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CNET Australia Podcast

Thanks for the memories  July 26, 2012

About The Author

CNET Editor

Joe capitalises on a life-long love of blinking lights and upbeat MIDI soundtracks covering the latest developments in smartphones and tablet computers. When not ruining his eyesight staring at small screens, Joe ruins his eyesight playing video games and watching movies. Twitter: @Joseph_Hanlon

Loud and Clear

Are you feeling iFatigued?

(Credit: CBSi)

Comedian Billy Connolly used to tell a great joke about how he thought all Mexican food was the same thing, just folded differently. If you ordered fajitas at your favourite cantina and were served a burrito, the staff would whip your plate back to the kitchen and quickly refold your meal.

Some might say the same thing about Apple's range of iOS products. The iPhone, iPad Mini and iPad are like the three bears in a tech version of Goldilocks. First she tried using the iPhone, but its puny 4-inch screen was too small. Then she tried the iPad, but it was too heavy to hold up in bed and watch Gossip Girl. So how about that iPad Mini, then?

Did she even bother?

With all of this rewrapping and repackaging of iOS, is Apple finally rubbing the polish off its magic lantern? (OK, I know I'm mixing my classic childhood story metaphors here, but bear with me).

This morning in Australia, Apple launched its next big thing, and despite being the iPad that seems "just right", it wasn't met with the same great enthusiasm by the tech-hungry community as the iPhone 5 was just a little over a month ago. The queue at the Apple flagship store in Sydney was much shorter, and only took an hour to extinguish the excitement and return the store to business as usual. Friends on social media are cancelling orders for the iPad Mini after being told about short shipping delays. Aren't these delays supposed to make the unboxing sweeter? Not when it comes to the iPad Mini, it seems.

But then, these people — the Apple-friendly iPad queuers, or the social-media friends who pre-order Apple products before seeing them — have probably already bought a new iPad and iPhone this year already. Is there room left after an entrée of nachos and a main-sized serving of enchiladas? Is the fatigue setting in? After all, a new iPad Mini, once unboxed, powered and synced to iCloud, is going to do exactly the same thing as the iPhone in your pocket and the iPad staring jealously back at you from the coffee table.

The latest smartphone share data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech supports this shift in Australia, too. While iOS gained ground in the US and the UK, it dipped nearly 5 per cent in Australia over the past year. You can download the report via this link.

These are mere observations, and sales data for the iPad Mini may tell a different story, especially over Christmas. The iPad Mini seems like the perfect Christmas gift for the person who wants an iPad for leisure, kids for playing games or girlfriends for tweeting in front of the TV. But for the tech-savvy crowd, Apple may need to serve up something a little spicier to keep us interested next year.

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SeanW4 posted a comment   

Wow I compared to Asus Google Nexus 7 and then laughed at apple.

And the expensive price to own a chain product.

Nice to hear some truth.



femmewithanexus posted a comment   

Dear Joe,

Can you please stop making snide sexist jokes about the way girls (according to you) use technology? There is no logical reason for splitting the world into these three categories: 'the perfect Christmas gift for the person who wants an iPad for leisure, kids for playing games or girlfriends for tweeting in front of the TV' - and by talking about the PERSON who uses an iPad for leisure, versus GIRLFRIENDS who tweet in front of the TV, you seem to be hinting that GIRLS aren't PEOPLE, and that guys don't tweet in front of the TV (shameful, depraved act that it is.)

And the follow-up, where you separate the three abovementioned categories from 'the tech-savvy crowd, [for whom] Apple may need to serve up something a little spicier' suggests that girls don't take up any space in the tech-savvy demographic - after all, you've covered off on all females and all possible uses of technology by females in the previous line.

This is worse than your review last year of the HTC Rhyme with its 'fetching shade of arctic blue' (and for that matter, worse even than gsmarena's pointedly sexist review of the HTC Rhyme, bluntly entitled 'pour femme').


Joseph Hanlon posted a reply   

Hi femmewithanexus,

You're absolutely right and I apologise. I've met and spoken with enough tech-savvy girls to know that this short-hand isn't absolutely accurate. I would say in my defence that it is just short-hand. I'm not trying to be snide or exclusive, or trying to make fun of anybody. I'm just trying to say as much as I can with as fewer words as possible.

As for the Rhyme review, I thought I was making the opposite point. Criticising HTC for making "a phone for women" using features that I was personally interested in, and then backing down from this line when we questioned them about it.

Again, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to offend.


Rednet posted a comment   

This is a witty take on the issue!


darylcheshire posted a comment   

interesting, another journalist was saying that the iPad mini size will be more popular than the ten inch ones, causing sales of the larger ones to drop and less of them being produced.Sorry I forgot which site


DarrenH2 posted a comment   

Maybe the community as a whole has reached saturation point. The advancements in mobile hardware is slowing down. The only compelling item to make an upgrade is now the software, which may explain why there is some excitement about Windows Phone 8 and people clamor for the latest Android updates. My Android phone hardware is more than a year old and still copes easily with all tasks. I have a Windows phone as well because I want to see what it can bring to the table. We will hit a point soon where you have a mobile, and that's it. Like PC's where CPU advancement, memory speed etc is no longer the determining factor. For gaming, a generation older CPU with the latest video card yields great results. Can Windows 8 enhance our desktop experience?
Maybe we just need a bit more disconnect from our mobile devices. Use it more as a tool instead of a waste of time. Can you remember what you did on the train before smartphones?


CurnsyC posted a comment   

It failed because of the price. Ipad owners wont pay 370 when for an extra 150 or so they can get a full size one. 250 and the lines would have been longer then the iphone 5 with new recruits who couldnt afford the full size ipad 300 well you would have sold still quite a few more units 370?? That was apples arrogance thinking anything with theyre logo will sell no matter what


Chandler posted a comment   

And so the thread unravels.

Much of the advantage of WP7/8 and Android has been variety. WIth so many OEMs manufacturing for the operating systems, you can get the same OS in different flavours, so to speak - and different form factors too.

iOS, on the other had, has only one flavour, in different form factors.

The phrase:
"After all, a new iPad Mini, once unboxed, powered and synced to iCloud, is going to do exactly the same thing as the iPhone in your pocket and the iPad staring jealously back at you from the coffee table."
could equally be applied to a Nexus 4, 7 and 10. But with so many OEMs involved with Android (and WP7/8 to a lesser extent), and also the greater worldwide market share of Andorid, the lack of interest in particular devices is not as noticeable.

I also think this iFatigued will come to be Smartphone Fatigue, as I believe we're slowly reaching the peak.


Spartan Jack 17 posted a comment   

looks like Apple are finally losing the magic that seems to surround their products.
Maybe now most iPhone users will finally realise how mush iOS sucks and switch to Android/Windows Phone/ Windows 8.

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