Explaining Southern California's economy

All I want for Christmas is an Apple iPad...or maybe an iPad Mini...but a iPod or iPhone would be OK, too

A third or more of U.S. kids between 6 and 12 would very much like to have an Apple device this holiday season.

Former Internet analyst Mary Meeker has produced another of her "state of the Internet presentations," as venture capitalists (and avid blogger) Fred Wilson called it. Meeker is  a VC too now, at the blue-chip Silicon Valley firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Buyers. 

The presentation that Fred notes can be viewed on SlideShare and is 88 slides long. It covers a lot of ground. But the slide above is particularly interesting, heading into the the crunch period of the holiday shopping season. You know, the time of wish lists children write and, in some cases, mail to rotund, bearded figure of legend who lives in the northernmost reaches of the planet with a band of industrious elves and a group of reindeer capable of impressive aerial feats. 

Meeker notes that American kids between 6 and 12 want iPads and iPad Minis in impressive numbers. They want iPod Touches and iPhones in nearly equally impressive numbers. 

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Why the pressure is on Apple to have a big holiday season

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Apple's stock has been declining. Will the holiday shopping season bring it back?

What’s wrong with Apple? That’s what folks may be asking as the California technology giant’s stock price continues to slide. The company introduces a new iPhone and a new iPad Mini — and sees its shares hammered down by 100 points, from a high of more than $700?

What gives?

Wall Street is getting nervous about Apple’s ability to — essentially — continue printing money with its popular smartphones and tablets. The company reported disappointing earnings last week, the result of having spent a lot to revamp its product lines in time for the holiday season.

Apple also cautioned that it might not make as much money this holiday season — but some analysts think the company may be playing possum, underpromising in order to overdeliver.

Still, competition is heating up in the markets that Apple has owned. Microsoft and Amazon have introduced new tablets to rival the iPad, and Android-powered smartphones continue to gain customers.

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3 reasons the Apple iPad Mini won't fail

Apple Introduces Latest iPad

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

SAN JOSE, CA - OCTOBER 23: Apple Senior Vice President Phil Schiller announces the new iPad Mini. It's smaller and lighter and $329 for a 16GB WiFi-only version. And it arrives just in time for the holidays!

Apple is currently rolling out some new products in San Francisco. So far, we've seen a new MacBook Pro and a thinner and sexier iteration of the iMac, which is just another word for "planned obsolescence" in Apple-land. 

But the main event is yet to come: A smaller iPad, about 8 inches in size, called "iPad Mini."

Unlike the iPhone 5, which prior to launch I argued was doomed — DOOMED! — the iPad Mini/Air/Junior/Deuce/Whatever could succeed wildly. Here's why...

Apple owns the tablet market, so it's no big deal to steal share from itself. Apple has sold 100 million iPads in the two years since its introduction. As I and others have pointed out, there is no tablet market. There's an iPad market. However, since the arrival of the Kindle Fire and now the Microsoft Surface, there is some pressure on Cupertino. iPad Mini naysayers argue that a smaller, cheaper tablet will cannibalize the Big Boy. Probably true. But the thing is, Apple can afford to cannibalize the iPad, with a base iPad Mini that's $329 in the 16 GB WiFi-only version. And if it steals some lower-end market share from Amazon ... well, there's nothing wrong with that.

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UPDATE: Apple announces new iPad mini

Apple Introduces Latest iPad

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide product marketing Phil Schiller announces the new iPad mini during a special event at the historic California Theater Tuesday morning. The iPad mini is Apple's smaller version of the popular iPad tablet.

UPDATE: $329, for the 16GB WiFi-only version. Shipping early November. Pre-orders October 26. And it will have cellular capability.

UPDATE: It's the iPad mini. Apple has spoken. It's going to be 7.9 inches (the ipad Maxi is 9.7 inches — neat, huh?). Apple has also rolled out a new MacBook Pro, a new Mac mini, something about textbooks that seemed to greatly excite CEO Tim Cook, and a new iMac.

PREVIOUSLY: Apple is live-streaming today's much-anticipated but not exactly all that secretive reveal of the iPad mini. BUT the company is only livestreaming it through Apple's Safari browser! So switch now, Chrome and Firefox people! I'm not even sure what you Opera and Rockmelt folks are supposed to do. Explorer? Yeah...

If there is a big surprise in store, it could be that the iPad mini won't be called the iPad mini, but rather something like the "iPad Air," to ally it with the MacBook of the same name.

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Q&A: What is Amazon unveiling tomorrow in Santa Monica?

Amazon Introduces New Tablet At News Conference In New York

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos introduces Kindle Fire last September. What new forms will the device take? We'll probably find out tomorrow in L.A.

All Amazon has done is invite the media to an event at a hanger at the Santa Monica airport tomorrow morning. But chances are pretty good that we're going to be seeing some tablets. This won't be like the similarly mysterious Microsoft event in June at which we were introduced to the technology giant's first-ever ready-for-market tablet, Surface. Amazon already has Kindles and Kindle Fires. So what are we likely to see?

Q: Will we get a bigger Kindle Fire?

A: Nope. CNET already reported that a Kindle Fire Big isn't in Amazon's immediate future. Rather, the company will be updating the current Kindle Fire with a new model and introducing a second model. Both will be 7-inch tablets. 

Q: Does it really make sense for Amazon to treat this as a media event?

A: Apple has an iPad Mini and the new iPhone 5 coming soon. The iPad Mini will hit in October and the iPhone arrives this month. Microsoft just planted its stake with Surface and then there are all the Android tablets that aren't Kindle Fires (which is built on Android but customized for Amazon). Amazon needs to stay in the game here. 

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