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Starwood Hotels CEO Credits iPad for Improved Productivity

If you’re one of the few people who still thinks the iPad is primarily an entertainment device, Starwood Hotels CEO Frits van Paasschen wants you to put that mindset away right now. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal today, van Paasschen states that he no longer uses a proper desktop computer at his job thanks to Apple’s tablet.

“I thought, you know what, I actually don’t use [my desktop computer],” van Paasschen says in the interview. “I do all of my work via mobile so essentially my office is wherever I go, and I can be much more productive.”

That doesn’t mean he spends all his time tapping away on the touchscreen. Instead, the CEO makes extensive use of Bluetooth keyboards when he’s on either his iPad or even his iPhone. The shift has actually made him more productive, he says. The e-mails he sends are shorter, he’s banished paper from Starwood meetings, and he sometimes conducts performance reviews via FaceTime. He also refuses to open hefty spreadsheet files.

Source: Wall Street Journal

“When I get the massive file, the first thing I’ll do is send it back and say tell me the key points that I actually need to understand,” he says.

Still, van Paasschen reportedly admits that you still need a standard desktop unit for certain jobs. Nonetheless, the efficiency of his work lately has already inspired other executives at the company. Chris Holdren, one of Starwood’s senior vice presidents, uses his iPad for everything as well.

Starwood is something of an Apple champion. Back in January of this year, Starwood was the first hotel chain to experiment with using iPhones as replacements for room keys in its Aloft hotels in Manhattan and (yes) Cupertino. Following the success of Starwood’s venture, other chains such as Hilton started implementing iPhone room keys as well.

Follow this article’s writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.


Intel’s Android Subsidies to Fight iPad Have Reportedly Cost It $7 Billion

Intel made an enemy out of Apple back in 2010 when it helped create the so-called “UltraBook,” which was powered by Windows but looked an awful lot like the MacBook Air. Partly in response, Apple started making its own A-series chips (with more than a little help from frenemy Samsung), and now the chip giant is reportedly paying for its “backstabbing style of partnership.” According to an extensive report from AppleInsider, Intel’s move has cost it around billion in losses.

In the meantime, Intel has been paying the makers of Android tablets to take its x86 Atom chips over ARM chips from both Qualcomm and NVIDIA. That subsidizing has been responsible most of the low prices we’ve seen with Android tablets, but now the word is that Intel plans to “phase out these generous incentives,” which could cause the price of iPad rivals to shoot up. And the worst part of it for Intel? Even after dumping all those billions into subsidies, Apple remains the world’s leading tablet vendor.

The Asus Ultrabook. Look familiar?

The numbers spring from two consecutive years of losses. Intel itself reported that it had lost billion in 2013, and now Morgan Stanley analyst Joseph Moore suggests that Intel’s on track to lose another billion this year. Apple’s market dominance no doubt is the biggest factor in the decline of Intel’s fortunes, but Microsoft surprisingly had a hand in it as well. Back in 2011, the Redmond giant started using the more efficient ARM chips for its Windows RT devices.

Intel’s not out of the fight yet, as it plans to introduce new “SoFIA” chips that won’t be available at subsidized prices. Again, though, that means that Android tablet makers may find it difficult to keep their tablets at their current prices, which ultimately should work in Apple’s favor even in the context of an overall declining tablet market.

Follow this article’s writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.


Production Issues Said to Delay ‘iPad Pro’ Until Q2 2015

Most rumors agree that Apple’s next big reveal will be a 12.9-inch “iPad Pro,” but according to respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities (via Cult of Mac), production hiccups may keep Apple from mass producing the device until the second fiscal quarter of next year. And that’s not all; Kuo also has some rather grim sales projections for Apple’s entire tablet line.

Kuo claims that Apple wants to use oxide LCD technology with the device, which will allow for high color saturation and quick response times to accompany the high resolution display. The format isn’t entirely alien to Apple, as the Cupertino company most recently used it for the 27-inch oxide panel in the iMac with 5K Retina display. But according to Kuo’s sources, getting such a screen ready for the iPad will take more time.

Source: Tapscape

But Kuo’s reckoning for future iPad sales seems somewhat dismal, even though sales of the device have been declining for three quarters in a row. As Kuo says in his report, “We forecast iPad shipments will fall 54.5% QoQ to 9.8mn units in 1Q15, given a lack of new applications, tablet market saturation and slow season… We believe that, in a major shift, while Apple (US) used to be able to use new form factor designs to boost demand, it has failed to do so this time around. The lighter and thinner iPad Air 2 will face strong headwinds in increasing sales in 1Q15.”

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about a delay; just last month, The Wall Street Journal claimed that Apple would postpone production of the device to keep up with the strong demand for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. All the same, Apple does appear to have high hopes for the device, as it’s rumored to be discontinuing the iPad mini in favor of the so-called iPad Pro.

Follow this article’s writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.


CNN Election Commentators Caught Using Microsoft Surface as iPad Stands

Americans might be divided on the meaning of last night’s election results, but at least the Apple faithful can unite in enjoying another botched product placement from an Apple competitor. Last month homegrown rival Microsoft announced it would be working closely with CNN for coverage of the midterm elections, but the associated product placement fell flat last night when CNN commentators were caught using Microsoft’s Surface tablets to hide their iPads.

As first noted by GeekWire, one shot posted on Twitter by users adamUCF clearly shows a commentator using her promotional Surface Pro 3 to hold up her Apple tablet. (If nothing else, Microsoft has certainly made a strong case for the usefulness of the device’s stand.) Still another shot from a user known as Melbourneer shows a commentator messing with his iPad mini behind the cover of an upright Surface.

Source: adamUCF

It’s only the latest disappointment in a long line for the struggling tablet. The news comes only a little over a month after Microsoft had to deal with coaches and players from the NFL referring to Surface tablets as “iPad-like tools” (via CNBC), and this after the Redmond giant reportedly dumped 0 million into the league to promote the devices. Back in July of last year, Microsoft was forced to write down 0 million on the device.

Samsung’s probably glad for the break. Usually it’s Apple’s Korean rival who has to deal with such gaffes, whether it’s in the form of Ellen DeGeneres tweeting from her iPhone backstage at the Oscars despite making a big show of taking Samsung selfies onstage, or Adam Levine’s tweeting from his iPhone not long after expressing the desire for a “ceremonial iPhone burning” at a Samsung event.

Follow this article’s writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.


Apple Rumored to Cease iPad Mini Production in Favor of 12.2″ ‘iPad Pro’

The runaway success of the iPhone 6 Plus no doubt proves to Apple that big is in, but is that success enough to make the Cupertino company turn its back on one of its most highly rated devices? Apparently so, according to a dubious new rumor from Taiwan’s Economy Daily News (via MacRumors), which claims that Apple plans to discontinue the device in favor of the long-rumored, gigantic 12.2-inch “iPad Pro.”

If true, that means the model released last month could be the last iPad mini ever made. The report claims that Apple came to its alleged decision not only because of the clear market preference for larger devices, but also because of the poor showing we’ve seen from iPads as a whole over the last couple of years and the associated competition in the tablet market.

Recent events may hint at some truth in the rumor. During last month’s iPad event, for instance, the iPad mini received only seconds’ worth of stage time while the new iPad Air hogged the presentation with news about Touch ID, a better camera, and the like. Furthermore, the iPad mini has seen relatively few changes since its release, and most of those changes centered on secondary factors such as price and storage space.

But it’s far from certain if this latest rumor bears any truth as the Economic Daily News has a turbulent record when it comes to Apple rumors. The publication claims to get its information from supply lines in China, but it was flat-out wrong when, say, it suggested the large iPhone 6 Plus wouldn’t actually be called an iPhone or that the Apple Watch would be out by August. It’s been right on other occasions, as MacRumors notes, such as when it reported accurate sizes for the Apple Watch.

Follow this article’s writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.


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