LG: Curved OLED TVs to Hit The UK Later This Year

Luke Johnson, Trusted Reviews:

Having unveiled the first curved display OLED TV at CES 2013 earlier this year, LG has suggested that the first curved screen TVs will launch in the UK later this year.

Curved OLED TVs? If I’m back far enough the curvature will end up being a distraction. If LG wants to curve something curve a LCD monitor, like the EA93.

Update 2013.04.28: According to Engadget, pre-orders for the LG 55EA9800 55-inch curved OLED TV starts April 29 at ₩15 million (~US$13,500) with shipments planned for June.

“Verizon’s iPhone Activations Fell 33%” in First Quarter 2013

CNN: That’s quarter over quarter compared to the fourth quarter of 2012. Year over year Verizon’s iPhone activations grew 25%.

According to Wikpedia, the iPhone 4S was announced on October 4, 2011, become available for pre-order on October 7, and was available for in-store sales on October 14.

According to Wikipedia, the iPhone 5 was announced on September 12, 2012, became available for pre-order on September 14, and was available for in-store sales on September 21.

Comparing fourth quarters, the iPhone 5 had 14 extra days than the iPhone 4S. One way to look at this is to assume more of the folks who wanted the iPhone 5 bought it in the fourth quarter, leaving less of those who wanted the iPhone 5 to buy in the first quarter of 2013.

It also might be more than before folks who wanted the iPhone 5 bought it for other carriers such as AT&T and Sprint. And some have been waiting for the iPhone 5 to become available on T-Mobile, which started selling the iPhone 5 on April 12, 2013.

Not everyone was happy about the iPhone 5’s redesign, but to think the iPhone 5 is not selling well because of a steeper drop in activations quarter over quarter in the first quarter of 2013 compared to the drop in activations quarter over quarter in the first quarter of 2012 is probably premature. We’ll have to wait and see how the iPhone 5 sold at other carriers in the U.S. and worldwide to make a definitive conclusion. We will find out on April 23, 2013 when Apple announces calendar year first quarter 2013 results.

Toshiba KIRAbook

Toshiba: The Toshiba KIRAbook is like a 13.3-inch retina MacBook Pro stuffed into a 13.3-inch MacBook Air. Unlike the 16:10 2560×1600 13-inch retina MacBook Pro the KIRAbook’s 13.3-inch LCD sports a 16:9 aspect ratio and a 2560×1440 pixel format. Resolution is an impressive 221 ppi (Toshiba states a resolution of 217 ppi, which doesn’t make sense), but falls slightly behind the Chromebook Pixel’s 239 ppi and the 13.3-inch retina MacBook Pro’s 227.

David Pierce at The Verge reports viewing angles are “pretty bad”. I can’t understand bad viewing angles on a US$1600 premium notebook where the display is one of its main attractions.

But are viewing angles important on a notebook? I don’t move around much when I’m on my 17-inch MacBook Pro. I suppose most don’t. So what good are excellent viewing angles? Well, let me put it this way: When I’m approaching my MacBook Pro from an angle and if the LCD had poor viewing angles with washed out colors I wouldn’t have good feelings about it.

Tall Poppy Syndrome

via Marco Arment. Watts Martin:

The Apple of 15 years ago was just as controlling, arrogant, and likely to overuse the word “magical” in advertising as the Apple of today, but now, they’re claiming they effectively reinvented the smartphone market and the tablet market. This is infuriating not because it’s transparent bullshit, but because it isn’t: they have a pretty good case for those claims.

The Only Hope For Apple

via John Gruber. Lorraine Luk, The Wall Street Journal:

“The only hope for Apple and its suppliers is the possible launch of a low-cost iPhone later this year, which may help the U.S. company to gain market share in fast-growing emerging markets such as China,” said Capital Security analyst Diana Wu.

Look at what Apple has done in the last 15 years. Does it look like Apple has been going after market share? No. Sure, Apple enjoys its market share growing as much as the next company, but for Apple it’s merely a side effect.

I don’t know whether Apple is working on a low-cost iPhone or not, but Apple has made transparent its low-cost iPhone strategy since introducing the iPhone 3G: With each new iPhone version the previous version receives a price reduction. The iPhone 5, like all previous iPhones except for the original iPhone, started off at US$199*. When the new iPhone comes out the iPhone 5’s price will drop to $99. The low-cost iPhone? Seems obvious: the $99 iPhone 5. And the iPhone 4S becomes the free iPhone.

One last point: Even if Apple’s existence depended entirely on the iPhone why would a low-cost iPhone later this year be Apple’s only hope? I was under the impression Apple was making a tidy profit from selling iPhones.

* With a new two-year contract, of course.

New & Works Better

Seth Godin:

But when we’re discussing our goals, our passion and the way we interact with the culture, it seems to me that what works is significantly more important than what’s new.

New for the sake of new is likely to turn out badly. Think Microsoft Windows Vista. Windows XP wasn’t new, it was actually quite old, but it worked, as well as Windows could. Microsoft decided it was time for something new and introduced Windows Vista. It had a lot of new in it, but it didn’t work very well.

As consumers we actually need something new once in a while, but the time between new things depends on design: Is it a classic design that ages gracefully? Or is it a trendy design that lasts but for a season?

If a company is in the business of maximizing sales in the short term going after fashion trends is probably the right strategy. Trendy shoppers like new and the more new you have the more they’ll buy. If on the other hand a company is in the business of maximizing profits in the long term researching and developing something that is new and works better is the right strategy. But as is always with making something good it takes time.

iPhone 6

Ken Segal:

More important, tacking an S onto the existing model number sends a rather weak message. It says that this is our “off-year” product, with only modest improvements. If holding off on the big number change achieved some great result, I might think otherwise. But look what happened with iPhone 5.

This model brought major changes: bigger screen, better camera, greater speed, all on a thinner and lighter body. Yet its improvements were still dismissed by many as “incremental.”

Marco Arment:

I agree: if Apple’s going to keep using sequential numbers (rather than feature-based names, like the second iPhone being named “iPhone 3G”), they should just give every model the next number. The next iPhone should either be the iPhone 6 or the iPhone Something Else, not the iPhone 5S.

I agree with Segal that tacking on an S is no good, but I disagree the next iPhone should be called iPhone 6. To get away from both the perception of incremental improvements and confusion as to what the numbers after iPhone mean Apple should completely do away with suffixes on the iPhone. The next iPhone and the one after that and the one after that ad infinitum should simply be iPhone.