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Monthly Archives: December 2010


Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) and 3.0 (Honeycomb)

All the speculations collected in my Beyond Android 2.1 [July 4] and Android 2.2 (Froyo) excitement is just the tip of the iceberg for the current Android momentum [July 9 – Sept 10] are now over as Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) was released on Dec 6. with the lead device (Samsung Nexus S) availability on Dec 16, as well as Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) shown by Andy Rubin on Dec 6. and the lead device rumored to be Motorola’s XOOM with as early availability as February 2011.

Follow-Up (Aug 2, 2011):
Acer & Asus: Compensating lower PC sales by tablet PC push [March 29, 2011 with comprehensive update on Aug 2, 2011] which is showing serious technical and market problems with the original version of Honeycomb
Tackling the Android tide [July 16, 2011]

Worth to read along with this: Gartner: media tablets are the new segment next to mobile PCs and desktops, as well as web- and app-capable mobile phones [April 16, 2011]

Updates (Feb 4):

Motorola to sell Xoom tablet PC as early as February [Jan 31, 2011]:

Motorola is set to sell its 10.1-inch Android 3.0 tablet PC Xoom as early as February 2011 with the rest of its competitors to start launching their Android 3.0 models after March.

As Google is sending invitations to global media announcing the release date of Android 3.0, iPad-like products are expected to start showing up lead by Motorola.

Since the rest of the PC and smartphone vendors will still take a while to adjust their related settings to allow their machines to run Android 3.0 after it releases, Motorola is expected to have about a month head-start to fully push its Xoom sales.

High Tech Computer (HTC), RIM, Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics may need to wait until after March to release their tablet PCs, while PC players such as Acer, Asustek Computer, and Toshiba may even delay to after April or May. To maintain their market position, some vendors plan to launch a small volume of Android 2.3-based models, while some will launch Wintel-based models.

Updates (Jan 10):

Verizon Wireless and Motorola Mobility Announce Motorola XOOM™ Tablet on Nation’s Largest and Most Reliable 3G Network [Jan 5, 2011] (emphasis is mine):

Verizon Wireless and Motorola Mobility, Inc. (NYSE: MMI), today unveiled the innovative new tablet Motorola XOOM™ − the first device on Google’s new Android 3.0 Honeycomb operating system designed from the ground up for tablets. The Honeycomb user experience improves on Android favorites such as widgets, multi-tasking, browsing, notifications and customization and features the latest Google Mobile innovations. Boasting a dual core processor with each core running at 1 GHz, delivering up to two GHz of processing power, and 10.1-inch widescreen HD display, Motorola XOOM gives Verizon Wireless customers a new type of mobile computing experience on a stylishly thin device that is 4G LTE upgradeable.Motorola XOOM redefines the tablet device category by providing more ways to have fun, connect with friends and stay productive on the go. It allows consumers to experience HD content right on the device, supports 1080p HD video and HDMI output to display content on larger HD screens, and plays video and other rich web content seamlessly with Adobe® Flash® Player. Motorola XOOM features a front-facing 2-megapixel camera for video chats over Wi-Fi or 3G/4G LTE, as well as a rear-facing 5-megapixel camera that captures video in 720p HD. It delivers console-like gaming performance on its 1280×800 display, and features a built-in gyroscope, barometer, e-compass, accelerometer and adaptive lighting for new types of applications. It also features Google Maps 5.0 with 3D interaction and delivers access to over 3 million Google eBooks and thousands of apps from Android Market™.

The Motorola XOOM device will launch as a 3G/Wi-Fi-enabled device in Q1 2011 with an upgrade to 4G LTE in Q2.

A Sneak Peek of Android 3.0, Honeycomb [Jan 5, Posted by Andy Rubin, VP of Engineering] (emphasis is mine)

… today at the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas, we previewed Android 3.0, Honeycomb.

Honeycomb is the next version of the Android platform, designed from the ground up for devices with larger screen sizes, particularly tablets. We’ve spent a lot of time refining the user experience in Honeycomb, and we’ve developed a brand new, truly virtual and holographic user interface. Many of Android’s existing features will really shine on Honeycomb: refined multi-tasking, elegant notifications, access to over 100,000 apps on Android Market, home screen customization with a new 3D experience and redesigned widgets that are richer and more interactive. We’ve also made some powerful upgrades to the web browser, including tabbed browsing, form auto-fill, syncing with your Google Chrome bookmarks, and incognito mode for private browsing.

Honeycomb also features the latest Google Mobile innovations including Google Maps 5 with 3D interactions and offline reliability, access to over 3 million Google eBooks, and Google Talk, which now allows you to video and voice chat with any other Google Talk enabled device (PC, tablet, etc).

Android Honeycomb 3.0 full-live demo! [Jan 6]

CES: Motorola Xoom wins Best of Show. Here’s why. [Jan 8] (emphasis is mine)

As the first exclusive product to feature Google’s tablet-specific Android 3.0 operating system, this award is also a big nod to Google’s work developing the Android Honeycomb operating system previewed in the video below. From what we’ve seen, the Android Honeycomb OS charts exciting new ground for tablets, bringing some dearly needed differentiation from the Android smartphone experience. As with previous versions of Android, Honeycomb will inevitably make its way onto other tablets, offering more choice for consumers and providing the industry a valuable resource. By CES 2012, Honeycomb will likely be the de facto standard for Android-based tablets.

In fact, we considered whether Honeycomb itself should be the nominee, but decided that the Xoom, as a vessel for the OS, was as worthy as its cargo. We believe the Xoom is the most potentially disruptive technology among the nominees; it’s a true competitor for the iPad and will be one of the first 4G-compatible tablets to hit the market.

Samsung Plans Dual-Core Phones, New Tablets in Feb. [Jan 7]

… the company still lacks a tablet running Android 3.0 as well as phones and tablets with dual-core processors, which we’re seeing from Motorola, LG and others.

“In February at MWC, we will unveil our next-generation tablet device portfolio in detail,” [the president of Samsung’s mobile business, JK] Shin said.

Samsung will have both 3G and 4G tablets in the future, and “we are in a position to supply 4G smartphones and tablets to all the carriers in the US,” he said.

New Windows Phone 7 devices, possibly with 4G LTE, may also be announced in February, Shin said.

“We will continue to keep the partnership with Microsoft,” he said.

Samsung’s Galaxy Android Tablet Is Going To Be Obsolete Very Soon [Jan 4]

When Google releases Android 3.0, a.k.a. “Honeycomb,” it’s going to be optimized for tablets, and it’s going to have strict hardware requirements, PC Mag reports.PC Mag spoke with Bobby Cha, managing director of Korean electronics company, Enspert. Cha says Honeycomb with require dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 chips.

In other words, it needs strong chips.

This means the current crop of Android tablets on the market, like the Galaxy Tab, won’t be able to upgrade their software to Android 3.0 when it’s available.

Note: Samsung Galaxy Tab Sales Pass 1 Million [Dec 3, 2010]: “In less than two months from launch”

High level Google manager dismisses rumors of minimum system specs for Android 3.0 Honeycomb [Jan 7]
T-Mobile G-Slate announced: 4G, Android 3.0, made by LG [Jan 5]
LG And T-Mobile Release Android 3.0 4G Tablet (video) [Jan 10]

Motorola expected to ship 700,000-800,000 Xoom tablet PCs in 1Q11 [Jan 10, 2011]

The sources also pointed out that Google’s Android 3.0 is most suitable for 7- to 10-inch tablet PCs and most notebook vendors were not able to receive priority support from Google. Currently, Motorola and Samsung are Google’s priority partners with LG Electronics and High Tech Computer (HTC) following behind, the sources noted.

Dell and T-Mobile USA Unveil Streak 7, Both Companies’ First 4G Tablet Offering the Ultimate Entertainment Experience [Jan 6] (emphasis is mine)

The Streak 7 features Google’s™ Android 2.2 operating system, a dual core 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor and full support for Adobe® Flash® Player.

… The new Streak 7 will feature Dell’s innovative Stage user interface, which provides a seamless and unified experience for accessing all your favorite content. Later this year, Dell will add syncing to Stage so people can keep their photos, contacts, calendars and other personal content synchronized across their Dell Stage-equipped devices, from tablets to PCs, connected through their home network.

Acer’s New ICONIA Tab A500 to Support Gamers and Mobile Consumers on the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE Network [Jan 4]
Acer Iconia Tab A500 first hands-on! (update: video)
[Jan 6]: “It’s just the same engineering prototype with an early build of Android 2.2 we’ve seen before — it’ll run Honeycomb at launch — but this time, we got to touch.
Asus unveils three Android 3.0 tablets
[Jan 5]
CES: Toshiba’s 10-inch Honeycomb tablet, hands-on [Jan 3]
Lenovo to put Google Android 3.0 on tablets
[Jan 10]
Hannspree showcases three new Android tablets
[Jan 10]

End of updates (Jan 10) — additional updates in the Part II.

So while Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) made the user experience issue solved for the Android smartphones, the Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) version will deliver a competitive user experience for the upcoming 2011 Android tablets. You can find the currently available information regarding all that below.

Part I. Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)

Introducing Nexus S with Gingerbread [Dec 6, 2010]

The very first Android phone hit the market in November 2008. Just over two years later, Android’s vision of openness has spurred the development of more than 100 different Android devices. Today, more than 200,000 Android devices are activated daily worldwide. The volume and variety of Android devices continues to surpass our wildest expectations—but we’re not slowing down.

Today, we’re pleased to introduce the latest version of the Android platform, Gingerbread, and unveil the next Android device from the Nexus line of mobile products—Nexus S. And for developers, the Gingerbread SDK/NDK is now available as well.

Nexus S is the lead device for the Gingerbread/Android 2.3 release; it’s the first Android device to ship with the new version of the Android platform. We co-developed this product with Samsung—ensuring tight integration of hardware and software to highlight the latest advancements of the Android platform. As part of the Nexus brand, Nexus S delivers what we call a “pure Google” experience: unlocked, unfiltered access to the best Google mobile services and the latest and greatest Android releases and updates.

Take a look at our backstory video for more on the vision behind this product and to understand why we think “a thousand heads are better than one”:

Nexus S is the first smartphone to feature a 4” Contour Display designed to fit comfortably in the palm of your hand and along the side of your face. It also features a 1GHz Hummingbird processor, front and rear facing cameras, 16GB of internal memory, and NFC (near field communication) hardware that lets you read information from NFC tags. NFC is a fast, versatile short-range wireless technology that can be embedded in all kinds of everyday objects like movie posters, stickers and t-shirts.

Gingerbread is the fastest version of Android yet, and it delivers a number of improvements, such as user interface refinements, NFC support, a new keyboard and text selection tool, Internet (VoIP/SIP) calling, improved copy/paste functionality and gyroscope sensor support.

After December 16, Nexus S can be purchased (unlocked or with a T-Mobile service plan) online and in-store from all Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile stores in the U.S. and after December 20 at Carphone Warehouse and Best Buy retailers in the U.K.

We’ll be open-sourcing Gingerbread in the coming weeks and look forward to new contributions from the Android ecosystem in the months ahead.

Andy Rubin, VP of Engineering

Android 2.3 Platform and Updated SDK Tools [Dec 6, 2010]

Today we’re announcing a new version of the Android platform — Android 2.3 (Gingerbread). It includes many new platform technologies and APIs to help developers create great apps. Some of the highlights include:

Enhancements for game development: To improve overall responsiveness, we’ve added a new concurrent garbage collector and optimized the platform’s overall event handling. We’ve also given developers native access to more parts of the system by exposing a broad set of native APIs. From native code, applications can now access input and sensor events, EGL/OpenGL ES, OpenSL ES, and assets, as well a new framework for managing lifecycle and windows. For precise motion processing, developers can use several new sensor types, including gyroscope.Rich multimedia: To provide a great multimedia environment for games and other applications, we’ve added support for the new video formats VP8 and WebM, as well as support for AAC and AMR-wideband encoding. The platform also provides new audio effects such as reverb, equalization, headphone virtualization, and bass boost.New forms of communication: The platform now includes support for front-facing camera, SIP/VOIP, and Near Field Communications (NFC), to let developers include new capabilities in their applications.

For a complete overview of what’s new in the platform, see the Android 2.3 Platform Highlights:

Alongside the new platform, we are releasing updates to the SDK Tools (r8), NDK, and ADT Plugin for Eclipse (8.0.0).

Supporting Multiple Screens


  • Android runs on devices that have different screen sizes and resolutions.
  • The screen on which your application is displayed can affect its user interface.
  • The platform handles most of the work of adapting your app to the current screen.
  • You can create screen-specific resources for precise control of your UI, if needed.
  • Older applications run in a compatibility mode that provides best-effort rendering on the current screen.
  • It’s important to follow the best practices described in this document and test your application in all supported screens.

Android is designed to run on a variety of devices that offer a range of screen sizes and resolutions. For applications, the platform provides a consistent environment across devices and handles much of the complexity of adapting an application’s UI to the screen on which it is being displayed. At the same time, the platform exposes APIs that give application developers precise control over their application’s UI when displayed on specific screen sizes and resolutions.

This document explains the screens-support features provided by the platform and how you use them in your application. By following the practices described here, you can easily create an application that displays properly on all supported device screens and that you can deploy to any device as a single .apk.

If you have already developed and published an application for Android 1.5 or earlier, you should read this document and consider how you may need to adapt your application for proper display on new devices that offer different screens and that are running Android 1.6 or later. In most cases, only minor adjustments are needed, however you should make sure to test your application on all supported screens.

Starting in Android 2.2, the platform includes support for extra high density screens (xhdpi), and starting in Android 2.3, the platform includes support for extra large screens (xlarge). If you’ve already followed the guidance in this document to support all other screen types, you should consider providing additional support for xhdpi and xlarge screens.

In particular, if you have an existing application that you would like to make available on small screens (such as QVGA) or for which you would like to provide better support for extra large screens, please see Strategies for Legacy Applications for more information about how to do that.

New Gingerbread API: StrictMode [Dec 12, 2010]

I joined the Android team full-time just over a year ago and spent a lot of time investigating Froyo performance issues, in particular debugging ANRs (those annoying dialogs you get when an application stalls its main thread’s Looper). Debugging ANRs with the tools at hand was painful and boring. There wasn’t enough instrumentation to find the causes, especially when multiple processes were involved (doing Binder or ContentResolver operations to Services or ContentProviders in other processes). There had to be a better way to track down latency hiccups and ANRs…

StrictMode is a new API in Gingerbread which primarily lets you set a policy on a thread declaring what you’re not allowed to do on that thread, and what the penalty is if you violate the policy. Implementation-wise, this policy is simply a thread-local integer bitmask.

Using the data from StrictMode we fixed hundreds of responsiveness bugs and animation glitches all across the board. We made performance optimizations in the Android core (e.g. system services and providers) so all apps on the system will benefit, as well as fixing up tons of app-specific issues (in both AOSP apps and Google apps). Even if you’re using Froyo today, the recent updates to GMail, Google Maps, and YouTube all benefited from StrictMode data collection gathered on Gingerbread devices.

Googlers who switched from Froyo to Gingerbread without seeing all the baby steps between were shocked at how much more responsive the system became. Our friends on the Chrome team then recently added something similar. Of course, StrictMode can’t take all the credit. The new concurrent garbage collector in Gingerbread also greatly reduces latency hiccups.

Nexus S with Google

Nexus S is the next generation of Nexus devices, co-developed by Google and Samsung. The latest Android platform (Gingerbread), paired with a 1 GHz Hummingbird processor and 16GB of memory, makes Nexus S one of the fastest phones on the market. It comes pre-installed with the best of Google apps and enabled with new and popular features like true multi-tasking, Wi-Fi hotspot, Internet Calling, NFC support, and full web browsing. With this device, users will also be the first to receive software upgrades and new Google mobile apps as soon as they become available. For more details, visit http://www.google.com/nexus.

TechCrunch Review: Google Nexus S [Dec 6]

Unlike the Nexus One, the phone was not built from scratch – the starting point was the Samsung Galaxy S, released earlier this year. And Google will not be selling this phone directly to consumers. They say that experiment is over, and this phone will be available initially at Best Buy in the U.S. (on T-Mobile) and Carphone Warehouse in the U.K. Google says the phone is currently expected to be available starting December 16, although pre-orders might be taken earlier.

The bottom line is this. If you are an iPhone user this isn’t going to make you switch. If you’re an Android user you will want this phone more than any other. If you’re currently neither, we recommend that you go with the Nexus S. It is better than the iPhone in most ways. What you lose with the slightly less impressive screen and iOS’s slightly slicker user experience you will more than make up for with the Nexus S’s ability to actually make phone calls that don’t drop and Google’s exceptional Navigation and voice input applications. The fact that the phone is unlocked and can be used abroad with other carriers is also a very big plus.

Hands On With Largest Android Phone Ever: A 42-Inch Nexus S [Dec 23, 2010, video included]

Last night, Google employees installed a giant Nexus S in the San Carlos Best Buy, sporting a 42 inch touchscreen, a working camera, and internet connectivity. Yes, unlike the giant Nexus Ones that Google produced last year, which just played a looping video of the UI, this giant Nexus S actually works. And it’s actually being powered by a real (smaller) Nexus S that’s been equipped with special video-out capabilities.

Part II. Android 3.0 (Honeycomb)

Motorola Android tablet prototype makes a cameo at D: Dive Into Mobile running Honeycomb [Dec 6, 2010]

Google’s Andy Rubin brought more than just a Nexus S in his bag of goodies tonight. On stage at D: Dive Into Mobile, the man has brought with him a prototype Android tablet from Motorola. It’s got video chat, an NVIDIA processor, a “dual core 3D processor,” and… oh yeah, it runs Honeycomb, not Gingerbread. Little else is known — Rubin immediately turned his attention to a new release of Google Maps — but we wouldn’t be surprised if we were looking at Stingray, a tablet rumored for a launch on Verizon shortly.

Prototype Motorola Android tablet, running a dual core Nvidia chip and Honeycomb, the next iteration of Android.

DROID XOOM will be Motorola’s Honeycomb Tablet, Won’t be 4G LTE [Dec 29, 2010]

How does the Motorola DROID XOOM sound?  According to our sources, that’s exactly what we can expect Motorola’s Honeycomb tablet to be called when it’s announced next week at CES.  We’ve seen the word “XOOM” through a batch of global trademarks, but we have confirmation that this will indeed be the name, it will definitely be running Honeycomb and for now, won’t be 4G LTE.

Upstream supply chain facing challenge from strong tablet PC orders [Jan 10, 2011]

Upstream component makers, facing tablet PC players placing strong orders, expect their sales performance to benefit significantly; however they also pointed out that the orders will give them strong pressure over supply management.

In addition to Apple’s iPad, RIM’s PlayBook and Motorola’s Xoom as well as High Tech Computer’s (HTC’s) new tablet PCs are all set to appear in the channel in the first half of 2011 and the total tablet PC shipment may go even higher after notebook vendors start joining the market.

Despite many tablet PC brands are placing strong orders, their actual sales in retail channels are a concern among upstream players since these tablet PCs may not be able to see as strong demand as Apple’s iPad.

And if the demand is strong, since most of the upstream component makers already have existed orders to supply, the extra orders may also affect makers’ capacity schedule.

In addition, production yield rate and capacity allocation will also be issues that the makers will need to face.

As a result, upstream component makers are facing a dilemma since they do not dare to expand their capacity recklessly due to uncertainty about tablet PC’s future demand, but if the market takes off, they will face issues with capacity which could seriously damage clients.

Motorola expected to ship 700,000-800,000 Xoom tablet PCs in 1Q11 [Jan 10, 2011]

Motorola, with assistance from Google, has showcased its new Android 3.0-based Xoom tablet PC and has placed orders for about 700,000-800,000 units with four color options for the first quarter of 2011, according to sources from upstream component makers. The sources expect the orders to go up as high as one million units in the quarter.

In addition to Taiwan-based notebook chassis makers such as Catcher Technology and Foxconn Technology, handset chassis makers including Taiwan Chi Cheng (CCC) and Silitech Technology are also expected to benefit from the tablet PC chassis business opportunity, the sources noted.

The sources also pointed out that Google’s Android 3.0 is most suitable for 7- to 10-inch tablet PCs and most notebook vendors were not able to receive priority support from Google. Currently, Motorola and Samsung are Google’s priority partners with LG Electronics and High Tech Computer (HTC) following behind, the sources noted.

The Xoom tablet PC adopts a 10.1-inch touch panel with a resolution of 1280 by 800, Nvidia’s Tegra 2 processor and has HDMI and USB ports. The device also features a 5-megapixel camera and an LED flash light.

Report, LG Bringing Android Honeycomb Optimus Pad Tablet To CES 2011 [Dec 29, 2010]

This Optimus Pad tablet from LG according to this source will run on Android Honeycomb OS. The new report meshes with a report we posted about back in November –when an LG official spilled some details to a Korean news outlet– that stated the upcoming 8.9-inch LG tablet would be powered by the Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core chip.

Android Honeycomb Music Player: Full Guide (Early Leak) [Dec 30, 2010]

SO, there’s an Unofficial / Leaked version of the new Honeycomb music player from Android floating around out there, right? Well, we had quite a time getting this little APK to work once we got it, and we bet we weren’t the only ones. Therefor, we’ve whipped up for you this little guide and points post so that you might get the sweet updated music action working on your Android device with as little or no hassle as possible.

Nokia name-checked as Android Honeycomb tablet producer [Dec 29, 2010]

A casual name-drop in a report on Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablets has led to suggestions that Nokia is working with Google on an Android device. DigiTimes claims Google has been giving priority to brand-name handset manufacturers with support for the tablet-centric Honeycomb release, bypassing notebook makers in the process, but Nokia is in among the list of “smartphone players” supposedly working with the search giant.

It’s most likely an oversight by DigiTimes’ writers, but the remaining players on the list – Motorola, Samsung, LG and HTC – are all companies we’ve heard Android tablet rumors about in the past. A similar casual mention pre-holidays tipped Honeycomb for a March 2011 release; now the site is claiming some smartphone manufacturers could have slates running the platform out as early as the latter half of February next year.

Nokia Android Honeycomb tablet is latest odd OS rumor [Dec 29, 2010]

Android Honeycomb due for March 2011 release tip insiders [Dec 23, 2010]

Google has been coy on when exactly Android Honeycomb – the tablet-customized version of the open-source OS – will be launched, but Taipei sources may have scooped their announcement. According to DigiTimes, MSI is preparing to sell a Tegra 2 based tablet in April or May “after Google releases Android 3.0 in March.”

Now, DigiTimes has a patchy track record for accuracy, and we’re not sure if Honeycomb is going to be Android 2.4 or Android 3.0 – since Google is yet to confirm version numbers – but it certainly fits in with some previous rumors that suggested a broader February/March release window.

Android Honeycomb Is Indeed Version 2.4, Say Server Logs (Update) [Dec 29, 2010]

So we happened to be looking through some of our analytics logs today, and for the first time ever, we saw a very curious thing: a single device performed a single visit on Sunday and reported its operating system as Android 2.4. This would not be the first time we’d heard that Honeycomb, the confirmed codename for the post-Gingerbread version of the platform, referred to version number 2.4, and not 3.0, as has been widely expected up to this point — Android and Me first reported this possibility on December 15th, citing a developer working on third party software for “different versions of Android.”

Update: After seeing our post, Android Police checked its own logs, which turned up 15 visits from several 2.4 devices over a six day period — and none from devices reporting themselves as 3.x.

Notebook vendors seeing R&D delays for Android 3.0 tablets [Dec 29, 2010]

… Google is currently giving priority for Android 3.0 support mainly to smartphone players such as Motorola, Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, High Tech Computer (HTC) and Nokia, leaving notebook vendors facing delays in their R&D schedules.

Sources believe Google’s strategy will cause notebook vendors to launch their tablet PCs later than smartphone players, while some players even believe that the tablet PC market will not be fully dominated by notebook vendors who will also face competition from smartphone players.

Smartphone players are expected to launch their Android 3.0 tablet PCs as early as the second half of February 2011, while notebook vendors will need to wait until the end of March to be able to have products on the market, the sources noted.

Although most of the notebook vendors are already set to launch Wintel- or Android 2.2-based models, most of their shipment volumes are still limited as the vendors are pessimistic about these models and believe Android 3.0 will be the shipments driver.

Update: Google giving priority to cooperate with Motorola, Samsung and HTC on Android 3.0 tablet PCs [Jan 7, 2011]

Google has apparently given priority to Motorola, Samsung Electronics and HTC for cooperation to develop tablet PCs that will run on Android 3.0 Honeycomb, according to industry sources.

Motorola has unveiled its Xoom tablet PC running on Android 3.0 at CES 2011, while Samsung is able to manufacture a number of key components for tablet PCs, the sources noted.

On the other hand, Taiwan-based ODM notebook makers are not strong in software development and also cannot control the supply of some key components for tablet PCs, making them unable to compete with handset makers to win support from Google, the source pointed out.

Compal Electronics reportedly tried in vain to cooperate with Google to develop tablet PCs in 2010 as Google has given priority to handset vendors, the sources added.

Handset vendors prefer notebook to handset makers for outsourcing tablet PCs, say Taiwan handset makers [Dec 29, 2010]

With handset vendors stepping into tablet PCs, priority is being given to notebook ODMs rather than handset makers for outsourced production, according to Taiwan-based handset makers.

RIM, Motorola and HTC have selected notebook ODMs Quanta Computer, Compal Electronics and Pegatron Technology, respectively, to produce their own-brand tablet PCs, the sources pointed out. Hewlett-Packard may choose Inventec to make its WebOS tablet PCs, the sources added.

Tablet PCs are actually more similar to smartphones than to notebooks in processor architecture, operating system, power consumption, user interface, communication functions and portability, the sources indicated. However, handset vendors mostly develop tablet PCs in-house and therefore care about the efficiency and cost of assembly, and in this respect notebook makers have the advantage because tablets are closer to notebooks than to smartphones in size, the sources analyzed.

Samsung, LG to enhance presence in global smartphone market in 2011, say Taiwan makers [Dec 28, 2010]

Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics have gained footholds in the global market of smartphones in 2010 with Galaxy S and Optimus One respectively, and will launch many smartphone models to strengthen their market status in high-end and entry-level as well as mid-range to entry-level segments respectively, according to Taiwan-based handset makers.

Samsung and LG emphasize the importance of touch panels for smartphones and both have the advantage of in-house panel technologies and production capacities, the sources indicated. Samsung will capitalize on its Super AMOLED (active matrix OLED) technology, while LG will adopt LTPS (low-temperature poly-silicon) panels in the first half of 2011 and then AMOLED panels in the second half, the sources noted.

Focusing on high-end and entry-level segments in 2011, Samsung will launch Android smartphone models throughout the year and Windows Phone 7 (WP7) models additionally in the second half, the sources pointed out. Samsung is expected to intensify competition with Motorola and Taiwan-based HTC in high-end smartphone models, especially in North American market, the sources indicated.

LG will launch 30 smartphone models priced at US$150-400, using either Android or WP7, in 2011, bringing significant competitive pressure on China-based vendors including Huawei Device and ZTE, the sources pointed out.

MID market grows 72% in 2010, says The Information Network [Dec 29, 2010]

Strong growth in smartphones and the huge success of the iPad spurred record growth in mobile Internet devices (MID) for 2010, according to research firm The Information Network.

“The MID market grew 72% in 2010 to 314 million units,” noted Robert Castellano, president of The Information Network. “By way of comparison, 2009 registered only a 20% gain.”

Growth was helped by a 90% gain in e-book reader shipments, a 60% gain in smartphones, and nearly 20 million iPads sold. For 2011, unit shipments of MID devices will moderate to a 44% growth.

ARM owns the MID space. It owns 95% of the mobile phone market and 85% of the smartphone market by unit shipments. ARM processors are being manufactured in the best semiconductor facilities. Companies that are currently or formerly ARM licensees include Alcatel, Atmel, Broadcom, Cirrus Logic, Digital Equipment Corporation, Freescale, Intel (through DEC), LG Group, Marvell Technology Group, NEC, NVIDIA, NXP (previously Philips), Oki, Qualcomm, Samsung, Sharp, ST Microelectronics, Symbios Logic, Texas Instruments, VLSI Technology, Yamaha and ZiiLABS, and TSMC.


Assuring HTML5 et al stability for developers à la Microsoft: splitting the evolving specifications into “site-ready” and “experimental” for the years coming

What is Microsoft’s approach to assure HTML5 et al stability when web developers are absolutely negative about that based on their previous experience?

Microsoft’s answer came crystal clearly two days ago in a blog post quoted below. But before coming to that let’s include here the whole closing section of that post because it is summarizing the Microsoft approach about HTML5 et al stability very well (emphasis is mine):

Looking Ahead

In developing IE9, we considered how different specifications are still evolving at different rates. IE9 supports technologies that, while not always finished, are developed enough to avoid the problems that WebSockets illustrate today.

In the IE9 product, developers can expect site-ready HTML5 so they can take advantage of the best of HTML5 that is ready and can still experiment with emerging HTML5 with HTML5 Labs. By keeping these separate, developers get what they need without the negative consequences of co-mingling very different things in the same browser.

IE9 offers support for the most relevant, real-world web patterns that developers are using today as well as the HTML5 patterns we expect to become more mainstream. By relevant and real-world, we mean the technologies with the broadest impact for browser users (e.g. CSS ahead of MathML). By support, we mean providing developers a consistent programming model that enables the same mark-up. The goal is supporting great new capabilities, ideally in a way that interoperates or will interoperate soon across browsers.

This approach (along with its supporting points, like test suites and “same markup” as a goal) has garnered strong support from developers. It’s also resulted in some surprising headlines over the last year, like “Only Microsoft gets web standards” according to “Mozilla man [who] blasts Apple and Google for HTML5 abuse,” from The Register.

In this context of unfinished technology, measuring how much HTML5 different browsers support through “benchmarks” does not make much sense. In particular, many of these tests (like Acid 3) include different partial collections of unfinished standards, while they exclude deep or broad assessments of the quality of the implementations. The key questions for tests are how appropriate is their scope, how accurate and rigorous are the individual tests, and how comprehensive is their coverage. The standards bodies involved in the process of developing the standards (like W3C and Ecma) are a great forum for the development of trustworthy, high-quality tests.

Professional website developers are busy. They write a code for a living and genuinely don’t have the spare time to wade through comments on all these under construction specifications and keep track of every build of every browser. With this approach, we make it easier to take advantage of the capabilities that are stable and ready for prime time.  We remove much of the guess work for developers of working with a moving target. The result is more time for site developers to innovate and create better web experiences.

Back in March when we released the first platform preview of IE9, we were clear that we love HTML5 so much we want it to actually work. One aspect of that involves using the whole PC to run HTML with the best performance. Another aspect is working with community and standards bodies on test suites. Making sure that developers avoid the frustration of wasted time re-writing sites over and over as technologies change – and that consumers avoid frustration of sites that break easily – is just as important.

In other words Microsoft’s approach is, as defined in the same day post Prototyping Early W3C HTML5 Specifications by Jean Paoli, GM, Interoperability Strategy:

… to implement standards as they become site-ready for broader adoption.

Writing Sites to IE Based on Stable HTML5

For developers, this means that they can write sites to Internet Explorer and be confident that it is based on stable HTML5 and will work in future browser upgrades.  For users, it means that sites continue to work as they upgrade their browsers and they don’t get locked in to older browsers.

At the same time, Microsoft sees an important need in continuing to drive experimentation and testing of new specifications in the standards organizations. It is part of the process of ensuring that specifications are actually ready for real-world usage.

This new HTML5 Labs Web site is the place where our Interoperability Labs will publish prototype implementations of certain unstable and in-progress W3C, IETF, ECMA and other standards specifications still undergoing a lot of change. So, developers should expect that code and web pages based on these prototypes will have to be re-written as the specifications mature.

So please experiment with these prototypes and tell us and other working group participants whether the APIs are usable. We are making them available to help improve the final specifications.

Other implementers can use these prototypes to determine whether we have interpreted the specifications in the same way, and a larger audience can get a better sense of what potential will be unlocked when these specifications have stabilized into interoperable implemented standards.

Also, please participate in the appropriate standards bodies to help finalize the specifications.


HTML5, Site-Ready and Experimental [Dec 21] by Dean Hachamovitch, Corporate Vice President, Internet Explorer (emphasis is mine):

With many HTML5 technologies still under active development, our approach is to give developers better choices and avoid false dichotomies around standards support. The IE9 browser has site-ready HTML5 support that developers and consumers can depend on. We will also offer developers “HTML5 Labs” for more experimental technologies still under development. By clearly separating prototype implementations from mainstream browser product ones, we can avoid many negative consequences.

In the IE9 product, we’re delivering on the key parts of HTML5 that are site-ready. IE9 offers support for real-world web patterns that developers are using today as well as the HTML5 patterns we expect to become more mainstream. IE9 does this because we want to improve interoperability on the web by providing developers a consistent programming model through the same mark-up. The goal is supporting great new capabilities, ideally in a way that interoperates or will interoperate soon across browsers.

We will also offer prototype implementations for the more experimental or unfinished parts of HTML5 that some developers may want to try, but consumers can’t depend on yet. We will be explicit about the implementations that are more prototype than product. These prototypes are how we balance providing a product for millions of consumers while actively engaging in speculative technology discussions with developers and enthusiasts and avoid confusing either group. You can read more about that here [ Prototyping Early W3C HTML5 Specifications [Dec 21] ].

Implementing a technology while the blueprints that describe it are still changing significantly causes many problems. In this section, we’ll use the experience of WebSockets to illustrate common challenges of under construction technologies. Below, through the transparency of Mozilla’s process, you can read for yourself how several different problems played out.

One tech publication wrote that “the Web Sockets history illustrates some pitfalls of the style and pace of Web standards development,” and that “including support for a specification [that] wasn’t done” is just the latest wrinkle. The article’s headline describes “the risk of unfinished standards,” while another article describes “emerging Web standards like WebGL and WebSockets,” and a comment from a Mozilla leader here refers to “speculative features.”

WebSockets is just one of many, many unfinished, emerging, and speculative features. Rushing ahead with implementation while the blueprints are changing a lot creates dissatisfaction. This (warning: potentially NSFW) video dramatizes that developer dissatisfaction. That dissatisfaction is the result of supporting unfinished, emerging, and speculative features in the mainline product.

The question is how to balance the implementation of these under construction technologies (in order to resolve under construction issues) with the needs of developers (who don’t like re-writing their code over and over to get new capabilities) and the needs of consumers (who expect sites and browsers to just work). Today, iPhone and iPad 4.2 support WebSockets. Firefox and Opera have recently disabled their implementations because of (among other things) the security and compatibility concerns.

One alternative approach to these experimental features is being much more explicit about implementations that are more prototype than product. This is the approach Microsoft is taking. You can read more about it here. Through these prototypes we balance the objective of providing a product for millions of consumers and engaging in early speculative discussions with developers and enthusiasts, without confusing either group.

There are many other technologies under development today that are still under construction. Because they are not site-ready today and will not be ready, relevant, and real-world before we release the IE9 product, these emerging standards are susceptible to the same problems and negative consequences that WebSockets has faced. Some technologies are in transition and being reconciled with others (or potentially abandoned in favor of others). SMIL animations and SVG fonts, though they are used in the Acid 3 test, are on the way out in favor of CSS animations and WOFF. The Web SQL specification, for example, was formally taken off the Recommendation track at the most recent TPAC with the emergence of IndexedDB as a better path.  IndexedDB is itself an emerging and unfinished standard, along with WebSockets, the File API and WebGL (as the Ars Technica article above points out).

Site-ready also looks at the larger context of developer needs today and tomorrow and the viable alternatives as well as the state of the standards process. For example, CSS3 is an enormous set of technologies. IE9 already implements many CSS3 modules that are site-ready. Several other CSS modules (like CSS3 Gradients) are still emerging and unfinished. Other modules have perfectly fine interoperable alternatives, like using script in place of CSS3 Transitions and CSS3 Animations. For other technologies, like web workers, other considerations apply as well. Web workers introduce complex multi-threaded programming concepts to JavaScript, and require extensive prototyping (just like WebSockets) to fully explore the impact on developers and the broader web programming model.

There are many technologies that can easily play out the way WebSockets have. Developers and consumers are better off if these technologies are brought forward as explicit prototypes rather than in the product that so many people depend on. WebSockets and the IndexedDB web storage are the first prototypes in the new program. Some experimental CSS3 modules are potential candidates for prototypes, along with other technologies (e.g. the File API). This is a process we’re excited to work through with the community.

Additional information:

Introducing the WebSockets Prototype [Dec 21]

IndexedDB Prototype Available for Internet Explorer [Dec 21]

Prototyping Early W3C HTML5 Specifications [Dec 21] by Jean Paoli, GM, Interoperability Strategy:

Today we launched the HTML5 Labs Web site, a place where we prototype early and not yet fully stable drafts of specifications developed by the W3C and other standard organizations.

These prototypes will help us have informed discussions with developer communities, and give implementation experience with the draft specifications that will generate feedback to improve the eventual standards. It also lets us give the community some visibility on those specifications we consider interesting from a scenario point of view, but which are still not at the stage where we can consider them ready for official product support.

The first two prototypes we are delivering today are Web Sockets and IndexedDB.

WebSockets is a technology designed to simplify much of the complexity around bi-directional, full-duplex communications channels, over a single Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) socket. It can be implemented in web browsers, web servers as well as used by any client or server application. The WebSocket API is currently being standardized by the W3C and the WebSocket protocol is being standardized by the IETF.

For its part, IndexedDB is a developing W3C Web standard for the storage of large amounts of structured data in the browser, as well as for high performance searches on this data using indexes. IndexedDB can be used for browser implemented functions like bookmarks, as well as for web applications like email. IndexedDB also enables offline scenarios where the browser might be disconnected from the Internet or server.

We chose these two specifications primarily because they are potentially very useful but currently unstable. These are the two specifications we currently believe the community stands to benefit the most from, but both are in flux.

The details of the HyBi protocol underlying WebSockets are being hotly debated in IETF right now, and the IndexedDB spec will soon be updated to reflect decisions made at a recent W3C working group meeting.

Announcing HTML5 Labs [Dec 21]

As you hopefully know by now, despite the hype, HTML 5 is not a completed specification.  In fact, back in 2008, the author of the specification, Ian Hickson, estimated HTML 5 wouldn’t be a Proposed Recommendation until 2022!  Indeed, the W3C site shows there are still significant aspects of the HTML 5, CSS 3, DOM and other specifications being fleshed out – just take a look at the ‘warning’ in every W3C Working Draft: Implementors should be aware that this specification is not stable.

Waiting until 2022 for all i’s to be dotted and t’s to be crossed is obviously not an option though.  It’s infeasible to expect a drop of all these technologies at one fell swoop, and there are certainly aspects of the HTML 5 and related specifications that are relatively solid today: canvas and and semantic tags, to name a few.  These are the types of stable ‘standards’ you’ll continue to see implemented in the IE 9 beta and the continuing cycle of Platform Previews.

But what about those bleeding-edge features? The ones like WebSockets (currently an Editor’s draft)  that Firefox 4 and Opera recently disabled due to security issues?  Or features that other browsers are “implementing” with vendor-specific extensions and the such?

There’s clearly need for a balancing act between providing a dependable, solid browsing experience to millions of users and incorporating new features that haven’t been completely vetted in the wild.  With his post today, Dean Hachamovitch, announces another facet of Microsoft’s strategy to walk this tightrope between responsible development and active adoption of emerging web standards.

Microsoft Opens HTML5 Labs for Developers [Dec 21]

HTML5 Labs currently offers two prototypes: WebSockets extension for IE and IndexedDB for IE. WebSockets is designed to enable “bi-directional, full-duplex communications” between a client and server via “a single Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) socket,” according to a blog post by Jean Paoli, Microsoft’s general manager of interoperability strategy. IndexedDB aims at enabling the storage of “large amounts of structured data in the browser,” accessible both online and offline.

Philippe Le Hegaret, interaction domain leader at the W3C, noted in October that some of the HTML 5 spec shouldn’t be used because of interoperability problems.

“The problem we’re facing right now is there is already a lot of excitement for HTML5, but it’s a little too early to deploy it because we’re running into interoperability issues,” Le Hegaret said at that time.

Microsoft, in rolling out its HTML5 Labs site, essentially agrees with Le Hegaret’s position, according to Paoli.

“We are in complete alignment between Philippe and Art; it’s more [about] the articulation,” Paoli said in a phone interview. “He [Philippe] actually wrote a blog after that explaining what he really meant. What we are saying is the same thing. We’re saying that every feature in HTML 5 — and there are many of them — every single one of them is not at the same level of stability.”

It could be as long as 12 more years before W3C Recommendation status is reached for the entire HTML 5 spec, but browser makers have already made parts of it practical to use through interoperability testing. Hachamovitch has described Microsoft’s position with HTML 5 as “write once, run anywhere.” If that goal is achieved, it will be a big change from the days when Web developers suffered with having to code for IE 6’s quirks, causing perpetual rewrites.

The HTML 5 spec is actually progressing, according to a comment by Giorgio Sardo, a Microsoft senior technical evangelist.

“HTML5 made lot of progress in recent months, [with] the HTML5 specification expected to go to Last Call (kind of feature complete) in the first 2-3 months of 2011,” Sardo wrote in a November blog post. “From there, the spec will move to Candidate Recommendation and there will be a call for implementers.”

Pixel Qi and CPT alliance for sunlight readability

Could this alliance produce a screen which consumes only 0.5 watts in mono mode with backlight switched off and 1.25 watts in color, half of Pixel Qi’s current 2.5 watts, when the backlight switched on? Moreover a screen which is sunlight readable in both modes? We will find out at the CES 2011 exhibition in Las Vegas in early January 2011.

Follow-up: Pixel Qi’s first big name device manufacturing partner is the extremely ambitious ZTE [Feb 15] and the screen for it is manufactured by CPT

Latest updates:
1. Pixel Qi launches new displays at Computex [May 19, 2011]

At Computex 2011 we will show two new additions to our family of sunlight-readable low-power displays. Both the new 7″ display (1024×600 resolution) and the new 10″ display (1280×800 resolution) build on Pixel Qi’s award-winning technology delivering excellent rendering of multi-media and e-reader content under any conditions – and at a power savings of up to 80% over conventional LCDs.

2. CPT expects input of glass substrates for small- to medium-sized panels to exceed 50% of total input in July [May 27, 2011] (emphasis is mine)

Taiwan-based TFT-LCD panel maker Chunghwa Picture Tubes (CPT) has received increasing orders for small- to medium-sized panels from Samsung Electronics, white-box handset vendors and vendors of tablet PCs, and expects input of glass substrates to make such panels to exceed 50% of total input of glass substrates in July, according to the company.

CPT shipped 350 million small- to medium-sized panels in 2010, 139.1 million panels in January-April 2011, and is expected to see 2011 shipments grow by about 40% from 2010, according to industry sources.

Currently, CPT has a 6G plant with a monthly production capacity equivalent to an input of 110,000 glass substrates, two 4.5G plants each with that of 90,000 substrates and a 4G plant with that of 70,000-75,000 substrates.

In addition to TFT-LCD panels, CPT has stepped into production of touch panels through making touch sensors at domestic plants and then delivering them for production of touch panel modules at its plant in Fuzhou, southeastern China, with production of such modules accounting for 10% of total revenues currently. CPT is setting up integrated production lines of touch panels at the Fuzhou plant, and hopes that touch panel production can make it become the largest Taiwan-based maker of small- to medium-sized panels.

3. CPT looks to strong tablet PC panel shipments starting 3Q11 [June 2, 2011]

Chung Picture Tubes (CPT) is expected to see its shipments of 7- and 10.1-inch flat panels for tablet PC applications increase substantially starting the third quarter as the company’s panels have entered design-in for more than 20 tablet PCs to be launched by PC vendors soon, according to market sources.

CPT has stepped into production of touch panels in order to provide a total panel solution for tablet PCs and therefore win more orders, the sources said. Other panel suppliers that also adopt a similar strategy include Chimei Innolux (CMI) and HannStar Display.

CPT now produces 1-1.5 million panel modules for tablet PCs, the sources indicated. The company is also outsourcing tablet panel production to meet customer demand.

Only Apple and Hewlett-Packard (HP) have products featuring a 9.7-inch panel, while other vendors including China’s white-box players focus on 7- and 10.1-inch models, the sources commented.

Annual demand for tablet PCs is estimated at more than 50 million units, the sources said, adding that Apple currently grabs an almost 60% of the market. The remaining 40%, or 15-20 million tablets, is being shared among the other system vendors.

4. Pixel Qi takes aim at Android tablets with higher-res 10-inch and 7-inch reflective LCDs (hands-on) [May 31, 2011]

… the team has returned to Computex with the 7-inch (1024 x 600) panel that was teased in December last year and a new higher resolution 10-inch (1280 x 800) panels offering an 80 percent power savings over conventional LCDs, according to Pixel Qi. In fact, the 10-inch panel consumes just 2.7W in color mode or 0.4W in reflective “eReader” mode.

We had the chance to see the new displays up close here at Computex and were immediately struck by the improvement in pixel density on the 10-inch panel. Making the leap to WVGA has been a major boon, as identical images looked sharper and better-defined than on the 1024 x 600 current-gen Pixel Qi display. The brightness on the new screen is lower than on its predecessor, but that’s because the company still hasn’t finalized things — we’re promised significantly better readability with the backlight off in the final product and brighter pictures when it’s on. The 7-incher, originally intended for mass production in the second quarter will now sample in Q3, to be followed by the more pixel-dense 10-inch model, which will hit production in Q4. Scope out the newness in the gallery below or jump past the break for video.

Pixel, Qi and CPT announce manufacturing partnership [Dec 21]:

Pixel Qi and CPT (Chunghwa Picture Tubes) announce today their LCD manufacturing partnership. Together the companies are developing three new screens of various sizes which will reach the market at various times in 2011.

This alliance started early last summer when CPT showed a transflective screen of its own design at a Taiwanese trade show. Discussions between the two companies at that show made it apparent that Pixel Qi and CPT should work together to bring stronger product to market faster. A close alliance was formed and the teams have been working together quietly all fall. They have created samples of a 7” 1024×600 screens scheduled for mass production in early Q2 2011, which will be first publically shown at the CES 2011 exhibition in Las Vegas in early January 2011. This represents an expansion of Pixel Qi’s manufacturing strength beyond its first LCD manufacturing partner who has been shipping Pixel Qi’s 10” screen.

CPT commented this afternoon: “We are excited to be working with Pixel Qi to bring their new transflective LCD technology to market. The combination of Chunghwa Picture Tubes expertise in volume LCD manufacturing and Pixel Qi’s innovative low power and sunlight readable display technology promises innovative LCDs for smartphones, tablets and notebooks in 2011.”

CPT, based in Taoyuan, Taiwan, manufactures nearly 40 million screens per month, and is the #2 mid-size LCD manufacturer in the world.

Dr. Belle Fu (傅珮倫 ), vice president of manufacturing at Pixel Qi, said ”This great alliance will bring out a robust sequence of exciting screens during 2011 and it’s an exciting development for the whole industry”

Pixel Qi, based in Taipei, Taiwan (Neihu) and San Bruno, California , is the first fab-less LCD designer in the world and focuses on high-performance, low-power, innovative LCDs. Its technologies have won multiple display-industry and electronics innovation awards. Pixel Qi is a spin-off of One Laptop per Child where this screen technology was initially developed for the $100 laptop; nearly 3 million screens using this new technology have shipped in the last three years.

CPT/Pixel Qi co-develop low-power transmission TFT-LCD panel to start mass production in 2Q11 [Dec 24]

CPT confirmed its cooperation with Pixel Qi but added that there is no specific time-frame for either mass production nor capacity.

Regarding its cooperation with Pixel Qi, CPT noted that it is optimistic about reflective panel technology, and hopes launch the panel as soon as possible because of demand for small- to medium-size mobile devices, but CPT added that the Pixel Qi panel currently is still in development.

However, Pixel Qi’s technology still requires backlighting and production yields are still a major concern.

CPT small- to medium-size panel shipments exceed 350 million units in 2010 [Jan 7, 2011]

… and the company aims to ship 500 million units in 2011.

CPT has increased its market share in the global small- to medium-size panel market to over 13% from 7.3%.

CPT has announced consolidated revenues of NT$5.25 billion (US$179.37 million) for December, down 8.8% sequentially and 13.4% on year.

CPT noted that the company is strategically reforming its production line in order to meet product developments and client demand. The 4.5G (LA1) line resumed production in 2010 and some of the capacity was transformed for the production of capacitive touch sensors. CPT has entered the supply chain of first-tier handset vendors and monthly shipments of touch sensors have reached three million units.

CPT SunLight Viewable Low Power Screen Technology [Nov 5]

Now they have produced another screen technology that is so new that they all haven’t even named it, they just call it: SunLight Viewable Low Power Screen Technology.  I’ve actually been holding off on this story for about two weeks trying to get more information on it, like how much power it actually consumes.  They claim that it’s less then 1/2 the amount of a normal screen but by looking at it there is no way you’d think this is possible.

Colorful Sunlight Readable Screen at the event Taitronics Show in Taipei. Unfortunately, the company has not yet provided details of technical specifications and has not clearly defined the energy consumption. By comparison, other technology as interesting and promising is Pixel Qi, which consumes only 0.5 watts in mono mode with backlight switched off and 2.5 watts in color, with the backlight switched on.

CPT offers Transflective Screen [June 11]

… it’s a 1366 x 768 resolution transflective panel that its makers claim has a pixel pitch of 0.16305 x 0.16305. CPT further said their display panel has a contrast ratio of 400, reflectivity of 5 and viewing angle of 170/170. The new CPT display panel can boast of a color gamut of 60% MTSC while also having a brightness of 200 nits, all this while being 50 percent more efficient than a regular LCD display. These figures, CPT says translates to a brighter display while having a higher contrast ratio and an easy readability even in bright sunlight conditions.

However, in spite of all the high words, the display still seems to be a notch below that of the Pixel Qi screen and its energy efficiency is not in the same league as that of the former as the Pixel Qi technology is known to be 5 times less power sapping with backlight turned off than the CPT screen that promises to bring down power consumption by only 50 percent. While a 50 percent less power drawn from the battery can’t actually be termed bad but what can be said is there is still scope for development.

But there is one area where CPT scores comprehensively over Pixel Qi and it is in them being already a screen manufacturer. So producing the new transflective screen won’t be much of a problem for CPT. Pixel Qi is however is not as fortunate and latest reports is pointing to them having difficulty on zeroing in on a manufacturer that would give shape to their 3Qi screens. Pixel Qi is a more refined technology but if its products are nowhere in the market, than it comes to a naught. And it is where CPT has a distinct upper hand

See also: Marvell ARMADA with sun readable and unbreakable Pixel Qi screen, and target [mass] manufacturing cost of $75 [Nov 4]

Hanvon – E-Ink strategic e-reader alliance for price/volume leadership supplementing Hanvon’s premium strategy mostly based on an alliance with Microsoft and Intel

Following the strategic alliance between Marvell, Pixel Qi and OLPC on extremely low-cost consumer devices specially built for the cloud there are other cloud related alliances aimed at mass produced clients with sun readability. One of them is the Hanvon – E-Ink alliance which is the most visible and product-wise the most developed one. Such a strategy is also quite well supplementing Hanvon’s premium strategy which is mostly based on the Microsoft platform. Its cooperation on the new convertible classmate PC design with Intel is also going sharply against the Marvell, Pixel Qi and OLPC effort. Hanvon’s approach is also well aligned with component technology makers (such as Epson Seiko) tightly cooperating with E-Ink to sharply increase the quality and refresh rate of electrophoretic display (EPD) technology in 2011. See the latest update:  E Ink and Epson achieve world-leading ePaper resolution [May 23, 2011]

Worth to read along with this: Gartner: media tablets are the new segment next to mobile PCs and desktops, as well as web- and app-capable mobile phones [April 16, 2011]

Regarding E Ink Holdings’ market position see the Undermining E-Ink and single-purpose E-readers [Aug 23, 2010 – Jan 10, 2011] report. What follows here is mostly summarizing Hanvon’s (Hanwang’s) position and future plans/opportunities.

Hanvon turns to e-book reader solutions combining hardware and software [Dec 28]:

As China-based e-book reader maker Hanvon Technology has recently achieved sales over one million units, the company plans to expand its business model from only selling hardware to providing solutions that combine hardware and software, according to an executive of Hanvon.

Hanvon is optimistic about the sales of e-book readers in 2011 and believes the company will have better shipment growth than the market average. However, the company declined to give a forecast.

Sources from upstream component makers also pointed out that despite consumer purchases of e-book readers in China are in fact increasing, 40% of the e-book reader sales in China are still contributed by government or enterprises, as they are giving the devices away as gifts. Since the contribution from these procurement orders are difficult to estimate, therefore Hanvon was unable to give a forecast for its performance.

As for tablet PCs, since Hanvon currently still cannot find an advantage in the market, the company will maintain its focus on e-book readers.

The e-book reader market: Q&A with E Ink chairman Scott Liu and Hanvon chairman Liu Yingjian (Part I) [Dec 20]

E Ink Holdings (EIH) – formerly Prime View International (PVI) – is the global leader of the electrophoretic display (EPD) market, while Hanvon is the leading vendor of e-book readers in China. … The E Ink chairman believes the e-book market will have high growth for the next 10 years, while his Hanvon counterpart thinks there should be more China e-book reader brands. …

Q: Can you talk about the current development and cooperation between EIH and Hanvon.


Scott Liu: EIH has improved the whiteness, contrast ratio and color performance of the new color EPD. Hanvon is handling the overall product design, and they will focus on special markets such as educational institutions, private companies and government offices for the color e-book reader.

Liu Yingjian: EIH and Hanvon have been working together for many years. I would like to pay my respect to EIH, which decided to explore the potential of e-paper, including the acquisition of E Ink in order to have a tight control of the supply chain, when most people in the market were skeptical about such a sector.

Our expectations for e-book readers are firstly demand from paperless offices and then the educational market. Paperless demand is huge, as vendors do not have to worry about content, and it fits the current popular trend of low-carbon life-style. In the educational market, bookbags are too heavy for students, and there will be huge demand.

Q: Will Hanvon and EIH have further cooperation in the educational market in the future?

Liu Yingjian: We have had several meetings regarding the educational market, and we’ve concluded that there are several lines that we cannot trespass.

Hence we have several proposals for promotions in the educational market, First, we will focus on the regions with better economic development as consumers in these regions have the means to purchase e-book readers. Second, we will focus on non-textbook reading materials as wealthy families may purchase the products for their children. Third, we will run trials at junior high schools, universities or some other grades. I believe the educational market will be substantial in 10 years.

Regional trials have been a success, with Shanghai being the most active region. Shanghai is the richest area in China with the highest GDP, and the municipal government has made a five-year plan to popularize the use of e-book readers for educational purposes, and a lot of preparation work needs to be done.

Q: Is there a concrete plan regarding cooperation between EIH and Hanvon for the educational market?

Liu Yingjian: The color e-book reader using EIH’s EPD will be tried out by a class of 500 students in Shanghai in the semester starting in September 2011. But trial use of e-book readers in classroom has already started in Yangzhou. We are now able to meet the two basic requirements for the educational market: color display and handwriting input.

The e-book reader market: Q&A with E Ink chairman Scott Liu and Hanvon chairman Liu Yingjian (Part II) [Dec 21]

Q: There are companies like Foxconn in Taiwan that have introduced e-book readers for students using TFT LCD panels or Mirasol displays from Qualcomm. What’s EIH’s opinion about the competitiveness of other technologies? What is Hanvon’s evaluation of other technologies?

Scott Liu: In fact, other technologies are not mature yet, while EIH has already introduced its color EPD, which is ready for mass production. But as far as I know, makers using other technologies usually will introduce products when the technologies are still at the lab-development phase, and it will be impossible for them to reach mass production in just a few months.

Q: What does EIH think about Qualcomm’s investment in Taiwan in the future, and the fact that Qualcomm will soon start mass production?

Scott Liu: Based on my understanding of Qualcomm’s technology, there are some difficulties for mass production. Even if Qualcomm starts mass production, it will still not able to compete with EPD due to high cost, especially with the high investment amount for setting up a new 4.5G plant, and the depreciation cost could kill a newly developed business.

On the contrary, EIH is mass producing its EPDs on fully depreciated production lines. It has recently added a 5G line and possibly will add a 6G line in the future. EIH has absolute advantage in terms of production capacity. I think there may be a market for Qualcomm’s display products, but judging from its volume production cost, Qualcomm will probably focus on high-end applications.

Liu Yingjian: It is a challenge to produce reflective display products, but it have been proven successful in black and white displays. However, color displays based on reflective technology remain a big challenge for production. But a lot of people commented that the performance of our color EPD displays exhibited (at FPD International) was of high standard.

The products we have launched are better than colored newspapers, but are still worse than magazines and TVs. The color performance of color e-paper is not as rich as TFT-LCD, but what’s more important is that color e-paper does not have side effects on our eyes.

Q: Any other expectations for color e-book readers?

Scott Liu: The basic application for color e-paper is still the e-book reader, and we don’t think that we should sacrifice the quality of black-and-white while doing color. The present color EPD is the first version, which means it is a product that meets the basic EIH standard, and the company will continue to improve the product.

The present color EPD uses color filters. We are making maximum use of the high-reflectivity characteristic of color filters, but this is only the short-term solution. For the long-term solution, we still hope to develop a particle-based electrophoresis technology to dislay colors without color filters. The development will take a longer time, and I expect some achievements in the next few years.


Source: Digitimes Research, December 2010

Part I. The e-reader market

E-paper maker announces income spike [Aug 11]

Sales of global e-readers are expected to double to 20 million units next year as retail price has fallen to less than US$200 plus contract service

Global sales of 20-25 million e-book readers projected for 2011, says E Ink chairman [Oct 28]

Global e-book reader sales in 2010 are expected to reach 10 million units at least, and the forecast for 2011 is upward adjusted from 18 million units originally, to 20-25 million units, according to chairman Scott Liu for Taiwan-based E Ink Holdings.

e-Reader Market Will Reach 54M Units in 2015 by Displaybank’s e-Reader Industry Trend and Market Forecacast [Nov 16]

Tapping educational e-book reader market needs 2-3 years, says E Ink chairman [Aug 18]

Liu indicated that the Shanghai government aims to replace printed textbooks with e-books in five years, while the Korea government also plans to do the same by 2014.

EIH currently is the supplier of e-book readers in a trial program for adopting e-books at school in Jiangsu, China, Liu added.

Although some countries are stepping up efforts promoting e-reading in schools, it may take years before e-books can really start replacing printed textbooks, as the process involves so many different sectors ranging from content, hardware, platform development to government policies, market observers said.

Global e-book reader shipments to be 2-3 times higher in 2H10, says E Ink chairman [Aug 11]

Price-cut competition for e-book readers among global vendors including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Sony and Hanvon is expected to stimulate demand in the second half of 2010, with total shipments expected to be 2-3 times those in the first half, according to Scott Liu, chairman of Taiwan-based EPD (electrophoretic display) maker E Ink Holding.

Liu indicated that with the prices for e-book readers dropping significantly, players who only produce e-reading devices with no content support are coming under threats of being forced out of the market by the first-tier players such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble who will continue to dominate the market.

E Ink added that clients are now able to run pricing campaigns because their EPD orders have already reached the agreed amounts, allowing them to have discounted prices, Liu said, adding that his company is happy to offer the discounts to help stimulate growth of the e-reading market.

Amazon’s latest 6-inch Kindle without 3G connection only costs US$139, reaching the pricing sweet spot, and it is expected to generate significant growth for the vendor, he said.

Liu said that vendors will soon be able to provide sub-US$100 e-book readers judging from the market growth, and E Ink will help clients further lower the production costs.

Global e-book reader shipments fall short of forecast in 2Q10, says Digitimes Research [July 28]

A total of 1.35 million e-book readers were shipped to the global market in the second quarter of 2010, 33.2% fewer than the originally projected 2.02 million units, chiefly because shipments of new models were delayed to the third quarter, according to Digitimes Research.

Two other factors also prevented shipments from reaching the target. Telecom carrier China Mobile Communications’ subsidized sales of e-book readers were weaker-than-expected in the China market, and volume shipments of SiPix’s e-paper solutions were delayed.

Digitimes Insight: China e-book reader market smaller than expected in 2010 [July 14]

Digitimes Research has downward adjusted its 2010 projected total e-book reader shipments in the China market from 1.5 million units originally to 900,000-1 million units, as China Mobile Communications’ subsidized sales of its e-reading device have so far been much below expectations.

China Mobile Communications originally planned to procure one million e-book readers for subsidized sales in the China market in 2010, but the company actually only purchased 30,000-40,000 units in the first half of 2010, Digitimes Research noted.

Worldwide e-book reader shipments to reach 28 million by 2013, says Digitimes Research [March 24]

Global e-book reader shipments will increase from 700,000 units in 2008 to 28 million units in 2013, representing a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 386%, according to a recently published report from Digitimes Research.

The special report on e-book readers also indicated that the total market value for e-book reader shipments would surpass US$3 billion in 2013, up from only US$244 million in 2008.

China, where the government is promoting e-reading as one of its major policies, is expected to become the second-largest single market for e-book readers in 2010.

Demise of the printed word? [Sept 6]

The desire to read books digitally on Apple iPads, Amazon Kindles or devices made in China such as Founder or Hanvon, is perhaps greater in China, where gadgets are adored, than any other market except the United States.

Many of the world’s publishers believe what happens in China could alter the axis of the global publishing industry and condemn what we now know as the paper book to history.

The move to digital transforms the business model of publishing and who gets what slice of the cake.

Publishers fear they could become marginalized or cut out of the process altogether as the new operators in the market – those providing the platforms – want to become content providers themselves and sign their own deals with authors.

One concern publishers have in China is piracy. Already on many street corners, forged copies of many titles of paper books are sold for a fraction of their normal retail price.

What scares publishers is that ripping off digital books is potentially easier and they don’t have to be sold on street stalls but could be sold in any part of the world in an instant.

A high-tech leap may put China front and center [Sept 6]
Lack of modern bookstores may make e-reading a public preference

John Makinson, chairman and chief executive of Penguin, a major international publisher, believes China could lead the world in the way people buy books.

“One of the key features of the Chinese market is that the physical book retailing infrastructure is not quite as well developed as in other markets,” he said. “There is an opportunity for digital publishing because the book retailing market is not as efficient as in some other markets. There are few book shops and there are problems in getting early delivery of books,” he said.

“To some extent, it could sort of leapfrog traditional publishing here, just as mobile telephony in some markets has leapfrogged fixed line phone networks,” he said. “You have a relatively conservative publishing and retail culture here while at the same time you have a very large community of book lovers engaged in online activity.”

He said according to industry figures e-books now make up around 10 percent of the total market in the United States and that portion was growing at 300 percent a year. “We have no idea when it might start flattening out. I think it is heading for at least 20 to 30 per cent of the overall market,” he said.

More people are reading on screens, not on paper [May 7]

The value of the digital publishing industry surpassed that of the traditional publishing industry last year for the first time in China, according to a blue book on the cultural industry released on Thursday.

The scale of the digital publishing industry hit an unprecedented high of 75 billion yuan ($11 billion) last year, up by 40 percent year on year, the blue book said.

“Online books, cell phone books and digital books have become popular among Chinese readers,” Zhang Xiaoming, deputy director of the Cultural Research Center under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said at a press conference.

The country’s cultural industry totaled about 800 billion yuan in 2009, according to an annual report on the industry’s development released by Social Sciences Academic Press on Thursday.

The report says most of China’s publishing houses have started producing of digital books.

About 75 percent of newspapers have launched online papers and 55 percent of them are providing SMS (short message service) news, the report says.

About 2.8 percent of Chinese adults have stopped reading anything on paper and have become loyal readers of digitally published products, the report said.

The number of cell phone users in China reached 780 million at the end of March, of which 155 million are mobile readers, according to figures from China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

China Mobile, the world’s biggest cell phone carrier in terms of subscribers, runs e-book stores and provides wireless access to online publications, such as e-books, comics and magazines.

The subscription fee for its online e-book store is up to five yuan per month, 40 percent of which will be shared with copyright owners, according to China Mobile.

“In recent years, the scale of the traditional publishing industry has remained at around 50 to 60 billion yuan a year, and it relies heavily on textbook publishing,” Gao Shusheng, an official with the publicity department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, said in an earlier interview.

“Many publishing houses are facing a crisis and digital publishing might help them break the ice,” he said.

Yan Xiaohong, deputy director of General Administration of Press and Publication, also said mobile reading has shown strong vitality and huge market potential in China.

“I spent 15 yuan on mobile reading last year, and I’m planning to buy an electric book this month,” said Yang Jie, a 27-year-old Beijinger. Reading an electric book on the bus is “fashionable,” and three to five yuan for reading an electric book online is affordable, she said.

China Mobile platform puts digital publications at fingertips [May 6]

China Mobile on Wednesday launched an online platform that enables its subscribers to read and download digital publications through cell phones and e-book readers, as part of its effort to profit from the country’s emerging mobile reading market.

The world’s biggest cellphone carrier in terms of subscribers kicked off an e-book store similar to Apple’s iBook store, which gives users wireless access to a series of online publications such as e-books, comics and magazines.

“Reading habits have fundamentally changed,” said Gao Nianshu, general manager of China Mobile’s data department. He said the company hopes the new platform will attract over 200 million users in the near future.

Gao said China Mobile’s new e-book platform, which currently covers about 40 percent of the best selling books in the country, has attracted over 15 million users during four months of testing in eight areas.

But … although about 45 percent of Chinese mobile Internet users read books at least once a day by mobile phone, few of them are willing to pay for online content.

It was reported earlier this week that China Mobile plans to team up with Foxconn Electronics of Taiwan province to produce its own e-book readers.

Part II. New technologies for 2011

Color Comes to E Ink Screens [Nov 7]

However, the new color E Ink display, while an important technological breakthrough, is not as sharp and colorful as LCD. Unlike an LCD screen, the colors are muted, as if one were looking at a faded color photograph. In addition, E Ink cannot handle full-motion video. At best, it can show simple animations.

These are reasons Amazon, Sony and the other major e-reader makers are not yet embracing it. Amazon says it will offer color E Ink when it is ready; the company sees color as useful in cookbooks and children’s books, and it offers these books in color through its Kindle application for LCD devices. Sony is also taking a wait-and-see approach.

How E Ink’s Triton Color Displays Work, In E-Readers and Beyond [Nov 9]

E Ink developed the Triton screen in conjunction with a group of partners, including Epson, Texas Instruments, Marvell, and the semiconductor companies Maxim and Freescale, all of whom worked on the electronic components of the [previous black and white only] Pearl screen. In particular, Epson played a key role, providing the color filters’ controller chip.

Underneath, it’s still the same white, black and grayscale electrophoretic pigments; it’s only when filtered through the RGB overlay that the image appears in color. To reach for an historical analogy, it’s not totally dissimilar from film’s Technicolor process, which shot in black-and-white film strips through color filters, then reverse-processed.

Because the underlying technology is identical, Triton’s contrast, energy usage, viewing angle are all essentially the same as the Pearl. The image update or refresh rate for monochrome is the same (240 ms), but color animation can take up to about one full second.

Unlike a LCD display, though, pictures on the Triton don’t need to update the entire screen: a moving figure in the foreground might be refreshed while the background remains identical — just like traditional cel animation.

Epson and E Ink Announce State-of-the-Art Color EPD Controller [May 18]

Seiko Epson Corporation … and E Ink Corporation … announced a new jointly developed display controller IC. The S1D13524 is a high-performance EPD controller with a built-in color processor for E Ink’s VizplexTM-enabled electronic color paper displays.

Yingjian Liu, chairman of Hanvon Technology Co., Ltd, a leading eReader provider said, “Epson and E Ink’s color EPD controller is a revolutionary innovation in the eReader industry. Thanks to this breakthrough technology announcement, eReader lovers will now be able to enjoy reading colorful eNewspapers and eTextbooks. This new innovation will help expand the contents for eReaders, thereby helping to preserve the environment and changing the way in which people obtain information.” Hanvon is planning to launch its own colorful eReader at the end of the year.

The S1D13524 is the ideal choice for E Ink color EPD designs and design upgrades. Samples of the Epson S1D13524 will be available in June. Sample price is $24. Production quantities will be available in Dec 2010.

Epson to Provide Display Controller Platform that Sharply Improves e-Paper Product Performance [Oct 27]
– Platform to enable laser-quality images and high-speed refreshes

Seiko Epson Corporation (“Epson”, TSE: 6724) today announced that it has developed a new display controller platform for electronic reading devices and other electronic paper products that provides laser-sharp image quality and rapid refreshes. The company will begin shipping the platform to e-paper-based product manufacturers in April 2011.

The display control platform will enable e-paper product manufacturers to speed up their time to market by allowing them to efficiently develop products with fast display refresh times and the ability to display images as sharp and clear as any produced by a laser printer. Notably, the platform will facilitate the development of products for business and education applications, which typically require higher image quality and faster displays.

Epson is the world’s no.1* supplier of controller ICs for e-paper displays, partnering with E Ink Holdings Inc. of Hsinchu, Taiwan, the world’s number 1 supplier of e-paper.

The display controller platform employs a newly developed e-paper display driving scheme that is unlike those used in current e-book readers. The new driving scheme capitalizes on high-speed image processing technology originally developed for Epson’s photo-quality printers to enable e-paper displays with resolutions of 300 dpi and higher to be refreshed at high speed, which is ideal for higher education, professional office and general business environments.

E-paper devices outfitted with the display controller platform and a high-resolution e-paper display will render intricate content, such as “kanji” characters, mathematical formulas and engineering drawings, as well as illustrations, photographs and other images that require smooth gradations, much more clearly than current e-paper displays. They will also be able to flip through the pages of an e-book much faster than existing e-readers. When combined with sensors, these devices will provide powerful handwriting recognition, a critical function for business applications. The sharp improvement in readability and usability are expected to fuel the popularity of e-paper products in Japan, China, and other regions where Chinese characters are used, as well as in business and education applications where huge amounts of data have to be processed.

E Ink Announces Next Generation Display Platform [July 1]

E Ink® Corporation, the leading developer and marketer of electronic paper display technology, today announced the Q2 release of its next generation display technology, Pearl. With Pearl, E Ink expands the capabilities of reflective displays, bringing electronic paper performance to the next level. With the whitest reflective displays in the industry, and a contrast ratio now approximately 50 percent greater than today’s products, text on Pearl “pops” from the page, enabling a reading experience most similar to reading text on printed paper.

The E Ink Pearl design builds on the current generation of Vizplex designs, which is used in millions of eReader devices today. Due to a unique and proven two pigment system that is extremely stable, the current E Ink products in the market today have demonstrated long life and high reliability, enabling a whole new class of consumer products.

Images and text become crisp on the screen as the contrast between the background and item of interest is increased. E Ink Pearl raises the bar for displays used in digital reading. This allows for eReaders to go from a contrast ratio typical of newspapers, to a higher contrast ratio typical of paperback books. The crisp text and detailed graphics also continue to remain pleasant to view when E Ink products are enjoyed outside. In addition, with 16 gray level depth, E Ink Pearl offers the sharpest rendering of images and allows product developers to display images with smooth tones and rich detail.

Part III. The Chinese market

E Ink to set up subsidiary in China to develop e-book hardware [Dec 16]

Small- to medium-size TFT-LCD panel and electrophoretic display (EPD) maker E Ink Holdings will invest US$6.61 million to set up a subsidiary in China to design and develop hardware for e-book readers for the local education market, according to the company.

… the company will not mass produce e-book readers. This investment in China is to provide an incentive to the textbook market to commence its transition to e-paper

China market: Hanvon to lower e-book reader prices by average of CNY500 a year, says report [Dec 7]

Hanvon Technology, the largest China-based vendor of e-book readers, has reached an initial economy-scale of over one million users in the China market and will keep reducing prices by an average of CNY500 (US$75) each year until it reaches production cost levels, according to a report by China-based Beijing News. … Hanvon will rely on sales of online content for profitability, the paper quoted Hanvon chairman Liu Ying-jian as saying. Hanvon will even offer free e-book readers, Liu indicated.

Hanvon has so far adopted EPD (electrophoretic display) panels supplied by Taiwan-based E Ink Holdings, and will cooperate with additional suppliers including Qualcomm MEMS Technologies and Fujitsu

Hanwang to maintain over 70% of China e-book reader market share in 2010 [Nov 24]

Hanwang Technology’s e-book reader shipments are expected to exceed one million units in 2010, an increase of 150% from about 400,000 units in 2009, and the vendor is expected to maintain an over 70% share of the e-book reader market in China for the year.

Hanwang is optimistic about the education market and expects significant growth in the future, noting that there are over 100 million elementary school students. Hanwang noted that flexible substrates will help to boost demand in the education market because they are more robust than glass substrates.

China market: Hanvon lowers e-book readers by 200-300 yuan on average [Nov 16]:

Hanvon Technology, currently the largest vendor of e-book readers in the China market, has lowered its retail prices by 200-300 yuan (US$30-45) on average, with the lowest price reaching 950 yuan, according to report by China-based Beijing Morning Post. The price war for e-book readers in the China market has kicked off and there are expected to be rounds of price-cut competition, the source cited China-based consulting company Analysys International as indicating.

In addition to Hanvon, fellow vendor MReader has cut the retail price for its S600 e-book reader to 999 yuan and another vendor Gorld has cut the price for its 500T to about 1,000 yuan.

Hanvon color e-book reader to hit the market in February 2011 [Nov 11]

Hanvon will start selling its new 9.7-inch color e-book reader featuring E Ink Holding’s latest color e-paper, Triton, in February 2011 with a selling price of 3,500 yuan (US$527.59) and is accepting pre-orders now.

Hanvon chairman Liu Ying-jian noted that thanks to E Ink’s cooperation, Hanvon was able to launch the world’s first color e-book reader with better-than-expected color performance. Hanvon will launch a Wi-Fi version with a selling price of 3,500 yuan, and latter a 3G version at a price of 200-300 yuan more.

In addition to competing with iPad, the 9.7-inch color e-book reader is also eyeing the commercial market as the product allows users to read and modify PowerPoint files, reducing the usage of actual paper and is easy to carry around, Liu added.

E Ink Announces Color ePaper [Nov 10]

“Color ePaper will enable richer content in eBooks, as well as enabling a broader array of other reading devices, for content such as magazines, newspapers, and educational materials,” according to Paul Semenza, Senior Vice President, DisplaySearch. “We foresee market demand for ePaper displays in these applications reaching $5 billion by 2016.”

For image-rich information applications showing charts, graphs, maps, photos, comics and advertising, color displays made with Triton Imaging Film enable ultra-low power and high mobility devices with a paper-like experience. In addition to 16 levels of grayscale, Triton is capable of displaying thousands of colors. And just like E Ink’s grayscale ePaper products, Triton’s crisp text and detailed color graphics are fully viewable in direct sunlight.

INTERVIEW: Aiming for No. 1 in e-reader sector [June 2]

Taipei Times: Hanvon Technology Co (漢王科技) enjoys a strong presence in the Chinese e-reader market and you aim to become the world’s top brand. How do you plan to do that and what is your timeline?

Liu Yingjian (劉迎建): We are currently the world’s No. 2 e-reader brand [after Amazon], and we will become No. 1 next year, or in 2012 at the latest. China has the biggest e-reader market. With our huge scale in shipments, we have advantages in lower costs and product functionality with our proprietary Mandarin-character recognition software.

Our goal was to ship 500,000 e-readers in China last year, but we sold only 266,000 units, as our upstream suppliers weren’t able to supply the volumes we requested. In the first quarter, we shipped 180,000 e-readers, and the total volume for the year will definitely surpass 1 million.

TT: The iPad is now taking the world by storm and Acer Inc (宏碁) last week announced that it would join hands with China’s Founder Group (北大方正集團) to move into China’s PC and e-reader market. How do you view the competition?

Liu: I regard [Apple co-founder] Steve Jobs as a hero and Apple itself is an outstanding company. Tablet PCs have been in the market for so long, but just didn’t take off. The launch of the iPad revived consumers’ interest. Apple’s business model, applications, stylish gadgets and the enjoyment these devices bring to consumers are amazing.

But this doesn’t mean that Apple products will also receive overwhelming response in China. The cultural essence is the part Western firms fail to offer. Hanvon has created computerized Mandarin-character handwriting recognition solutions, which allow the elderly and kids to enjoy technology by just scribbling on the panels.

[Liu developed the world’s first computerized Mandarin-character handwriting recognition technology in 1985, then founded Hanvon in 1998 and the company became the first Chinese IT firm to license technology to Microsoft Corp the same year.]

The market in China is huge and there won’t be only one player. We have over 40 e-reader brands and the competition helps us stay competitive. What Acer lacks in digital content is complemented by Founder’s resources.

TT: The market is now split into two segments: e-readers and tablet devices. Some say tablets will cannibalize the e-reader segment. What is your take on this, especially since Hanvon just debuted its first tablet — the TouchPad — late last month?

Liu: These two products share a similarity: They are both tablet devices, but use different panels. The major difference is that an e-reader is more for stationary use, such as flipping through newspapers and magazines, and uses less battery power. Tablets consume more power, but have color screens with more PC-like features. In the future, e-paper displays will be in color, while TFT panels used in tablets will consume less battery power. Both could merge into a single device over the next three years.

TT: How would you define your relationship with Taiwanese manufacturers?

Liu: We realized that when it comes product design, Taiwanese manufacturers are the cream of the crop. Hanvon isn’t strong in manufacturing and if we want to churn out products that have world-class quality, then we need to work with world-class companies. I started to pay aggressive visits to Taiwanese manufacturers in the second half of last year, looking for suitable partners. There are a slew of sleek products that we will introduce later this year and they are designed by Taiwanese firms. Also, we are currently talking to Book11.com for e-content and plan to bring in our e-reader and TouchPad to Taiwan in the second half.

Hanvon and Taiwan Partners Make Joint Efforts to Establish Global Distribution Network and an Overseas Marketing Platform is Built in Taiwan [Oct 16]

China Hanvon Technology, the world’s second-largest e-reader manufacturers as well as the world’s leading technology supplier of handwriting recognition, optical character recognition and biometrics identification sets up an overseas marketing platform in Taiwan today to expand overseas markets. Hanvon also announces that all its four major product lines Ebook readers (including the latest six-inch touch-screen Ebook N620 with handwriting recognition and WiFi launched simultaneously in mainland China), Tablet PCs, Graphic Tablets and Face Recognitions Products will be available in Taiwan. Hanvon Technology will also cooperate with the digital publishers in Taiwan on the establishment a cross-strait publishing cooperation platform to support the distribution of Taiwan’s Traditional Chinese publication in mainland China and further expand the market of Chinese publication. Attaching importance to Taiwan market, Hanvon Technology today invites dozens of partners in Taiwan such as technology companies, distributors and digital publishers to attend the news conference. Hanvon Technology hopes the establishment of overseas marketing platform in Taiwan is an opportunity to Chinese digital publishers across the strait to collaborate on spreading Chinese culture and starting a new era of Chinese reading!

Hanvon to launch Taiwan subsidiary [Sept 8]

… it will have a workforce of 70 to 80 carrying out research and development, as well as sales, said Chen Shaoqiang (陳少強), president of Hanvon’s resources management division.

The commencement of local operations will also include the debut of its online bookstore, which will allow owners of Hanvon e-readers to download books onto their devices

To meet shipment goals, Hanvon has outsourced production to Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), Pegatron Corp (和碩), Inventec Corp (英業達) and Clevo Co (藍天電腦).

Part IV. Hanvon’s Microsoft and Intel cooperation

[FPD 2010] Hanvon’s Triton Powered Color e-Reader “WISEreader” hands-on [Nov 12]

Available in Pre-order in China, Hanvon’s latest e-Reader is according to the company the world first Color e-book reader. Name “WISEreader” this new e-Reader comes with a 9.68” Screen from E INK Triton technology, display 4096 colors, comes with Hanvon Digital Touch screen technology, runs on Windows CE 6.0 a Freescale CPU, has 2GB of RAM and support MicroSD Cards up to 32GB.

Other spec includes a 2350mAh Li-Ion Battery, Wi-Fi B/G as well as several WAN Options including TD, EVDO and WCDMA.

Finally the WISEreader support TXT Files as well as HTML, HTXT, PDF, CEB, DOC, XLS, PPT, EPUB, HEB, HEC, JPG, BMP, TIF, GIF, MP3, WAV and WMA.

We had some quality time with this little marvel and honestly the screen is quite good and the overall reader was responsive. With a nice 9.68 screen capable to rotate on landscape mode, the WISEreader is a pretty descent device. Capable to support some basic little games, it make us which to be in China just right now to grab one.


6 inches

5 inches

8 inches

WinCE:· File Formats:
– Image: JPG, TIF, BMP, PNG, GIF
– DRM: Adobe content management 4· Digital Audio Formats: WAV, WMA, MP3
WinCE 5.0:· Supported Digital Audio Standards: WAV, MP3· Reader:
– TEXT: TXT, HTXT, HTML, PDF, EPUB, CHM, Mobi/FB2/(not available yet)
– Image: JPG, TIF, BMP, PNG, GIF

· Office: Microsoft® Word, EXCEL, PPT (not available yet)


· File Formats:
– DRM: Adobe content management 4

· Digital Audio Formats: WMA, MP3

Hanvon Ebook Readers [March]

… if you want handwriting recongnition incorporated into a reading device Hanvon has to be first choice.  This is a key part of their work for over two decades, and something at which they do excel. …

YouTube video:

Hanvon’s latest e-book reader N618 is powered by Windows Embedded CE (WinCE), supporting WiFi connectivity and the stand-by time is as long as up to 15 days. Here the stylus based user interface is well demonstrated. Please note the company’s leadership handwriting recognition technology together with note taking all provided on top of WinCE. The company had 829 employees [see at 3:45] at that time and one third of them were working in R&D.

Hanvon WiSEreader N618 at Microsoft booth on COMPUTEX Taipei 2010 [June 6]

Microsoft invites Hanvon to take participate in Microsoft booth in COMPUTEX Taipei (#L108). On 1st of June, Microsoft Corporate Vice President, OEM, Mr. Steven Guggenheimer introduces Hanvon to Microsoft media that Hanvon is a very important partner of Microsoft Window Embedded [because of Windows CE, see above], and that Hanvon comes from Beijing, which is a very magnificent media exposure for Hanvon brand.

Hanvon Invites Taiwan Peers to Jointly Enter Global E-book Reader Market [June 2]

Hanvon today unveiled an array of new products at the Computex Taipei 2010, including Touchpad B10 (tablet PC), WISEreader N618 (e-book reader), and Art Master Ⅲ(graphics tablet).

  • TouchPad B10
    Hanvon, Microsoft, and Intel jointly launched TouchPad B10 for business people. Also called the “iPad Killer” by the market, TouchPad has a trendy look and various practical features. With a weight around 990g and thickness of only 18mm, the stylish and light-weighted Touchpad is easy to carry. In addition, TouchPad supports VGA resolution of 1024×600 (16:9) and is equipped with a 2GB DDR2 memory and 250GB hard drive and therefore it makes video and audio files easy to read and write. With Windows7 pre-installed operating system, 2 USB ports, audio in/out, mini HDMI, TouchPad is a perfect trendy and handy product for consumers to use.
  • WISEreader N618
    WISEreader N618 is Hanvon’s first ebook reader equipped with built-in WiFi, which allows users to read ebooks via wireless web. It is a business type e-Book reader, equipped with a 6-inch E-Ink large screen and document editing/management software which supports multi-format files. Using Hanvon’s latest handwriting recognition technology and electromagnetic plate technology, WISEreader N618 is a more convenient tool compared to traditional notebooks for users as they can enjoy the dual touch screen features through gesture and handwriting recognition. WISEreader N618 is therefore a great companion for business and travel.

Hanvon B10 Win7 tablet goes on sale, gets video unboxing [Aug 25]

Hanvon Touchpad B10 tablet computer at CES China [July 12]

… new Touchpad B10 [linking to Hanvon’s product page] tablet computer. The 9.96 x 6.61 x 0.70 inch, 1.98 pound device is powered by a 1.3GHz ULV 743 Celeron processor and GMA X4500 display chip from Intel on a GS45 chipset with 2GB DDR2 memory and a 250GB hard disk drive.

Intel Shares Vision for the Future [April 13]

Also, Perlmutter disclosed that Intel is working with PC manufacturers Tongfang* and Hanvon* to introduce the new convertible classmate PC design that combines aesthetics with ruggedness, full PC functionality with enhanced e-reading capabilities and improved performance with energy efficiency. The flexible design of the new convertible classmate PC works and moves the way students do. The tablet touch screen form factor also adds additional functionality for students. Development of these new features was based on extensive ethnographic research with students and teachers.

Rugged Convertible Classmate PC Design Moves the Way Kids Do [April 26]

Intel Corporation today unveiled the most flexible and durable Intel-powered convertible classmate PC reference design yet.

PRESS KIT – The Intel-powered classmate PC: Photos


The new convertible classmate PC design converts instantly from a clamshell to a tablet mode with a touch screen, featuring a built-in camera that will swivel for 180 degrees while retaining its kids-friendly design.  Features of the platform are designed for more mobility, flexibly and collaboration in students’ learning.  The convertible design will coexist with the Intel-powered clamshell classmate PC for varying education needs in the world.

Pegatron lands orders for tablet PCs from China-based Hanvon [12 Nov]:

Hanvon has extended its own-brand business operation from e-book readers to tablet PCs and has launched a few business-use models including Touchpad B10 and B20 in the China market, the sources indicated.

Hanvon’s executives earlier came to Taiwan to seek ODM partners for its tablet PCs, with First International Computer, Clevo, Quanta Computer and Wistron regarded as candidates, the sources pointed out. Hanvon originally selected Clevo, but Clevo gave up the opportunity because Hanvon asked for too low prices, the sources indicated. Finally, Pegatron won by quoting the lowest, the sources noted.

China market: Hanvon to launch TouchPad B10 tablet PC in January [Dec 17]

China-based Hanvon Technology will begin to market its first Windows 7-based tablet PC, the TouchPad B10, in the China market in January 2011. Hanvon is currently outsourcing production of the TouchPad 10, which is powered by an Intel N455 processor, to Taiwan-based First International Computer (FIC).

FIC began shipping the TouchPad B10 in December and volume shipments will be maintained at 2,000-4,000 units a month initially. However, total monthly shipments are likely to reach 10,000-15,000 units when Hanvon launches Android-based products in the second quarter of 2011, according to industry sources.

More information:

Undermining E-Ink and single-purpose E-readers [Aug 23 – Nov 10]: a comprehensive report about the massive FUD generated by competitive forces a few months back. Has been successfully beaten back.

This Ink Is for Reading [July 1]: all you need to know about E-Ink Holdings (that times called Prime View International)

somewhat older information of the similar kind:

By the Book [Jan 8]

Taiwan firm spreads out e-paper magic [Jan 2]

Prime View and E-Book Readers: A New Page in Reading History [July 21, 2009]

Treesaver: an HTML[5], Javascript and CSS based universal platform for dynamic publications on the web

The overal initiative ended as you could see from below:

A big move for me [Roger Black, May 10, 2013] (the last post on his blog)

imageThis summer, I am moving to Hong Kong. And I’m changing, after 25 years from consulting to working for one specific, expanding publication group: Edipresse Asia. With publications in China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, Edipresse Asia has a small and talented team led by Barrie Goodridge, CEO and Sean Fitzpatrick, group editorial director.

Since print is still robust in this booming part of the world, they are getting a chance to get the digital transformation right. And, I’ll get a chance to do what I’ve always loved doing, design magazines.

Nomad is dead as of June 11, 2012???: https://twitter.com/nomadeditions


As of Oct 17, 2013: https://github.com/Treesaver/treesaver/releases

Home · Treesaver/treesaver Wiki · GitHub [Last edited by Andrea Campi, Oct 21, 2012]

What Treesaver is not

  • Complete: The framework is still quite immature. There are still a lot of bugs that need to be fixed.
  • WYSIWYG: Treesaver is not designed to provide designers with the ability to create pixel-perfect layouts — quite the opposite in fact. Treesaver is designed to give designers the ability to create general design guidelines, which are then used to quickly construct a layout appropriate to the current browser and device.
  • Suited for all content: Treesaver currently works best with simply-formatted text and images. Complex tables, videos, and JavaScript widgets might work, or they might not. Once again, the framework is not yet complete.

As of Oct 17, 2013: Filipe Fortes [Linked in]

Filipe Fortes’ Experience

  • Technical Lead Flipboard Inc.
    October 2011
    Present (2 years 1 month) San Francisco Bay Area

  • CTO Treesaver
    January 2009
    October 2010 (1 year 10 months) Greater New York City Area

Filipe Fortes’ Projects

  • treesaver.js
    April 2010 to October 2012
    Team Members: Filipe Fortes, Bram Stein
    JavaScript framework for creating magazine-style layouts that work on mobile, tablet, and the desktop. A fast, small library that uses standards-compliant HTML and CSS to provide app-like reading experiences in the browser.


Update: SAVORY IS UP! [Savory blog, Sept 5, 2012]

Well, here it is. Savory. The new platform for digital publishing. It’s built with Treesaver®, the rule-based HMTL5 responsive and algorithmic layout engine, and managed by a powerful CMS  from ZephirWorks.

Savory is a new kind of web hosting service. Its page-based design is tuned for publications—regular collections of stories by different writers, photographers and artists. Savory puts the narrative first. It’s like a tablet-smartphone magazine app meets a blog hosting service.

Unlike apps, it’s on the web. The same Savory publication can be read on a phone, a laptop, a tablet—on any device that has a browser. You can share stories on the social networks, or e-mail links to friends.

Savory goes beyond the linear story river of blogs, which are fine for short iterative items and links, but not for an issue filled with different kinds of stories.

And it’s better for publications than a conventional web site.  (Have you ever used a magazine or newspaper web site that is as immersive and easy to read as the printed edition?)

Monthly service is an affordable $49, or €49. This is great for start-ups—or for new efforts at established publishing companies. The fee is charged monthly like a subscription, but there’s no contract.

At launch there are two complete design themes—one for magazines, and one for news publications. More features, and new themes will be introduced in coming months.

So check it out. Savory is ready to serve your publication. We look forward to working with you.

and here is a sample publication (click on the link or the below image to check for yourself):

Treesaver finally became commercialised? I hope so!
End of the update

The http://treesaver.net/ site became “real” on Jan 25, 2011 with the above image on its home screen and with the below “Welcome!” text:

Design for reading

Treesaver is made for people who like to read. It’s a platform for narrative experiences— with text and pictures and video. Treesaver divides content into pages, automatically adjusting the layout to the size of the screen. Almost any screen.

Treesaver works on any device that has a web browser: Desktop PC or Mac, notebook, netbook, iPad and iPhone, Android and other smartphones and tablets. It’s produced with web standards—HTML, CSS and JavaScript. You can even embed video or Flash in it, just as you can with any web site. There is no app to download. No plug-in to install.

The above image is in fact showing the Top Stories (Top Headlines) section of the real-time news feeds from the Associated Press in a significantly more readable form. As a current [Feb 1, 2011, 8:15 AM GMT] content here is the Top News part of the Technology section as seen via Treesaver on a 22″ monitor (only the essential content page is shown here, not the whole screen — see more on that further below when the complete reading experience in this given case is discussed):

as well as via the particular Associated Press site (the essential source) at the same time:

AP Top Technology News At 8:36 p.m. EST

Baidu net income surges in 4th quarter
NEW YORK (AP) — Baidu.com Inc., which operates China’s leading search engine, said Monday that its fourth-quarter profit more than tripled to surpass Wall Street expectations, sending shares higher in after-hours trading….

Oracle to pay $46M to settle kickbacks charges
WASHINGTON (AP) — Oracle Corp. has agreed to pay $46 million to settle a lawsuit over alleged kickbacks to win government work….

Stimulus funds help wire rural homes for Internet
EAST BURKE, Vt. (AP) — Up in rural northern Vermont, it took until the 1960s to run power lines to some towns – decades after the rest of America got turned on….

Last Internet provider in Egypt goes dark
SEATTLE (AP) — The last of Egypt’s main Internet service providers, the Noor Group, has gone dark….

In future, cars might decide if driver is drunk
WALTHAM, Mass. (AP) — An alcohol-detection prototype that uses automatic sensors to instantly gauge a driver’s fitness to be on the road has the potential to save thousands of lives, but could be as long as a decade away from everyday use in cars, federal officials and researchers said Friday….

Toshiba returns to black on smartphone chip demand
TOKYO (AP) — Toshiba Corp. said Monday it returned to the black in the October-December quarter thanks to robust global demand for the flash memory chips used in digital cameras and smartphones….

Internet cutoff fails to silence Egypt protests
NEW YORK (AP) — In its effort to silence protesters, Egypt took a step that’s rare even among authoritarian governments: It cut off the Internet across the entire country….

Technology cos. commit funds to Obama program
NEW YORK (AP) — Three of the nation’s biggest technology companies are committing hundreds of millions of dollars to an initiative backed by President Barack Obama to encourage job creation and economic growth by supporting small businesses….

The day part of the Internet died: Egypt goes dark
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — About a half-hour past midnight Friday morning in Egypt, the Internet went dead….

Comcast takes control of NBC Universal
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The nation’s largest cable TV company, Comcast Corp., took control of NBC Universal after the government shackled its behavior in the coming years to protect online video services such as Netflix and Hulu….

You can compare the readability difference in the two presentations very easily for yourself. When going into the news items themselves the difference is becoming even bigger.

FYI: some of the news are coming to AP news feeds even from blog posts (like the Last Internet provider in Egypt goes dark) on one extreme, while some others as articles requiring many pages (even on a large monitor) and from one or more AP writers on the other extreme (like the Internet cutoff fails to silence Egypt protests in addition to two others shown on the Top News part of the Treesaver presentation via expressive images), with the rest in between. The AP written articles have a sufficiently large collection of media files on their feeds as well (see the complete feed content for the “In future, cars might decide if driver is drunk” article as an example).

Here is the first page of the 3 page (on a 22″ monitor!) “Internet cutoff fails to silence Egypt protests” article as seen on the screen of the monitor:

On this screen image you can also recognize the complete reading experience developed by the designer (i.e. what has been custom built for this particular publication on top of the Treesaver platform): there is a section list on the left, then adjacent pages are also shown on the left and right from the actual page, and finally there is a numbering scheme for the currently visible page of the article as well as a Menu on the bottom part.

[The content of the original Dec 20, 2010 post is coming below with siginificant updates as of Jan 30, 2011] On line journalists in US are already well aware of this revolutionary and high-quality platform, and we have as well two publishers using it. Moreover the Treesaver [“real” site from Jan 25, 2011] software is going to be released as an open-source in the 2nd week of January 2011 “end of next week”, i.e. Feb  4, 2011 (see Filipe Fortes’ response [Jan 28, 2011]), so more and more people will be able to reap the benefits as well as enhance the platform further. What Microsoft was able to achieve first time for The New York Times in 2006 (the so called Times Reader) with a platform specific technology called WPF is now made possible through the current crop of web HTML/HTML5, Javascript and CSS technologies masterfully applied in the publishing platform called Treesaver from the namesake US start-up. Moreover this is the first time we have the possibility to publish to the web in a true print quality without any applications needed to read the content. This is making the publishing/consuming process significantly simpler and more natural.

Want to experience? Go to http://www.publicintegrity.org/treesaver/tuna/ to see the first publication called “Looting the Seas” [Nov 7] from The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Change the size of your browser’s window to experience the adaptability if you are using a desktop, a notebook, or a netbook, and go to the same URL on your smartphone’s browser to have an experience of universality as well. You can also use different browsers, down to the old Internet Explore 6 (although in this case you will have traditional web page quality only since that browser has no more capabilities than that) even in the Internet Explorer range alone, as well as different smartphones (with different resolutions etc.).

There are two other reports have been published in Treesaver from ICIJ as well:
Smoke Screen: Multinational Tobacco Firms Target Smoking Controls in Developing Countries [Nov 16]
The Truth Left Behind: Inside the Kidnapping and Murder of Daniel Pearl [Jan 20, 2011]

The most important thing to understand from these first experiences is how much the design behind these reports was helping the flow of a story to grab and keep the reader’s attention. Treesaver as a presentation technology has made extremely simple for the reporters and journalists to submit their content while the designer of the publication has been put into an almost exclusive role of assuring how to grab and keep the reader’s attention for all types of publications of similar kind of storyboards — in the case of the above ICIJ reports the chosen investigative character of all the publications of similar kind, so called long-form investigative journalism, a 5,000-word piece . This also means that there is no per story web design as such but everything is designed well ahead for the kind of stories to be included into each issue and the whole publication as well. (To compare this with the usual pactice see — for example — Jane Stevens’ tutorial section on Assembling Your Story [Jan 19, 2011] from the Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism).

The technology part

Information about the technology is after the launch team part of the http://treesaver.net/about/ page (more technology releated / availability infomation on Filippe Fortes’ http://treesaverjs.com/ site). From this the most important thing is:

CMS & Web Server Requirements

Because Treesaver’s layout intelligence runs on the user’s browser, there are no special requirements for any server that wishes to host Treesaver content. The Treesaver Javascript files are small (under 50K total) and can be served from any static host.

Treesaver’s native content format is HTML, and all layout is done through a combination of HTML, JavaScript, and CSS. Here is an example of the HTML required for a minimal Treesaver article:

<!doctype html>
    <title>Treesaver Sample</title>
    <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="style.css" />
    <script type="text/javascript" src="treesaver.js"></script>

      <p>The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy brown dog.</p>
      <p>The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy brown dog.</p>
      <p>The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy brown dog.</p>

Treesaver has minimal base requirements for formatting content. In the example above, the entire article consists of three paragraph tags. Treesaver imposes a few requirements, one of which is that all article content must be contained within an <article> tag (any content outside the tag will be ignored).

Because all of Treesaver’s formatting is handled by JavaScript code, integrating Treesaver with a Content Management System (CMS) is relatively straightforward. We have handled the integrations quickly.

Multiple Image Sizes

An image with multiple= An image with multiple fixed sizes

Multiple image sizes are used by Treesaver’s sophisticated layout algorithims in order to take full advantage of the user’s screen real estate. Desktop users do not have to settle for tiny images that lack detail, and mobile users are not stuck waiting for huge images to download.

A typical Treesaver site might use four or five image sizes:

  1. Thumbnail (e.g. 80px wide)
  2. Single Column (e.g. 300px wide)
  3. Two Column (e.g. 600px wide)
  4. Three Column (e.g. 900px wide)
  5. Four Column (e.g. 1200px wide)

Obviously, the exact number and dimensions of the crops vary per design. Most CMSes already create multiple versions of each image, and adding the required sizes does not require much effort.


Windows 7 slates with a personal cloud based layered interface for touch-first HTML5 applications on the CES 2011

Microsoft to Announce New Slates Aimed at the iPad [Dec 13]:

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s chief executive, is expected to  announce a number of these devices when he takes the stage at C.E.S., showcasing devices built by Samsung and Dell, among a number of other manufacturing partners.

The Samsung device is described as “similar in size and shape to the Apple iPad, although it is not as thin. It also includes a unique and slick keyboard that slides out from below for easy typing.”

The people familiar with this device said it would run the Windows 7 operating system [user interface] when in landscape mode, but will also have a layered interface that will appear when the keyboard is hidden and the device is held in a portrait mode.

… the company was encouraging partners to build applications for these devices that use HTML5, the Web programming language. … the applications would  not be sold in an app store, as with the Apple iTunes model, but Microsoft will encourage software partners to host the applications on their own Web sites, which will then be highlighted in a search interface on the slate computers.

Update: While the above Samsung device was indeed introduced at CES 2011, under the name of Sliding PC 7 Series and even in a very prominent position in the Microsoft keynote, the layered interface wasn’t. See my post Microsoft moving to SoC & screen level slot management that is not understood by analysts/observers at all [Jan 7, 2011]. Regarding the rumored layered interface I wrote the following in the notes section of that article:

… the fact that HTML5 related announcements (as was anticipated in my previous post of Windows 7 slates with a personal cloud based layered interface for touch-first HTML5 applications on the CES 2011 [Dec 14, 2010] post) were postponed has even much bigger significance. Whatever will come regarding that upto the MIX 2011 of April 12-14 will be equally important to clarify the rest of the new strategic Microsoft picture. Particularly I am expecting that Silverlight technologies will nicely join the already known IE9/HTML5 push in a new platform technology setup.

The Dec 13 report from The New York Times indicated in the beginning has been widely quoted and analyzed over the web. Some of the most notable ones:

Microsoft to demo new slate PCs, Windows 8 tablet functionality at CES? [Dec 13]

Microsoft to show off true iPad competitors at CES? [Dec 13]

Microsoft iPad challengers surfacing in January [Dec 13]

Curious timing: Goldman Sachs issues another report saying the iPad and tablets are hammering Microsoft, then anonymous sources tell the New York Times that Windows 7 tablets are part of Steve Ballmer’s CES keynote.

An appearance at CES doesn’t mean the devices will go on sale in January. The show is really for retailers to see products that they’ll carry later in 2011.

Microsoft will show off new Windows 7 Slates at CES, no Windows 8 [Dec 14]

The New York Times suggests that Ballmer may show off a Windows 8 based Slate but WinRumors understands this is not the case. The software maker may show off a future Tablet/Slate concept device but will not refer to Windows 8 specifically. Microsoft is currently in the planning and preperation stage for Windows 8 and is compiling early milestone builds for product functionality.

Regarding Windows 8 there is a couple of days earlier report New Windows 8 user interface codenamed ‘Wind’? [Dec 8]:

Windows 8 will have two separate interfaces according to recent rumors.

Italian based windows8italia reports that Microsoft’s next-generation Windows operating system will be 32-bit and 64-bit with two separate interfaces. Windows8italia says that the main interface will be codenamed “Wind” and will initially only be supported by high-end notebook and desktop PCs with dedicated video cards. The site claims the interface will require around 170MB of video memory. “Wind” will only activate on 64-bit copies of Windows 8 and will be fully 3D.

The site goes on to explain that Wind will be “fully dynamic” and able to adapt to user habits. Icons and shortcuts will adapt to different usage scenarios to speed up daily tasks. Windows 8 is also rumored to include a new fast hibernation system. The system will hibernate in around three to six seconds and save all open documents and running tasks.

My earlier trendtracking has shown the following:

Windows slates in the coming months? Not much seen yet [July 13 – Oct 9] with the last relevant update stating:

Mr. Ballmer is now (Oct) talking consistently about “next year”: How Steve Ballmer told me what to do with my iPad! [Oct 6].

At the same time on my another website there is a very important in this regard Windows 7 UI overlays from Microsoft and elsewhere [Aug 28] article:

Microsoft Surfboard

This is a prototype application shown in the Brad Brooks demo part during Steve Ballmer’s session at the Microsoft Financial Analyst Meeting 2010. This part is called “Chapter 11 – Windows 7 + Personal Cloud” and it is 18:27 long. The related section is close to the end, and the story told to us is the following (the emphasis is mine):

Now I want to show you something we think is going to be very compelling around consuming content across your personal cloud and with a device or form factor like a slate. So, here I’ve got another slate form factor and again running Windows 7 and I’m going to pop open an application here that we’ve been, this is a prototype application we’ve been working with at Microsoft and using to help train our ecosystem about how to create touch-first application on Windows 7.  And so this particular application is what we call internally Surfboard.  I’m going to go ahead and open up the music session, and remember that song that I downloaded off Bing?  Well now, if I go to Z, it actually shows up here, because it is on a connected PC across my personal cloud and this PC can now see this and use it across the personal cloud.

So, this Onkyo device that I had in my home, well, I can go ahead now and take this content off my personal cloud and I can move it right up to that Onkyo device and because that Onkyo device is connected through into my personal cloud with Windows 7, I can now take and take that music and play it across my PC through this Windows ‑‑ from Windows 7 PC into this device.  But, I can take it much farther.

MS Surboard at FAM2010.jpg

So, why don’t I go ahead and go into videos here.  And go ahead and say that my wife ‑‑ we’re planning a Hawaiian vacation later on this year.  I want to go ahead and get her excited about that.  I’ll take this Hawaiian surf video and I’ll play it off to the Xbox over in the den.  So, again, through one PC interface I can start controlling that experience in a different part of the house through wireless network and my personal cloud. Now, let’s say my wife wants to go ahead and set the kids up in the den and she wants to move to the main TV, I can take that right off the Xbox and move it right over to the main TV that’s connected up to my Western Digital box.  And I want to take the kids and take children’s program that I recorded on that media center PC over there, and I want to take it off and I want to push it over to the Xbox in the den, so they can start watching it there.

Meanwhile, Ryan went and sent me a video of what he is doing over the weekend, which is being mascot for the Seattle Seahawks.  I can pull that to the Media Center PC.  So, now there you have it is I’ve now got this portable remote control device that is my slate PC that is now collected across my personal cloud.  This is really going to change how people think about experiences and what they are doing with a Windows 7 PC, plus a personal cloud.

So what Microsoft is developing is not a UI overlay on top of a single slate device, like what we have with Apple iPad, but over an entirely different concept they are calling “personal cloud”, of which the Windows 7 slate is just one part. In the very beginning of his presentation Brad Books is describing the concept as follows (the emphasis is again mine):

Speaking of cloud and Windows, we have a unique point of view on the cloud for consumers, and we call it the PC.  Only in this case we call it the personal cloud.  And the personal cloud, well, it’s going to connect all the things that are important to you and make them available and ready for you to use wherever you’re at, whenever you need it.  That’s going to be our promise to consumers.  And it’s going to be centered around you, because we don’t believe around here that one size fits all.  We believe in choice and we believe that you’ve got to bring that together in a lot of different ways for customers.

But the personal cloud … is going to do a lot more than just connect your Windows 7 PCs together.  It’s going to connect you to your entertainment choices and bring new content into your personal cloud.  It’s going to connect you to the people that matter to you most.  And of course it is going to connect to different devices that you want it to connect to, like devices in the homes or ones you might carry in your pocket.  And we are going to take this already super popular Windows 7 PC experience and make it even more compelling for consumers and deliver it on a scale that Microsoft can deliver it on.  So starting this fall, the things I’m about to show you, this personal cloud delivered through a Windows Live update that will be coming, will be available to every existing Windows 7 PC user and every Windows Phone 7 user.  And by Q3 a vast majority of all PCs that ship to consumers will have this pre-installed so people will have this personal cloud experience as part of their Windows 7 experience right out of the box, and of course that will come with every Windows Phone 7 as well.

Meantime the service part of that personal cloud was introduced, see my WHAT? … Windows Live Spaces SaaS moving to WordPress.com SaaS? … It is part of a NEW strategy with Windows Live Essentials 2011 released now! [Oct 2] post regarding that. We also have the Office add-on to that, see my Microsoft Office 365 SaaS (now in limited Beta) [Oct 20] post regarding that. Also these are essential parts of well thought-out overall strategy, so called “three screens and a cloud”, see my Microsoft (Ray Ozzie, Steve Ballmer) on the cloud clients [Oct 9] post.

So what Microsoft could indeed introduce as an overlay software on Windows 7 slates when they are operated without a keyboard is a personal cloud based new interface optimized for touch (over the traditional Windows 7 interface). This is only which still missing.

Regarding the HTML5 rumor there is also nothing essentially new since it could have been noted earlier as per my existing posts on this website:

Microsoft going multiplatform? [Sept 17]

Microsoft to lead standards compliance and implementation? … or how Microsoft is aiming to create a radically new Windows client platform via a set of “whole computer capable rich web” standards. [Sept 20]

Split strategy for HTML 5 and Windows only enhanced development from Microsoft [Dec 3]

And regarding the dependency of Windows slates on Intel SoC advancements there were clear posts here as well:

Intel SoC for Cloud Clients [June 27]

Windows 7 tablets/slates with Oak Trail Atom SoC in December [Nov 1]

Intel Oak Trail to beat ARM with MeeGo specific prices [Nov 25]

Intel’s industry position and prospects for years ahead [Dec 9]

So by CES 2011 time (January 6-9, 20011) everything will be ready to launch a truely competitive Windows 7 slate strategy. And one look at the program shows that Microsoft will quite probably be THE major keynoter with (emphasis is mine):

Steve Ballmer will kick off the 2011 International CES with a preshow keynote address at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 5, in the Las Vegas Hilton Center. In previous years, Microsoft has used the CES keynote stage to launch major products including Xbox, Windows Vista and its Sync technology partnership with Ford.

(Note: a year ago, as always, Ballmer was also a preshow keynoter. Let’s hope this time his keynote will indeed have a major industry impact since tooo many people are using Microsoft legacy client solutions which indeed urgently need a strategic update for the fast emerging cloud clients environment.)

Intel’s industry position and prospects for years ahead

Follow-up: Intel: accelerated Atom SoC roadmap down to 22nm in 2 years and a “new netbook experience” for tablet/mobile PC market [April 17, 2011]
Update:  Intel executive quits as smartphone biz falters [March 21, 2011]: (emphasis is mine)

The Intel executive who led Intel’s so-far-unsuccessful push into smartphones and tablets quit as that business comes under unrelenting competitive pressure from companies like Apple, Qualcomm, and Nvidia.

Anand Chandrasekher, who had been senior vice president and general manager of Intel’s Ultra Mobility Group, announced today that he will be leaving Intel to “pursue other interests”.

Chandrasekher had become somewhat infamous for making regular appearances at Intel conferences over the last few years and invariably waving a prototype smartphone or handheld device for the cameras, then promising that an Intel-based smartphone was on the way. But none ever materialized.

“The industry has gone right past them,” said Ashok Kumar, an analyst at Rodman & Renshaw. “They’re just another player [in the smartphone and tablet markets]. There’s no first among equals,” Kumar said, referring to the ARM processor business, which is dominated by an oligarchy of other big chip companies, including Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, Samsung, Apple, Marvell, and Nvidia.

Another analyst says that Intel’s first chip designed specifically for tablets and smartphones, “Moorestown,” was a failure. “Moorestown was a complete flop,” said Linley Gwennap, principal analyst at The Linley Group, a chip consulting firm. “Intel is still struggling to get traction in tablets and particularly smartphones. Atom is in a few tablets that run Windows, but Windows tablets are not very popular, except in a few vertical applications,” he said.

Note: Although Chandrasekher bet his corporate carrier on this in 2006 when Intel sold its XScale business to Marvell, there were a number of higher placed Intel executives who were much more responsible for this major strategic mistake: (emphasis is mine)

“As part of the thorough analysis of Intel begun in April, we have examined the focus and structure of our top management level, including our use of ‘two-in-a-box’ co-managers,” said Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini. … Intel’s Sales and Marketing Group will be led by Executive Vice President Sean Maloney, 50, who previously co-managed the company’s Mobility Group. Maloney will also become Intel’s chief sales and marketing officer. … Senior Vice President David Perlmutter, 53, will continue as general manager of the Mobility Group. Senior Vice President Anand Chandrasekher, 43, formerly co-general manager of the Sales and Marketing Group, will manage a newly created business unit focused on low power Intel Architecture products and the ultra-mobile PC market. He will report to Perlmutter. … Intel Announces Management Changes [July 20, 2006]

Marvell Technology Group, Ltd. and Intel Corporation today announced that they have signed an agreement for Intel to sell its communications and application processor business to Marvell for a purchase price of $600 million plus the assumption by Marvell of certain liabilities. The planned sale will give Marvell a strong presence in the growing market segment for processors used in smart handheld devices. The sale also will enable Intel to focus its investments on its core businesses, including high-performance, low-power Intel Architecture-based processors and emerging technologies for mobile computing, including Wi-Fi and WiMAX broadband wireless technologies. … “In recent years, Intel has made significant progress and won major customers with this business,” said Sean Maloney, Intel executive vice president and general manager, Mobility Group. … Marvell To Purchase Intel’s Communications And Application Processor Business For $600 Million [June 27, 2006]

Intel probably has good business reasons for selling the 1,400-person communications/applications XScale unit to Marvell. Faced with a surprisingly resurgent AMD and other challenges, Intel is rapidly cutting costs and reorganizing. XScale’s financial performance was lackluster, so the unit was an obvious candidate for a selloff. And Marvell is paying $600 million in cash, which isn’t chump change, even for Intel.

Another reason for Intel to reduce its commitment to XScale is that it’s not an Intel-native CPU architecture. XScale isn’t protected by the same financial and emotional capital that Intel has invested in, say, the IA-64 (Itanium) architecture. Indeed, XScale is ARM compatible, so every design win strengthens ARM.

As we see it, Intel now has three options: create an entirely new embedded-processor architecture; acquire another embedded-processor architecture from an outside company; or renew its commitment to developing the x86 as an embedded architecture.

Creating a new architecture is the least likely option. The world already has plenty of CPU architectures, and MPR covers new ones all the time. We don’t think Intel will embark on an expensive, risky project that could turn into another i432, i960, or IA-64.

Acquiring an outside CPU architecture is only slightly more likely than creating one from scratch.  …

Intel’s third option is to develop new, low-power x86 embedded processors. Yes, we know, Intel is already doing that. Two weeks ago, Intel announced that Senior Vice President Anand Chandrasekher will manage a new business unit focused on the ultramobile PC (UMPC) and low-power x86 products. The new unit will almost certainly use technology developed by Intel’s Low Power on Intel Architecture research project at the System Technology Labs (www.intel.com/technology/systems/lpia/). But Intel needs to step up the pace of this project and send clearer signals about its embedded x86 strategy.

Recall that a year ago, Intel CEO Paul Otellini promised to deliver by 2010 a 500mW x86 processor capable of running an operating system like Microsoft’s Vista, the next version of Windows. Otellini’s goal is to bring desktop performance to PDA-size UMPCs. Achieving that goal would be an impressive feat. But by 2010, cellphones with ARM processors might subsume the functions that Otellini envisions for x86-based UMPCs. Future derivatives of Apple’s ARM-based iPods are another source of potential competition. Even the XScale-based Blackberry communicators that Intel has discarded might evolve into versatile palmtop computers.

Intel’s Embedded Future [Microprocessor Report, July 31, 2006]


It went around the major on-line ICT publishers that Intel loses 2010 chip market share while Samsung gains, says Gartner while the source is stressing an overall finding that Gartner Says Worldwide Semiconductor Revenue Increased 31.5 Percent in 2010 to Exceed $300 Billion [Dec 8], and regarding Intel it rather made an internal remark:

Intel held the No. 1 vendor position for the 19th consecutive year in 2010, albeit with a slightly smaller share of the market, down to an estimated 13.8 percent from 14.2 percent in 2009 (see Table 1). Intel saw strong growth in the first half of the year as the PC market stocked up inventory in anticipation of a strong second half of the year, but third quarter growth weakened as consumer sentiment began to flag. Sales of mini-notebooks — a segment for which Intel is almost the exclusive supplier — were particularly disappointing.

Worth to read along with this: Gartner: media tablets are the new segment next to mobile PCs and desktops, as well as web- and app-capable mobile phones [April 16, 2011]

Instead of the referred in Gartner’s “Worldwide semiconductor revenue” press release table I am including here the same data but in diagram format:

Top 10 Worldwide Semiconductor Vendors by Gartner in 2010 preliminary -- 8-Dec-2010

Whatever it is Intel is not worried at all. Intel’s own Free Press reported from the same day Barclays Capital event in San Francisco Intel CEO defends PC amid tablet, smartphone growth [Dec 8]. ZDNet’s Larry Dignan sent his report as Intel’s Otellini: The PC ‘just doesn’t die’ [Dec 8] with the following quotes:

I think it’s easy to forget about how important notebooks are, in particular, to people’s lives, and while there is a news flash the iPad is really fun, it’s not the only device that’s out there, and in fact, if you look at it on a scale of units, PCs are at 1 million units a day this year. Compare that to, what, 4 million iPads last quarter. Pick your own number for this quarter. So, it’s a vastly different scale here.

When talking about the upcoming next generation of Sandy Bridge processors where graphics are integrated into the chip. Regarding Intel’s tablet strategy the saying was:

Tablets, the thing that’s on everybody’s lips and minds. Our strategy here is very simple. We are going to offer best-of-class hardware around our Atom system on chips, and we are going to make sure that we support all of the viable operating systems that we — that want to work with us that are in the marketplace.

So I’ve just listed here some of the 35 design wins we have in tablets. A number of them on Windows. A number of them on Android. And this is both Froyo, and then Honeycomb as it comes out. Then, of course, on MeeGo, the operating system that we’re working on along with Nokia and other companies. Some of these are in the market today. You can buy — the ones that are Intel-based that are in the market today are typically from people like AT&T or Cisco, and they’re aimed at enterprise-class machines and customers. The consumer products will roll out over the first half of next year. You’ll start seeing them on all three operating systems. Probably at CES, you’ll see lots of demos, lots of announcements, and we’re pretty excited about this product line.


Mobile doubts weigh on chipmakers Intel, AMD [Jan 14]

Despite better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings and guidance posted on Thursday, and a broadly higher market, its [Intel’s] shares slipped as investors focused on the company’s failure to stake out territory in the mobile market.

Even as Intel’s stock fell, shares of other semiconductor companies rose, with ARM rising 6.5 percent to a 10-year high.

The stock market, and sentiment on the wider technology industry, for years moved in tandem with Intel following its earnings report. But in recent quarters they have diverged.

“It’s historically been the bellwether, that if you’re positive on the (technology) sector you’re positive on Intel, but I think that relationship is breaking down,” said Craig Berger, an analyst at FBR Capital Markets.

Intel 4Q a window into industry’s inflection point [Jan 14] (emphasis is mine)

Some 350 million PCs were shipped in 2010, according to data released this week, and Intel CEO Paul Otellini says that more than 1 million PCs are now being sold every day.

Net income was $3.39 billion, or 59 cents per share, higher than the 53 cents per share analysts polled by FactSet were expecting. In the same period in 2009, Intel earned $2.28 billion, or 40 cents per share.

The year-ago figures would have been higher were it not for Intel’s $1.25 billion payment to rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc. to settle claims that Intel abused its market dominance to bully computer makers into avoiding AMD’s chips — charges Intel has long denied. Intel’s chips are inside 80 percent of the world’s PCs. Earlier this week, AMD ousted its CEO over the company’s growth prospects.

Intel’s revenue rose 8 percent to $11.5 billion, up from $10.6 billion last year. Analysts had forecast $11.4 billion.

For the first quarter, Intel expects revenue of $11.1 billion to $11.9 billion, ahead of analysts’ expectation for $10.8 billion.

And Otellini predicted that Intel’s revenue would rise 10 percent in 2011 — which translates to about $48 billion, up from $43.6 billion in 2010 and higher than the $45.5 billion analysts expected.

What saved Intel’s fourth quarter was strong corporate spending.

Companies, many of which froze their technology budgets during the Great Recession, are buying new servers for their data centers and PCs for their workers as their business prospects have brightened.

Operating profit in the Intel division that sells server chips jumped 47 percent to $1.43 billion, while the division that makes desktop and laptop chips grew at a slower rate, up 8 percent to $3.62 billion.

Server chips tend to carry higher profit margins than chips for PCs. The PC industry in general struggles with increasing commoditization, which lowers PC prices and benefits consumers, but erodes profits.

Although Intel’s results were strong compared with the previous year, revenue in each of its major divisions, except for server chips, was flat from the third quarter.

That showed the strain that emerged toward the end of the year, from economic problems such as prolonged unemployment and the European debt crisis, and competition from Apple Inc.’s iPad.

Sean Maloney resumes work at Intel [Jan 14] (emphasis is mine)

… earlier this month and is responsible for the chip giant’s tablet and handset solution business, according to industry sources.

As Maloney has been working closely with partners of the PC production chain in Taiwan, the resumption of work will help push the development momentum of tablet and handset solutions at Intel, the sources asserted.

Maloney has made some modifications to Intel’s product roadmap and marketing strategies for the two segments, and will solicit ODM and OEM partners such as Quanta Computer, Compal Electronics and Pegatron Technology to support Intel’s Oak Trail and Cedar Trail-M platforms.

Maloney will also step up cooperation with handset makers eyeing to re-enter the handset segment, the sources added.

Notebook vendors show no interest in Oak Trail [Jan 13, 2011] (emphasis is mine)

Because Acer and Asustek Computer have both shown their unwillingness to launch Oak Trail-based tablet PCs, Intel has recently been aggressively trying to persuade these vendors with price discounts and is hoping Asustek and Hewlett-Packard (HP), which are still undecided, will change their minds and fully support the platform, according to sources from notebook players.

Since Oak Trail has only been adopted by Fujitsu, Toshiba and Samsung Electronics for their tablet PCs and these vendors are not showing an aggressive attitude to mass produce models, while HP, which originally planned to launch an Oak Trail-based tablet PC, also stepped back and is reevaluating its plans, Intel is offering Oak Trail at a price point of around US$40, about the same as Nvidia’s Tegra 2, and the company will even give a further discount for large volume orders, the sources noted.

However, because Oak Trail is unable to out-perform Tegra 2, while Intel is already set to launch its new Cedar Trail-M platform for tablet PCs/netbooks in September 2011, most of the notebook vendors are unwilling to accept Intel’s offer and would rather wait until Intel releases its new platform before placing any orders, the sources added.

Intel’s response has been the same as on the December 2010 Ottelini presentation: Over 35 Oak Trail-based netbooks will show up in 1H11, says Intel [Jan 13, 2011]

End of updates

Here Ottelini had the following slide in his presentation:

Intel Atom Tablet Designs in 2011 (Forecast)

Here the notable things are:

– HP and Acer, the #1 and #3 players on the notebook market are missing from the Windows part. We know however that Acer will play in Windows tablet space, albeit not with Intel but with AMD as has been noted in my Intel Oak Trail to beat ARM with MeeGo specific prices [Nov 25] post already.

Update: MSI is also missing which is remarkable only because of a 4 days later MSI to reintroduce WindPad tablets at CES, claims Oak Trail improves performance and battery life [Dec 13] news (emphasis is mine):

According to MSI’s Director of North American Sales Andy Tung, Intel’s tablet solution does show both battery life and performance improvements over the current Atom chips, but it’s “not extremely significant.” Based on our discussion with Tung, we got the feeling that it’s a step in the right direction for Atom but still not as long-lasting as it needs to be to compete with ARM-based tablets.

For more detailed investigation of this news see: Oak Trail bringing only minor power savings to Windows tablets? [Dec 13].

– Acer is indicated in the MeeGo tablet space which is something new and also showing that the primary line of tablet market attack for Acer is the Android platform. Again consistent with the same post (with two Android tablets coming from Acer in February), also in the sense that Intel’s intent is to apply a MeeGo specific, very pricing for the Oak Trail type Atom.

– Nokia is missing from the MeeGo design wins which is again consistent with information in the same post that “The first MeeGo smartphone requires MeeGo V1.2 and won’t happen, either on Intel or ARM until around June 2011.” The only difference is that now the same statement applies to the 2011 Nokia tablet space as well.

Overall it is not so rosy outlook for Intel’s 2011 plans for tablets. Even more so since in the smartphone space Intel is even more behind of the market. No wonder why Financial Times was reporting from the Barclay’s Capital event as Intel inside 35 tablets, no phone till H2 2011 [Dec 8]:

Mr Otellini said the phone game represented a marathon not a sprint for Intel. It was tackling issues of certification, modem integration and the telecoms software stack. Its smartphone processor codenamed Medfield was currently being debugged for shipment in 2011 and 2012, he added.

Medfield is the successor to the Moorestown chip, launched in May, which still does not match the low-power capabilities of Arm-based phone processors and has not appeared in any smartphones this year, despite Intel’s high hopes expressed at the CES show in January.

So marketwise Intel’s major worry is the tablet market now as was noted by New York Times: Intel Girds For Netbook and Tablet Wars [Dec 8] when reporting:

The chip giant has created a new business unit that it calls the netbook and tablet group. The unit will be run by Douglas L. Davis, the current head of Intel’s embedded and communications group, who will be charged with making sure Intel can fend off all kinds of competition in the burgeoning market for PC offshoots.

Intel often formally announces the formation of such groups, but kept this one quiet. Bill Kircos, a company spokesman, confirmed the move.

“Netbook shipments will be heading north of 100 million, and we’ll all soon will find out what kind of market potential there is for tablets and these increasingly popular hybrid designs,” Mr. Kircos said. “It makes sense for us to sharpen our focus on these friends of the PC, and Doug’s experience running a similar and very successful embedded division makes him the right guy to lead the group.”

Ottelini himself said according to the above ZDNet report:

I don’t think, at the end of the day, tablets are cannibalizing it. They are not replacements for notebooks. They are a competitor for discretionary income disposition. So you walk into Best Buy and you’ve got $400 burning a hole in your pocket, or in the case of the iPad, $600 burning a hole in your pocket, and you want to buy something cool for Christmas for your wife or kid or something. It’s a competitor.

On the other hand, I have not seen a kid that takes the iPad to school and not a laptop. The laptop is still the fundamental tool in school. So, I don’t see it being a displacement. I see it being an extra-fun device that you use to consume content, for the most part. And I think it’s additive to the industry. So, if it goes to 50 million or 100 million units a year against a base of PCs that are 500 million units, that’s great. And we’ll have our fair share of those.

But on the Barclay’s Capital event his major point about the future of the market was expressed on following two slides:

Intel 22 nm -- A Breakthrough in Silicon Process Technology

Intel - Architecture Contests Take Time

So while in the year 2011 Intel will play a catch up game in the tablet space and just trying the waters in the smartphone market in the years which are coming after that the company sees as quite promising because of its huge manufacturing technology lead and its learnings from the previous critical periods of its growth when Intel was able become dominant player via its architecture.

More information:
Intel says tablets and phones on the way in 2011 [Reuters, Dec 8]