Author Archives: Ben Bajarin

Ben has spent the last 10 years as the Director of Consumer Technology Analysis and Research with Industry and Market analysis firm Creative Strategies, Inc. He is a technology enthusiast, a husband, a father and a hobby farmer.

Gartner forecasts 19.5 Media Tablets in 2010 – Too Low? or Too High?

My colleagues on the analyst side of the business over at Gartner have released their "Connected Mobile Consumer Electronics" report. In this latest report they predict worldwide sales of Media Tablets to be 19.5 million units in 2010 growing to 54.8 million units in 2011.  In their forecasts they see this media tablet category growing 181% next year. They predict Apple will hold around 80% of the tablet space in 2010 and I think it will actually be higher than that.

I am speaking at this years 2011 CES on Tablets with a track session called Tablets: A New Era of Mobile Computing.  During this presentation I will forecast tablets for 2011 and beyond as well.   I'll save my forecasts for my presentation but in advance of Apple's earnings call on Monday I will predict that Apple is on track to sell somewhere between 11-13 million iPads this year alone.   If you double that figure for next year iPads alone will ship between 22-26 million.   So from my perspective Gartner is forecasting extremely aggressive numbers for 2010 but they could be right.

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Mobile Device Dominates American’s Hearts and Pockets

I love the research from the Pew Research Center. In their latest report called "American's and Their Gadgets" they shared that the cell phone is the most owned piece of personal technology among American's.   The report details that 85% of American's now own a cell phone with Desktops and Notebooks fighting for second and third.  Now this shouldn't shock anyone given how hot the mobile device sector has been over the past few years.   However it is interesting to note the ownership of the other devices referenced in the report.

When reading the report it was not surprising that the mobile phone is heavily owned and desired by younger consumers however the report indicated that 58% of adults 65 and older now also own a mobile phone.    I would be curious to see more data about how this breaks down for feature phones vs smart phone ownership but that will have to be for a later report.   I would like to call attention to one more piece of data on this chart.

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Apple to hold a “Lion” of an event Oct 20th

The invites just came out from Apple inviting the media to an event focused on the Mac.   The Mac business represents nearly 30% of Apple's revenue so updates to the Mac business are important in our eyes.  This event will happen just days after Apple's earnings call on Oct 18th which means Apple will get plenty of media attention throughout the course of next week.

It appears the event will be focused mostly on the next major OSX release which is obviously going to be called "Lion."  Other potential updates could be an update to the MacBook Air and iLife '11.   Suffice it to say we are very excited to see what new features Lion will bring for the Mac consumer.  SlashGear will be there live so check back for full coverage of the news and On Time Analysis next Wed at 10 A.M PST.

Google TV – An Early Analysis

I had a chance to get some hands on time with Google TV from both Sony and Logitech. Let's start off and agree that re-inventing the TV experience is a necessary but also incredibly difficult task. Necessary because with the exception of the DVR, television simply has not changed that much in the past 50 years. Yes, we got color, then we got HD; but the overall experience has not drastically changed. Re-invention is in essence what Apple desired and still desires to do, and what Google is now putting a stake in the ground in order to attempt as well.

I say re-inventing the TV experience is difficult, because it is controlled by the service providers like DirecTV, Dish, Comcast, COX, etc. These service providers offer their customers a completely closed system in which to access their content, or premium content. So for a company like Apple or Google to make inroads with a TV experience that is as tightly integrated with a customer's service provider is an uphill battle.

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Windows Phone 7 Launches – Can it Compete?

Today Microsoft officially launched Windows Phone 7 along with its handset and carrier partners. Microsoft has had success with its Windows Mobile products in the past with enterprise customers but has failed to achieve any significant traction with Windows Mobile in the consumer’s space. Windows Phone 7 is the culmination of over two years of resources and work on Microsoft’s behalf and may be their last chance to make any significant consumer inroads.

Last Friday Google’s Android creator Andy Rubin made a statement in an interview claiming that the world didn’t need another mobile platform. What I found interesting about his statement was that he has forgotten that the company he currently works for (Google) was started at a time when many in the industry said there was no need for another search engine. In the technology industry there is always room for innovation. The real question is whether Windows Phone 7 is innovative enough to keep Microsoft in the mobile game. Read on for further analysis.

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Apple Gets a Target Stock Price of $345

Lots of interesting investor reports being issued today but the one that caught my eye the most was Oppenheimer's statement to investors that they have set a target stock price for AAPL at $345.  Say what you want about Apple but the fact remains that they are still the darling of the financial community.

Oppenheimer's analysts have raised the target stock price from $330 citing strong expectations of iPhone 4 sales, the anticipation of new carriers, continued growth of Mac sales and greater than anticipated iPad sales.  Our own forecasts would agree with Oppenheimer's expectations of strong sales of Apple hardware.   I would add that I believe the sales of iPads will be slightly higher than people are expecting.  Right now expectations of iPad sales for the third quarter are conservatively in the 5 million range and  I feel the third quarter shipments will be in the 6-7 million range.  Apple holds their Q3 earnings call on Oct 18th and I will write a full analysis of the numbers after the call.

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Living Room Video Conferencing Is Here – Are We Ready?

It appears one of the themes of the second half of 2010 is video conferencing.  Apple has been driving a lot of awareness with FaceTime.   Sprint has been driving awareness with their EVO 4G commercials. Yesterday Cisco and Logitech demonstrated their video conferencing solutions.  Both Apple and Sprint have been driving awareness for video conferencing with mobile devices.   However Cisco and Logitech demonstrated their approach is to bring video conferencing into the living room.

Consumer video conferencing has been one of those things I have watched as an industry insider for a while now.  Mostly because I do a lot of analysis around the personal computer and most consumer video conferencing solutions have thus far been PC based.  The big question is are consumers ready for living room video conferencing?   Is the mass market ready or is it still only for early adopters?    Read on for my further analysis.

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The Droid Pro – Is it a BlackBerry Killer?

Motorola announced last evening several new Android devices. With this move Motorola indicated their support for Android and their desire to be aggressive with releasing Android devices that focus on certain markets and specific customer needs. However out of all the devices I watched get launched it is the Droid Pro that I think is the most interesting.

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RIM Shares their Playbook – Is It Enough?

A few weeks ago I wrote about the Invasion of the Tablets.  I wrote about how within the industry tablets are one of the hottest trends happening right now and for good reason.  Today Research in Motion shared with the world their Playbook Professional Tablet.  We have all been anticipating RIM's entrance into the tablet market for a while now and since it is official its time to start the analysis.

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The App Dilemma

In the year 2020 there will be 31 billion connected devices and 25 million* applications available for purchase or download. There is no question that apps and the app marketplace is becoming one of the most important trends in the industry.

Software drove the initial PC boom of the 80’s and 90’s and it is again driving the boom of the Smartphone market. During that time period predominantly here on the West Coast we had a thriving retail computer software outlet called Egghead Software. Egghead Software was where you could go to shop for all the latest shrink wrap software. Today the in store experience Egghead Software represented is now found in our current App Store marketplaces. There is however a dilemma with our current App marketplace that didn’t exist back then to the extent it does today.

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Invasion of the Tablets

The day started with the Wall Street Journal reporting that the CEO of Best Buy Brian Dun shared that the iPad was cannibalizing Best Buy's laptop sales by a shocking 50%. They day ended with Samsung announcing that their Galaxy Tab 7 inch slate will be available on all four major wireless carriers here in the US in the coming month's.

Samsung is the first of what I expect to be many major consumer brands launching tablets with carrier support over the next 6 month's. Smart phones and soon to be Super Phones may be the fastest growing category in the industry but tablets are certainly the hottest trend I am seeing right now. With the latest comments by Best Buy's CEO you can see why so many in the industry have their eyes fixed on this space.

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Executive Insights – NVIDIA SR Vice President Dan Vivoli talks GPU computing, GTC and 3D

In the first of our Executive Insights video series I chatted with Dan Vivoli Senior Vice President of NVIDIA. We talked about momentum for GPU computing and non gaming applications for 3D. He also gave us a preview of NVIDIA's upcoming Graphics Technology Conference taking place in Silicon Valley next week September 21-23. Check out the full interview after the cut.

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