Two million iPads are in the wild

It took Apple just under two months to move two million iPads. Yes, two million of the tablets are now out in the world, lighting up the their owners’ faces all across the world.

It really was the worldwide launch that seemed to vault sales to what most consider a highly successful figure. Really, two million is pretty great for what could easily be considered the pioneer for an entire product line. An Apple press release announced the, ah, historic figure.

CUPERTINO, Calif., May 31 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Apple® today announced that iPad™ sales have topped two million in less than 60 days since its launch on April 3. Apple began shipping iPad in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the UK this past weekend. iPad will be available in nine more countries in July and additional countries later this year.
“Customers around the world are experiencing the magic of iPad, and seem to be loving it as much as we do,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We appreciate their patience, and are working hard to build enough iPads for everyone.”

iPad allows users to connect with their apps, content and the Internet in a more intimate, intuitive and fun way than ever before. Users can browse the web, read and send email, enjoy and share photos, watch HD videos, listen to music, play games, read ebooks and much more, all using iPad’s revolutionary Multi-Touch™ user interface. iPad is 0.5 inches thin and weighs just 1.5 pounds-thinner and lighter than any laptop or netbook-and delivers up to 10 hours of battery life.*

Developers have created over 5,000 exciting new apps for iPad that take advantage of its Multi-Touch user interface, large screen and high-quality graphics. iPad will run almost all of the more than 200,000 apps on the App Store, including apps already purchased for your iPhone® or iPod touch®.
*Battery life depends on device settings, usage and other factors. Actual results vary.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

iPad numbers herald the death of netbooks

iPad vs. netbooks.You had to see the death of the netbook. The little laptops are unbearably cramped, with crappy keyboards, tiny touchpads, and screen resolutions that could make even your grandparents beg for more. Netbooks were the lame intermediary while tablets waited for their messiah, and now that they have one, the tablets are taking over.

According to a study by Retrevo, some 70 percent of netbook buyers were courted by the iPad and 30 percent made the final commitment. Though those other 40 percent still stuck with their netbooks, I’d imagine the decision was largely financial. It’s hard to beat $200 for a semi-functional computer to kick around. It’s hard to put a price on not looking pretentious, too.

That 30 percent isn’t exactly the blowout you might expect, but it is a signpost pointed at the heart of the netbook industry. Manufacturers like Dell would do well to pay attention. The great thing about netbooks was portability and nothing else. If you can get the portability with more interesting device, that netbook is going to start to look pretty crappy and you might want to look into a more powerful Lenovo notebook computer, or just go for the iPad if ultimate portability is what you’re looking for.

Google Pac-Man wrecks the world’s productivity

Google's Pac-Man tribute.Last week the Google logo was turned into a playable version of the classic Pac-Man. It was completely awesome, and I can honestly say I spent too much time chasing blue ghosts (and of course smashing my fists on my desk when one of them suddenly because a real ghost again just as my hungry, yellow mouth touched it). Apparently I wasn’t the only one playing.

I don’t know if you pay much attention to RescueTime but you better hope your boss doesn’t. RescueTime is a productivity analysis tool that shows companies how their employees are spending their time, supposedly in the hopes of helping them. The company did a little research on the time spent at the Google homepage when Pac-Man launched, and the results are astounding.

This weekend, we took a hard look at Pac-Man D-Day and compared it with previous Fridays (before and After Google’s recent redesign) and found some noticeable differences. We took a random subset of our users (about 11,000 people spending about 3 million seconds on Google that day) The average user spent 36 seconds MORE on on Friday.

If we take Wolfram Alpha at its word, Google had about 504,703,000 unique visitors on May 23. If we assume that our userbase is representative, that means:

-Google Pac-Man consumed 4,819,352 hours of time (beyond the 33.6m daily man hours of attention that Google Search gets in a given day)
-$120,483,800 is the dollar tally, If the average Google user has a COST of $25/hr (note that cost is 1.3 – 2.0 X pay rate).
-For that same cost, you could hire all 19,835 google employees, from Larry and Sergey down to their janitors, and get 6 weeks of their time. Imagine what you could build with that army of man power.
-$298,803,988 is the dollar tally if all of the Pac-Man players had an approximate cost of the average Google employee.

I hope you’ve enjoyed our Pac-Man data journey as much as we have. Next up in our on our data-hacking list, we’ll be digging in to find the laziest and most productive countries and cities in the world. Where do you think yours ranks?

Crazy numbers. I love stuff like this, even if it serves no practical purpose in my own life. Oh, and as far as that productivity thing goes, I can tell you where my city ranks. I live in a beach town. No one is ever doing anything.

The mobile world is Google’s oyster


I’ve spent most of my tech reading time over the past few days reviewing the world’s reactions to Google I/O. Google announced some pretty cool stuff for Android, and the company clearly has Apple in its sights when it comes to market share. Even more interesting to me, though, was that the “Microsoft” didn’t seem to be on anyone’s mind. John Gruber put together a great read on the subject, so I’ll defer to him here.

As Gruber sees it, Google is taking its gigantic, Android-shaped bite out of Microsoft’s pie, not Apple’s. Google is the licensed OS player because it licenses Android for free, not on a fee-per-unit basis. That says nothing of Microsoft’s crazy volume requirements to turn a profit. The company currently charges something between $8 and $12 per handset. When you hold just 6.8 percent of the world market share, that license fee is a joke.

The volume game isn’t necessarily where you find the profits, either. Nokia sells a LOT more units than Apple, but Apple still makes a better profit. Microsoft is in an absolutely awful position to make a dent in the market. Hell, they still haven’t even launched a competitive platform. Microsoft was already too late when the iPhone launched three years ago. I have to thank John Gruber for this Ballmer quote about the iPhone launch, which I had never seen before:

“There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance. It’s a $500 subsidized item. They may make a lot of money. But if you actually take a look at the 1.3 billion phones that get sold, I’d prefer to have our software in 60 percent or 70 percent or 80 percent of them, than I would to have 2 percent or 3 percent, which is what Apple might get.”

Well, Steve, I have bad news. The iPhone OS was just reported at 15.2 percent of the global market share. That 80 percent market share you were hoping for? Yeah, that’s never going to happen.

Source: Daring Fireball

I’ll have what Carol Bartz is having

Tech comparisons.Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz has had some…interesting…things to say about the future of the web and her company’s competition with Google. This latest tidbit, which comes courtesy of a BBC interview, is a real humdinger.

According to Bartz:
Google is going to have a problem because Google is only known for search…It is only half our business; it’s 99.9% of their business. They’ve got to find other things to do…Google has to grow a company the size of Yahoo every year to be interesting.

What’s that now, Carol? At the risk of sounding the Google fanboy, I’m willing to call this lady nuts. Completely bonkers, actually. No sane person can honestly say Google lacks diversity. The company is reaching into every aspect of web-connected living, or life as some call it. HP just dropped Microsoft in favor of Google’s OS for tablet devices and let’s not forget that Google as a search engine is the juggernaut of the industry. That says nothing of the other services Google provides. In case, like Carol Bartz, you’ve forgotten what that portfolio looks like, you can check out a full list of products here.

If that still doesn’t have you convinced, consider this chart from the NYT comparing the endeavors of the world’s great tech empires.

Android passes US iPhone web traffic

iPhone vs the Android platform.According to the most recent AdMob stats, the Android platform has surpassed the iPhone’s web traffic in the US for the month of March. It’s a strange statistic, considering that AdMob is one, in the process of being picked up by Google and, two, reporting data based on ad traffic. I’m not trying to suggest that Android users are bigger suckers than their iPhone-toting counterparts, but it isn’t exactly the most accurate method on earth for analyzing web traffic.

Still, it is a method – probably the best we have – and by that method Android has pulled ahead. The iPhone is still ahead worldwide, but while it may see a domestic jump this June with the launch of the new iPhone, I can’t help feeling like Android will keep gaining ground. A lot of people really love the departure from the Apple platform, and I don’t think that’s likely to change with new iPhone hardware. There’s also the simple matter of variety – Android has it, the iPhone doesn’t. If you like the iPhone OS but don’t like the hardware, tough shit. With Android you at least have some options.

Source: Business Wire

Actually, the iPad sold just 300,000 units

iPad is here.The initial estimates for iPad day one sales were somewhere around 700,000. I was hugely impressed by the number, especially in the context of iPhone day one sales and the Kindle installed base. As it turns out, the official sales figures are “over 300,000,” a far cry from that whopping estimate. While 300K is good it’s hard not to feel a little underwhelmed.

Technically the iPad is a new frontier. There hasn’t been a tablet device like it, and it’s certainly the sleekest of the slew of tablets that have released of late. But the iPhone OS and the App Store that make up the iPad are old hat. Millions and millions of people know and love the system, so why such middling sales?

Part of it could be that this is the first of two iPad launch days. A lot of people probably want the assurance of a 3G connection, especially since it doesn’t require a contract. The more likely reason is that no one knows just how good the iPad can be. The device has a ton of potential for media consumption but the content providers need to be on board. iPad versions of newspapers and other media are ridiculously expensive, especially considering that news and other media are freely accessible by other means. As great as browsing on the iPad must be, browsing on my laptop doesn’t cost anything, doesn’t require any app other than my browser, and is only marginally less convenient than toting around an iPad.

It seems the world is convinced that the iPad justifies the existence of expensive, tailored content when in reality it’s the reverse. The content needs to justify the existence of the iPad. If I can stream video, read books, read my news sources, browse the web and listen to music for reasonable rates then of course I want a comfortable, portable device for doing it. If that device is going to send the price of all those content streams through the roof then screw it, I’m fine with regular TV, books, DVDs that I can rip to digital formats for free, and relatively cheap music downloads on a conventional device.

Steve Jobs shows up for estimated 700,000 iPad day one

Steve Jobs iPad.It was a big day for Apple. It was a big day for fanboys (and fangirls). It was a big day for publishers. Alright, it was a big day for just about everyone. Yes, even you haters, because like it or not the iPad is here and it’s a pretty big deal. It’s the first ultra-portable device that’s capable of handling all of your day to day tasks, be it business or entertainment.

The iPad is such a big release that Steve Jobs himself showed up at the Palo Alto location to survey the damage for just under an hour. Analysts are setting estimates for day one sales around 700,000 units, a huge chunk of the supposed couple million Kindles in the wild. By comparison, the iPhone sold just 270,000 units when it launched.

The iPad does have a leg up in that it has access to the iPhone OS App Store. Along with iPhone apps, the iPad will have its own set of apps designed to take advantage of a larger screen size.

RIM looks better than expected

Blackberry phone lineup.For a while there it seemed as if every analyst was ready to sell RIM up the river. The company wasn’t performing well outside the enterprise market according to most, and the iPhone and Android were gaining speed at alarming rates. Not much has changed. The iPhone has slowed a bit and Android continues to skyrocket, but according to the latest RIM numbers, the BlackBerry brand is doing surprisingly well.

The company missed its quarterly earnings mark, but not by much. Activations are at an all-time high with 4.9 million this quarter. Annual revenue is up a whopping 35 percent. CEO Jim Balsillie sounded positive and said the company is, “off to a great start in fiscal 2011 and expect strong shipments, revenue, subscriber and earnings growth in Q1.”

Shares were still down for the day, likely because of the missed earnings numbers, but all in all things don’t seem so dire. In fact, it all sounds pretty good.

First round of iPads are sold out

iPad.This weekend brought an interesting surprise for anyone attempting to purchase themselves a nifty, new, Wi-Fi iPad. It’s sold out. You can still buy it, of course, but the ship date isn’t April 3rd anymore. It’s April 12th. In-store pickup has been removed as a shipping method as well.

This is a big deal for Apple’s new device. I’m still standing behind the statement that no one really knows what it does. Yes, the promise of apps and the advent of a color ereader are nice, but $500 is a lot for that promise. Will it be that much better than a laptop? We’ll have to see.

Most estimates put the sold-out round of iPads around 500,000. That’s a crapload of units, especially considering that none of them have 3G. I know some people aren’t expecting big 3G sales, but I’d bet the nerds of the world will pick up a 3G unit for the just-in-case insurance. There’s really not a compelling reason to not get one and plenty of reasons for it. Remember, there are no contracts, so you can grab a month of service whenever you need it.

Source: 9to5 Mac