Industry marches ahead with plans to copy, counter Apple

CES — After making our way through a dizzying series of meetings and events on the press-oriented "day zero" of the Consumer Electronics Show 2012, we’ve managed, thanks to a keen ability to spot the obvious, to identify the two major trends that appear to be the big stories of this year’s show—at least from the perspective of the big players in the PC industry we cover. Those two trends are: tablets and ultrabooks. In one Venetian ballroom, Intel’s Mooly Eden was hawking the latest sleek and thin ultrabooks from all of the big PC makers, most of them looking ever-so-much like the MacBook Air. In another, Nvidia’s Jen-Hsun Huang sat comfortably in an armchair giving demos of mobile apps like Snapspeed and Splashtop, which were first hits on iOS and have now been ported to Android and the Tegra 3. The Tegra 3 demo tablet of choice? Asus’ svelte Transformer Prime, with its bevel-edged aluminum enclosure looking for all the world like an iPad 2 with a nice paint job. Upstairs, Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer was set to deliver his last-ever CES keynote, in which he presumably would extol the virtues of the upcoming Windows 8, with its touch-oriented user interface and, uh, revolutionary new app store.

Now, one wouldn’t say that these products aren’t decent enough and compelling in many cases, with their own advantages and refinements to the basic concepts in play. We’re quite taken with the docking scheme of the Transformer Prime and the tile-based motif of Win8’s Metro UI, to name just two examples. Still, it’s shocking, the degree to which Apple has set the templates that the rest of the industry has chosen to follow. We thought the industry’s Apple obsession had climaxed at CES 2011, but that was apparently just a prelude to this year’s show, where we’ve learned that the PC industry has, in a huge way, gone back to its roots in, you know, cloning things.

Although Apple itself has traditionally had no official presence at CES, it seemed Steve Jobs’ ghost was lurking behind the demo units placed on tables throughout Pepcom’s Digital Experience event this evening, regardless of whether the corporate logos in the backdrop belonged to HP, Lenovo, Samsung, or Toshiba.

Now, it’s early still, so perhaps we’re wrong. Perhaps we’ll see a cornucopia of brave new concepts from unexpected quarters, or maybe there will be some additional announcements of note in the next few days. That’s generally not how these things tend to go, though. Usually, the story of the show is written by the end of day "zero," and the story we’re writing now is most definitely about a couple of Apple products that many PC enthusiasts, including maybe even yours truly, initially received with a pretty heavy—but not necessarily healthy—dose of skepticism. Judging by CES 2012, what comes next apparently got its start several years ago with the introduction of the MacBook Air and the iPad.

If you don’t like Apple’s products, don’t worry. HP and Toshiba will have their own versions shipping soon.

Comments closed
    • My Johnson
    • 8 years ago

    Just do what I did and become a shareholder. Viola! No longer do I despise Apple.

    OT: Riots at Apple’s China stores over obtaining their iPhone 4S. Will Apple become the first trillion dollar company in market value? Inquiring minds want to know.

    • flip-mode
    • 8 years ago

    [quote<]Industry marches ahead with plans to copy, counter Apple[/quote<] Thank god. Please continue and feel no guilt or shame. Higher quality, better design: go! P.S. I hate Asus's little slogans that they put on their boxes and stuff. Like that "heart touching" slogan they put on the BIOS splash screen of the laptop I got a few years ago. Stupid. Don't touch my heart, okay. Just do hardware with high quality and high design. I don't want to buy a date, I want to buy a really nice piece of hardware.

    • Abdulahad
    • 8 years ago

    I don’t understand why when someone comes up with a product similar to Apple, the conclusion is “copied from Apple”…
    It’s not that Apple makes futuristic hexagonal laptops with a flying-in-the-air keypad and a monitor that would expand depending on how far you are!!!
    Apple makes nice design but it’s biased to say and speak about them as “THE DESIGNER”!!! Someone needs to wake up from his slumber here!!!

    What about the fact that Apple is very conservative in latest Tech hardware upgrade?
    One may also say that buying an Apple product, it’s like getting a gorgeous wife a kidney failure-problem, a weak under-performing heart, and mostly, if you want to effectively “communicate” with her, you have to hold her in a certain position….
    Does that click anything to you??:-)

    Perhaps, the hype about their products outclasses their products themselves..
    We spend millions in advertising products that cost us a few dollars to manufacture in China.
    We shall not enjoy economies of scale as we aim to restrict supply to make consumers think they are exclusive.
    We would sell them at ridiculously high bleeding prices.
    The rest who can’t afford might consider selling an organ…..

      • Corrado
      • 8 years ago

      What? Do you look at the specs of the Apple machines? You can get a quad core i7 with a discrete GPU in it, SSD, a high quality LCD, and an as of yet (what is it? 5 years? 6 years now?) matched touchpad…

      On top of which, they’re breaking their own sales records every quarter and every year. A product is worth whatever people pay for it, and guess what? People are paying for it. Why would you lower prices when you don’t need to?

      All the people that say “I would buy a Mac if it cost less!” are the same people that would find another excuse not to buy one if it did cost less. These same types of people for YEARS have been saying “If the iPhone did X I’d buy one in an instant”. Feature X gets added and those same people say “Well it should have done X in the first place! Plus, if it did Y, I’d buy one right now!” Apple can’t win with certain demographics, and they know that. They don’t try and win that demographic, and by catering to the demographics they choose, they were the most valuable company in the world in August (not sure where they stand right this instant, but I’m sure they’re in the top 5).

      So again, when you’re the most valuable company in the world, you’re most likely doing something, more like a LOT of things right. But I guess some guy on the internet knows how to properly run a business better than them, right?

    • lycium
    • 8 years ago

    I have three points of view on this:

    1. Copying a successful design is pretty much responsible for evolution, and therefore a good thing. It’s inevitable, much like “piracy” (copying of software), and in some sense it’s the real proving ground for ideas – those which live on, and those which don’t. You can do it however you like in the courtrooms, it’ll still happen “in the wild.”

    2. Copying a minimalist design is not only easier to do than with a complex design, but also often the Right Thing. I’m pretty sure after the first caveman came out with the round wheel, there was rampant copying of this design and not many went back to tweak their square and triangular models… progress!

    3. There will be something after sleek, aluminium laptops. Apple got there first, great job!

    • kroker
    • 8 years ago

    [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CW0DUg63lqU<]Good artists copy, great artists steal[/url<] Personally, I'm disappointed, as I prefer function over form instead of the opposite (scissor-switch keyboards instead of chiclet keyboards for example)... and I also prefer not to spend an arm and a leg for that function...

    • Corrado
    • 8 years ago

    If you see my wife at the Neat Receipts scanner booth, give her a slap on the ass for me.

      • sweatshopking
      • 8 years ago

      and a kiss on the lips from me!

    • blitzy
    • 8 years ago

    is there anything apple didn’t already copy from somewhere else anyway? its not like they invented aluminium in industrial design.

      • GokuSS2
      • 8 years ago

      I love when people say that. I pull this out

      [url=http://cache.gawker.com/assets/images/comment/4/2012/01/9378433409b6c70c1cb296c328568631/original.png<]Apple didn't invent it.[/url<]

        • blitzy
        • 8 years ago

        But whenever Apple does it, it’s “reality distortion field”. It’s the same thing, only better! Pay more, and do the same stuff!

        You could apply the exact same reasoning from that strip to dozens of other brands, Google, Microsoft, Samsung, Amazon, Dell… yet none of them see the same amount of credit that Apple seems to get undeservedly. Sure Apple has been ahead of the curve with a couple of things, but so have many other companies who Apple has in turn copied from and rebranded the ideas as its own. Apple is just a marketing hype machine, and the only thing stronger than the RDF is the sense of smugness that emanates from a macolyte.

      • Abdulahad
      • 8 years ago

      I JUST LOVE YOUR WITTY COMMENT!!!
      UNLIKE APPLE, I MAY SAY YOUR’E ORIGINAL πŸ™‚

    • trackerben
    • 8 years ago

    Like any successful firm, Apple has always copied great new ideas. And in return, PC builders have cribbed from Apple’s best designs. Like PowerBook, which was the first design to locate the palmrest and pointing device below the laptop keyboard. Or iPhone, the first with a multi-touch touchscreen. Or iBook, which was the first to embed wireless networking. Or MacOS X, the first popularization of the Mach kernel, at which IBM failed with OS/2. Or iMac, the first to popularize frivolous colors.

    Or going back further – the Newton, the first handheld writing tablet. The Lisa, which was the first consumer microcomputer to feature a recognizably-modern graphical UI. The Apple II, which was the first with available color graphics and multiple expansion card slots. It was also the first micro with an available spreadsheet app (VisiCalc), and the first to ship with professional colored manuals.

    Obviate these concepts and we’d be back to the future running VM386/TopView on closed-box wired luggables, featuring beige cases and monochrome screens and clamshell keyboards with thumbrests underneath old-school trackpads, all packaged and documented in brown.

    Edit: Apple isn’t a global leader in innovative research. Its advances come more from visionary management and industrial design than new enabling technologies, the kind which Intel and IBM are known for. Now that Apple is setting up its first R&D center in Israel, we might actually see some radical new stuff.

    • WaltC
    • 8 years ago

    [quote<]We thought the industry's Apple obsession had climaxed at CES 2011, but that was apparently just a prelude to this year's show, where we've learned that the PC industry has, in a huge way, gone back to its roots in, you know, cloning things.[/quote<] Yea, sort like how the 2012 Mac, and the Mac of the last several years, in fact, has been an Intel x86 clone--sort of like those that Dell and HP are selling? Oh, but that's right--it is politically incorrect to discuss Apple copying things--it's only correct to pretend that everybody else copies Apple, that Apple invents everything, and that without Apple there'd be no "computer industry." The sentiment is certainly trendy, but laughably easy to disprove--to the chagrin of Macolytes everywhere, usually. Why, gosh, apart from Steve Jobs it's likely that no other human being has ever had an original thought. Mhhhmmm...the stench of budding Apple fanboi is strong in this one...;) [j/k] Yea, everything [i<]looks like[/i<] an "Apple copy" from a distance of 15 feet or so, until you look at it closely enough to read the manufacturer's name on the case (and discover that it doesn't say "Apple"), and until you actually open the case and see that it isn't an Apple product at all, and until you check out the operating systems, where there's no OS X to be found anywhere. Of course, little insignificant differences like that are surely not worth mentioning. But then, Apple is all about form over substance--so why [i<]shouldn't[/i<] Apple aficionados declare that *everything* is a "slavish Apple copy"? They should, and they do. Ho-hum, what else is new?...;) I haven't read Steve Jobs' biography, and probably won't, but I would not at all be shocked or surprised if he stated to his biographer that he was fairly positive that his mother and father had been "ripping him off." Everybody else seems to have earned that distinction in Jobs' estimation. Yet, invariably, when Jobs ripped people off, it was only because he was "doing them a favor" like he admitted when he paid the Beatles a tidy $50M from Apple's coffers for having abrogated their agreement concerning Apple Computer's use of the word "Apple" as a business trademark. Jobs was quoted as saying that he sought to "honor" the Beatles by breaking their agreement and ripping off the Apple trademark for the sake of selling music under the "Apple" trademark. Yea, if Apple rips you off it's because they love and honor you. What public servants they are...;) sniff...! Hand me a hanky! Why, if you are a small company that has invented some technology Apple wants they'll first offer you a ridiculously low price for your business, and when that doesn't work they'll attempt to sue you into bankruptcy and buy the technology at auction. And if that doesn't work then they'll shoot for a *world-wide* injunction on the grounds that "if we can't have it nobody can," etc. What a bunch of egalitarian guardians we all have in Apple! Yes, we can trust Apple to do everything in its power to "destroy" the competition so that Apple, and only Apple, can lay claim to our dollars. How considerate.

      • tootercomputer
      • 8 years ago

      Geez, did somebody shoot your dog today?

      • derFunkenstein
      • 8 years ago

      tl;dr

      • TakinYourPoints
      • 8 years ago

      WaltC Wall Of Textβ„’

      • sweatshopking
      • 8 years ago

      sounds about right.

    • ModernPrimitive
    • 8 years ago

    OMG ! I hope Sholes and Glidden sue HP for using their keyboard layout ! No.. wait… that must be a Steve and Jobs keyboard !

    • willmore
    • 8 years ago

    Is there a way to mark TFA as a troll?

    • Exo
    • 8 years ago

    Great… Now the industry is copying useless gadget from Apple. I’m sorry but tablets and ultrabook don’t get me as I don’t see the need for them at all. A PC, a laptop and a smartphone is all that is necessary in my opinion. This is just a bunch of gadget that try to create new needs, Apple have always been good in that and now the industry try to follow them, they won’t get me with that. It’s sure that they have there places but not as much as everyone and the industry pretend. Sorry but I’m will not sacrifice performance to get a ultrabook instead of a laptop or rip off the keyboard for a touchscreen,it don’t make sense for me.

    • adisor19
    • 8 years ago

    I’m glad that the trend has finally been recognized : PC industry is copying Apple’s design whether it’s software or hardware.

    This was bound to happen sooner or later and it’s not surprising at all. What IS surprising however is that the PC industry lacks creativity. The last innovative thing to ever come out from a PC manufacturer is the Netbook. Yes, it had its drawbacks, but it was purely the invention of the PC industry (ASUS in this case). After that, nothing. All that the PC industry has done has been to copy Apple.

    Even Intel got desperate and started paying PC manufacturers to put out Air like designs seeing that no PC manufacturer was willing to venture by themselves into new ultraportable territory..

    *Sigh* I miss the times when PC = innovation and not some wannabe Mac. Heck, if i really want the OS X experience on the cheap, I’ll make my own hackintosh. But that barely cuts it when the Laptop screen’s TN resolution is the classic 1367×768 and the the touch pad makes me wanna pull my hair out rather than keep using it. It just pushes more and more toward a new mac.

    Adi

      • sweatshopking
      • 8 years ago

      hahahhhahaha fanboy happy about fanboy post. well done sir, well done. I thought we agreed no more post signing…

        • adisor19
        • 8 years ago

        Regarding your last point : No.

        Adi

        • End User
        • 8 years ago

        He does it to bug you. And it worked!

        End User

          • sweatshopking
          • 8 years ago

          NOOOOOO THE FANBOIS ARE ORGANIZING!!!! IT’S HORRIBLE!!!!

          SSK

          edit: i gave you guys thumbs up πŸ™‚

            • derFunkenstein
            • 8 years ago

            -1 for giving them +1s

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 8 years ago

      You managed to post this in the most smug way possible, but your point is actually right.

      The only thing PC manufacturers seem to know how to do push price points down. Otherwise they all just copy each other or Apple.

      Surely there is room in the market for a semi-luxary laptop. Something with a price between Apple and Acer, with some nicer features (like an IPS screen). However, no one seems interested in making such a product.

        • Corrado
        • 8 years ago

        The PC manufacturers raced to the bottom with their prices to beat one another, and now don’t understand why people won’t pay more. They spent the better part of the last decade saying ‘We’re cheaper than Apple!’ and presenting that as their ONLY advantage. When they try and creep back up towards the same price as a Mac, people say ‘OK so … you’re self-proclaimed ONLY advantage to Apple was price, and now they cost the same. Why should I pick you again?’

          • BobbinThreadbare
          • 8 years ago

          I suppose, I think a company with a real plan and creative marketing department could do it. Plus, what I want is something that is 80% of Mac quality for 75% of the price. I don’t see why that’s not doable.

            • cynan
            • 8 years ago

            They are around, but I agree they are scarcer than they should be.

            In the ultraportable form factor (competing with the Air) there is the Asus Zenbook. At least 80% the quality of the Mac, if not higher, albeit for 85% the price, not 75%.

            A better example in the 15″ form factor is the [url=http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1159307&CatId=4938<]Samsung Series 7[/url<]. This, compared to a Macbook Pro, is pretty close to what you asked for as far as 75% the price and 80% the quality. When you consider the high end specs of the Series 7 (quad core Core i7 and HD 6750 graphics - same high-end discrete graphics that comes in the Macbook Pros), it's more like 80% the quality for 66% the cost. It looks remarkably like a Macbook Pro too - right down to to large touch pad. howerver, it lacks true unibody construction.

    • cwditter
    • 8 years ago

    Is there a community more full of themselves than Apple? Give it a rest.

      • End User
      • 8 years ago

      PC enthusiasts.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 8 years ago

        I don’t know about *more* full of themselves, but they’re certainly on equal footing.

      • demani
      • 8 years ago

      Patriots fans.

    • Arag0n
    • 8 years ago

    I think the main point is that somehow Apple managed to create a fashion for laptops… they created and marketed the outlook of a Macbook as a “premium quality” design, and everything else is just rubbish. So other manufacturers had to copy the style to keep competitive in high prices margin market. It’s just like when Nike marketed so well their “Air” shoes. They achieved to sell it as a premium so well that every other shoes had to have something similar. At some point, the hype for the Macbook outlook will disappear, just like the “Air” shoes are not trendy anymore, but what can other manufacturers do?

    It’s like the smart-phone arena, any high phone is expected to have dual core, or quad core, if you design a phone with an awesome display, awesome design, awesome signal, awesome battery, awesome everything! But single core, it’s not considered high-end. So, no matter if you could get twice battery going single core, or reduce the frequency and keep a pretty smooth experience…. its not going to be high end.

    Someday, the aluminum look of a laptop won’t be trendy, and manufacturers won’t need to copy it to keep people thinking that their laptops are good, but right now, we are still living in the Apple hype age for laptops design…

      • Flatland_Spider
      • 8 years ago

      “At some point, the hype for the Macbook outlook will disappear, just like the “Air” shoes are not trendy anymore, but what can other manufacturers do?”

      No doubt, but in the meantime, other manufacturers could push themselves, and the OS providers, to produce a premium experience. They don’t get that it’s the details that make the Apple experience a premium experience.

      Using OS X on a Mac is plush. It’s a smooth, seamless experience from the moment the machine is turned on. The EFI boots into a Apple screen that is set perfectly for the resolution, and it transitions smoothly to the login screen. You can tell some thought went into designing the experience and figuring out how things should work together.

      In contrast, other manufacturers feel like they just kind of slap stuff together, and this is where HP, Dell, et al. fall short.

      [Note: I’m a *BSD/Linux and ThinkPad fanboy, not an Apple fanboy.]

      “It’s like the smart-phone arena, any high phone is expected to have….”

      Never underestimate the market for penile enhancements in the unskilled, clueless idiot demographic, or the size of the unskilled, clueless idiot demographic.

      The 2nd Gigahurtz!! war is annoying, but having awesome code that does frontflips, backflips, and makes great coffee with half the hardware resources doesn’t sell phones. People can’t get their head around code optimizations. It’s too geeky, and it’s just not sexy. For example, “I don’t have to charge my phone for two days because of how efficient the code is.” versus “I have more computing power then the 60s and 70s in my pocket.”

      [Note: I fall for the trap too, so I’m not above it.]

        • willmore
        • 8 years ago

        [quote<]Note: I fall for the trap too, so I'm not above it.[/quote<] You have to be above it to fall for it.

          • Flatland_Spider
          • 8 years ago

          You can be on the same level and get enchanted by its siren song.

          I wasn’t being elitist. I like fast hardware as much as the next guy. I know better, but it still draws me in. Plus it really is cool to have that much computing power in your pocket. πŸ™‚

        • Arag0n
        • 8 years ago

        I’m sorry, but I had a Macbook 15″, Early 2011 model and it worked worse than my Asus of 700$ mid early 2010. Sure it felt nice and had a pretty outlook, but maybe it was cuz Lion or the fact that I had plenty of SDK’s for development but I was running out of memory pretty easy with 4Gb of RAM just using Eclipse, Safari and XCode, and random reboots, bugs and crashes of XCode all the time. I can agree the details are pretty cared at the hardware-outlook-level but I disagree that OSX is polished…. the only good thing I really like from OSX is the multi-touch gestures for app-desktop control.

          • Flatland_Spider
          • 8 years ago

          I specifically stopped at the hardware level. Operating system design and polish is a different topic, and that’s a brier patch of opinions. OS X has its share problems and boneheaded design decisions.

          From my Apple experiment a couple years ago with PowerBook running OS X 10.4, I noticed OS X really likes RAM. More so then XP or FreeBSD/Ubuntu/Fedora at the time.

            • Corrado
            • 8 years ago

            That not really the case any more. Short of doing VMs, or large photo editing, there is almost zero difference between 4GB and 8GB of ram in a modern Mac with 10.6 or 10.7.

            • Arag0n
            • 8 years ago

            Sorry, but I disagree… 1Gb used by default, 300Mb on Safari Helper, 700Mb on Safari just with 5-7 tabs, 1Gb on Eclipse and 1Gb for XCode, made my Macbook unusable plenty of times. I was needing to randomly reboot safari to release memory….

            • Arag0n
            • 8 years ago

            [quote<]Using OS X on a Mac is plush. It's a smooth, seamless experience from the moment the machine is turned on. [/quote<] Seems I got this sentence wrong then...

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 8 years ago

      You haven’t bought Jordan’s recently have you? They’re still quite pricey.

        • jss21382
        • 8 years ago

        …yeah, see the recent trampling at stores on release day for Jordan’s

    • yogibbear
    • 8 years ago

    My REAL mid-sized tower PC is about to become hipster once all PCs look like Macs. πŸ˜›

      • Flatland_Spider
      • 8 years ago

      Is beige coming back?

    • TEAMSWITCHER
    • 8 years ago

    There is something incredibly hypocritical about hating Apple products and then buying an HP laptop that is a “Carbon Copy” facsimile of a MacBook Pro. If you hate Apple products, time for you to leave the tech industry…they are all Apple products at this point.

      • funko
      • 8 years ago

      I don’t see your point being very real right now. There are a few examples where non Apple products look copied from Apple’s (the original HP Envy lineup, and the first 2-3 ultrabooks from Asus and Acer, the 2nd gen Samsung 10″ Tab) but for each one of those, there are multiple times as many market equivalents that don’t resemble the Apple equivalent (i.e. the Lenoxo x300 line, Samsung ultrabooks, MSI thin-and-light series, Vizio tablets, Dell Tablets, all of the Nexus phones, Amazon Kindle Fire, WP7 phones, the original Asus Transformer, the newest announced Acer and Lenovo ultrabooks, Lenovo all-in-on desktops, etc…)

      I find that there tends to be a sizable sub-group of Apple fans that tend to only be aware of the Apple product line-up and the non-Apple products that copy the Apple look and feel, while being largely unaware/ignorant of the overall product offerings in the tech landscape. And your comment reminds me of that sort.

      And even the iPhone, as great a device and disruptive effect it had, when it first came out, I looked at my Treo, and thought that Apple just ripped off the icon like homescreen of PalmOS and its app-centric approach to mobile OS.

      – 2 cents

        • adisor19
        • 8 years ago

        Did you really just compare the Palm Treo with the original iPhone ?! I shuddered when i read that. It brought back memories of things that i spent $ on and still haunt me to this day : HTC TyTn, HTC Diamond running winmo 5, 6.. Oh through what i managed to put myself through..

        Adi

      • CasbahBoy
      • 8 years ago

      Yeah, I guess I would agree with you if the exterior of the device was the entirety of the product I was purchasing.

      I don’t agree with you because, you know, these things run operating systems different from what Apple uses that have taken ideas from Apple in some respects and come up with their own approach in other respects, generally are more open and hackable hardware platforms, and tend to be a little bit cheaper and more easily customizable.

      Apple’s influence in many industries is undeniable, but to call those that do not prefer Apple branded products over others hypocrites is an exaggeration at best and indicative of a lack of understanding on your part at worst.

      • Farting Bob
      • 8 years ago

      There is only so many ways you can design a 13″ ultra thin laptop, its no surprise people say they all look alike (or just say they all copy apple). Tablets even more so. Thin, large screen, maybe a button or 2 on one end. I dont see how you can revolutionize that design idea while making it still practical and appealing.

        • Corrado
        • 8 years ago

        So you’re saying theres no way to innovate any longer? I don’t believe that at all. Hell, Apple just ‘innovated’ the MacBook Air design a year and a half ago, and now companies are starting to ape it. I’m not saying it has to be Apple, but SOMEONE is going to come up with the next great notebook look that the rest will copy. It just seems that for the past 10-15 years, its been Apple. The clamshell iBook looks horrendous by today’s standards, but when everything else was a black brick, it really stood out. Only after that did you see manufacturers start adding rounded edges and trying to change from the norm.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 8 years ago

    The sad truth has come out. Everyone is angling for the bearded hipster audience, which is a little ironic now that I think of it.

    • jstern
    • 8 years ago

    Tablets need Apps store, so that’s why Windows 8 has an App Store. And I’ve had Splashtop for Windows and my Android phone for a really long time. They’re just apps, so it’s like saying that the PC industry is copying Apple just because a company that made an App for the iphone is now making that same App for the PC. In this case Splashtop, which is an App that lets you run Windows from your phone. So I don’t even see how it’s copying since it needed Windows from the get go.

    I would have expected this type of article on a Mac site to get the fanboys emotional. And remember, the PC industry introduced iPad like tablets before the iPad, they just didn’t get the media attention that was equal to Michael Jackson’s death when they were introduced.

      • ImSpartacus
      • 8 years ago

      You’re right. People in this community don’t seem to understand that most computer users are severely lacking in even the most basic abilities.

      They still click ads for free smilies. They can’t keep their system updated. They still can’t find applications on their machines. In fact, they really can’t find much of anything since they don’t understand the concept of a file system.

      I look at a machine like the iPad and I see how it lacks a file system. I see how it lacks control over updating. I see how it lacks third party installation of applications. I see how it allows only the most rudimentary application sorting. But if users can still use the product (and sales tell us that they definitely do), then why do users need those things?

        • yogibbear
        • 8 years ago

        Yeah today someone thanked me for showing them how to search for all .avi files by just going *.avi in the search thing…

        SCARY world we live in…

        • adisor19
        • 8 years ago

        The iPad lacks thrid party applications ? This was a joke, right ? RIGHT ?!

        Adi

          • demani
          • 8 years ago

          I’m going to think that this was a bit of a generalization- meaning that there aren’t 3rd party equivalents for some of the builtin apps (or at least, a developer always runs the risk of getting bumped for duplicating existing functionality). Or maybe it was 3rd party application [i<]stores[/i<] that aren't available.

            • Flatland_Spider
            • 8 years ago

            It could be 3rd party applications that aren’t in the app store, considering how he was talking about ease of use.

            • ImSpartacus
            • 8 years ago

            Thank you, I could use more mind-readers in my life…

          • ImSpartacus
          • 8 years ago

          “Third party installations of applications”

          I worded that poorly. The post is corrected. Thank you.

      • Ricardo Dawkins
      • 8 years ago

      well said. Hey, did the author check the Lenovo (hint: Yoga) or Sony booth? What about those new Acer ultrabooks with concealed ports ?

        • Corrado
        • 8 years ago

        Lenovo has a HUGE presence at the show. The Aquaknox bar across from the BlueManGroup theater in the Venetian was taken over by them completely with HUGE displays. I was watching them set the display up and they had their TV, a few ultrabooks, a rugged laptop strapped to an enduro-motorcycle.

    • trackerben
    • 8 years ago

    Nothing on Lenovo’s new line of Android TVs? It seems to me this concept signals the prophesied final convergence in the living room, consumer-friendly yet full-OS computing on big screens run by joypad controllers. But now everyone bites Apple and we all follow Job’s commandments, or profess not to.

      • Corrado
      • 8 years ago

      I played with one. It was … OK. I obviously was not able to install apps/etc or play that much. I think its too complicated for every day people that just want to watch TV.

        • trackerben
        • 8 years ago

        How was the screen compared to higher Sony or Samsung models? Would you know if it had WiDi and bluetooth functions for wirelessly streaming video and audio, or even a SIM phone module? I’ve been thinking of getting a standard 46in Sony LED, but a curated big screen with weird connections and functions sounds exciting. The idea of spiffing up a stationary new Big Thing brings back the fantasies I had while working on 3278 consoles back in the day. I’m used to being an admin and complicating things, I guess.

          • Corrado
          • 8 years ago

          It was … not quite as good, but not bad either. Mid range quality, I’d say.

      • Deanjo
      • 8 years ago

      I seem to remember it working out well for Microsoft WebTV…..

        • trackerben
        • 8 years ago

        Never bothered with hardware IPTV but then I always prefer devices with functionality not constantly tied to service availability. An Android- or iOS-run computing island is what I would like to relax on.

          • Deanjo
          • 8 years ago

          In case you haven’t noticed most android and ios apps are already tethered to an online service. There isn’t much for full blown apps that didn’t require a connection to function properly.

            • trackerben
            • 8 years ago

            The ones I use requiring constant availability of a unique service are dropbox and various voip and newsfeed apps. Media players and mapping only need occasional updates and access to stores, non-p2p games rarely access more than community boards, most of the toy and educational apps are standalone affairs. While productivity apps work best with sharers like dropbox online these are otherwise fine on solo.

            Basically, most of the iPad’s non-browser features can be enjoyed even when it isn’t online, with the bonus that it gets richer when it is. This is how something akin but scaled up like Lenovo’s Smart TV ought to work. Then again, I may not be a particularly demanding user as I usually skip the social sites. What uses do you put your tablet to?

    • ShadowTiger
    • 8 years ago

    Fight fire with fire is a common addage… but when you think about it logically it doesn’t make much sense. Then again, going into an arms race of adding small features to distinguish virtually identical prodcuts is the only business strategy these companies are familiar with.

    • windwalker
    • 8 years ago

    Awesome piece, thank you for your honesty.

    • NeelyCam
    • 8 years ago

    Comments.

      • dpaus
      • 8 years ago

      A placeholder for when you wake up?

    • Johnny5
    • 8 years ago

    Oh my! I’m definitely coming back to this one when it has more comments.

      • cygnus1
      • 8 years ago

      thanks for the update

      • solo_clipper
      • 8 years ago

      I went to a car show last month and all the cars had four tires and a steering wheel, Oh, the humanity!

        • dpaus
        • 8 years ago

        And many of them were [url=http://www.enjoytherandom.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/2640789668_48a2a84ddf.jpg<]huge, bloated SUVs[/url<]

        • Corrado
        • 8 years ago

        Thats not the point. The point is that they’re becoming anodized silver aluminum with rounded corners or with a teardrop shape with black chicklet keyboards and a black rimmed glass screen. Go look at the HP Envy and tell me it does not ape a MacBook Pro. This isn’t about sharing common components, its like the Kia Amanti trying to look like a Bentley or a Jaguar.

        [url<]http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a3/Kia_Amanti_2005.jpg[/url<] [url<]http://www.londonweddingcar.com/a/i/bentley-continental-flying-.jpg[/url<]

          • dpaus
          • 8 years ago

          ^^ Bentley owner whose neighbor just bought a Kia

          • sweatshopking
          • 8 years ago

          what? the new gorilla glass envy doesn’t look like an apple. it’s glass.

            • ModernPrimitive
            • 8 years ago

            Apple has a patent on glass. That’s a really huge 4S copy you’re looking at πŸ˜‰

            • Corrado
            • 8 years ago

            Gorilla Glass EXISTS in the consumer space at this point because of Apple. Corning came up with it in the 70’s and buried it because no one wanted it back then. When it came time for the iPhone, Jobs remembered hearing about it from a buddy at Corning, called them up and said ‘we need it’. They said ‘We don’t have the tooling anymore to make it even’, to which Steve said ‘Fine, we’ll buy you the tooling. Clear out some factory space for it.’

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