Apple to Launch an Even Smaller Tablet
Earlier this week, we shared with you the results of a study coordinated by NPD Group that revealed the likelihood of the tablet being the #1 consumer demand item over PC notebooks by 2016.
According to the survey, Apple, with a 62.8 per cent tablet market share, will lead the charge to the top.
It seems the sleek tech giant has been planning for that occurrence: the Wall Street Journal reported today that Apple’s suppliers are preparing for the launch of a new tablet computer – this one featuring an 8-inch screen, which measures nearly 2 inches smaller than the full-size iPad’s – this spring.
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The mini tablet won’t feature the savvy high-def Retina display and may not host all available apps, but with a $US200-$250 price point, the release will be well-timed to keep Apple on par with the soaring popularity of other 7-inch screen tablets including Amazon’s Kindle Fire, Google’s Nexus 7 and Microsoft’s Surface tablet.
"From a competitive standpoint, we believe an iPad mini with a lower price point would be the competition's worst nightmare," said Shaw Wu, an analyst at Sterne Agee, in an earlier interview with Bloomberg. "Most (competitors) already have a tough enough time competing against the iPad 2, as well as the new iPad."
The product launch will be a clear example of CEO Tim Cook’s independent leadership: according to USA Today, former CEO Steve Jobs didn’t think much of the mini iPad concept.
"We don't think you can make a great tablet with a 7-inch screen," Jobs said in a 2010 earnings call. "The 7-inch tablets are tweeners, too big to compete with a smartphone and too small to compete with an iPad."
Business Chief Legend: Ho Ching, CEO of Temasek
Ask Singaporeans who Ho Ching is, and the majority will answer the ‘wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’. And that’s certainly true. However, she’s also the CEO of Temasek Holdings, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, and one of the world’s largest investment companies.
Well, she is until October 1, 2021, as she recently announced she would be retiring following 16 years as CEO of the investment giant.
Since taking the reins in 2004, two years after joining Temasek as Executive Director, Ho has gradually transformed what was an investment firm wholly owned by Singapore’s Government into an active investor worldwide, splashing out on sectors like life sciences and tech, expanding its physical footprint with 11 offices worldwide (from London to Mumbai to San Francisco) and delivering growth of US$120 billion between 2010-2020.
Described by Temasek chairman Lim Boon Heng as having taken “bold steps to open new pathways in finding the character of the organisations”, Ho is credited with building Temasek’s international portfolio, with China recently surpassing Singapore for the first time.
As global a footprint as Ho may have however, she has her feet firmly planted on Singapore soil and is committed to this tiny city-state where she was not only educated (excluding a year at Stanford) but has remained throughout her long and illustrious career – first as an engineer at the Ministry of Defence in 1976, where she met her husband, and most notably as CEO of Singapore Technologies, where she spent a decade, and where she is credited with repositioning and growing the group into the largest listed defence engineering company in Asia.
It’s little wonder Ho has featured on Forbes’ annual World’s Most Powerful Women list for the past 16 years, in 2007 as the third most powerful woman in business outside the US, and in 2020 at #30 worldwide.
But it’s not all business. Ho has a strong track record in Singapore public service, serving as chairman of the Singapore Institute of Standards and Industrial Research and as deputy chairman of the Economic Development Board; and is a committed philanthropist with a focus on learning difficulties and healthcare.
As the pandemic kicked off, she not only led active investments in technology and life sciences, with German COVID-19 vaccine developer BioNTech among the most recent additions to Temasek’s portfolio, but through the Temasek Foundation – the firm’s philanthropic arm which supports vulnerable groups close to Ho’s heart, handed out hand sanitiser and face masks.
So, you would be forgiven for thinking that at age 68, Ho might simply relax. But in March 2021, just as she announced her retirement from Temasek, Ho joined the Board of Directors of Wellcome Leap, a US-based non-profit organisation that’s dedicated to accelerating innovations in global health. Not ready to put her firmly grounded feet up yet it seems.