the way with the Nexus 7. Cut the featur

    • by tooyoung (853621)

      When it comes to web-browsing, office applications and familiarity of interface, Windows has an edge (now along with Mac OS X) - at least in the consumer demographic that's waiting to spend money on a new device.

      Except Microsoft is releasing this with a completely unfamiliar user interface.

    • by swillden (191260)

      When it comes to web-browsing, office applications

      Office applications, maybe, but web browsing? Both iOS and Android have excellent browsers.

  • by elabs (2539572) on Saturday August 25, 2012 @03:25PM (#41124087)
    I think a second, smaller iPad will actually fragment the iPad market and send the message to the world that there are choices in the tablet market. Right now people are patrified to plunk down $600-$800 on "the wonrg" tablet. They know they can't go wrong with the iPad so they buy that. When there are two iPads to choose from that mentality should start to change. People will start asking themselves, "what's the right tablet for me?"
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I hope every tablet manufacturer now making a tablet smaller than 10" immediately sues, claiming Apple stole their design.
  • that's what prophet Jobs called the smaller Samsung tablets when they were announced.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I would rather buy something made by Microsoft then something made by Apple.

  • Who cares what's expected. I expect a lot of things, but this world isn't full of sane or rational individuals, and my hopes are uncorrectably too high.

    Events, or it didn't happen.

  • Their fanboi's whould buy an apple product even if it was made from the dry shit of Steve Jobs. I hope they get a big fat lawsuit when they dare copy Amazon or Google small form layout.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Seriously though, do you know where I could get some dried Steve Jobs shit?

  • by PPH (736903) on Saturday August 25, 2012 @08:29PM (#41125961)

    ... is that new Kindle?

    It had better not be rectangular with rounded corners.

  • Can we stop letting Ricki Lake write headlines? It's nauseating to see shit like this on slashdot.
  • So in addition to non-x86 architecture, no DVD drive, my giant fingers instead of a keyboard and mouse, they made the screen impossible tiny and hard to read for the majority of adults. Wow, it's like they've never asked a single question to a single customer ever.
    • by gmhowell (26755)

      Do you always cry when companies release products that aren't designed specifically for you?

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