Archiv für den Monat November 2012

65 Prozent der Führungskräfte wollen mehr Innovation in ihrem Unternehmen

65 Prozent der Führungskräfte wollen mehr Innovation in ihrem Unternehmen.

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the reversed Osborne Effect


I’ve spent the last few days checking out the fourth-generation iPad, looking — no, hunting — for ways Apple‘s new flagship tablet differentiates itself from the previous model. While it’s hardly coal mining, it been an extremely challenging task.

iPad 4 looks almost exactly the same as what I’ll refer to from now on as the iPad 3, the tiny Lightningconnector port being the only sign this is a different product. While Apple has found a new love for progress in debuting the fourth-gen iPad a mere six months after iPad 3 (its mobile products used to iterate on tight annual schedule), it’s clearly not messing with success.

It’s also not going to do anything to upstage the pretty young ingenue in its product lineup, the iPad mini. Whereas the mini was the star of Apple’s most recent product circus, the company’s chief gadget wrangler, Phil Schiller, said everything he had to say about iPad 4 in less than three minutes. If you blinked, you missed a whole new iPad.

The result: Most people don’t even know there’s a new 10-inch iPad, which is probably just what Apple wants. While the iPad mini provides curious onlookers and anyone considering a smaller tablet something to look at, the same big-screen iPad is still there, still starting at $499, still setting the standard for the whole tablet market. The message: Sleep easy, world, because nothing’s changed.

Except it has. The iPad 4 performs noticeably better than the iPad 3. This isn’t just a matter of benchmarks or “theoretical” numbers, but those are certainly superior. Web sites load faster, apps launch quicker and the most processor-taxing iPad games run perfectly on the new iPad. Whether you’re a casual surfer or a power user, the new iPad improves your experience.

More Guts, a Bit More Glory

Apple A6X

The iPad 4′s powers are due largely to the new A6X processor. Apple launched the A6 chip with the iPhone 5 in September, and the iPad takes it up a notch with quad-core graphics. Just like the iPad 3, the beefier graphics processing is needed to render images for the 2,048 x 1,536 retina display. The screen is the same, but Apple says it now performs up to twice as fast.

It’s not a lie. In benchmark tests, we found the iPad 4 performs at least twice as fast, looking at raw processing power. RunningGeekbench’s app, the iPad 4 got an overall score of 1,769 while its predecessor was ranked at just 768 — a massive difference. In repeated runs of, which tests connection speed, the iPad 4 was on average about 20% faster than iPad 3 on the same Wi-Fi network.

In real-world tasks, that translates into media-rich websites such as (and Mashable, come to think of it) loading almost instantaneously and graphics-intensive apps launching lickety-split. In launching Solar Walk, for instance, a retina-optimized app loaded with high-res renderings of the solar system, the iPad 4 called it up a lot faster than iPad 3, saving several seconds. (Check out the video below for the full demo.)

Games launch faster, too. However, for actual gameplay, I couldn’t detect any difference at all. Slices, parries and stabs against the monstrous rivals in Infinity Blade II was fast and responsive on both iPads. Blasting pirates in Galaxy on Fire HD 2 was a pixel-perfect exercise on the two tablets, even at maximum resolution. And zombie brains from The Walking Dead spattered just as well on the iPad 3 as the iPad 4.

Playing games continuously on both tablets, the iPad 3 appeared to lose battery life considerably faster than the iPad 4. Apple does say the new processor runs more efficiently than the iPad 3′s, but the extra juice could be attributable to the device simply being brand new.

In any case, game developers have clearly built their games for the iPad 3, which was the best possible iPad experience for the last six months, so no game is going to choke the tablet the way Crysis used to be the gaming stress test for PCs. It’s going to take time for devs to create apps that really challenge the iPad 4, but when they do, the A6X processor will be waiting.

Eyes Front

The other upgrade to the iPad 4 is the front-facing camera, which is now an improved model able to capture 1.2-megapixel photos and 720p video. The upgrade puts it in line with pretty much all of Apple’s other products with front-facing cameras — from the MacBook Air to the iPad mini to the iPod touch.

The improvement is welcome. The iPad is an excellent device for video chatting because of its portability and Apple’s FaceTime service, which is generally superior in quality to rivals like Skype. With a good connection, the clarity is markedly better than on the iPad 3.

Any self-portraits you take with the front camera are improved as well. Shots are more detailed, with better color. Of course, if you really need to snap some pics of something, you may as well use the 5-megapixel camera in back, which is the same design as iPad 3.

Apple says the A6X chip improves both image stabilization and facial recognition, but in my short time with the iPad 4, I couldn’t detect any improvement over the iPad 3 on either of those features.

Lightning Strikes


Then of course there’s the Lightning connector, the big physical change from the previous model. In the iPad, though, Lightning’s small size doesn’t provide much benefit, Whereas Apple was able to shrink the iPhone considerably by replacing the dock connector with the smaller port, the iPad retains the same weight and dimensions.

To the user, Lightning doesn’t provide a lot of benefit over the old dock connector other than ensuring your iPad won’t go obsolete overnight. It’s great for Apple, though. Adding Lightning to the iPad proper brings the new port to all of Apple’s portable devices in time for the holiday — an impressive feat considering the connector didn’t exist officially until a month and a half ago.

Apart from the connector, there’s really no physical difference from the iPad 3. On our iPad, the label that indicates the storage capacity is missing, although that might simply be because it’s a review unit.

Why the iPad 4 Exists Now

When Apple unveiled the fourth-generation iPad, many owners of the iPad 3 were angry. After all, they had shelled out serious cash for the new iPad with retina display with a confidence that it wouldn’t be obsolete six months later. It was the Osborne Effect, but in reverse.

Yet here we are. Now there’s a shinier, newer iPad with a much faster processor, a better camera and that oh-so-cute Lightning connector. Dammit.

But there’s really nothing to be angry about, because iPad 3 owners aren’t missing out on anything significant. The iPad 2′s screen to a retina display — that was a major upgrade, but the spec bumps in iPad 4, while significant, don’t have much practical benefit yet.

It will take awhile for A6X-optimized apps to arrive, and the iPad 3 is already plenty fast. The front camera is improved, but it’s not like I was unrecognizable on FaceTime before. About the only thing with serious, tangible benefits is upgraded Wi-Fi, but in that case we’re talking only a few seconds difference, typically.

Forget the iPad 3 for a second, though, and it’s hard not to marvel at what Apple’s created here. Not only is the iPad 4 a turbocharged tablet with an impressive display, but it’s got a large selection of apps (275,000, at Apple’s last count) made especially for it.

That’s something no Android or Windows tablet can claim. As impressive as the Microsoft Surface and Nexus 10 are as devices, good luck finding Infinity Blade in either one of their app stores.

So while the iPad 4 isn’t worth the upgrade for iPad 3 owners, for anyone else thinking about a new full-size tablet this holiday, the choice is clear. The iPad, already the standard-bearer in the category, is now twice as powerful, has even faster connectivity and — oh yeah — is supported by the most consistent and easy-to-use mobile ecosystem in existence and the deepest tablet app selection by far.

Rival tablets may be able to beat Apple on price, and perhaps even a spec or two, but no one else comes close in terms of experience. Come to your senses and get an iPad already. There’s a reason it’s the most popular tablet in the world, and it’s never been clearer than in the iPad 4.

At least until the iPad 5 comes out.


Apple to lose market leadership – stock plunges


Apple logo

Apple’s stock dropped by more than 4% in early trading Wednesday, to as low as $556 a share, its lowest price in five months.

More significantly for investors, the stock is now down more than 20% in less than two months from its peak price of $705 a share on Sept. 21 when the iPhone 5 hit store shelves. This trading situation is commonly referred to as a bear market, with no bottom in sight.

For Apple, a combination of factors have plagued the stock over the past six weeks and continue to push down the price.

Supply Constraints

The stock’s initial downfall was caused largely by concern about supply constraints impacting sales of the iPhone 5. The stock began to decline after Apple reported lower-than-expected opening weekend sales for the device in late September, a fact that the company suggested was due to limited supply rather than demand.

Since then, CEO Tim Cook has assured investors that Foxconn, Apple’s manufacturing partner, has significantly improved production and will continue to catch up to demand. However, Foxconn’s chief renewed concerns Wednesday by noting at a business event that the manufacturer is still “falling short” of demand for the iPhone 5. 

Executive Shake-Up

Apple dropped a bombshell last week when it announced a big executive shake-up, including the departures of the company’s iOS chief Scott Forstall and retail chief John Browett. Apple shrewdly announced the move on a day when the stock market was closed because of Hurricane Sandy, but once trading resumed, the stock began to drop.

For investors, the announcement raised concerns about the stability of Apple’s elite management team without Steve Jobs, and the departure of Forstall in particular raised concerns about the future of Apple’s mobile product innovations.

Competition in the Tablet Space

A particularly negative research report about Apple’s dwindling dominance in the tablet market didn’t exactly help the company’s stock either. According to IDC, Apple’s share of the tablet market declined from nearly 60% in the third quarter of 2011 to 50% in the third quarter this year, showing just how much the competition has grown.

Declining Profit Margin

Apple is clearly working to maintain its hold on the tablet market with the release of a new smaller and cheaper iPad mini. However, the downside, as the company pointed out in its most recent earnings call, is that this and other new devices are expected to cut into the company’s profit margins.

Apple projects that it will report a much lower profit margin in the December quarter than analysts had previously expected. Cook attributed this to the prolific roll out of new products, which have higher costs, and the fact that some products like the iPad mini are being sold closer to cost. At the end of the day, Apple’s absurdly high profit margins for its product is the big selling point for investors. As a result, some analysts reacted to the news by cutting their price targets for the stock.

Patent Verdict

Most recently, the stock took another hit after a federal jury in Texas ruled that Apple’s FaceTime video chat feature infringed on several patents held by VirnetX, a patent holding firm. The court ordered Apple to pay $368 million and VirnetX could potentially push to ban sales of Apple products that use these patents.

All in all, it has been a tough few weeks for Apple even with the successful launch of several new products.

AAPL Chart

Image courtesy of Flickr, kevin dooley


IPAD 5 soon out on the Market (2012)

The IPad out on the market for some days now, the successor is on the way already. Rumors tell that Apple will react in the first or second Quarter of 2013 to the introduction of the Google Nexus.

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities thinks Apple may feel pressure from Microsoft’s new Surface tablet, especially considering that the fourth-generation iPad is the same weight and thickness as the third-generation model.

„Though the iPad mini is expected to be successful, we think launching the lighter, thinner 9.7″ iPad as quickly as possible matters more for Apple strategically,“ Kuo explained.

If Microsoft Surface does catch on with consumers and businesses, it would pose a risk to Apple’s current dominance of the „post-PC“ world. For that reason, he thinks Apple will move quickly to redesign the iPad once again in the near future.

Apple is expected to employ „GF DITO“ touchscreen technology, otherwise known as GF2, in its redesigned iPad, according to Kuo. In combination with more power-efficient chips, Apple is expected to „dramatically lower the weight and thickness of the 9.7″ iPad,“ Kuo wrote.

Apple is said to already be employing GF2 display technology in the new iPad mini. That helped to make the device 23 percent thinner and 53 percent lighter than the full-size iPad.

The fourth-generation iPad unveiled by Apple on Tuesday marked an uncharacteristically short product life cycle for the company. It completely replaced the third-generation model, while the $399 iPad 2 remains without a high-resolution Retina display.

The new fourth-generation iPad carries the same price points as its predecessor, while packing in faster performance with a new A6X processor that Apple said doubles the speed of the system’s CPU and GPU. It also features Apple’s new Lightning connector, replacing the legacy 30-pin design found on the third-generation model.

Customers who recently purchased a third-generation iPad may be able to return their purchase and exchange it for the updated fourth-generation model at certain Apple retail stores.


Why Google will crack Apple on the Tablet-Front soon

The Nexus 10 has the weaker eco-system in comp. with the IPAD 4 (Ipad with retina display) but is due to the introduction of Android 4.2 on the best track to become the new leader on the Tablet-Market.

The IOS System has lost its pace and is made competitive again with a new processor.

The specs tell the truth. Apple with its IPAD 4 has lost the lead and Google with the Nexus 10 has become the winner (on numbers). X-Mas 2012 will reflect in sales numbers who will be number one.