Many articles have been written about Jonathan Ive, but I never get tired of reading them. Mr. Ive always has something interesting to say. In this case, he has some comments that may allude to the Apple Tablet. Good stuff from our Apple hero in "User Experience Matters: What Entrepreneurs Can Learn from 'Objectified'" Here's a quote:
"For example in iPhone, everything defers to the display. A lot of what we seem to be doing in a product like that is getting design out of the way. With that sort of reason, it feels almost inevitable, almost undesigned and it feels almost, like of course it is that way. Why would it be any other way?"
It's hard for some hardware manufacturers to differentiate Apple's customer enthusiasm for what they know Apple can pull off -- verus widespread enthusiasm for tablets in general. Those who fail to distinguish between the two very different concepts run the risk of losing a lot of money. In that light, check out TUAW's article on HTC and other OEMs preparing to challenge the Apple Tablet.
Of course, some competition is born of accomplishment and self confidence and some is born or arrogance and greed. For some insight on this, check out "Corporate greed and disaster? Like pages from a crime novel." The author, Gary Emmons, mentions one of my all time favorite authors: John D. MacDonald. So you've never heard of Travis McGee? Worth checking out.
Have you seen the "F**k You iPhone" video? This is a hilarious send up of the current Smartphone commercials that features a Nexus One peeing on a iPhone. It's really quite good. You'll not likely see it on TV anytime soon, however.
For the more sober minded, this comparison chart at BillShrink shows that, in some ways, there aren't many fundamental differences between the iPhone the Palm Pre, and Droid and the Nexus One in terms of hardware or cost of ownership. It sort of brings us back to earth and reminds us that everyone is still copying the iPhone, not moving beyond it.
Yesterday, Netflix signed agreements with five new consumer electronics manufacturers who will include Netflix streaming in their Blu-ray players or TVs: Panasonic, Sanyo, Sharp, Toshiba and Funai. This company keeps pouring on the coals, and soon there won't be a TV or Blu-ray player sold that doesn't have Netflix streaming included. That's why Apple needs to get its tablet out there as a mobile alternative and plan for the demise of the Apple TV hobby.
Just as Netflix plans to make life difficult for Apple, so apparently does Google. Large companies have large ambitions, so it would seem. In "Apple's War with Google Heats Up," Dan Frommer lists the nine ways Google is "trying to Kill Apple." I wouldn't phrase it that way myself, but the areas where Google is now competing -- Smartphones, mobile advertising, operating systems, video delivery, Web browsers, office tools -- is growing more and more robust daily.
The way I prefer to look at it is that these two companies have lots of money and smart people. They will spur each other into ever increasing heights of excellence. Google may win a few and Apple may win a few. What's really important, for the next 10 years of this heated competition, is that none of the competition will be won by Microsoft. Instead, Microsoft will be sadly left behind, a loser on all fronts.