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The Competition

How Apple stays years ahead of the competition

There's a fascinating answer up on Quora that suggests how Apple uses their massive $70 billion bank account to literally stay years ahead of the competition when it comes to manufacturing and components.

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iPad 2 vs. TouchPad: Form factor fight

Kevin Michaluk, pinch hitting for our sibling site, PreCentral.net has done the perfunctory HP TouchPad unboxing, and towards the end shows it off against the Apple iPad 2 (and BlackBerry Playbook) by way of comparison. (No, none of that was a typo, Kevin loves all his gadgets now, and you'll see him with Apple's and Androids and HPs and more as the weeks go on.)

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HP TouchPad review

PreCentral.net reviews the latest iPad competitor -- the HP TouchPad

PreCentral.net's Derek Kessler, who's rapidly become one of my favorite voices in mobile, has just released the his HP TouchPad review. Widely anticipated due to its super smart, incredibly elegant webOS 3.0 operating system, but uncertain due to Palm's recent history of middling hardware and tepid launches, it's been simultaneously heralded as the first real iPad competitor and decried as a me-too device, both before it even hit the shelves. Which is it?

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Google announces social network Google+, should Facebook worry?

Google has finally taken the wraps off their long awaited, highly-anticipated (what?) social network, Google+ and it looks like a really clever take on the age-old problem of mapping personal relationships to a virtual space. It will eventually roll out across Google's web properties, but rather than one monolithic service, it's comprised of several parts:

  • Circles, which let you define your relationships and how much you want to share with who and when. These are usually annoying to set up so no one uses them. Google aims to change that.
  • Sparks, which brings you content based on your interests and hopes to strike up conversations
  • Hangouts, which is multi-person video chat. FaceTime is currently only one-to-one...
  • Mobile, which lets you share and upload from your devices (iOS app in the works?)
  • Huddle, a group messaging platform now in competition with the mature BBM on BlackBerry and nascent iMessage on iOS

Google hasn't had much luck with previous projects like [http://www.imore.com/tag/wave/) and Buzz, but this feels both more ambitious and far better considered. Whether it will be enough to put a dent in Facebook's 750 million member and growing dominance of the social space remains to be seen. (See how I snuck them into the post? I thought you did.)

One thing is clear, with Apple integrating Twitter into iOS and introducing Game Center, Ping (no snickering), and replacing MobileMe with iCloud, they're getting more serious (if not yet more adapt) at Social. And Google's just re-entered, once again, that game in a big way. Are you going to switch?

Videos after the break.

[Google blog via Android Central]

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Amazon launching iPad competitor this fall?

Hit and miss rumor site Digitimes is reporting that Kindle-maker Amazon is set to launch their own, fully featured, iPad competitor as early as August/September. That's to catch the lucrative holiday sales period.

Amazon adopts processors developed by Texas Instruments, with Taiwan-based Wintek to supply touch panels, ILI Technology to supply LCD driver ICs and Quanta Computer responsible for assembly, the sources indicated. Monthly shipments are expected to be 700,000-800,000 units.

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Google Wallet brings NFC-powered payments to Android, will Apple do likewise?

While rumors have been swirling for months that Apple was going to strap NFC (near field communications) to the iTunes cash register and boldly take iPhone 5 into the mobile payments future, Google is already there with the announcement last week of Google Wallet.

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The iPad is really cutting into consumer PC sales according to analyst

For the first time PC sales are set to decline and Citi analyst Walter Pritchard is pointing the finger firmly in the iPads direction. The graph above shows consumer PC sales growth percentages. Month on month they show positive growth; even through the disastrous Windows Vista period and the global recession. If you look closely, between March 2010 and March 2011 you can see a massive decline in growth with it bottoming out in December 2010 and hitting negative figures in March 2011. Now what happened in March 2010 that could have triggered such a decline in PC sales over the following 12 months?

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Google I/O Android announcements [the competition]

Google had their big, ice cream sandwich filled I/O developer conference Android keynote yesterday, and with Apple's own WWDC just a month away, what they chose to announce -- and maybe not announce -- definitely helps sets the stage.

To keep up with the competition, and our sibling site Android Central complete coverage, follow on after the break!

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Apple beats Google to become the world’s most valuable brand

In a recent brand survey by Millward Brown, Apple has taken the top spot from Google as the world’s most valuable brand. The survey revealed the Apple brand to be worth a staggering $153 billion; which was a huge increase on last year’s figures. This resulted in Apple coming out on top and ended Google’s four year reign at the top.

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