Sep 13, 2012

Which is the biggest consumer electronics news for the week - Apple iPhone 5, Nintendo WiiU, or Kindle Fire HD?

The past 10 days or so has been a particularly interesting time for releases of new consumer technology. Which of the "big three" for the week will matter the most in a month or two: the new iPhone 5, Nintendo WiiU or Kindle Fire HD?

The iPhone 5, hands down. The other two are interesting, but won't have the effects on the industry or the world wide economy that the iPhone 5 will. Apparently, Apple sold out of their preorder stock in the first hour. Wow. That's a lot of phones, and it happened in the middle of the night!

So look for GIGANTIC sales numbers for the iPhone 5, and that will snowball among software developers, case makers, and everybody else attached to the iOS ecosystem. The new iPhone is going to be hugely important to the world economy over the next couple of years.

In terms of money, I would say iPhone, with the Wii U and Kindle probably fighting over second place.  In terms of disruptive technology, I would have to go with the Wii U.  Both the iPhone 5 and Kindle Fire HD are incremental new models of existing products.  Yes, they have superior capabilities compared to their predecessors, and are both interesting and desirable devices, the iPhone 5 more so to most people.  The Wii U is different.  It may be able to do what Google and Apple have been trying to do with respect to the living room.   For those less familiar with the Wii U is uses a tablet like controller that is integrated into both game play and control of other function such as what Nintendo is calling "Nintendo TVii".  Really.  TVii.  Oooookay...


What TVii brings is an integration of ALL of your entertainment streams into one system, at least in theory.  According to Nintendo it supports all of the big cable and sat TV providers plus Tivo, Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon, and layers on an additional level of information, easily and without any significant effort by the user.  So you can access streaming content, chat, see sports plays, etc. while watching any given program  Most of which you can do with a laptop, iPad or whatever, but the Wii U does it without requiring that second device to control the actual content.  It's like a super-remote/laptop/tablet/controller thingy.  On top of that you have the expected internet connectivity for browsing and downloading games, as one would expect.


The Wii U may be a success or may not.  I haven't seen one in person yet, so I withhold judgment.  But unlike the other two devices mentioned, it does move in a different direction from its predecessor, and has the potential to be the most disruptive technology.  I'm a gamer, so I may be a little biased.  That doesn't mean I'm wrong though.     

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