Nintendo 2DS

Nintendo:

The new Nintendo 2DS system gives you all the features of the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 3DS XL, minus 3D viewing.

Nintendo should continue making new gaming systems minus 3D viewing. 3D technology as it is implemented today in gaming systems or TVs is not good for your eyes, especially eyes of younger kids.

One note: I don’t agree with those who believe single-purpose devices have no future.

Multi-purpose devices like the iPhone is eminently convenient, but if a better mobile OS and app platform comes around with all the apps we’re used to there’s no reason to stay with a particular platform. The experience of using Twitter is largely the same whether it’s on iOS, Android, or Windows Phone. I’m eagerly waiting for Sony’s ‘Honami’ smartphone and if the rumors turn out to be true I will be jumping ship.

When you want to play Mario you associate that desire with a Nintendo DS or a Wii. For Nintendo that one-to-one association is a good thing.

Update: Wait a second. The Nintendo 2DS is not foldable like the others? Not good.

300 Days With the iPad Mini

via John Gruber. Dan Frommer:

The major difference between the iPad mini and my original iPad, purchased in 2010: I’m still actually using this one every day, almost a year after I bought it.

I don’t have an iPad mini. A couple of weeks after the iPad mini became available I visited a local Apple Store and took a look. The smaller 7.9-inch display, the thinner bezels, and lighter weight make the iPad mini quite a bit more portable than the full-sized iPad. And that’s very good since the 9.7-inch iPad can be big and heavy at times. Even if you have an average-sized hand holding the iPad mini with one hand isn’t too uncomfortable. All of these features make the iPad mini quite tempting. But I chose not to buy it.

When the iPhone 4 came out I visited the same Apple Store, and bought it. I did not hesitate; one look at the retina display, then at my iPhone 3G, and I was convinced.

With the iPad mini, I saw jaggies, which I haven’t seen since the iPhone 3G. I pulled out my iPhone 5, took another look at the iPad mini, and decided I’ll wait for the retina version. I’m not spending US$329 or more to experience jaggies every time I read text, and that’s what I do most of the time. I’m happy with my full-sized retina iPad and use it almost everyday to read PDFs, RSS feeds, surf the web, and triage email. That’s a lot of text and text on the iPad mini is terrible. I do want something more portable than the full-sized iPad but with a bigger display than the iPhone 5. Can’t wait to get my eyes on a retina iPad mini…

Threats to Mobile Device Using the Android Operating System

Public Intelligence (PDF): The US Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice published a report on malware threats to mobile operating systems in 2012. 79% of malware threats on mobile operating systems were on Android, 19% on Symbian, 0.7% on iOS, and 0.3% on Windows Mobile and BlackBerry. What is surprising is how small the number is for iOS considering its market share.

LG Display 5.5-inch 2560×1440 LCD

LG (PDF): LG Display announced a 5.5-inch LCD with a pixel format of 2560×1440 good for an impressive resolution of 538 ppi. And it’s only 1.21-mm thick.

When Steve Jobs introduced the 3.5-inch retina display on the iPhone 4 most of us understood the limit of our visual acuity to be around 300 ppi at a distance of about 12 inches. Anything much more than that was unnecessary. DisplayMate Technologies president Raymond Soneira believes it to be closer to 477 ppi. But 538 ppi is beyond even Soneira’s number. Necessary? Probably not. Incredible? Absolutely.

The New Kodak

Bloomberg: Kodak will become a commercial printing company.

Under the reorganization plan, Kodak will also focus on a new technology — touch-screen sensor components for smartphones and computer tablets — and continue producing film for the movie industry.

Commercial printing, touch screen sensor components, and film. Kodak still doesn’t know what it wants to be. A touch screen sensor component supplier doesn’t have much of a future: Touch screen sensors have already been integrated into high-end smartphone displays and will eventually be integrated into all smartphone and tablet displays.

Gold iPhone 5S

AppAdvice: Photos of a gold—more like champagne—iPhone 5S have surfaced and they look like the real deal. The iPhone has been monochromatic since 2007 and if the gold/champagne version turns out to be real I can think of only one reason: China might soon be Apple’s largest market for the iPhone, and China, as well as many other Asian countries, loves gold. But China loves red, too. And that’s the problem: catering. What if it turns out China loves red more than gold? Will the iPhone 6 come in four colors? Supply chain management becomes more complicated and more expensive, but more important than manufacturing efficiency, the iPhone should be designed for universal appeal.

Acer to Expand Android, Chromebook Offerings

Eva Dou and Aries Poon, The Wall Street Journal:

Taiwanese personal computer maker Acer Inc. said it plans to offer fewer Microsoft Inc. products and more Chromebooks and Android-based mobile devices, after it posted a surprise second-quarter loss on lower sales and rising expenses.

“We are trying to grow our non-Windows business as soon as possible,” President Jim Wang told investors in a conference call. “Android is very popular in smartphones and dominant in tablets… I also see a new market there for Chromebooks.”

John Gruber comments:

Speaking of red flags, there’s one for Microsoft — partners trying to move away from Windows “as soon as possible”. The collapse of Windows is going to happen faster than you think.

There are some who think Microsoft will continue to be as dominant as it has been in operating system software since the introduction of the original IBM PC. Then there are those who are at the other end of the spectrum who think Microsoft’s Windows business will become no more and rather quickly. Gruber’s comment would be accurate only for those in and around the first group, but not so much for the rest. Let’s look at some numbers to add some meat to the discussion.

IDC announced preliminary worldwide PC shipment numbers for the second quarter of 2013. The big news was Lenovo overtook HP for the number one spot. Note IDC doesn’t include tablets such as Apple’s iPad in its definition of PC. Here is the shipment share breakdown for Q2’13:

  1. Lenovo: 12.6M units, 16.7% share, -1.4% Y/Y
  2. HP: 12.4M, 16.4%, -7.7%
  3. Dell: 9.2M, 12.2%, -4.2%
  4. Acer: 6.2M, 8.2%, -32.6%
  5. ASUS: 4.6M, 6.1%, -21.1%

And then there’s the Others category with 30.6M units shipped, capturing 40.4% market share, and declining 11.2% Y/Y in Q2’13.

The top five brands all experienced Y/Y declines, but what is noteworthy is Acer’s spectacular Y/Y decline compared to Q2’12: -32.6%. Acer president Jim Wang is in hot water and as anyone in his situation would do he made strong statements to get himself out. But we all know it is not easy—in fact it is almost impossible—for a large corporation like Acer to swiftly change directions. If Wang is successful we can expect Acer’s market share to significantly fall in IDC’s Q3’12 worldwide PC shipment report. I don’t think it will happen; if I were a betting man, I predict Acer will maintain its #4 position in Q3’12.

Let’s get back to Gruber’s comment. Although some might think Acer growing its non-Windows business as soon as possible is not the same as Acer trying to move away from Windows as soon as possible, we have to remember companies do not have unlimited resources. If Acer decides to grow its non-Windows business as soon as possible it necessarily means it is moving away from its Windows business just as quickly.

Even if Acer is able to quickly move away from Windows it wouldn’t be a big red flag. Acer’s market share of PC shipments is 8.2%. If we assume Acer completely shuts down its operations for manufacturing Windows-based PCs, Microsoft’s ‘collapse’ would only result in a hole that’s 8.2% big. That’s a big dent, but it’s not a collapse. If one of the really big guys like Lenovo, HP, or Dell made a similar statement, now that would be something else.

The bottom line is this: I don’t think Acer can quickly shift away from Windows to Android and Chrome OS. And even if it did it wouldn’t result in the collapse of Microsoft Windows.

Samsung Ativ Book 9 Plus

BusinessWire: What a terrible name. The main feature of Samsung’s new Windows 8 notebook is the 13.3-inch touch LCD with a 3200×1800 pixel format. Is the integrated HD Graphics 4400 GPU powerful enough to smoothly push all 5.76 million pixels? I have my doubts. Priced at US$1400.

Nintendo: Hardware + Software

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata:

What I believe is that Nintendo is a very unique company, because it does its business by designing and introducing people to hardware and software – by integrating them, we can be unique. And because we have hardware and software developers in the same building, they stimulate each other.