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Android

Is Tablet Success Bound To Their Crackability? 339

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the don't-you-dare-unlock-that-bootloader dept.
Hitting the front page for the first time, rippeltippel writes "The Economist recently published an article about HP quitting the tablet market. Nothing new I said, until I read 'the announcement showed that the firm had finally seen the light about the tablet market — namely, that there is no such thing.' But are the games closed with the iPad as a clear winner? Possibly not: 'hackers have embraced the Nook, "rooting" its underlying Linux software ... so it can run many more applications from Google's online app store and elsewhere.' A review on Amazon's Kindle tablet page reads: 'They've cracked it — this is the future.' Can it possibly be read as 'Crackable tablets are the future of tablets?'" Smartphone vendors seem to have gotten the message: users want to control the software on their phones. It is a shame that Palm/HP, who were one of the only vendors open from the start, more or less lost the game. Unfortunately it seems that tablet and ebook reader vendors have yet to get the message.
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Is Tablet Success Bound To Their Crackability?

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  • HTC seems to have been the only one to actually "get" it with the others having pretty locked down phones including e-fuse locked down bootloaders.

    • And who is in first place again? https://www.idooble.com/posts/1434 [idooble.com] Amusingly enough when you add HTCs android share and Windows Mobile share, you get 20% of the market, with only Apple having more.
      • by msauve (701917) on Thursday September 01, 2011 @12:56PM (#37277092)
        Note that what Nielsen calls "market share," isn't, by the common definition. It's actually installed base, which is a trailing indicator. People who bought phones almost two years ago, and haven't upgraded because they're under contract and not eligible for a subsidy are in those numbers. "Q2 market share" should refer to sales during Q2, not how many people owned a brand.

        Since Android sales have been increasing faster than iPhone sales, Android market share is actually greater than what Nielsen implies.

        Where Nielsen's "market share" shows Android/iOS at 39% / 28%, NPD's report on true market share [npd.com] (sales) shows 52% / 29%.
    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by lowlymarine (1172723)
      What? HTC locks their bootloaders and forces you to void your warranty (for real, by permanently modifying part of your EFS) to unlock them. Meanwhile Samsung's bootloaders are completely unlocked from the start, and they really don't seem to care at all what you do with the phone - I sent back a rooted Galaxy S running a custom ROM for warranty repairs and they sent back a new one, no questions asked. I think LG leaves their bootloaders wide open, too.

      Motorola could be a wild card in this regard now th
    • by Culture20 (968837)
      They've gotten the message, but they responded with "Then let them eat cake"
  • So hackers like it but do companies want hackers as their customers?

    Fickle and prone to viciously turning on anything for any perceived slight does not sound like big pluses for a target market, let alone their "love" for the nook is because it is cheap.

    • by Svartalf (2997)

      Barnes and Noble seems to not mind. The hackability comes from the fact that the device will boot anything that has the right bootloader and OS information on the microSD in the reader. They've not changed that behavior with subsequent releases of the Color hardware. It's such that you can run the pre-release Honeycomb that was hacked out of the Simulator image and a bit of CyanogenMod 7 kernel and other bits on the SD.

      Several of the other vendors are no longer preventing the practice by way of locked do

      • They're a *bookseller*; to riff on the "Gillette strategy", the Nook's the handle and the e-books/e-mags are the consumable blades. That's why they told MS to get stuffed on their patent-troll lawsuit; they want to minimize the cost of the reader to get you hooked, then sell you content. Paying danegeld to Ballmer isn't part of that strategy.

        For me, I'm interested in the 7" form factor, but if it's locked to one book source, not so much. A vanilla Android tablet will support the Kindle *AND* Nook apps, A

    • The nook's strength is that it's a rootable Android tablet, the fact that it's cheap is just a bonus.

      I've bought many "hacker" devices that companies produced shortly before they went out of business or otherwise ruined themselves. The Treo 180, Treo 650 (Palm made some awesome stuff as they split and merged repeatedly), and the Nokia N900. What do they have in common?

      They allow open development, and they were all bloody expensive top-of-the-line devices when they came out.

    • So hackers like it but do companies want hackers as their customers?

      Hardware companies do! Service companies, not so much.

    • by spazdor (902907)

      Hackers aren't great software customers but they're great hardware customers.

      Since hardware and software companies(or perhaps the service providers) want to be able to team up to sell a unified, coherent stack, the hackers are a source of tension between them.

      I expect this will culminate in the hardware designs being a bit two-faced; they'll play ball with the DRM-aware, trusted-platform specs well enough to not lose their service-provider contracts and be accused of bad faith, but poorly enough that savvy

    • With smartphones, it comes down to a battle between advanced ("hacker") customers and the megacorp wireless carriers. For example, from Motorola's perspective, Verizon is the primary customer. Joe Smartphoneuser comes second at best. The carriers have a vested interest in maintaining control over the devices, especially when they do underhanded things like charge extra for the same data bandwidth depending on whether it's consumed by the phone or by a tethered laptop. Losing that control means losing si
  • by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmh AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday September 01, 2011 @12:14PM (#37276574) Journal

    Have people seen the light? Is the current cycle of the curated computing craze coming to an end?

    I sure hope so.

    • Re:FINALLY! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Samalie (1016193) on Thursday September 01, 2011 @12:22PM (#37276688)

      Not likely...

      Hell, the success in the tablet space has been exactly inversely proportional to the ability to "hack" the device. Look at the iPad 2.

      Someone needs to figure out that the average dumb schmuck doesn't give two shits about "rooting" a device. They just want something that gets email, surfs the web, and allows them to consume the content of their choice. In fact, if anything, the more options/tweaking/etc you give an average user, the more likely they'll just fuck up the device/os/etc.

      Us geeks of course want to fuck with the shit we buy...but we're not the target market either. The target market is the average dumb schmuck.

      • Re:FINALLY! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) on Thursday September 01, 2011 @12:52PM (#37277058)

        Gruber [daringfireball.net] said it best :

        “open and better” is a recipe for success; “open but worse” is a recipe for obscurity.

        • Gruber [daringfireball.net] said it best :

          “open and better” is a recipe for success; “open but worse” is a recipe for obscurity.

          In other words... "open" is irrelevant to this conversation.

      • by dohnut (189348)

        The target market is the average dumb schmuck.

        Funny, that's what your auto mechanic thinks about you.

      • Nothing about ease of use implies the need to lock down the device with no way to override the lock.

        • Actually it may. The "average dumb schmuck" otherwise and hereto referred to as the "ingenious idiot" has an amazing ability to stumble upon and corrupt facets of any system. In order to protect the ingenious idiot from their natural proclivity to screw things up it is necessary make it impossible for them to do so. Indeed the mere possibility that an ingenious idiot could screw something up will often lower their confidence and by extension their comfort in using a device. If the ingenious idiot is not
      • Not likely...

        Hell, the success in the tablet space has been exactly inversely proportional to the ability to "hack" the device. Look at the iPad 2.

        Yes just look at iPhone 4 vs Android. According to your theory, only 1/3 of the smart phone market is made up of "dumb schmucks", and 2/3 are made up of "us geeks".

        • by Samalie (1016193)

          Well, in the phone market, another factor is the root cause: Price

          MOST of the android phones are free with a contract, and/or cheaper than the iPhone.

          Openness is irrelevant.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by bonch (38532) *

        Nerds want nerd playgrounds and try to convince themselves that it's what everyone else wants too. Look at the summary: "Smartphone vendors seem to have gotten the message: users want to control the software on their phones."

        Uh, they do? Majority just wants to install Angry Birds and a few other things and never think about software again. Android has marketshare because it's a free iOS clone for carriers to slap onto cheap, weak devices that barely qualify as smartphones, not because users are enticed by

        • by AmiMoJo (196126)

          I think you underestimate the average user. Look at how popular things like BitTorrent are. Young people understand this stuff to a far greater degree than you give them credit for.

          As for Android smartphones the Galaxy S has outsold the iPhone 4 by a long, long way. There are far more Android devices out there than iOS devices, and even though the low end ones are not as slick as an iPhone they do most of the things it does: web, email, IM, apps... Without Android smartphones might still be the preserve of

    • Re:FINALLY! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by houstonbofh (602064) on Thursday September 01, 2011 @12:23PM (#37276708)
      It will never "end." It is a large market. Some people prefer safety at any cost, to freedom. That is fine. I just hope that soon it won't be the ONLY option.
      • Well it has come and gone in cycles in the past. Maybe the cycles are just swinging harder and longer with every oscillation. I mean before the iPhone came out we were at a level of openness unprecedented in computing history. It didn't seem so great back then, but we had forgotten what a proprietary hellhole felt like. Then Apple reminded us.

    • A review on Amazon's Kindle tablet page is a sure sign that the tide is turning!
    • by gstoddart (321705)

      Have people seen the light? Is the current cycle of the curated computing craze coming to an end?

      See, the beauty of choice is that you are free to not use anything you deem to be curated computing. The millions of people who own iPads and the like will continue to use them and likely continue to be happy. Hardware vendors who have no interest in selling you an open, hackable product will continue to not give you one -- and those that do, will sell you something more open.

      So, wow, you can continue to be un

  • by Kenja (541830) on Thursday September 01, 2011 @12:14PM (#37276582)
    What most people want from a tablet is email, web and angry birds. Anything beyond that is just gravy. Frankly, I dont see much in the way of serious software for tablets due to hardware limitations. This is the same problem thats plagued the form factor since its inception back in the late 80s. Too much simply requires a keyboard and mouse. A tablet and touch interface works best for viewing content, not creating.
    • by Microlith (54737)

      Irrelevant. What we want isn't what most people want. The catch is that we can have what we want without impacting what most people want, but they actively fight to deny it.

    • by Svartalf (2997)

      Which is fine, really, considering that all you need for "keyboard and mouse" is just a bluetooth keyboard for the tablets. My Acer Iconia A500 has been surprisingly useful, especially once I added a Bluetooth keyboard to the mix. If I expect to do content creation (documents, etc...) I just tote along two lightweight devices instead of one. Bam! Everything my netbook was supposed to do and didn't quite provide.

      Having said this, for many, they don't need more than the 200-300 dollar devices (with 3G/4G

      • by 0123456 (636235)

        Which is fine, really, considering that all you need for "keyboard and mouse" is just a bluetooth keyboard for the tablets.

        So you end up with an expensive, underpowered laptop with lousy ergonomics. Sounds like a win!

        • by nedlohs (1335013)

          lousy ergonomics?

          A bluetooth keyboard and mouse will (assuming you don't choose poorly) have much better ergonomics than a laptop keyboard and "mouse". The laptop screen being attached to they keyboard also provides extremely poor ergonomics since either the screen is too low or the keyboard too high. And yes you could just use the bluetooth keyboard and mouse with the laptop, but now you aren't using the keyboard on the laptop so why not get a tablet?

          *Note: I don't use tablets, I use a laptop, but a tablet

          • If you bother with a bluetooth keyboard and mouse, than you've got a device that is significantly less portable than a tablet, would require more time to set up, and would be far more limited in where you could use it, and many of the places where you could sort of use it would result in ergonomics inferior to a laptop. I will concede that a laptop has inferior ergonomics to a properly positioned desktop with a monitor, but I wouldn't call it extremely poor. Extremely poor fits better for a tablet design,
          • And now you have three devices with batteries that you need to charge and worry about running out. If I connect a mouse and/or keyboard to a laptop, there still is one power source to worry about.

            Also, for a tablet+keyboard+mouse you need a desk, you can put a laptop on your, well, lap and only need a chair to sit on.

      • by jedidiah (1196)

        > Which is fine, really, considering that all you need for "keyboard and mouse" is just a bluetooth keyboard for the tablets.

        Except that is not all that I need by a long stretch.

        On a "pack light" trip to Europe, the iPad will be left behind because of it's limitations. Leaving the laptop behind is not an option because we may need to take advantage of a full web browser including flash. The iPad is convenient but redundant.

        It's artificial limitations matter in the real world (or real web). It's being le

        • by Coriolis (110923)
          Honestly, Flash is not a really good reason to pack a laptop. I spent 5 months travelling across 3 countries with a 1st gen eeePC, and I don't recall visiting a single Flash-requiring website. I was getting tired of the weight of the pack as it was, a laptop would've been murder. What I probably would've missed is the ability to run OpenVPN, and a few things of that ilk. I would've had to go to the trouble of setting up a proper L2TP VPN, etc. I might have run into a few connection problems here and there.
        • by vijayiyer (728590)

          Depends on your definitions of "real web" and "pack light", no? I would argue carrying a laptop is by definition not packing light. Heck, carrying any computing device isn't. For many people, an iPad is sufficient. It's all I carried on my last Europe trip, and I surely didn't miss Flash based websites for the few times I was web browsing at all in Burgundy.
          Biggest issue was that O2 in all their wisdom refused to sell me a prepaid 3G data SIM without a French bank account.

    • >> touch interface works best for viewing content, not creating

      you are right, like 90% of all users are consumers, not creators.
  • Umm, no? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Moof123 (1292134) on Thursday September 01, 2011 @12:14PM (#37276586)

    Very vocal minority are making noise that they want hackable widgets. How about some statistics showing just how many widgets are actually hacked? Is it even 5%?

    The real story, much to the chagrin of the FOSS fan boyz is that sometimes closed and functional will sell better than clunky but open.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by houstonbofh (602064)

      Very vocal minority are making noise that they want hackable widgets. How about some statistics showing just how many widgets are actually hacked? Is it even 5%?

      OK. 5% of 65million phones is 3.25 million phones. (Probably more as I only found old data with a quick google) In 2009, Palm, Symbian and "Others" was only 3.7 million phones. So I guess that 5% is enough. http://seekingalpha.com/article/194442-predicting-2010-north-american-smartphone-market-share [seekingalpha.com]


      And that is assuming your 5% is correct, which I disagree with. Cynaogen is almost mainstream. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/08/22/android_on_touchpad_project/ [theregister.co.uk] Almost everyone I know with an Android,

    • by Microlith (54737)

      I like dickish comments like these. They ignore the obvious fact that users don't know or care if a platform is "open" or "closed." The problem is that vendors go out of their way to cripple these devices. They expend extra effort and time to deliberately deny people the ability to do as they wish.

      • by iluvcapra (782887)

        The problem is that vendors go out of their way to cripple these devices. They expend extra effort and time to deliberately deny people the ability to do as they wish.

        Mainly because it makes it easier for 3rd parties to DRM their applications, music and movies. Keeping the platform closed makes it more attractive to people that want to sell through it. Apple and Samsung don't gain very much from locked bootloaders-- even with them iTunes is still a break-even business, but Netflix, Hulu, Spotify and Rovio

    • by HotTuna (928802)
      True story - I'm no Apple guy, and I have to admit I don't know exactly what "Jailbreaking" accomplishes, but when the AP Clerk, logistics Coordinator and Receptionist are talking about jailbreaking their iphones by the watercooler - I'd say it seems Apple has even brought device hacking into the mainstream...
    • That is true, just look at Windows. However, you have to have some extremely tight market control to maintain a closed monopoly. Blackberry tried it, and failed. Most people just hate giving up BBM, but not enough to leave a sinking ship. Apple tried it with the iPhone, but iTunes isn't that captivating, really. Unless it has a trick up its sleeve besides patents, the iPad has no clear advantage, software or hardware, that can't be recreated. Unless they can have exclusive content, the way other monop

    • Re:Umm, no? (Score:5, Informative)

      by hweimer (709734) on Thursday September 01, 2011 @01:21PM (#37277502) Homepage

      In the UK, 6.2% of the general population hack their consumer products in order to improve them [ssrn.com]. If you adjust that to the part of the population that actually owns a tablet, you will probably get an even larger number.

  • What? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mensa Babe (675349) * on Thursday September 01, 2011 @12:18PM (#37276630) Homepage Journal
    "Smartphone vendors seem to have gotten the message: users want to control the software on their phones. It is a shame that Palm/HP, who were one of the only vendors open from the start, more or less lost the game."

    If users really wanted to control the software on their phones then Palm/HP, who were one of the only vendors open from the start, wouldn't have more or less lost the game, now would it? If the control was what users wanted, would they buy devices with no keyboards on which they can't even run their own software if it doesn't get a blessing from The Man? The sad truth is that users don't give a damn about freedom. We here do, but they don't. They just want to have a cooler version of TV which they can take with them and impress their friends with all of the apps they have. This is sad but true.
    • by Svartalf (2997)

      Most of the people are buying status and "cool" when they're buying those iPads. Those of us that want more control and ability have already bought Android stuff, where you can actually put on software that doesn't get the blessing from The Man. (As proof of this, the Facepla...er...book... app for Honeycomb doesn't exist- but the phone app itself is "stable" on it. All it took to get it loaded outside of the market was getting the APK for that and just loading it on the tablet, something that you can do

      • Re:What? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by gnasher719 (869701) on Thursday September 01, 2011 @12:32PM (#37276824)

        Most of the people are buying status and "cool" when they're buying those iPads. Those of us that want more control and ability have already bought Android stuff, where you can actually put on software that doesn't get the blessing from The Man.

        Most people buy "hey, I can browse the internet!" and "hey, I can read my email", and "hey, it has a map that shows me where I am", and "hey, it plays music and videos and the TV show I missed yesterday", and "hey, I can download and read loads of books" and "hey, I can show you all my photos" and "hey, I can play Angry Birds" and so on and so on and they don't give a damn about status and "cool" when they are buying an iPad.

        • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

          by jedidiah (1196)

          No.

          You would like to believe this and you would like others to believe this but it's really not the case.

          Apple is currently an over-hyped conspicuous consumption brand. A lot of iPhone, iPad, and MBA sales are due to that.

          Fanboys even like to cultivate this idea by comparing Apple to the likes of BMW. (another conspicuous consumption brand)

          • by Altus (1034)

            Have you ever considered the possibility that you might be the one who is mistaken? Perhaps your opinion is the one that you want other to believe despite it not really being the case.

          • No.

            You would like to believe this and you would like others to believe this but it's really not the case.

            It is you who are mistaken. If sales were due to hype, eventually sales would taper off as the fad wore off.

            But sales have been strong and continuously growing ever since the release of the iPad. That is not the sign of a fad, but a product that people genuinely enjoy and recommend to others.

            You can also tell by the number of people who use them in public, if they were just a fad they would get left o

          • by vijayiyer (728590)

            How is something that 10s of millions of people have a status symbol? By definition it can't be.
            My dad has an iPad, and it's his only computer and only internet access via 3G for $25/month. Works well for anything he does, and it's cheaper than other alternatives. I have one I use when flying (see www.foreflight.com). The only sort of comparable alternatives are thousands of dollars (e.g., Garmin 696) combined with expensive subscriptions. The GA pilot community is snapping up iPads because of this.
            It's con

        • by MaWeiTao (908546)

          Most people buy "hey, I can browse the internet!" and "hey, I can read my email", and "hey, it has a map that shows me where I am", and "hey, it plays music and videos and the TV show I missed yesterday", and "hey, I can download and read loads of books" and "hey, I can show you all my photos" and "hey, I can play Angry Birds" and so on and so on and they don't give a damn about status and "cool" when they are buying an iPad.

          Marketing absolutely is driving the success of the iPad. People have been trained t

      • by Americano (920576)

        Then there are some of us who realized that a 10" screen with a fully functional webkit browser on the device was preferable for browsing Facepla...er...book to using a native phone app designed for small screen sizes.

        And for those of us who like large print, it's trivially easy to load the iPhone version of Facepla...er....book app on an iPad, and pixel double to fill the screen.

        TBH, not sure the Facebook app should be your go-to example of how Android gives you more control and ability vs. the iPad.

    • by jedidiah (1196) on Thursday September 01, 2011 @12:35PM (#37276862) Homepage

      Clearly there are other factors at play here. It's not just about "hackability". All things being equal, a device that doesn't require iTunes and doesn't actively ban stuff like Flash will be more useful even to n00bs.

      The sad part here is that "hackability" is nothing more than the ability to install whatever software you want.

      Apple fanboys are trying to radically redefine the term "geek" or "hacker".

    • In that case, not users, but manufacturers. HP failed because Google offered free licensing to anyone. HP, afaik, licensed to no one, at least, nobody that mattered. (If they did, it would be news to me.) That doesn't sound very free or open. HP now wants to license... surprise, surprise.

  • by Overzeetop (214511) on Thursday September 01, 2011 @12:26PM (#37276742) Journal

    That's not to say you can't so work with them. In fact, I do. But tablets are about consumption right now, and Apple's taught that dog to hunt. Tech folks need to step out of Mom's basement and realize that the rest of us just want to be able to do shit, and if we've got $500 to drop on a toy like the iPad, we sure as hell have $40 a month to pay for content through the iTMS.

    If you buy a $150-$200 tablet so that you can rip/download content and serve it up in its native format, it means working on that house of cards to get everything operating. I know, I set up a media center PC and a usenet scraper, and have MyMedia to catalog my movies after I rip them. It's all quite snazzy, but God damned it takes too much time to keep running and if anything goes wrong my wife looks at me like she's never seen a PC or a remote control and expects me to fix it.

    Tablets are about quick access to things you want to do. It's all the things you want a smartphone to do, but in the right form factor and without having to worry about making or receiving phone calls (and in return you can't put a tablet in your pocket).

    Those of us who go back far enough to remember programming in BASIC to generate stats for D&D characters should be the ones to realize that these are not computers as we know them, but entertainment devices. Once you get past that hurdle, the usefulness of tablets makes a lot more sense.

    • by Microlith (54737)

      that these are not computers as we know them

      Yes they are. They simply have a distinctly different form factor. This change in form factor doesn't justify deliberate crippling by the vendor for the sole purpose of forcing you through whatever store happens to be most convenient for them, or ensuring that the device becomes permanently obsolete so you buy a new one.

    • When I see that, then people can claim that tablets are for "real" work. I hope it is soon, I hate the "toy" phase so many devices go through.

  • The N900 had very high crackability, and still failed in the big market. Its proper successor (not the N9, the N950), was just for developers, and very few were made, even where it would have been a dream for the ones wanting an even more crackable phone.

    There are people that want something that just work, and the ones that want to push the limits of what their devices can do, but the last group is a small minority compared with what companies seek as a market.

    • by Microlith (54737)

      The N900 had very high crackability

      Correction, you did not need to jailbreak/root the device at all.

      still failed in the big market.

      Nokia never had any intention of making it a big thing, and they had no hope of pushing it in the US unsubsidized. And everyone was already held in rapture by Google's promise of an "open" platform that ran Linux.

      Its proper successor (not the N9, the N950), was just for developers, and very few were made, even where it would have been a dream for the ones wanting an even more cr

  • by sribe (304414) on Thursday September 01, 2011 @12:28PM (#37276772)

    Smartphone vendors seem to have gotten the message: users want to control the software on their phones.

    Users have sent no such message. Actual users are perfectly happy with the vendor's app stores. Actual users don't even realize that Apple's app store is curated and the various Android app stores are not. People cracking/rooting phones to get greater control are a tiny tiny tiny minority.

  • Local Maximum (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SuperKendall (25149) on Thursday September 01, 2011 @12:32PM (#37276828)

    The success of a tablet in the hacker community hinges on the ability to hack it.

    The success of a tablet in the community at large has nothing at all to do with packability, as the iPad 2 shows.

    On a side note you can also do "well" in the tablet space by giving away $450 of hardware for $100. I am not sure how many companies can enjoy that level of "success" for long though.

  • by FlyingGuy (989135) <flyingguy.gmail@com> on Thursday September 01, 2011 @12:32PM (#37276836)

    One more time for the good times...

    Apples model is working just fine. The average retail consumer (read that as not geeks) could care less that they cannot SSH or recompile the linux kernel on the damn thing. It does what they want the most.

    The non-average consumer of this device ( read that as - Kaiser Permanente and other large corporate consumers ) is really really happy with it. The can write and distribute their own programs for it, get programming support etc. etc. from Apple, distribute those programs from their very own little walled garden and keep the rank and file from installing god alone knows what and breaking the damn thing.

    Geeks will find a way to jail break the thing so they can SSH, etc, etc, and try to re-compile the linux kernel on the damn thing because that is what geeks do.

    I know ALL of the FOOS geeks out there want desperately for Apple to fail, but guess what kids, that aint gonna happen. Jail break that damn thing and have fun with it, but please stop bitching and moaning about Apples successful business model since it makes you sound like nothing more the babies.

  • by BoRegardless (721219) on Thursday September 01, 2011 @12:33PM (#37276842)

    If you are doing a form of business with your tablet or phone, do you really want to operate in an environment where security is deliberately compromised?

    Do you want your employees carrying compromised machines and potentially have your company's data lifted?

    Do you want the potential downtime when cracked devices go awry?

    Do you have that much free time to play?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by jedidiah (1196)

      > If you are doing a form of business with your tablet or phone, do you really want to operate in an environment where security is deliberately compromised?

      That's a great argument to dump your iPhone for an Android.

      The whole reason I had my iPhone jailbroken was because it was painful to use for work in it's stock configuration.

      Although a copy of Unix under the control of the end user is far better than what most corporations do with their computing devices.

  • by jamrock (863246) on Thursday September 01, 2011 @12:34PM (#37276856)
    No. The iPad has proven that dramatically.

    Next question.
  • by Black.Shuck (704538) on Thursday September 01, 2011 @12:35PM (#37276866)

    ...no.

    Enough with the wish-thinking, nerds. Hackers just aren't as populous as non-hackers and never will be, and it's the latter who are buying tablets in droves.

  • by Lumpy (12016) on Thursday September 01, 2011 @12:44PM (#37276962) Homepage

    The CEO of HP is an idiot. Their product was way overpriced for what it is. at $99.00 it flew off the shelves because $99 is a impulse buy price point.

    People will pay for a OPEN and NICE tablet that is REASONABLY priced. those three keywords need to be met.

    Also if you are not Apple, then you have zero chance if you price your tablet the same as an iPad. Sorry, that' just reality.

    Make a android tablet that is not locked in any way. use plain Jane Android and make it fast as well built for $259-$359. If you price it OVER $359 and it's not better built than the iPad you have an automatic fail.

    the iPad sells better than anything else and the competition has to offer more for a lower price. Look at car companies. BMW is the standard and Kia makes an awesome luxury car with the Optima, it really is! go drive ne you will be surprised! but they had to offer a LOT at a very low price to get people to buy them.

  • Before I RTFS, I thought it meant tablets cracking> and people having to buy new ones. I mean how durable can they be? Then I RTFS..
  • Some of us demand crackability, but it's such a pain in the ass for most people and normal use. Even when rooting iPad was trivial I was the only one I knew personally with a rooted iPad. For most people, why bother? There are a lot of people here in my office who bought the cheap TouchPads, but only a couple of them are excited about putting Android on them - mostly it's just' Heck, for $99, it's useful enough!'

    If Amazon comes out with a $300 Ice Cream Sandwich tablet that's 10 inch, quad core, decent scre

  • by billcopc (196330) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Thursday September 01, 2011 @12:58PM (#37277132) Homepage

    Here is, IMO, the most telling line in the article:

    just because Apple has a runaway success on its hands, they cannot charge Apple prices for their hastily developed me-too products

    And that is exactly how I feel. Don't get me wrong, I've been a PC guy since kindergarten, and while I do own a few Apple products, it is largely because I get paid to develop apps. I still hate OSX and IOS for being so restrictive and toy-like, but the one thing I can't take away from Apple is that when they put out an idea, they run with it. Everyone else sees dollar signs and rushes to copy what they see, which is like those bums on the street selling fake Rolexes. They all fail to appreciate what truly makes the iPad unique: it's idiot-proof! The other two tablets suffer from their PC ancestry: too many stupid goddamned apps and knobs and tweaks that should not be necessary on such a limited-usage device. Fire up a brand new iPad and you have about a dozen apps on the home screen. Fire up a brand new Android and that app menu is over 50 icons long. It's overwhelming, and most people will never use about 48 of those 50 apps :P

    The impression I get is that the Android and Blackberry folks don't give two shits about interface design and usability. If these things have been put through user testing, they need to replace those useless users because there is no way in hell my mother would feel comfortable with one of their devices. Heck, it took me a few minutes just to figure out how to get Angry Birds on the wife's Android. But the iPad ? I just handed it to her, told her that "Safari is the internet" and off she went. Now she has every goddamned Popcap game under the sun installed, with no further interaction from me. That says a lot about how little thought went into the knockoff products.

  • Pads are a fad. Trying to type anything on a touchscreen is horrible. Thats why a laptop is and will always be a better portable computing option for doing anything practical.

    By far the biggest reason the iPad sold so many is that its an Apple product. On its release it plugged right into the existing market of rabid buy-anything-Apple-makes fanbois.

    I know several people that have bought an iPad. They all have one thing in common: After the novelty wears off in about 2 weeks, they don't actually touch thei

  • After all, the iPad can also be cracked to be as open as you want.

  • I mean I do love hacking my gadgets, but I'm part of a very small minority, that vast, vast majority of people don't want to hear about hacking.

    What people do want is something easy, safe, and that does what they want. Free is good too, but most people are not ready to hack for "free" instead of "5 bucks". I think the issue right now is Tablets not doing what people want. Things like accessing my LAN/NAS should NOT require a hack or an app for a device whose main fucntion is to watch my f**ing media !

  • by YojimboJango (978350) on Thursday September 01, 2011 @01:22PM (#37277514)

    It's all about how much I have to pay to sit on the couch and quick check my email during a commercial, without having to lug out my 15" laptop. For me that'd be about $100 to $150. When I saw that the iPad was doing well at a $500+ price point I just assumed that it was half apple rep pushing the price up higher, and half me being a big cheapskate. Then the whole TouchPad thing happened and we got a whole bunch of good data. Here's what we can learn:

    1. At $99 people will fight for your tablets. I saw two people here ditch work and race to the local Meijers when they heard that there might be one or two left there (there wasn't).

    2. By checking scalpers prices, I can deduce that about $235 (16 gig), and $250 (32 gig) is where people stop buying them on impulse.

    3. Your 'casual' market doesn't give a flying rip about apps. They'll use it if it's there, but that's not why they're buying tablets.

    • Re:Price (Score:4, Insightful)

      by sootman (158191) on Thursday September 01, 2011 @02:13PM (#37278328) Homepage Journal

      An important adjustment to your data...

      > At $99 people will fight for good tablets.

      Every review of the HP TouchPad said "A decent tablet, but no match for the iPad 2." Most agree that it is roughly comparable to the original iPad. At $99, a tablet of that quality will fly off the shelves. $99 piece-of-shit tablets like the Pandigital Novel are not flying off the shelves, nor is anyone skipping work to get them.

      > 2. By checking scalpers prices, I can deduce that about
      > $235 (16 gig), and $250 (32 gig) is where people stop
      > buying them on impulse.

      Again, this is TouchPad pricing. What we are truly seeing here by looking at all the craigslsit and eBay listings is that people value the TouchPad at around $250. It's value has dropped, actually, since everyone buying one is doing so knowing it's a dead-end product with no serious long-term prospects or support. If HP were still in the business, they could probably sell a decent amount of them for $299. Sadly, that number would not allow them to run a profitable operation. It's important to remember that Apple is making a profit on the iPad largely because they have done some very smart spending. [cnn.com] If Apple tablets were merely "overpriced", there would be TONS of good tablets for less, right? This is NOT just a case of "apple rep pushing the price up higher".

  • The first thing I do when I buy a computer is wipe everything that came on it and install Linux. If I can't do that, it's not a computer --- it's an appliance, or a toy. Most computer users may not be Linux users, but I think a lot of people (subconsciously or otherwise) realize that if they can't do what they want with a computer device they're looking at buying, they don't want it either.

"Probably the best operating system in the world is the [operating system] made for the PDP-11 by Bell Laboratories." - Ted Nelson, October 1977

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