Nintendo’s newest toy, the DSi, fits in your pocket and demonstrates in a simultaneously profound and giggle-inducing way that its makers may have a deeper understanding of how entertainment is evolving in the 21st century than any other company.
Tag: handheld device
Amazon is aiming to take digital reading into the mainstream as it rolls out a new generation of its Kindle e-reader ahead of the crucial holiday shopping season. A sleeker and cheaper Kindle comes as Amazon works to maintain its tenuous lead in the fast-growing market for e-books and e-readers. The debut of the refreshed Kindle coincides with the launch of Amazon’s local UK store at the end of August. The UK store will offer 400,000 titles, or what the company claims is the widest selection of books in the UK market. The new base model Kindle is smaller, lighter and faster than its predecessor, with more storage and battery life.
Threatened by Apple Inc.'s growing stable of portable devices, Sony Corp. is developing a new lineup of handheld products, including a smart phone capable of downloading and playing videogames, according to people familiar with the matter. The Japanese electronics giant also is developing a portable device that shares characteristics of netbooks, electronic-book readers and handheld-game machines. The device is designed to compete against multifunction products such as Apple's coming iPad tablet, these people said.
After throwing off the mediocre display of 3-D technologies and e-books at CES, the industry is eagerly awaiting the main event on Wednesday. There truly is no spectacle that compares to the launch of a new Apple product. The formula is well-established. Everyone is hungry for the next iPhone moment and Apple's bid to squash the Kindle and reinvent the publishing business with the iPad or the iSlate tablet computer. But that is a mere sideshow. The real road kill this time will not be the Kindle. It will be handheld video gaming devices like Sony's PSP and the Nintendo DS, as Apple establishes a lock on the economics of casual gaming with its newest device.
The prefix “smart” indicates that smartphones are better than other phones, but this hasn’t been entirely true in the past. Yes, a smartphone can do a lot of things a regular phone can’t, however – by definition – it’s far more complex, has a steeper learning curve, and is generally not the device of choice for most of the population. This has changed in the past couple of years. Recently, Bernstein Research’s analyst Toni Sacconaghi has predicted that the smartphone market will grow 27% in 2010 and 2011, after having grown about 35% every year over the past three years. This is good news for Apple, whose iPhone – a smartphone, and the only phone Apple sells – only needs to grow with the market to achieve amazing sales numbers. But why is this happening? Have more people suddenly decided they need more powerful, but also more complex phones in their lives? I doubt it.
Social-networking sites like Facebook and MySpace are popular services on high-end cellphones like the iPhone and the BlackBerry. But extending their reach to the broader wireless market has been challenging, because most basic phones tend to have clunky Web browsers and can't support fancy software.