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While many pundits and analysts proclaim it's curtains for the tablet market, one of technology's more prominent voices says it's too early to write off such devices. Today's Morning Report also takes a look at rumors of a thinner MacBook for early next year, and a cute little programmable button that works with all of your devices. Read on for the details!
You've seen the headlines: It's apparently game over for tablets, the market for such devices has crashed, and it was fun while it lasted. Thankfully, we have the far saner voice of journalist Walt Mossberg, who published a report Tuesday on Re/code about this current "end is nigh" phenomenon with the tablet market.
Among the voices of reason: Apple CEO Tim Cook, who gushed about how Cupertino "couldn't be happier" with the iPad's first four years, and with good reason — the iPhone maker leads the pack by a wide margin with 225 million units to date, and $6 billion in revenue last quarter alone. (Mossberg notes that's more than the "quarterly revenues of Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, Groupon, and Tesla combined.")
“I’d call what’s going on recently a speed bump, and I’ve seen that in every category,” Cook added, suggesting the current tablet slump is something of a crossroads as buyers realize the devices aren't going to necessarily replace a PC for everyone. Mossberg also cited Microsoft Office as an example of where the iPad can actually excel (pun intended) over a traditional PC, claiming the best is yet to come for this young device category. We couldn't agree more....
The advent of Bluetooth LE has broadened the horizons of what's possible from our smartphones, and on Tuesday the folks at VSN Mobil expanded the field even further with the arrival of a $59.99 button called V.BTTN. The gadget is quite simple: It's a 32mm black button weighing only eight grams, which can be programmed via apps to do just about anything developers can imagine, including send a text message, remotely activate a camera shutter, or even order up dinner.
VSN recently held the My Button Challenge to get developers excited about the hardware and its potential, and a number of those apps are already available for iOS, including Blare, Cam, and Click-Shot, the contest winner created by Luke Wilson. The company promises much more functionality yet to come, given that V.BTTN works with all major platforms including Mac OS X, iOS, Android, Windows 8, and Windows Phone 8.
DigiTimes today reported that Apple may be putting the MacBook on a diet, and the already svelte notebook line could be ready to depart from the fat farm as early as the end of this year. According to Taiwanese supply chain sources, component production for a trimmer, more fit MacBook is already underway in "small volumes," and could slim down both the MacBook Air as well as the more robust MacBook Pro with Retina Display models when they arrive no later than early 2015.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter