Latest industry insight

Mini breaks maxi sales?

At 7 inches, the mini may be small, but initial sales have surpassed all expectations. Interestingly, Apple hasn’t split out mini sales from iPad4 which launched on the same day (Friday, 2nd November), highlighting 3 million iPad sales from the initial 3 days post launch. Compare this to the 1.5 million iPad 3 (Wifi) only models sold at an equivalent post launch period earlier this year. Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook is quoted as say that iPad minis are practically now out of stock and work’s underway to ramp up build to meet increased demands. Cellular versions are due out later this year, so all eyes on the sales figures for this. The future’s differently looking bright for Apple currently.

Elsewhere in mobile land

Great activity elsewhere in mobile land, with a number of new Windows 8 enable mobile handsets, notably from HTC and Nokia released recently. Nokia’s Lumia 920 launches to rave reviews and high expectations based around its functionality and performance busting specifications. Taiwanese manufacturer HTC is hoping that its new 8x device will do the business.  Samsung’s gain has clearly been HTC’s loss with 2011 essentially marking a turning point in HTC’s fortunes, following Samsung’s aggressive marketing campaign ramp up. Form-factor wise the new HTC  is a real head turner, but how will it fare now the competition has got just that stiffer with Nokia’s new handset now on the scene?


Now news of one of the currently most talked about iOS apps, Summly. Summly is the brain child of Brit teenager Nick D’Aloisio and devised from the comfort of his own bedroom, whilst studying for exams. D’Aloisio hit on the idea that finding a way to get news/content summaries to users, which they can the scan or swipe through to read more information, better reflects our modern reading habits. Without unearthing that on-going debate over digital prevalence and the impact on our attention spans, he clearly has a point. Always one to skim read, I found myself jumping between newspaper articles on my weekend newsprint fix in a way I would never of dreamt of a few years ago. Now, better start writing that next article.

Blow your mind

And finally  for something completely different, but equally relevant in terms of how one approaches a design problem. Not least in terms of how constraints can bring a fresh and creative solution to bear on a longstanding issue or challenge. It comes in the form of a ball made out of bamboo rods which essentially ressemble  sink plungers. It costs around $40 per unit to manufacturer and is light enough to be blown around in the wind, but what purpose does it serve? The answer quite simply is….saving lives. Developed by Afghan born design graduate Massoud Hassani, the device is designed to be easily manufactured and addresses a critical problem of removal of landmines, often indiscriminately planted and lying undetected in fields for years on end. Massoud’s idea came from a scaling up of a popular children’s toy, but the solution is anything but child’s play in terms of the value and changes it has the potential to deliver to those communities faced with the daily uncertainty of unexploded landmines. As Massoud explains, landmine clearing techniques have remained largely unchanged over the last 60 years. At a fraction of the financial cost ($1,200 on average to remove a single land mine) and human cost. This solution is both inspiring on many fronts. Inspire yourself too by seeing it in action…