MyPad

And here we go again.  Not resting on their already dominant position in the tablet market, Apple has released the next version of their iPad.  No fancy name for this one, just iPad.  I think we should just call this the MyPad.

Why the MyPad? Because soon you will not need a laptop, desktop, GPS device, calculator, alarm clock, wallet, credit cards, camera, video recorder, paint brush, flashlight, book, CD, DVD, in-store customer service, translator, map, blood pressure machine, glucose monitor or any any device that assists you with your life.  If there is not an app built right now, it will soon be available for you to use to do and monitor just about everything you need in your life.  You will still need tools such as a hammer and screwdriver but apparently not much else.

Whatever you call it, I am confident that the new MyPad will extend Apple’s lead over the competition. It is because the MyPad package, hardware, software, applications and price, represents the absolute best tablet you can buy — and it shows no sign of losing that distinction anytime soon.

New iPad

The most significant new feature of the new MyPad is the awesome new retina display. The Retina display on the new iPad features a 2048-by-1536 resolution, 44 percent greater color saturation, and an astounding 3.1 million pixels — in the same 9.7-inch space. That’s four times the number of pixels in iPad 2 and a million more than an HDTV. Those pixels are so close together, your eyes can’t discern individual ones at a normal viewing distance.  The same holds true for the new iPad’s speedier A5X chip. Much faster.  Also supports 4G.  Nice!

The situation is the same for the other new features of the new iPad. The 5 Megapixel iSight backside camera is a big improvement over the inferior camera in the iPad 2. The 5-megapixel iSight camera features a backside illumination sensor that captures great-looking pictures whether by sunlight or candlelight. Autofocus, tap to focus, and tap to set exposure functions mean every photo you take instantly becomes a classic.

The new iPad wasn’t given the power of Siri. But is was given a new dictation capability.  Write an email. Send a text. Search the web. Or create a note. And do it all with only your voice. Instead of typing, tap the microphone icon on the keyboard. Then say what you want to say and just like that, your spoken words become written words. Dictation also works with third-party apps, so you can do things like update your Facebook status or share a thought on your Twitter feed.

It’s the software………..

Apple also upgraded its iWork and iLife for iOS suites to coincide with the new iPad announcement. Pages, Keynote, Numbers, iMovie and GarageBand all have new features that make them better. The best new feature is the new iPhoto for iOS. It leapfrogs beyond the Mac version in almost every area. It takes full advantage a touchscreen as a canvas. The cropping tools, the brushes for spot repairs and enhancements, the new Journals features, so well done and only $4.99 at the app store.  Be a painter 🙂

No other competitor has anything close. Apple strikes again.  Mr. Jobs would be proud.  By the way, already sold out so you will have to wait a little longer.

Swebman

I Paid a 22.2% Sales Tax!

This holiday weekend, the Webman played Santa Claus for the family, just like many of you.  One of the stops was to the Verizon store for an early smartphone upgrade for one of my daughters. (And yes, she is using my upgrade yet again)  Anyway, the upgrade price for a iPhone 4, white, is $99 so I am feeling pretty good about this purchase.

And then it broke down.  First news from the Verizon representative, was that their was a $20 charge for an early upgrade.  Hmm, so they have their hand in my pocket here as it does not cost them anything to do this, but they need to subsidize some cost or just boost the revenue line a bit.  I like this as much as I like change fees on airlines – NOT ONE BIT.  But hey, I am still doing pretty well by getting a new iPhone for $119 right.  So feeling a bit screwed but can tolerate.

And then the bomb hit…  The Verizon representative tells me to slide my credit card and that the total bill was $154.31 including the sales tax.  Hmm, I am pretty good with numbers and quickly realize that I am getting charged more than 20% tax on this transaction.  Here is a picture of the credit card receipt:

Not good at all!

What the heck is going on here?  $34.31 for tax on a $119 purchase?  You have got to be kidding me.  So the Verizon representation calming talks about Taxachusetts (He has had to explain this before I presume) and about how they need to pay tax to the state not on the sales price but on the “Value” of the smartphone, which as you can see on the receipt is $549.  So I am paying the 6.25% tax rate on $549 and not on the $99.  So I choose not to shoot the messenger and do a little research myself.

Apparently this law is today only for cell phone because they come bundled with a plan.  Here is what I found on the State of Massachusetts Blog- http://revenue.blog.state.ma.us/blog/2011/04/new-directive-on-sales-tax-for-cellphone-bundled-transactions.html

“Starting July 1, 2011, D 11-2 announces rules amended in part because in the ensuing years since D 93-9 business models have changed. It may not be readily apparent to the retail customer who actually owns the cell phone store where they are making a purchase and which of the existing salestax rules would apply. The new Directive makes it clear that the tax must be calculated on the higher of the amount actually paid by the retail customer or the wholesale cost of the phone or other wireless communication device.”

“But it also provides — and this is new — that the vendor responsible for collecting and remitting the sales tax now has a choice. In situations where the wholesale cost of the phone or other device is used for calculating the tax (because it is higher than the amount paid by the customer), the seller may collect and remit tax from the customer on the wholesale cost. Alternatively, the vendor may elect to assume a portion of the tax by collecting only on the lesser amount actually paid by the customer, in which case the vendor must also remit tax on the difference between that lesser amount and the wholesale cost.  The seller may collect part or all of that tax from the retail customer.”

And there you have it.  A 22.2% tax on cellular phones in Massachusetts.  Be afraid, be very afraid of where this might lead.  You cannot make this stuff up.

Let me know what you think about this blog by commenting below.

Happy Holidays!

Webman