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HP has made it clear it has some ambitious aspirations, and at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference today, CEO Meg Whitman gave some insight on how the company is hoping to achieve those goals. Unsurprisingly, a large part of its approach is to address the company’s former failures in mobile. “What happened is the market moved very fast to tablets and smartphones and now we’ve got to manage that transition,” she said, noting that her predecessors did to try to address the shift by buying Palm. “But as you know, under the previous administration that took a little detour to nowhere.”
As a result, HP has expanded the way it thinks about its computing business. “We now have the opportunity to compete in a…
Filed under: Internet
One of the main beneficiaries of Android’s exponential growth in mobile devices has been Nvidia, whose third-quarter revenue reached a record high of $ 1.2 billion this year. Some 30 percent of the company’s income is now derived from the provision of “non-PC” chips, primarily Tegra systems-on-chip, which have figured in some of 2012′s highlight devices like HTC’s One X and Google’s Nexus 7. Nvidia has already secured a firm foothold for itself in the Windows RT tablet space as well, providing the processor for Microsoft’s Surface RT and others, though growth in that segment has already been strong. CEO Jen-Hsun Huang notes that the company’s “tablet business grew 100% year-over-year.”
Since launching its first product in 2008, Beats has gone from an obscure niche headphone brand to a multi-million dollar business with plenty of star power (Dr. Dre, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, etc.) catapulting the brand into the mainstream spawning several celebrity and musician endorsed rival brands. Now it’s going after an older crowd with the Executive over-the-ear headphones, which I’ve been testing for the last few days.
Originally partnered with Monster, the company has since detached itself from the audio manufacturer, had the majority of the company acquired (51 percent) by HTC, acquired music service MOG, and then regained 25 percent of HTC’s shares back this past July. It’s also had its brand name attached to HP laptops and HTC smartphones.
While the company has tapped into the youth of this country, it hasn’t quite gained traction with the folks whose annual incomes are, well, significantly higher than a 17-year-old’s. It’s unclear why Beats is going in this particular direction given that the “b” brand can be seen just about everywhere you look.
Maybe it has something to do with Monster now marketing its own line of headphones geared towards an older demo. Or the fact that the Beats brand commands over 60 percent of the over $ 100 headphone market in the U.S. I guess a $ 1 billion industry is worth protecting.
“If you look at the category right now, almost all the competing products are made of plastic. We’re bringing craftsmanship and premium materials, such as aluminum alloy, stainless steel, and hand-stitched leather,” Luke Wood, president and COO of Beats, told me. “Beats has fans of every age, but we wanted to build the Executive for the business traveller who doesn’t necessarily feel comfortable wearing bright green headphones on the plane.”
Other than looks and what I assume are subtle changes to the audio components under the hood, the Executives appear to be built on the same platform as the original Beats by Dr. Dre headphones, including the use of regular AAA batteries to power the active noise-cancelling functionality. And just like the originals, the Executives won’t work when those batteries die. Pretty annoying in my opinion for a $ 300 pair of headphones but maybe I’ve grown accustomed to all my doodads having rechargeable batteries.
The Executives are said to last upwards of 25 hours per set of batteries. So far I’ve logged several thousand miles (SFO>JFK>ICN) and roughly 15 hours with the included batteries. The noise-cancellation function can be muted by depressing the “b” icon on the right earcup. Batteries are deposited into the left earcup by popping off the cover, which is tethered by a string and kept in place with magnets. A nice touch overall and they definitely feel premium.
When asked why the core feature still relies on standard batteries, Wood had this to say: “Our research of this particular use case shows the consumer preference is split in regards to rechargeable and disposable batteries. Keeping the demographic in mind for this product, there is anxiety around forgetting to charge your batteries and getting on the plane for a business trip to find they’re dead and there’s no time or place to charge. Many people would rather just bring a spare set of batteries than risk being stranded on a flight with no sound. With that said, as our products continue to evolve we will consider the technology that makes the most sense as well as sustainability issues.”
Regardless of whether I think that a $ 300 pair of headphones should function sans batteries, the Executives are really comfortable (it’s worth noting that I wear glasses and find it annoying to wear over-the-ears) and offer a less bass-y sound than previous models. Even with the noise cancellation or because of it, you really have to crank up the volume to hear your tunes. The low end seems a bit muddled and when cranked up all the way up it just sounds a bit fuzzy. Albeit ever so slightly.
They’ll be available in mid-October and come with a carrying case, cleaning cloth, two adapters and two sets of audio cables, including one for use with your phone.
Since the dissolution of its partnership with Monster on July 1, Wood says the Executives are “an example of what’s to come” from the now free-standing company.Related Posts:
Will the TouchPad ride again? HP apparently just internally announced a new division focused on mobile within the Personal Systems Group. This new team, named in HP’s traditional jargon, Mobility Global Business Unit, is essentially responsible for getting HP back in the tablet fight.
Details are still a bit light. This word comes from a leaked memo obtained by the The Verge. The memo says in part, “With this move, we are building on our commitment to re-invest in mobility via dedicated leadership, focused research and development, amazing new products and a growing suite of applications and services.” It sounds like HP is finally getting serious about tablets.
Once upon a time, HP simply purchased Palm to lead the company into the mobile arena. But that $ 1.2 billion purchase didn’t work out in terms of hardware. After initially committing to double down on webOS, the company launched the HP TouchPad, a quality tablet that never had a chance thanks to its high price and lack of developer support. However, with the purchase of Palm, HP acquired 1,500 of Palms patents — it’s likely HP is ready to build upon the foundation laid by Palm.
This new unit will initially focus on consumer tablets, but will eventually grow and expand into new categories and segments (smartphones?), says the memo. The group is under the PSG, which is headed by Toddy Bradley. However, HP turned to Alberto Torres, ex-executive vice president of Nokia, to lead this new unit. Torres previously led Nokia’s MeeGo effort. Torres is also currently the vice-chairman of Bang & Olufsen, a high-end audio company that prides itself on forward-thinking designs. And HP needs all the design help it can get.
HP also currently has a tablet nearing release. The memo notes that tablet, along with the existing notebook teams, will in the PC unit and under the leadership of James Mouton. Or, put a different way, the good tablets will come later.Related Posts:
Square is most often pitched as heaven for small businesses, but that 2.75 percent cut per transaction is sometimes a problem for stores that are too successful. Enter a new flat rate option. Shops that don’t take more than $ 250,000 a year in Square payments, or charge more than $ 400 in a given sale, can instead pay a flat $ 275 per month regardless of how many swipes they take. The deal makes the most sense for businesses handling more than $ 120,000 a year through the reader, establishing a definite limit to its usefulness; this isn’t exactly for a budding jeweler (or Starbucks). Even so, the simplicity of the rate might be very alluring for companies that aren’t keen on surprise costs or working out the math, and it’s a contrast to the half-steps towards flat rates taken by VeriFone and other, more traditional outlets going mobile.
You attend conferences, business meetings and meet lots of new people on day to day basis. You usually exchange business cards with them. Thus, over the years, you end up collecting hundreds of business cards and then you start realizing some are useless and can be safely thrown into the trash bin while others keep lying at your home or office in business card albums. Even though, these business cards do carry important phone numbers, and lot of other important contact information but unfortunately it was never a convenient and feasible option to carry all your business cards in your pocket all the time, wherever you go, and whenever you go. Business Card Index allows you to carry all your business cards in your mobile phone, so you can carry them with you, wherever you go and whenever you go. So, you will never-ever miss that important business card your bank manager shared with you when he visited your office, or an important prospect who could have met you in the an intercontinental flight. You will never ever loose a business card again and above all you can be eco-friendly by saving lot of paper by by simply scanning their card and returning it back to the person offering it so he can use it again with others to share his business information. So, are you ready to never ever lose a business card again? Use BCI, Save Earth!Related Posts:
The FCC and non-profit organization Connect2Compete are expanding their efforts to provide low-cost access to technology with the “PC Pledge 100″ campaign. With the help of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the initiative intends to increase computer ownership in low-income households through PCs donated from US organizations. Access to the internet and computers has become increasingly important for those in school or entering the job force. With studies showing that about 60 percent of low-income households do not have a computer and that 66 million US residents have no computer skills, Connect2Compete’s low-cost PCs, internet services, and free digital literacy training have become an invaluable resource for those…
Quietly, and without fanfare, Dell snuck out its new pair of hardcore business laptops onto its storefront. Both the Precision M4700 and M6700 come with Ivy Bridge CPUs and a wealth of build-to-order options including Red Hat Linux — after all, this is Dell we’re talking about here. The 15-inch M4700 is available for $ 1049 (£999 in the UK) plus tax and shipping, while the 17-inch M6700 has a base price of $ 1849 (£1,349 in the UK).
Filed under: Laptops