May 2011

Garmin reports strong Q1 2011 financials
With GPS systems everywhere now, but also at much lower prices, how well are the traditional GPS vendors doing? Well, Garmin had total Q1 2011 revenues of US$508 million, up from US$431 million Q1 2010. Of that, US$265 million was automotive/mobile, US$69 million aviation, US$67 million outdoors, US$56 million fitness, and US$51 million marine. In terms of regions, North America amounted to 48%, Europe to 37%, and Asia to 11% of total revenue. Earnings increased from US$0.19 per share to US$0.49 per share. -- Posted Tuesday, May 31, 2011 by chb

Beverage wholesaler chooses MobileDemand xTablet
MobileDemand reports that Ben E. Keith Beverages, one of America's largest beer wholesalers chose the MobileDemand xTablet T7000 combined with A-B Mobility software to replace their older, less functional handheld hardware used by their field sales reps to sell more beer. In tests, Ben E. Keith Beverages staff found that the xTablet T7000's full Windows 7 OS, low weight (2.5 lbs.), integrated keypad, scanner, and inherent ruggedness presented the best combination for their needs. [See MobileDemand xTablet case study] -- Posted Wednesday, May 25, 2011 by chb

Datalogic Mobile releases Skorpio video case study
Datalogic Mobile announced its latest video case study highlighting Hastings Entertainment. Hastings, a multimedia superstore with 147 stores in 20 states, rolled out nearly 750 Datalogic Skorpio Gun rugged mobile computers. See release and video. -- Posted Wednesday, May 25, 2011 by chb

Microsoft previews next release of Windows Phone
Microsoft previewed the next release of Windows Phone, codenamed "Mango" that will include over 500 new features. Emphasis is on easier connecting and sharing, smarter apps, and viewing the Web in a more localized way. The upgrade will be free to current Phone 7 users once the new rev becomes available this fall. The press release is a bit vague, but there's more information in the Windows Phone blog. -- Posted Tuesday, May 24, 2011 by chb

Over 5 million tablet panels shipped in April
Displaybank reported that tablet display panel shipments exceeded 5 million units for the first time ever in April 2011. Broken down by size, 4.3 million were 9.7-inch panels, 0.7 million 10.1-inc panels, and a negligible 0.04 million were 7-inch panels. In terms of overall shipments, tablet panels passed mini-note/netbook panels (down to 2.5 million), and gained ground to standard notebooks (15 million). [See release] -- Posted Tuesday, May 24, 2011 by chb

iSuppli: iPad-style media tablets to outship PC tablets by 10:1 through 2015
IHS iSuppli has bad news for traditional PC-type tablet PCs: Shipments of traditional PC-type tablet PCs will be dwarfed by the newer media-type tablets like the iPad, with the media category outshipping the PC variety by a factor of 10 during the period from 2010 to 2015. "While there's clearly a need for tablet PCs with full PC functionality, the media-type tablet pioneered by the Apple with the iPad will reign supreme during for at least the next five years," said Rhoda Alexander, director of monitor research at IHS. "Because the tablet form factor will favor media consumption - rather than content creation - media tablets will massively outsell their PC-type tablet alternatives." [See iSuppli release] -- Posted Monday, May 23, 2011 by chb

Tablets to have highest 3G/4G attach rate
InStat projects that by 2015, tablets will have the highest 3G/4G attach rate among all cellular-enabled portable and computing devices with 78% of tablets shipping with a 3G/4G modem. InStat also predicts that over 50% of all 3G/4G tablets in 2015 will have LTE WAN connectivity. -- Posted Monday, May 23, 2011 by chb

Full review: GammaTech Durabook S15C
The GammaTech Durabook S15C is a 6.5-pound notebook computer designed to be tougher and more durable than standard consumer notebooks, but without the extra size, weight and cost of a fully rugged design. It's a very solid, trust-inspiring machine with a large 15.6-inch wide-format display, good connectivity, and good day-to-day functionality. We performed a detailed test of a Intel Core i5-460M equipped Durabook S15C and found it an interesting, economically priced solution for those whose needs are between consumer and semi-rugged hardware. [See full review of the GammaTech Durabook S15C] -- Posted Monday, May 23, 2011 by chb

N-trig presents productivity advantages of DuoSense multi-touch + pen for tablets
N-trig addressed attendees at the recent SID display Week Conference (LA, May 17-19, 2011) in two sessions entitled "Making Tablets Work for Consumers and Enterprise" and “Bringing Pen Into the Conversation.” N-trig is emphasizing its DuoSense multi-touch plus pen technology as a solution to making tablets more functional in numerous business applications. [See N-trig video] -- Posted Monday, May 23, 2011 by chb

Aceeca issues Garnet OS-based PDA32 update
Aceeca reports that they completed work to offer WiFi and Bluetooth options for their semi-rugged Palm OS/Garnett PDA32 handheld, and also released 64-bit Windows USB drivers for Palm OS/Garnett devices (good news for Palm users who still have legacy Palm devices that they want to make use of). Aceeca now anticipates shipping limited quantities of wireless PDA32 units in late June 2011. [See Aceeca newsletter] -- Posted Monday, May 16, 2011 by chb

Struggles of first-gen Android tablets
Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang, who has a big iron in the fire with their Tegra 2 chips, has been reported as being disappointed over Android-based tablet sales, and blames both marketing as well as the products. "It's a point of sales problem. It's an expertise at retail problem. It's a marketing problem to consumers. It is a price point problem," the CEO reportedly said. Our take: It's tough to take on a very good product with a good price and a great infrastructure (the iPad), and the flood of cheap Android tablets with resistive screens certainly hasn't helped. There's also precedent of multi-vendor alternatives struggling against a monolithic megahit (early Windows CE devices against Palm), and the lack of a cohesive product strategy (different Android versions, different sizes, lack of true differentiation) is also still hurting Android tablets. Once this falls into place, it's hard to see how Android tablets could not grab market share from Apple. -- Posted Monday, May 16, 2011 by chb

Motion Computing webinars on enterprise-ready CL900 tablet
Motion Computing will present a free half-hour webinar entitled "The New Motion CL900, Enterprise-Ready Tablet PC" on Thursday, May 19 and 24 at 1PM CDT. Unlike consumer media tablets, the Motion CL900 is specifically designed for mobile business. [Register for Motion CL900 enterprise-ready tablet webinar] -- Posted Monday, May 16, 2011 by chb

Fujitsu TH40 keyboard tablet
Fujitsu Japan announced domestic June 2011 availability of the TH40, which is sort of a flat Intel Atom Z670-powered netbook, with the tablet-style 10.1-inch 1024 x 600 pixel multi-touch display facing up. The hard disk-based TH40 runs Windows 7, measures 10.8 x 7.4 x .6 inches, weighs a netbook-like 2.4 pounds, and runs six hours on a charge of its non-user accessible 23 watt-hour battery. Connectivity is netbooklike, too, with USB, Bluetooth, WiFi, webcam, HDMI, but no LAN or 3G. The price is 79,800 yen, which currently translates to an uncompetitive US$985. [See the Lifebook TH40 on the Fujitsu Japan website] -- Posted Friday, May 13, 2011 by chb

Unitech adds a rugged smartphone/PDA: PA550
With smartphones taking over, there's an increasing need for industrial, ruggedized versions, and we've seen various interpretations of the theme over the past year. Unitech recently joined the fray with their new PA550 industrial PDA/phone all-in-one. Impressively powered by the 806MHz Marvell PXA320 and running Windows Mobile 6.5.3 Pro, the PA550 has a comprehensive QWERTY thumb-type keyboard, WiFi, Bluetooth, 3.5G wireless broadband, GPS, a laser scanner, and a 5-mepagpixel AF camera that can do MPEG4 full VGA video. [See description and specs of the Unitech PA550] -- Posted Thursday, May 12, 2011 by chb

Tablets to replace most of netbook sales?
According to Digitimes, ViewSonic Europe and Asia Pacific resident Alan Chang believes that tablet PCs will replace as much as 70% of global netbook sales in 2011. The forecast is based on the observation that netbook inventory levels in European retail channels have been increasing significantly due to strong tablet PC demand, with large chain retailers in Europe ready to shelve netbook products later this year. Our take: That would actually surprise us. With Apple still being virtually the sole prime time tablet contender and netbooks providing significant value at very low prices, we expect the netbook to stick around. -- Posted Wednesday, May 11, 2011 by chb

Panasonic introduces semi-rugged Toughbook 53
Panasonic Solutions Company introduced the Toughbook 53, a semi-rugged notebook with a 1366 x 768 pixel 14-inch display that emphasizes high performance with standard voltage Intel Core i3 and i5 processors, yet offers long battery life (up to ten hours), and--as a first in the Toughbook line--optional 4G LTE mobile wireless broadband. [See description, commentary and specs for the Panasonic Toughbook 53] -- Posted Tuesday, May 10, 2011 by chb

Full review: the new Xplore iX104C5
Xplore Technologies is introducing the latest generation of its ultra-rugged iX104 tablet computer at New York's Harvard Club on May 9, 2011. has had hands-on with the new Intel Core i7-powered Xplore ix104C5 and found significant enhancements in the sunlight-viewable 10.4-inch dual-mode display, overall functionality, and, especially, performance. [See review of the Xplore iX104C5] -- Posted Sunday, May 8, 2011 by chb

IDC: Smartphone market grows 80% Q1 2011 vs Q1 2010
IDC reports that the worldwide smartphone market Q1 2011 grew 80% compared to Q1 2010, to about 100 million units. Nokia held on to the largest market share with 24.3%, Apple (18.7%) passed RIM (14.0%) for second place, Samsung was fourth with 10.8% and vaulted to 5th with 8.9%. -- Posted Thursday, May 5, 2011 by chb

Full review: Juniper Systems' unique Mesa rugged notepad
Juniper Systems of Logan, Utah, calls their new Mesa the "world's first rugged notepad," a device designed to offer the advantages of both a Tablet PC and a rugged handheld, but without the disadvantages of either category. We reviewed the Juniper Mesa in detail and found it to be a class-busting much larger handheld that brings Windows Mobile simplicity, instant-on, speed and battery life to a satisfyingly large 5.7-inch touch screen. Windows Mobile has never looked so good. [Read full review of the Juniper Systems Mesa rugged notepad] -- Posted Wednesday, May 4, 2011 by chb

N-trig to show new mobile hardware with DuoSense
N-trig, which makes the DuoSense pen and projected capacitive multi-touch solution enabled over a single digitizer, said it will show several new and advanced DuoSense enabled tablets, convertibles and netbooks at the 2011 SID Display Week Conference in Los Angeles, May 17-19th. N-trig will also present a session titled, “Bringing Pen Into the Conversation” that will take a closer look at how the inclusion of the pen on tablets is providing users a more comprehensive computing experience. -- Posted Tuesday, May 3, 2011 by chb