My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Apple iPad and the future of Mobile Computing

Monday, April 19, 2010

Apple iPad and the future of Mobile Computing

At last, after dreary dry days of a drought that seemed never to have an end in sight, the heavens opened up and answered Senator Dr. Horace Chang, Minister of Water and Housing’s prayer to the Rains Gods…….and it rained. It rained.

It has been raining since Wednesday 14th April 2010 and it has not let up, but despite the mud and the rain, it still is more welcome than watching the goats starve and your crops go begging for the precious commodity.

But without clarity of future as it relates to our Water Security as we have in relation to Energy Security on the basis of the Energy Policy by Senator James Robertson, Minister of Mining and Energy, we are very much back in the same situation again, possibly no wiser and not ready to push ahead with an agenda to ensure our Water Security. After all, the rains always eventually fall, don’t they?

The same inkling is also felt upon the debut of the Apple iPad on Saturday 3rd April 2010 as reported by CNET Loaded, aired Saturday April 5th 2010 by Natalie Del Conte, CNET News, the new eReader challenger to the dominance of the Amazon Kindle launched in 2008, which has only recently made a 3G GSM compatible model.

A larger version of the Apple iPhone, it sports the same operating system specifically designed for its unique screen size and is surprisingly fast or “zippy” in colloquial American slang for a tablet-like PC device which would have doubtful “techies” impressed as stated in the review “Early reviews: iPad is 'beautiful', 'blazingly fast', 'has a touch of genius'”, published Wednesday April 1 2010 by Ben Patterson, Yahoo News

An improvement on previous suggestions for a tablet by Microsoft as stated in the article “How Apple's iPad Succeeded where Microsoft Failed” published Tue Apr 6, 8:00 pm ET, PC Magazine by John C. Dvorak, Yahoo News.

This  despite no multitasking, no flash support, no front facing or rear facing camera, no-E-Ink for reading, no external ports (possibly missing to prevent hackers?), no dock or kickstand and worse, a problematic Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) service as stated in the article “Apple Addresses Complaints about Weak iPad Wi-Fi” published Wednesday April 7th2010 by Barry Levine,, Yahoo News.

Reviewers have basically made most everything of this shiny new Apple toy and potential Amazon Kindle assassin, as already pricing wars between book publishers have lowered the price of books offered on the Kindle Bookstore by using the impending launch of the Apple iPad as a bargaining chip.

Whereas in the past it was music labels that argued against Apple selling their content for lower prices on the iTunes Store as noted by Brian Tong in CNET The AppleByte aired February 5th 2010 by Brian Tong, CNET News.

The excitement has largely died down about the Apple iPad, what with the controversial name that only middle school minded people would find offensive due to its feminine connotation as stated in the article “iPad's Widely mocked name won't stifle sales”, published March 28, 2010, 10:51PM EST By Connie Guglielmo, BusinessWeek, Computers.

The fact that it is not sun friendly as stated in the article “Users say the iPad, sun don't mix”, published Tuesday Apr 6, 2:18 pm ET, Yahoo! News or scratch-proof as stated in the article "The iPad's Screen: To protect or Not?", published April 9, 2010 10:40 AM PDT by David Carnoy, CNET News – Computers.

The potential it and its related tablet-like copycats have to dampen Netbook sales, if the price is right as stated in the article  “iPad, tablets expected to dampen Netbook sales”, published April 6, 2010 8:17 AM PDT by Lance Whitney CNET News – Crave and “Netbook Sales Sag as the iPad Arrives” published April 7, 2010, 12:27AM EST By Cliff Edwards, CNET News – COMPUTERS

Indeed, the Apple iPad has already begun to change the way in which webs site builders and app store designers design their apps as they now can take advantage of the larger real estate in terms of screen size as stated in the article “iPad Already Changing the Way Web Sites are Built”, published Thursday April 1, 12:01 pm ET Dan Hope TechNews Daily Staff Writer,, Yahoo News.

It is already beginning to look like the next gaming platform of the summer as stated in the article “iPhone vs iPad: 20 games compared”, published April 6, 2010 4:00 AM PDT by Josh Lowensohn, CNET News - Web Crawler.

Even Hulu and other traditional websites such as YouTube that usually support Adobe Flash considering porting their content using the new upcoming HTML5 protocol.

This comes with built in support for video playback, thus freeing the Apple iPad and other tablet-like devices from being dependent on Third Party companies for video and audio playback. Oh, how the times have changed!

This device, which was launched in such a heavy shroud of secrecy that not even the store personnel knew how the device worked prior to launch much less to have even seen or used it as stated in the article “Want to see the iPad? So do Apple Store Employees”, published March 30th 2010 by Gabriel Madway and Ian Sherr, Yahoo News is often referred to as a “game changer” by some commentators, and was initially shrouded in mystery by Apple’s typical corporate style of holding all the cards to its chest before a major launch.

Their publicity after confirmation of the Apple iPad’s existence prior to launch was very visible, with CEO Steve Jobs appearing even at the Oscars as stated in the article “Steve Jobs spotted at the Oscars, iPad Ad runs", published March 7, 2010 5:12 PM PST by Caroline McCarthy, CNET News.

Also prior to the Apple iPads launch was concerns over strain on Telecom Provider AT&T’s Network, who again received the exclusive contract to carry the device as stated in the article “FCC: iPad use could further strain AT&T 3G”, published February 6, 2010 4:56 PM PST by Jim Dalrymple, CNET News.

There have been concerns about the traffic load that the Apple iPad and other possible tablet like devices will create on the various Networks, particularly Telecom Provider AT&T’s which is reflected in the fact that the Apple iPad is being sold on Prepaid plans (equivalent of postpaid in Jamaica).

This due to expected lackluster interest in customers signing new contracts for this latest Apple gadget as stated in the article “AT&T CEO sandbags iPad 3G subscriptions” published March 3, 2010 12:30 PM PST by Erica Ogg, CNET News.

The Apple iPad has even inspired some new competition, which was confirmed in less than two (2) weeks after its launch with announcements of the Microsoft Courier, a diary shaped tablet that opens and closes like a personal organizer.

Much touted HP Slate from printer guru Hewlwtt-Packard, which advertises itself as having all the features that the Apple iPad lacks as stated in the article “HP preps its would-be iPad Killer, the Slate” published Tuesday Apr 6, 11:13 am ET By Ben Patterson, Yahoo News

The Apple iPad may be that new Apple gadget much coveted by Apple Fanboys, but it is already finding some niche applications from eReaders for Seton Hill University students in Pennsylvania who will be give one as part of their courses at the university as stated in the article “Seton Hall to give all students iPads”, published March 30, 2010 11:02 AM PDT by Don Reisinger CNET News - The Digital Home.

Then there is comic book publisher Marvel, which is owned lock, stock and barrel by Walt Disney as stated in the article “Disney to Buy Marvel for US$4 Billion”, published August 31, 2009, 10:10AM EST By Ronald Grover, BusinessWeek – Entertainment,

Ironically Disney has Apple CEO Steve Jobs as a sitting Board member, which is hoping to return to its roots as a big seller of its published comic book heroes both past publications and fresh new material on this new media platform as stated in the article “Comic Book Publishers Plot comeback via Apple iPad”, published Wednesday April 7, 2010 By Douglas MacMillan BusinessWeek - DIGITAL ENTERTAINMENT.

The New York Times is also betting on the Apple iPad as the means for its revival and Hulu is looking to serve up content on the Apple iPad. Thus as the Big Apple has already inked a deal with Telecom Provider AT&T it is only logical that America Movil, which debut the Apple iPhone on the basis of a contractual partnership with Telecom Provider AT&T will receive shipments of the Apple iPad when the 3G versions launches later this summer

As was previously the case with the Apple iPhone, will launch the new device exclusively in Jamaican and Mexican markets possibly in the Summer or in Christmas of 2010, when most people in Jamaica are more receptive to the idea of buying a new Apple device on a plan.

Most likely Telecom Provider LIME will support the HP Slate or Microsoft Courier, as neither of these devices have been pre-announced with support for 4G, be it WiMaX 4G Mobile (IEEE 802.16d) or LTE, on 3G thus far. Telecoms Providers in the United States of America is ramping up for launch in the United States of America as stated in the article “On call: Welcome to 4G”, published March 9, 2010 11:01 AM PST by Kent German, CNET News– Dialed In.

WiMaX 4G Mobile (IEEE 802.16d) by Telecom Provider Digicel as stated in the article “Digicel to offer mini laptops with 4G service next year”, published Friday September 4th2009 by Lavern ClarkeThe Jamaica Gleaner, with ZTE Corp of China as their build out partner of their new WiMaX 4G Mobile (IEEE 802.16d) Network as stated in the article “Digicel signs ZTE as 4G Mobile WiMaX Internet Partner”, published Sunday, September 27, 2009, The Jamaica Observer.

Digicel Rising Stars changes as stated in the article “Rising Star host Search tomorrow - Kiki addresses rumors”, published Monday March 29th 2010, The Monday Star, JCDC Sponsorship to the tune of JA$60 million over the next three (3) years as stated in Prime Time News Entertainment Report aired Wednesday 14th April 2010, Television Jamaica.

Throw into that pot rumors of the existence of a LIME TV and known news of DigiTV  launches this summer as strongly hinted in the article “DigiTv launch for 2009 - Mobile provider branches into TV”, published Friday November 14th 2009 by Ross Sheil, The Jamaica Observer.

In concluding, a statement which is an oxymoron in the Telecoms Sector, Customers and Subscribers of Telecoms Providers in Jamaica, The United States of America and Latin America may be in for possibly the greatest Summer of 2010 ever.

This  as we have the treat of a “triple whammie” in the form of the Apple iPad, Apple iPhone refresh (Apple iPhone 3GS or Apple iPhone 4G with iPhone 4.0 OS??) as stated in the article Will iPhone 4.0 derail Microsoft's phone plans?, published April 9, 2010 10:24 AM PDT by Ina Fried, CNET News - Beyond Binary a CDMA version of the iPhone.

Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg is already in talks with Apple about a possible CDMA version Apple iPhone on their Network as stated in the article “Verizon CEO has told Apple of iPhone interest” published Tuesday April 6, 10:28 am ET which hopefully would start a pricing war.

If this were to occur, it would mean that Telecom Provider Sprint and Telecom Provider T-Mobile would eventually get the much coveted Apple iPhone as the end of Telecom Provider AT&T’s exclusive contract would mean it would be open season for the Apple iPhone on any other Network, be it CDMA or GSM supporting either 3G or 4G.

Customers benefit via lower handset costs, improved plan packages and better wireless broadband experience as is the case in the United Kingdom (Great Britain or England) as stated in the article “Will a Verizon iPhone trigger a price war?, published Friday April 9, 2010 12:18 PM PDT by Marguerite Reardon CNET News - Signal Strength.

Thus the Apple iPad, both Wi-Fi and 3G flavours, the revamped Apple iPhone 3GS and the Apple iPhone 3G running on CDMA 1900 Network for Telecom Provider CLARO are possibly in works for the Christmas of 2010 from Telecom Provider CLARO.

With a Network with such amazing permanently built in Voice Calling features and potential improvements to their Network coverage, call quality and service quality in the coming months, these devices exclusively offered on the Telecom Provider CLARO Jamaica Network will only serve to cement Telecom Provider CLARO dominance as the leading provider of personal wireless broadband solutions to Jamaica.

This is Telecom Provider CLARO’s  its fastest growing product line with Netbooks, modems and Blackberry and Apple iPhone smart phones in its line-up, with Telecom Provider CLARO’s only potential 3G competition being Telecom Provider LIME …….for now.

It is increasingly possible, as with the possibility of Telecom Provider Digicel launching their WiMaX 4G Mobile (IEEE 802.16d) Network also using Netbooks, Telecom Provider CLARO will most likely need a Netbook killer and an Apple iPhone refresh for the Christmas and these new Apple Products fit the bill.

But what does the future in terms of new devices for the 3G and 4G Telecoms Providers Networks hold? What of advertising on Telecom Providers Mobile Networks? Stay tuned and you will find out!!

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