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  1. It's been five years since the launch of Apple's iPad but how was the device initially received by the Hollywood studios? A leaked analysis reveals the MPAA's hopes and fears for the ground-breaking tablet, with a few spot on predictions and a notable shift in the piracy landscape it simply didn't envisage. After years of numerous hardware companies flirting and largely failing with the format, half a decade ago the revolution the tablet market had been waiting for finally arrived. With a huge fanfare of publicity on April 3, 2010 Apple launched its now iconic iPad. The convenient, functional and practical era of tablets had well and truly arrived and for millions of consumers around the globe the device became the computing weapon of choice. With new hardware came new opportunities and for the major Hollywood studios the iPad and its beautiful screen had the potential to be both friend and foe. An analysis made available following last year’s Sony hack and Wikileaks’ refreshed publication yesterday provides a sneak insight into the MPAA’s assessment of the device. Titled “The iPad – From a Content Protection Perspective†the document lists the positive and potential negatives for the device. The positives On the plus side the MPAA was predictably pleased with Apple’s ‘walled-garden’ approach to DRM-protected premium content supply. “Novice user will opt for ‘iTunes and App store’ type of use,†the document reads, noting that the iPad “allows for some technical protection measures as well as e-Commerce environments that allow for digital rights management.†The MPAA was also impressed with the educational potential of the iPad and App Store, noting that the pair together promote the notion that content needs to be paid for. “The iPad essentially acts as a digital wallet (a multifunctional credit card) so users will be much more aware that digital content can have a value,†the report notes. Of course, Apple’s notoriously tough security also achieved a tick in the plus column but not without a reminder that things can be undone by the determined hacker. “The iPad, like the iPhone may not be too appealing to the pirate type due to its closed (technological) environment. On the other hand, the iPhone has been ‘jailbroken’ and the iPad will share the same fate,†the report correctly predicts. The negatives Most of the negatives listed by the MPAA center around the conversion of media obtained in one format and then converted for use on the iPad. With relatively generous storage capacity by 2010 standards, that could amount to a few dozen pirate films on a device. “Converting existing movies (Pirated, Blu-ray or DVD) to the .m4v format suitable for the iPad will take about 1 hr per movie using application such as ‘Handbrake’,†the report reads. “The typical ripped Blu-ray file, made ready for the iPad, will take up 1.5 Gigabyte of disk space. On average a 64 GB iPad will be able to carry 40 high quality rips.†But the MPAA feared the risks wouldn’t end there. Once obtained on one device, pirate content could then spread to another. “Although the above steps may only be taken by those accustomed to pirating content, the nature of this platform will smoothen large-scale exchanges of clusters of movies (iPad to iPad),†the report reads. “Although most pirates will tend to go and download content illegally, to first put it on desktop computer and only then convert it to the iPad, it is not difficult to foresee a future wherein they may go and enable inter-iPad file sharing or file streaming.†In addition to concerns that iPad owners might start adding “PVR type†TV broadcasting recordings to their devices, the MPAA was also developing fears over the iPad’s ability to connect to large screen devices. “Although quite cumbersome (at least three different video adapters are available and each has different functionalities) it is possible to display content on external devices such as projectors and TVs. It is also possible to both display and stream content from a desktop computer to an iPad,†the report adds. And with Airplay video landing later in 2010, the MPAA correctly predicted it would take off. “The wired and wireless streaming of iPad data to external (remote) screens is expected to become very popular,†the report notes. Finally – the big positive and big negative, all in one The very first positive point in the MPAA’s piracy assessment of the iPad is the type of video delivery system the device is optimized for. “Device aimed at users of streaming services,†the number one plus point reads. While undoubtedly excellent for viewing streaming content (the Netflix iPad app debuted on the iTunes App Store at the device’s launch in April 2010), little did the MPAA know that almost exactly five years later it would be greeted with the following headline: “Popcorn Time Releases iOS App Tomorrow, No Jailbreak Needed.†Five years is definitely a long time in technology terms…. Further reading on the studios’ iPad studies courtesy of Wikileaks, here and here.
  2. Tablet sales are in massive decline, and, when compared to smartphone sales, the smartphone’s larger brother isn’t fairing well. This is expected in the economy, when one considers that most tablets are unsubsidized with carriers worldwide and that many individuals desire a competitive $199 price tag out of pocket for the latest tablets – something that is not common nowadays in most places. By the time tablet prices drop to prices that consumers deem reasonable, tablets are often two years old and simply too old to buy at that point. Apple finds itself in the same position with its iPad Mini and iPad Air lineup currently, but Apple isn’t done with the iPad. The company that started both the smartphone and tablet revolutions with the iPhone (2007) and iPad (2010) isn’t finished with its revolutionary tablet. According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, Apple looks to revolutionize and grow iPad sales once more with some new products down the pipeline. Tim Cook hasn’t said anything about new iPads, but the company’s current commitment to the iPad Mini and iPad Air indicates that we’ll see new iPads with each passing year. Apple owns 28% market share in the mobile tablet arena, followed by Samsung at 18% – and other Android competitors register in the single digits when it comes to tablet market share. Both Samsung and Apple dominate in smartphones as well, with Samsung and Apple taking near 100% of smartphone sales in 2013. Apple and Samsung struck a truce recently that halts all worldwide lawsuits the American tech company had against the Korean manufacturer. Samsung is also a display maker for Apple, and despite Apple’s efforts to “wean†itself from Samsung dependence, the American tech giant finds itself relying on Samsung for iPhone part production once more. We shouldn’t forget about the iPad, but we know that Apple’s iPhone sales are the company’s greatest asset. The iPhone 6, due for arrival next month, looks to bring a 13MP camera to the iPhone 6 experience, in addition to two display sizes (4.7-inch and 5.5-inch displays) and iOS 8, the company’s imminent upgrade to what Apple calls the world’s most advanced operating system. iOS 8 will also appear on both the iPad Mini and iPad Air, both Apple’s larger and smaller tablets that now feature Retina displays. Evidence from within Apple logs show that the company will increase its screen resolution on its new iPhone 6 models, but there’s been no word on whether or not Apple will increase the screen resolution of the iPad Mini 3 and iPad Air 2.
  3. The latest in Apple's line of tablets have been officially announced. iPad Air 2As expected, Apple today revealed the latest in its line of iPads at an event in California. Following the expected update on things like iPhone, which Apple said had its biggest launch ever (cue applause), CEO Tim Cook showed off the iPad Air 2, emphasizing just how thin it is. At 6.1 mm, it's 18% thinner than the original iPad Air, and two of them stacked are thinner than the very first iPad. The screen has an anti-reflective coating, and the device is equipped with a new A8X processor which helps to provide "console-level graphics," according to senior VP Phil Schiller. This 64-bit chip is an enhanced version of what's seen in the iPhone 6, and battery life clocks in at 10 hours. The Home button include Touch ID, allowing your fingerprint to unlock the device and authorize purchases on the App Store. The 8MP iSight camera is capable of recording 1080p video and taking 43MP panoramic photos, though the device unfortunately does nothing to make you look less goofy for taking photos with a tablet. The iPad Air 2 comes in silver, space gray, and gold colors. It's available in in three sizes: 16GB for $499, 64GB for $599, and 128GB for $699 for the Wi-Fi-only models. If you want cellular data, you'll pay $130 more for each of those--16GB for $629, 64GB for $729, and 128GB for $829. Preorders begin tomorrow, October 17, and will ship by the end of next week. iPad Mini 3Schiller then quickly announced the availability of the newest iPad Mini, the iPad Mini 3, curiously spending almost no time on it. It's equipped with a 5MP iSight camera, Touch ID, and a 7.9-inch screen. Like the iPad Air 2, it also comes in three colors (silver, space gray, and gold) and three sizes, with a $130 bump for cellular data over the Wi-Fi-only models. The 16GB system costs $399/$529, 64GB $499/$629, and 128GB $599/$729. Both the existing iPad Air and iPad Mini 2 will remain on sale, but for $100 less than their existing prices. Also during the event, Cook announced that Apple Pay, the company's mobile payment platform, launches this coming Monday, October 20. Just yesterday, Apple leaked the existence of the new devices through an App Store listing for its official iPad user guide. It indirectly acknowledged the leak during a portion of today's presentation featuring Stephen Colbert (or at least his voice). Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  4. Apple's official guide to iOS updated early with details on its two new iPad models. The original iPad Air It's customary for details on Apple's new products to be leaked prior to their official announcement, but that typically comes in the form of a report citing anonymous sources or including pictures from a factory worker. This time, it's Apple itself that's responsible for leaking details on its new iPads. As discovered by 9to5Mac, the App Store listing for the official iPad user guide has been updated prior to the release of iOS 8.1--apparently earlier than intended. Screenshots of the guide show off two brand-new devices: the iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3. They include images of both, complete with a rundown on some of their new features. Aside from confirming their names, the images show that both new iPads feature the Touch ID sensor seen in recent iPhone models. Also confirmed is support for burst camera shots on the iPad Air 2. Presumably there will be other enhancements, like faster hardware. But as this is a simple guide to iOS 8, those kinds of things weren't detailed. Luckily, we don't have long to wait before we get the full details, as Apple has an event scheduled for tomorrow where it was widely believed the company would show off its new iPads. Now we know exactly what to expect. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  5. Apple’s set to release two larger iPhone 6 models in September, and, as was the case with the release of the first-generation iPad Mini, analysts worry about the sales of the iPad. What complicates the matter is that Apple’s recent earnings report shows that iPad sales are down from the same quarter in 2013. It’s been said that iPad Mini sales have cannibalized larger iPad sales, seeing that a number of consumers find that the 8-inch tablet is ideal for gaming, travel, and portability. The iPad Mini has had its success, it’s true – but the large iPad (now known as the iPad Air) has also gained its share of adherents, who want a larger display with a tablet that still lives by the “thinner, lighter, and faster†mantra that’s come to characterize Apple products. With the introduction of a 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 models reduce the number of iPads? The answer is more complex than either “yes†or “no.†Factors surrounding the iPhone 6 / iPad cannibalization question Sure, we can be honest and admit that some individuals may prefer a larger iPhone 6 than an iPad, and many may find the iPhone 6 display to be more comfortable than reading experiences with iPhones in the past. At the same time, however, the size of the iPhone is nowhere near the size of Apple’s iPad Mini and iPad Air. Even if Apple does release the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 (which seems probable at this point), a 4.7-inch screen is still not as comfortable as, say, the 7.9-inch Retina iPad Mini or the 9.7-inch iPad Air. There’s a large gap between a 4.7-inch and a 9.7-inch display, namely 5 inches across – which allows the iPad Air to do things (gaming, for one) that doesn’t seem as comfortable on a 4.7-inch screen. Some of us here at Inferse own Samsung’s 5.7-inch Galaxy Note 3 as well as the 5-inch Nexus 5 – and neither display, no matter its size, is comparable to the gaming experience we’ve had with the third-generation iPad. Even if you take a game such as FIFA 14, soccer players on the five-inch smartphones are still too tiny, and the controls are too difficult to maneuver. The iPad’s gaming experience has been effortless and continues to be (two years in). There’re some things that smartphones can do better than others, and smartphones may have greater portability – but they can’t best the gaming experience on a tablet, no matter their size. There’re some significant size differences in both the display and body that make tablets the better gaming device than smartphones. We’re not afraid to go out on a limb and say that the iPad Air and iPad Mini are the better devices for even watching movies. Yes, sometimes, we’ve reached for our smartphones to watch a YouTube or Netflix feature when our iPad battery is on empty; we’ve enjoyed watching the movies up-close, and smartphones make better devices when watching videos and getting screenshots. Still, however, the iPad Air and iPad Mini are the better devices, even weighing more than the iPhone 6 will weigh because their size provides more enhanced user experience. This isn’t to say, however that we’re not aware of how manufacturers are starting to bridge the gap between what smartphones and tablets can do. Tablets today are being used to make phone calls, have video chats, and send emails and documents (just like smartphones). Pretty much everything you can do on a smartphone can be done on a tablet (and vice versa), but the issue boils down to size. The iPhone 6, even at 4.7 and 5.5 inches across, is still a smaller device than an iPad Mini or iPad Air. And there’s one final factor to keep in mind: tablets provide a better visual experience because everything is magnified. We’ve had times where reading an email on a 4-inch screen is difficult because the display is too small. Even reading emails on a five-inch display can prove to be difficult at times when emails come in small print because we’ve found ourselves having to manually zoom on the screen to get emails to appear in a print we can read.