Canalys: Apple on track to become the world’s #1 PC maker, with a little help from iPad 3

Research firm Canalys on Monday said it expects Apple to overtake Hewlett-Packard to become the world’s leading PC maker before the second half of 2012. That is, if you count tablets as computers (many people don’t). The launch of iPad 3 early next year is predicted to boost Apple’s share of the global PC market. Canalys Analyst Tim Coulling:

Apple has seen its PC market share expand from 9 percent to 15 percent in just four quarters, though iPad shipments in its core market – the United States – are likely to come under pressure in Q4 due to the launch of the Fire and Nook at extremely competitive price points.

Charlie Wolf of Needham and Co last week said the Mac passed the magic five percent global market share. Canalys’ data includes computer and tablet sales. Earlier this month Canalys pegged Apple’s share of the global PC market at 15 percent, right behind the #1 HP with 16 percent share. CAnalys predicts that 2011 PC sales will grow 15 percent to hit 415 million units, of which 211 million should be notebook units where Apple absolutely dominates.

Ultrabooks? “For Ultrabooks to become widespread, prices have to drop considerably”, Canalys said. As for other tablets, DigiTimes expects high inventory levels of non-Apple tablets following the holiday season. This is partly due to the launch of the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet  which undercut other Android tablets, meaning “several waves of price cuts are expected in the new year”. Meanwhile, white box tablets, which dropped below $100, are not expected to affect iPad sales.
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Samsung requests depositions from Jony Ive and other key Apple inventors

Raising the stakes in the ongoing legal battle between Apple and Samsung over copycat accusations involving mobile devices, Samsung is upping the ante by asking to depose Apple’s iPhone designers, including Apple’s leading industrial design guru Jonathan Ive.

According to Josh Rosenthall of Edible Apple, depositions of Apple’s iPhone inventors Jonathan Ive, Douglas Satzger, Shin Nishibori and Christopher Stringer “will be taking place relatively soon” and ahead of the expedited trial between Apple and Samsung in the United States, scheduled for July 30, 2012.

According to Samsung’s motion, none of the aforementioned designers will be able to sit for deposition for various reasons. In the case of Jony Ive, the motion mentions “personal reasons”. Ive is especially important in this case. Jobs’s spiritual partner, it is said that no one could tell Ive what to do, at least until Jobs resigned. According to Jobs’s authorized biographer Walter Isaacson:

He called Jonathan Ive, Apple’s design chief, his “spiritual partner” at Apple. He told Isaacson that Ive had “more operation power” at Apple than anyone besides Jobs himself — that there’s no one at the company who can tell Ive what to do. That, says Jobs, is “the way I set it up.”

As such, Ive is the holder of Apple’s many secrets and inner workings, something Samsung is legitimately hoping to exploit ahead of the trial. And while Apple’s design guru really needs no introduction, here’s a brief overview of the others.

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Apple is working on an iOS ‘scanner’ app

In response to the HP Print Control scanner app that we covered yesterday, a source at Apple told us that Apple is working on an app called “scanner” that uses iOS devices camera to act like a digital scanner.  Clearly this is meant for higher iPhone class cameras rather than current iPad or iPod touch cameras.

Here’s what we’ve heard on how it works:

  1. The user opens the app and holds the iPhone over the document or object they want scanned.  They then snap a picture of it.  Apple’s on-board software then resizes the image to ‘letter’ or business card, A4 or whatever depending on original document.  Resizing includes aligning edges that get skewed by a sigle scan point rather than traditional scanning methods.  The user can then manually change the size of the document or the use (biz card?)
  2. On board software then separates images blocks from text.
  3. This is where it gets murky.  At last word, Apple was trying to do OCR both on-device and using alternative cloud methods for recognizing text.  Third party Optical Character Recognition (OCR) vs. in house solutions were also being tested.
  4. The resulting file can then be saved as a PDF, .Pages, exported to contacts (in the case of business cards for example).

Third party apps already exist in this field but word is that Apple wanted a polished in-house app that directly tied to its contacts and Pages apps.  Apple has numerous patents in this field so they’ve been thinking about this for awhile.

It isn’t certain when or if this application will be released or if Apple will bundle it as part of its iOS, iWork Apps, or a separate app going forward.

Google does something similar to this with their Docs App in Android. Read more

PC head Todd Bradley tells Reuters HP could resurrect the TouchPad

You surely recall how computer maker Hewlett-Packard announced earlier this month it would exit the low-margin PC business, stop selling smartphones and tablets and sell out or license the webOS operating business. Well, less than two weeks later HP’s PC chief Todd Bradley tells Reuters that the TouchPad could make a come back:

Bradley said the company could resurrect HP’s short-lived TouchPad tablet computer, which was introduced on July 1 before being terminated only about six weeks later. ‘Tablet computing is a segment of the market that’s relevant, absolutely,’ Bradley said.

We’re not sure quite what to think of it. Was the whole “we’re killing the TouchPad” thing just a marketing ploy? Perhaps the news that Samsung wants to become the next HP and whispers that they are “considering purchasing webOS” prompted top dogs at Hewlett-Packard to second-guess CEO’s decision to focus on software and services instead on cool gadgets? Why else would Bradley tell Reuters that selling the PC division to a rival like Acer or Lenovo is “not a desirable alternative”?

Perhaps as interesting, HP claims to plan on building more TouchPads, they reported today.

Is $99 the new $499?  Well, no.  A tier one company can’t make anything close to the TouchPad and hope to break even at $99 yet.   But if anything, the $499 TouchPad that was plagued with a sell-through rate of just ten percent versus the $99 TouchPad that is seemingly flying off the shelves reinforces the notion that price matters in this game – perhaps more than any other feature. Consumers clearly appreciated iPad’s aggressive $499 price point. For a gadget you could do without in your life, price remains the crucial factor. For example…

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Reactions from around the web on Jobs’ resignation

We’re picking some of the more meaningful reactions to today’s news. It’s important to remember that Jobs isn’t gone from Apple, he’s Chairman Jobs now.

Bloomberg reports that Steve Jobs will stay on the board of Disney.

Apple’s Steve Jobs is said to be remaining on Disney’s board

The WSJ reports (they have a nice Jobs quotes as well):

People familiar with the situation have said that Mr. Jobs continues to be active at Apple and is closely involved in the company’s product strategy. Apple watchers don’t expect that to change even after Mr. Cook takes over.

Bloomberg, however, just reported that Jobs had been weak and housebound for several weeks but worked and attended today’s board meeting…

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