Apple Buys LaLa
Apple recently purchased an online music service called LaLa. LaLa started out as a CD trading service and, over time, has morphed into more of a subscription service. Supposedly, Apple purchased the service for the talent, but, I suspect, they purchased it for its streaming and subscription service as well. IF, and it is a bit if, Apple did buy it, in part, for the services, then it could mean that they plan to go subscription with the iTunes music store. The really interesting thing here is that if they do, then it puts iTunes on a more even playing field with the Zune Marketplace. I find that kind of ironic. Of course, Apple has been quiet about what it plans to do with the service, so all the fankids can do is speculate.
The Apple Tablet
More evidence, supposedly, that Apple is planning to release a tablet form factor computer: some analyst claims they will release it in the second quarter of 2010, it will cost $1000 and will use the iPhone’s operating system. Umm, sure. Actually, it would be very smart of Apple to just upsize the iPod Touch to eight or nine inches in a tablet form factor. It would be able to use the iPhone/iPod Touch application ecosystem and would sell more than five units. I am guessing, anyway. Hey, I could be as right as that analyst. Anyway, the only problem I see with an upsized iPod Touch is the screen itself. Is the OS able to scale? How would the software look? would Apple allow iPhone and iPod Touch software to run on such a device? Would they really sell it for a grand? Would anyone buy it for that amount? I suspect the Apple die-hards would, but not most ‘normal’ people. It just costs way too much. For a device like that to be truly successful, it needs to have ready to run software, be easy to use and be very cheap. And by very cheap, I’m talking two hundred or less. You can buy a full laptop for not much more and you can those dreadful netbooks for about the same price.
TechCrunch had partnered with a manufacturer to produce the Crunchpad, another tablet computer. The Crunchpad was, supposedly, days away from it’s big introduction when the partner pulled the plug. According to the Techcrunch side of the story, they were informed that the manufacturer had decided to go it alone due to pressure from shareholders. The partner said that the device, now called the ‘JooJoo’, was already mostly developed and they offered to partner with TechCrunch who could provide additional funding and ideas on how produce and market the device. Lawsuits are, no doubt, on the way. TechCrunch has now gone silent on the subject, presumably, due to those pending lawsuits. As for the device, it is a low powered device that ONLY BROWSES THE WEB. It can run Flash and some web applications, but no local apps. It seems to be a bit more web savvy than my Pre smartphone. Only bigger. And more expensive. Five hundred dollars. They might sell five of them. If they survive the litigation that is on the way. And the moon is full.
SpaceShip Two was unveiled this week. The craft, the first private, passenger carrying spaceship, is in the final stages of development and plans are to be fully operational by 2011. For the bargain price of $200,000, you can take a two and a half hour flight and enjoy just under ten minutes of near orbit, weightless space. Richard Branson plans to take his family up on the maiden flight. After that, it is paying customers. Victoria Prinicpal, the still-beautiful star of Dallas, is among the first paying passengers. I guess I need to save a few more pennies and sell some stuff in my Amazon Store. Want to buy a Zune?