The Los Angeles Auto Show has in recent years defined itself as the "green" car show. California has the largest auto market in the U.S., as well as the most environmentally preoccupied. But the most dramatic auto debuts during car show season, running through next spring, are traditionally reserved for Detroit, the auto industry's spiritual home. So L.A. has had to kick off car show season with its own attention-getting twist.
The L.A. Auto Show focuses on the dream machines, the future of transportation and, over the past decade, on electric cars, hybrids, plug-in hybrids, alternative fuel vehicles — in short, things with wheels that aren't total slaves to gas. But this year, it's different.
The new story is technology. Specifically, how cars will soon become platforms for various consumer electronics, mainly smartphones. In the past, automakers have preferred to design and build their own in-vehicle infotainment systems or partner with tech companies. The most prominent of these has been Ford and its relationship with Microsoft; Ford's CEO, Alan Mullaly, has also made regular pilgrimages to the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. General Motors has had a loose association with Google (and Google itself is the the auto game, with its driverless car). No one has yet broken through with Apple.
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Don't write this company off just yet. As BlackBerry maker Research in Motion nears the release of BlackBerry 10 and new phones, the stock is getting some respect.
It would difficult to find a better example of near-total meltdown in the tech economy that Canada's Research in Motion, maker of the once-iconic but now nearly irrelevant BlackBerry smartphone. The stock traded at nearly $150 a share at its peak in 2008.
It's now barely above $11.
But that in itself is the story this Black Friday as all of Canada rejoices! Well, maybe not. But RIM is showing its first signs of life in months, up a whopping 13-plus percent in trading Friday.
What's driving this is growing optimism that the company's new BlackBerry 10 operating system and and new lineup of touchscreen phones (better than some of its previous, much-derided touchscreen phones) will enable the company to get back into the smartphone wars, duking it out with Apple and Samsung to retake some of its lost market share.
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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?
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.
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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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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.