Apple Store goes down ahead of today’s iPad event. Live video stream available on Apple’s website!


The online Apple Stores in the United States and the world over have gone offline ahead of today’s iPad event. Just a few minutes ago, Apple also updated its homepage with the event teaser graphics and provided a link to live stream the event through a web browser on iOS devices and Macs. Additionally, the Apple Events channel on the Apple TV has been updated with the event listing so couch potatoes from around the world can enjoy the presentation as it unfolds, from the comfort of their living room…

Today’s event kicks off at 10am PST / 11am MST / 12pm CT / 1pm EST.

In other time zones, the event schedule works out to the following:

• London – 6:00 p.m.
• Paris – 7:00 p.m.
• Beirut – 8:00 p.m.
• Berlin – 7:00 p.m.
• Tokyo – 2:00 a.m. (Wednesday)
• Sydney – 4:00 a.m. (Wednesday)
• Auckland – 6:00 a.m. (Wednesday)

ECB will be on hand watching the event unfold so expect ongoing coverage, news articles, analysis and colorful commentary pre, during and post event.

In the meantime, check out our iPad event roundup for a sense of what to expect from today’s presentation.

Doctors in new survey choose the Apple iPhone and the Apple iPad to save and access patient files

Doctors in new survey choose the Apple iPhone and the Apple iPad to save and access patient filesWhile an apple a day might keep the doctor away, an Apple or two tells the doctors what to do. In a recent survey, physicians are choosing the Apple iPhone and Apple iPad as the devices they would prefer to use to save and access patient records. Doctors are demanding more medically-related apps and 83% of the healers are planning on using Electronic Health Records (EHRs) on mobile devices to analyze lab results, order meds, and update patient information.

Just as Airline pilots are replacing tons of paper with iPads loaded with special apps, doctors are replacing paper with iPads loaded with special apps that allow them to find specific information faster and more accurately. The financial aspects of this will amount to billions of dollars saved annually. But in terms of lives saved, that is a much more important metric that will show over time the importance of making this move.

59% of physicians who work out of an office already integrate a tablet into their office practice with the Apple iPad the top choice among these doctors. 68% of them choose the Apple iPhone over other smartphone platforms like Android, and both devices have found their way inside hospitals. One drawback right now is that the EHR’s on the iPad or iPhone resemble the paper based forms. 71% of the doctors surveyed say the forms need to be made more “touchscreen friendly” so that medical staff can more quickly find the information they need.

The good news is that this is coming. 122 vendors of EHR record keeping say that they have native Apple iPad versions of their product in the works. Another 135 vendors say that they plan on making the switch from paper to iPad. And while the smaller size of a smartphone screen compared to a tablet makes it harder to use for medical purposes, 89% of doctors carry a handset despite the size of the glass making it harder to use to read X-rays, for example.

Happy Birthday iPad: How Apple’s tablet revolutionized business computing

Three years ago today Apple released the first iPad, and it’s fair to say that Apple’s tablet has had a profound effect on how people, especially in business, now use computers.

‘Cool’ Apple brought about the BYOD era

The iPad has only been with us for a short time, and yet it has already changed how computers are being used in the workplace.

The days of your IT department solely deciding what device you can have and when are diminishing as knowledge workers increasingly get to choose which devices they want use at work.

So, what brought about this shift in workplace dynamics? Well, it was the rise of consumerization and more specifically, an increasing desire for employees to use their personally-owned devices, like the iPad, to become more productive – the so-called Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) to work trend.

Apple’s iPad and iPhone have been the big winners of this, largely at the expense of BlackBerry, although researchers believe that Android is winning in some business verticalsand in developing regions.

As covered extensively on TabTimes, there are some clear advantages with BYOD, the main plus points being that employees become more productive and even work longer hours while businesses – in theory at least – save on costs and training while embracing the latest technology.

Arguably the only loser in this is the IT departments charged with managing this chaos, especially with concerns around data security if an iPad becomes lost or stolen. That said, there are plenty of signs that companies are becoming better at managing these devices through BYOD policies and Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solutions.

Businesses have started thinking big on mobile

Apple’s iPad has quickly become a business tool to the point where deployments have ranged from four or five in SMBs to tens of thousands going into Fortune 500 enterprises, schools and healthcare establishments.

All of this has led researchers to claim that businesses will spend $24 billion on iPads through to 2014 (that figure was as high as $10 billion in some quarters for 2012), and say that around 27 million tablets will be used in the workplace in 2013.

One analyst even suggests that the iPad will replace the laptop as the enterprise’s mobile computer of choice this year.

These deployments have sped up businesses’ plans to implement mobile strategies and roll-out mobile business apps.

Enterprise app developer Mubaloo, for example, said that business apps will be all the rage in 2013, and said recently that it is increasingly consulting business on introducing mobile strategies.

It is no wonder then that mobile apps are expected to increase in worth from $25 billion in 2012 to almost $50 billion by 2017.

Cloud computing becomes the norm

As the iPad has risen in popularity so has the popularity of cloud-based productivity apps like CloudOn, Quickoffice, Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive and Box.

The rise of both is no coincidence. For starters, the iPad still comes minus Microsoft’s Office suite – the go-to software if you have work with Office files like Word, Excel and PowerPoint that may have originated on a Windows-based PC.

Then there is the absence of a microSD card slot or USB port for saving files, which means that saving on iPad is limited to the tablet’s relatively limited storage or saving to the cloud.

The rise of cloud computing has been projected for some time, among consumers and businesses, and the ability to store files on one device and access them on another, e.g. the iPad, is a big benefit to today’s “always-connected” user.

Some of these solutions take care of different things. For example, business users may use iCloud for syncing contacts and photos, Amazon for book reading in their spare time, and perhaps Dropbox or Google Drive for locating and encrypting important documents. In business, users may often use software-as-a-service tools like and Concur.

“The flexibility that comes with cloud storage “is not just a nice thing to have, but a necessity when you’re dealing with storage-limited devices,” said Avi Greengart, a consumer devices analyst at research firm Current Analysis.

“If you have a device based on flash memory, you don’t want to sync everything.”

Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi adds to this point.

“An important trend that I think is somewhat ignored is the impact iPad is having on software like Office and the acceleration to cloud-based offerings such as Office 365 and Evernote.

“Linked to that is how people find a way around what they used to do and what they can and cannot do on a tablet. This gives them a more open mind to what a computing device will be in the future.”

Apple changed the way businesses gather and show information

“The iPad created an opportunity for businesses to adopt computing technologies in roles that are primarily about gathering information,” said ABI Research analyst Jeff Orr.

“Often these ‘clipboard’ jobs were driven by paper and pen, and with the introduction of touch-based tablets like the iPad much of this can be automated into digital systems.”

As Orr notes, the iPad has become a leading tool for collecting data out in the field, completing sales orders, even checking people in at events or evaluating sports injuries.

That’s not to say that the iPad isn’t used for content creation — several Tablet Leaders show that there is more to Apple’s tablet — but it clearly is simplifying and speeding up processes which were previously paper-bound.

iPad has made people think differently about touchscreens

Whether you buy the view that iPads can become your primary mobile device or not, there’s no doubting the effect Apple’s tablet has had on the more conventional computer types.

Studies show PC sales to have remained flat from 2009 figures, the most-famous Wintel relationship no longer holds the power it once did, while the rise of the tablet has effectively killed off the netbook.

This much is clear — Apple’s tablet has helped the rise of touchscreens and got people thinking differently about computer control (and sure, let’s give the iPhone credit for getting the touchscreen craze rolling).

Even Microsoft, the perennial campaigner of the mouse and keyboard, says that it can’t imagine a Windows 8 PC without touch.

Around the same time the iPad was introduced, touchscreens were largely confined to some digital signage displays, the fledgling all-in-one (AIO) PCs and the iPod Touch.

Multi-touch functionality was barely mainstream, and yet today it is the norm (gesture control is now seen as the next part of the touch evolution).

Indeed, touchscreens are now so popular that young children are increasingly more accustomed to operating a computer via touch rather than the QWERTY keyboard. That signals a big change in how tomorrow’s workforce will use computers thanks largely in part to Apple which, in typical fashion, wasn’t the first to create a new technology, but sure knew how to popularize it. TabTime

Apple to cut shipments of the Apple iPad mini by 20% in advance of a new model?

According to a report by anonymous members of the industry supply chain who supply components to Apple, the Cupertino based firm could cut shipments of the Apple iPad mini by 10-12 million units in the second quarter. The drop in shipments of the 7.9 inch slate could be as high as 20% on a sequential basis in April as the tech giant wants to conserve parts for the production of the sequel model of the Apple iPad mini.

While the next version of Apple’s 7.9 inch tablet is expected to be launched in the third quarter, some of the sources believe that the reason for the shipping cut has nothing to do with a sequel to the iPad mini and instead has to do with increased competition in the low priced 7 inch sector by various Android tablets.

According to the sources, the Cupertino based tech titan has adjusted its 2013 shipping schedule to 33 million iPads and 55 million iPad mini units. One of the most expected changes on a new Apple iPad mini would be a replacement of the rather low resolution screen with a panel offering a Retina display.

Apple releases peppy new ‘Alive’ and ‘Together’ TV ad spots for iPad and iPad mini

Apple has released two energetic new commercials for the iPad showing off a few of the 300,000+ apps designed for its tablet lineup.

The first spot, “Alive”, runs through the adjectives “loud”, “deep” and “alive” to highlight interactive apps like GarageBand, TED and iMovie.

The second ad, “Together”, features the adjectives “wild”, “bright” and “together”.

The campaign works to make the point that the iPad is useful for creative and engaging activities, rather than just passive consumption of content. While the original iPad faced early criticism that it was better suited for consumers than creators, the breadth of apps in the App Store, including Apple’s own titles, like iMovie and GarageBand, have served to dispel the myth.

Apple announced in January that it had sold 22.9 million iPads last quarter. Its dominance in the tablet arena has diminished some, however, as competitors have caught up with their own offerings. Industry estimates for the fourth quarter of 2012 suggest that the company has held onto over 40 percent market share.