Digital Zone 203: Yeah, We’re Interested

current technology news, technology podcast

In this edition of the Digital Zone, we talked about:

  • iPad hits the streets
  • iPad usage and buying habits
  • International iPad business
  • iPhone 4.0 announcement
  • Verizon confirms interest in iPhone
  • Netflix coming to several mobile devices
  • Blu-Ray ups capacity

Apple confirmed it sold 300,000 iPads in the U.S. as of midnight on Saturday, April 3. Apple included pre-orders, deliveries to channel partners, and sales at Apple retail stores. Apple also announced that iPad users downloaded more than one million apps from the App Store and more than 250,000 e-books from its iBookstore during the first day. In a related story, if you purchase an iPad, you will need to upgrade to iTunes 9.1.

According to one analyst, 7.5% of Amazon Kindle users are defecting to the iPad. Based on 448 interviews at Apple stores in New York City and Minneapolis, about 13 percent of iPad buyers already own a Kindle and just over half of those, or 7.5 percent of the total, were planning to replace Amazon’s e-reader with Apple’s. Exactly 10 percent had considered getting a Kindle but decided on an iPad instead. About 38 percent plan to read books; most, 74 percent, plan to view the web. E-mail and video are nearly even at 32 and 26 percent, but gaming and music were only 18 and 8 percent of the mix. Most of those gathered were logically existing Apple fans, with 74 percent of these Mac users and 66 percent already using an iPhone. Only four percent expected to stop using their computers and one percent their iPhones. Buyers were slightly skewed towards the 16GB model, at 39 percent, but larger capacities still had sway as 32 percent wanted a 32GB version and 28 percent were opting for the 64GB version.

The international demand for iPads is big business. One UK buyer is reported to have paid $5,500 to get an iPad, despite the fact that the country will receive native versions of the tablet later this month. Another buyer is said to have snapped up a 64GB iPad for $5,000, under the provision that it would be hand-delivered “anywhere in the world” on April 3rd.

In other Apple news, iPhone OS 4.0 is on the way and according to AppleInsider’s anonymous sources, the new 4.0 interface will resemble the Expose feature in Mac OS which reveals all the open programs when the user double-clicks the iPhone’s Home button. Moreover, pre-release builds of iPhone OS 4.0 show a global inbox that merges multiple e-mail accounts into a unified view, plus the ability to add specific contact names as icons on the iPhone’s home screen. With GPS already in the Android phone, Apple could announce that GPS capabilities will be added because Apple acquired mapping company Placebase and posted a job ad last November seeking an engineer to help overhaul the iPhone’s Maps app.

Verizon CEO said he told Apple that the company wants to carry the iPhone but declined to say when or even if the iPhone would be available on Verizon’s network.

Netflix is coming to the iPhone and itouch according to a blog post by Netflix V.P. of corporate communications. There were no release dates announced in the post but confirmed that company is working on something. The post also said they want their service to be “ubiquitous” which obviously means they’re working to have their service on several devices.

Microsoft just dropped the price of their Zune HD devices. The 64 GB model will now sell for $349.99 on April 12, which is $50 cheaper than the 64 GB iPod touch. The 32 and 16GB version of the Zune HD cost $269.99 and $199.99, respectively.

Information Week is reporting that The Blu-ray Disc Association is going to increase the capacity of its format.The next version of Blu-ray, BDXL, will let content companies put up to 128GB on a single disc and rewritable discs will have room for up to 100GB of data. BDXL will be initially targeted at high-end users like broadcasting and medical imaging operations. The first BDXL discs and hardware should arrive in the next few months. On the downside, BDXL won’t be compatible with existing Blu-ray equipment.

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