Android Tablets Grabbing Market Share from the Apple iPad

The absolute domination of the iPad is now coming to an end. When the iPad was first launched, it was the only tablet on the market, and it immediately captured the entire market. Soon after that, Android smartphone manufacturers started churning out oversized smartphones, and started selling them as tablets with Froyo or Gingerbread installed. The Samsung Galaxy Tab was the most popular of them, and it managed to capture only a marginal share.

With the HP TouchPad now dead, and the Blackberry Playbook being a miserable failure, the iPad is still ruling the charts. However, it has been losing market share to Android.

Even though most Android Honeycomb tablets suck, there has been a deluge of cheap Android Gingerbread tablets in the market. They may not make a lot of money, but they are helping Google gain market share for Android, which is what they have wanted all along.

Android tablets accounted for 27% of global tablet sales in Q3 2011, up from 2.3% a year earlier, according to a report by Strategy Analytics. 4.5 million Android tablets were sold in Q3 2011, out of a total of 16.7 million tablets. Samsung led the charge, selling more than 1.5 million tablets.

With Amazon entering the market with the Android based Kindle Fire, the iPad’s market share is set to decline even more this quarter. Even Google launched the next version of Android – Ice Cream Sandwich – recently which is supposedly better than Honeycomb, and unifies Android on smartphones and tablets.

Apple is already feeling the heat, and has mounted a legal offensive against Samsung to ban sales of its Galaxy Tab tablet in multiple countries.

Microsoft, which will launch Windows 8 next year, runs the risk of being too late to the party.

However, Apple continues to grab a majority of the profits in the tablet industry, just like it does in the smartphone industry.

Adobe Reader Released for iPod, iPhone, and iPad

 Adobe Systems announced the release of the Adobe Reader for the iOS-platform.  The Adobe Reader was released for Android way back in May, 2010.

The Adobe Reader is compatible on systems with iOS 4.2.5 or later. It is a relief to be able to view PDF documents with Adobe after all this time. I am unsure about what possible marketing strategies caused the delay between Adobe and Apple for the release of this product. The iTouch/iPhone and iPad versions are similar in all aspects, except the screen size.

A project manager at Adobe has been quoted saying the following about its features.

“Now you can quickly and efficiently view the widest range of PDF file type — including PDF Portfolios, password-protected PDF documents and Adobe LiveCycle rights-managed PDF files.”


  • It is linked to the mail client, Safari, and other similar apps (example, DropBox). This allows you to easily open PDF documents.
  • The interface is easy to use and perceptive.
  • There are three options to view pages; Continuous, Single Page, and Automatic.
  • It is easy to move to the page you want with the scrubber bar (that appears at the bottom of the page), which also displays a thumbnail of the page that you move it to.
  • It can handle encrypted and password-protected PDF documents.
  • You can copy text and place it on the clipboard.
  • It has “AirPrint” that allows you to print your PDF files wirelessly.
  • You can access your PDF files under “Documents” (aka the Library) or “Recently Viewed”.

  • It has the Bookmarks option.


  • You cannot arrange your PDF files into folders.
  • It does not support attachments.

Before the Adobe Reader was released, I usually used iBooks to read my PDF documents on the iTouch or iPad.

Some of the iBook features like the ability to manually adjust the brightness of the page and the large thumbnail preview of the pages are not present in the Adobe Reader interface, but I do not notice the absence of these features.

Images used are from iTunes.  

New iPad Mini Rumors Surface. Again.

There has been a very persistent rumor which rears up its ugly head once every few weeks. It’s about the iPad Mini, speculated to be a cheaper 7 inch version of Apple’s iPad. Many analysts believe that Apple may launch a cheaper 7 inch version of the iPad along with the iPad 3 next year.

Steve Jobs had always maintained that Apple would never work on a 7 inch iPad, as they believed that a 10 inch display was the minimum screen size required for a useful tablet.

iPad Mini

However, the success of the new Amazon Kindle Fire tablet has validated that there is a market for cheap tablets. Apple currently dominates the high end of the tablet market, but Amazon seems likely to conquer the low end. If Apple launches a cheaper version of the iPad, it could potentially end up dominating that segment too, effectively ruling the entire tablet universe.

A new rumor, sparked off by a report in Taiwan’s United Daily News, states that Apple has received samples of a 7.85 inch display from AU Optronics and LG Display, implying that Apple could be working on a 7 inch iPad.

However, going by the current trend in the iPhone lineup, Apple wouldn’t go for a 7 inch iPad if it wanted to enter the low end tablet segment. It would rather make the iPad 2 available at a lower price point, while selling the iPad 3 at the current price points. Given Tim Cook’s operational genius, Apple could possibly make a cheaper iPad if it had the same design as the current one.

The iPad may go the way of the iPhone 4S, with the iPad 3 having the same design as the current iPad with more powerful hardware, and the current iPad 2 price being bumped down.

However, at this point, it’s all speculation. Knowing Apple, it’s pointless to speculate about its plans. But like everyone else, we will be tempted to.

Dell, HP to Launch Windows 8 Tablets in Q3 2012

Windows 8 has been able to shore up some support from device manufacturers already. Android hasn’t been doing too well on tablets, which is why some manufacturers like Dell are waiting for Windows 8 to move forward with their tablet plans. It recently announced that it would focus on Windows 8 for tablets, not on Android.

HP, also almost quit the tablet game after the disastrous market response to its webOS powered TouchPad, which was eventually offloaded in a fire-sale.

Windows 8

According to a new report by Digitimes, HP and Dell are already working on the development of Windows 8 tablets. They will be launched after Windows 8 becomes publicly available in the third quarter of 2012.

With Amazon poised to take over the low end of the tablet market and Apple dominating the high end, Windows 8 seems like the best alternative for tablet manufacturers.

Google will be unveiling Android Ice Cream Sandwich tomorrow, which will be a unified OS for smartphones and tablets. It could potentially tilt the scales in Android’s favor. However, the lack of tablet apps for the Android platform continue to be a significant deterrent for those planning to buy a Android tablet. Unless Google is able to solve that, Microsoft stands a good chance to beat Android with Windows 8.

Samsung Lawyer Couldn’t Tell iPad and Galaxy Tab Apart from 10 Feet Away

As we all know by now, Apple and Samsung are in a patent battle. A month ago, it was  reported  that  Steve Jobs was said to have contacted Samsung in July of 2010, initiating negotiations between the two companies regarding the patent disputes. The effort proved to be unsuccessful, which caused Apple to file mutiple patent lawsuits against Samsung.

Apple vs Samsung

At present, Apple is seeking an injunction against Samsung preventing the sale of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia.  Samsung  agreed  to delay the device’s launch several times as the injunction was considered by the court.  The company even proposed a deal to Apple that would allow Samsung to launch its delayed Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia. Unsurprisingly, Apple  rejected  that offer from Samsung which would have allowed the company to release its Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia.

A few days ago, it was reported that Justice Annabelle Bennett ruled  on Thursday  that Apple had presented sufficient evidence of alleged infringement by Samsung on two of its touchscreen and multitouch related patents to issue a preliminary injunction. The suit will proceed a full hearing, but even if Samsung prevails, the company will have lost valuable time in the tablet market.

Now,  Reuters reveals that when asked by a judge in a California courtroom to tell the difference between a Samsung Galaxy Tab and an Apple iPad held side-by-side 10 feet away, an attorney for Samsung couldn’t do it (*chuckles*). A judge held both a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and iPad above her head, and asked Kathleen Sullivan, a lawyer representing Samsung, to identify what company made which.  She wasn’t able to tell the difference.

“Not at this distance, your honor,” she reportedly said. Koh then asked if any of Samsung’s lawyers could identify which tablet was made by Apple and which was made by Samsung. Another lawyer supplied the correct answer “moments later.”    The judge has yet to rule on Apple’s request to bar some of Samsung’s products from being sold in the U.S.

In addition, the judge did say that Samsung’s Galaxy-branded tablets do infringe on some of Apple’s iPad-related patents and Apple must  still prove to the court that its patents are valid under the law.  Koh also tentatively said she would not grant Apple an injunction based on one “utility” patent the company has accused Samsung of infringing upon.

Apple has previously  won  an injunction blocking the sale of the Galaxy Tab in Germany. Honestly, if you ask me, Samsung isn’t  copying  Apple at all. Nope, not at all.

10 Must-Have Free iPad Apps

I have been bewitched by Apple products ever since I got my hands on my first iPod in college (a generous gift). My old friend, the iPod, has since been retired from my service, but still continues to bring music and entertainment to my dear ones. The time was ripe and on cue, I was bewitched by another Apple product. Enter the iPad. I moved from my initial skepticism (Oh, why do I even need something like that?) to pure delight when I got my iPad 2.

Having an iTouch may be enough for some folks,   but when you get used to it, suddenly, screen size does matter. On my iPad, I love reading e-books, watching videos, and even making notes on the larger, scrumptious 9.7-inch LED screen. The larger onscreen keyboard is a life saver for the days when my fingers feel especially pudgy. Having a front- and rear-facing camera is an added bonus for my many video chats. Still no flash though, sigh.

Here are my Top 10 Must-Have Free iPad Apps

1. Kindle Cloud Reader

Being a big reader, I experimented with lots of free e-book readers from iBooks to Kobo to Stanza (to name a few). What really sold me the Kindle Cloud Reader was its beautiful interface and the constant fresh fodder (e-books) from the Kindle store. You have to use a very basic shopping concept here, good deals are only found if you regularly check what is on the clearance rack. Every day, the store provides fodder of a different genre. The magic is that I can pick some really good stuff for free! I also do not miss having a book spine on the screen (as is seen in iBooks).

2. Terra

The default mobile Safari browser is not bad. I like my browser tabstoo much to settle though. Terra is simple to use and I can open as many tabs as I want. It is strong on privacy; I can browse without saving anything in History, and I can set a pass code for my History and Bookmarks. (The following image is from

3. Instagram

I have cheated a bit here. As of now, its interface still looks like that of a stretched iPod app (the fit-to-screen type). But, I (and another 10 million users) love the simplicity and pure ingenuity of  Instagram’s many fun filters. It’s easy to link to Facebook and Twitter too. This app is good news considering there aren’t any good photo-editing social networking apps.

4. Flipboard

This app creates a magazine from my numerous networking-site feeds. My updates from Google Reader, Twitter, Facebook, and many other sites, are much easier to manage as a result. I mainly use Flipboard to save all my favorite stories to be savored at my leisure. Flipboard also won Apple’s iPad App of the Year award.

5. Evernote

This popular app is a lifesaver. I make about a dozen notes a day on the Evernote cloud. It is easy to get used to it.


6. Dropbox

This is another amazing cloud app that offers 2 GB of free space to its users. I can’t imagine how I lived without it. I can save and manipulate my data, as if on my local desktop, using Dropbox.

7. Skype

The beauty of having a camera on the iPad is that I can make a video call on a full screen with Skype while catching up with other friends. Who in the world is not on Skype?

8. NPR

This news app beats NY Times, WSJ, and many others because it does not have the painful limited (or paid) viewing of its content. Its articles are open to everyone. I enjoy the latest NPR news broadcast, or simply listen to its playlist of songs.

9. Twitterrific

There are numerous Twitter apps. An ideal app, in my opinion, is one that I get the hang of in less than 10 seconds. Twitterrific fits the bill. It is simple and intuitive. It has not failed me yet, so I see no reason to jump to TweetDeck.

10. AccuWeather

I believe that it’s good to have more than one source to check my weather forecast. AccuWeather is an American company that provides (reasonably) accurate weather forecasting services worldwide. The interface is clean and presentable. No overload of information here. The hourly update on multiple locations is a nice touch.

Bonus Free iPad App

11. Talking Larry the Bird

In a nut shell, Larry repeats what you say to him in his own ducelent tones. Its too much fun for a human.

Samsung Loses Dutch Patent Battle Against Apple

Samsung and Apple have been involved in patent battles spread across multiple countries for months now. However, it seems very likely that Apple is going to win the war.

Apple recently won an injunction against Samsung products in Australia, which could lead to a ban on all Android devices there in the future. It also won a similar injunction in Germany a month ago.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

Today, a Dutch court announced that it won’t be granting Samsung an injunction banning Apple products in the Netherlands. The Dutch court stated that Samsung’s 3G patents were part of essential standards, and that the two companies should negotiate a licensing agreement.

Samsung has also announced its intentions to file a patent lawsuit against Apple in South Korea, its homeland. Going by the verdicts announced already, the scales seem to be tipping heavily in Apple’s favor.

Samsung recently signed a patent licensing agreement with Microsoft, agreeing to pay it a licensing fee for each Android device it sold. Google seems unable to defend any of its hardware partners against patent infringement lawsuits, despite acquiring Motorola and its famed patent portfolio.

Samsung suffered another blow in the U.S., when a Samsung lawyer failed to distinguish between a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and an Apple iPad 2 in the court. When the presiding judge held an iPad 2 and a Galaxy Tab 10.1 and asked Samsung’s lawyers to identify them, the lawyer replied that she couldn’t do it at “this distance”, which was only 10 feet. Even if Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 may be very different from the iPad 2, its lawyers pretty much suck. Either way, Samsung looks likely to lose in the U.S. too.

Get 50GB Free Space on for Lifetime

Apple fans: As if things weren’t good enough already, has an offer that will blow your mind! , Social Media Manager at, announced on their official blog, that iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch users will get 50GB of lifetime storage for free if they sign up for a Box Personal account.

50GB Free

The offer started at midnight of October 13th and will extend for 50 days. The Box account isn’t restricted to just the mobile device, either, so you can use it with your PC. Below are the instructions stated on their website to set up a new account.

  1. Visit the app store and download the Box app for your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch
  2. Log in to your account or register for a new one directly from the app
  3. Start sharing and collaborating in the cloud
  4. (optional but recommended) Tell the world how you’ll use your 50 GB with the hashtag  #Box50GB

It is obvious that is trying to capitalize on the iPhone 4S euphoria. Not only that, but you have to believe that the introduction of Apple’s iCloud has a little to do with it, as well. All new Apple devices now come with the iCloud. This basically gets you 5GB of online storage for free. The iCloud’s seamless integration with iPhone/iPad devices threatens to take market share from companies like It’s understandable that would come out in full swing.

This is a great promotion and, according to their blog, there will be other contests and tips coming in the next 50 days, so you might want to stay tuned.

What about you? Is this a service that you would like to take advantage of? Let us know your thoughts and if you are considering this as part of your app collection.

Don’t forget to read our earlier article about how you can mount in Windows Explorer.

How To Access Notification Center in iOS5

Apple recently released the latest and probably the best iteration of iOS to , and users. If you haven’t updated yet to iOS5 you can find direct download links for iOS5 and instructions on how to upgrade to iOS5 through iTunes or manually. iOS5 has tons of new features, however, the best one I find is the new notification system which I think was inspired from .

Nevertheless, I am not here to start a feud on who copied whom but just talk about using the new Notification system in iOS5. First things first, the new notification system in iOS5 is pretty neat. However, not many people would be aware on how to use it just like creating folders in iOS and probably taking screenshots with an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad.

First off, notifications will not pop up like it did in and earlier. They will be displayed more subtly on the lock screen as well as when you are logged into the device. Secondly, notifications will not popup when you are within an application or playing a game (this used to be quite annoying).

Last but not the least, all notifications will be clubbed together and will be available through a single swipe from the top to bottom. To access your notifications, you will have to swipe your finger from the top of the screen and drag it down.


Please note that the notification center is invisible. To access it just swipe your finger from top to bottom and it should display the Notification center where you can view all the notifications and take action on them.

To hide the notification center, just drag the tiles back up as shown in the image above and the notification center should be hidden. You can display and hide the notification center in any app you are using. This makes it really useful, because you can check your emails even while you are playing games.

How did you like the new notification system in iOS5? Is it good or bad?

Apple to Launch an iPad Mini to Fight Amazon’s Kindle Fire? It’s Quite Possible

There’s something about Apple and its products which leads even the slightest rumor to spread like wildfire across the blogosphere. Before the “Let’s talk iPhone” event earlier this month, most analysts were speculating that Apple would launch a new iPhone 5, as well as a cheaper variant – iPhone 4S. All of them were wrong.

Now, everyone is speculating that Apple may be working on a new 7 inch iPad, christened the iPad Mini. It will be a cheaper version of the iPad, with a smaller display, and low specifications.

Apparently, the success of Amazon’s Kindle Fire has convinced Apple that there is money to be made even in the low end of the tablet market, even if the gross margins may be lower.

The rumors were sparked off after an analyst made a statement after meeting with several technology supply companies in China, which seemed to indicate that Apple plans to launch a lower priced iPad Mini for the price sensitive consumer segment.

I said earlier that I expect Apple to continue to rule the high end of the tablet segment, while its competitors shoot themselves in the foot. The Amazon Kindle Fire is likely the only other tablet which could be successful at the scale of the iPad. However, if Apple does launch an iPad Mini, it could easily grab significant market share even in the low end of the market.

Whether or not Apple will actually do that, sacrificing its hefty margins is something no one knows yet. Given Apple’s legendary secrecy, we’ll possibly have to wait until Apple reveals it itself.