The all new iPAD
PACESETTER Kshitij Mehra
The all new iPAD
IT looks no different than its predecessor, but it has already set aficionados’ hearts aflutter, and with a fine sense of sophisticated marketing, Apple is calling its latest offering Resolutionary.
iPad—just that, no prefixes, no suffixes. Apple's latest product dispensed with the naming conventions with the same elegance that the company has dismissed computing conventions to give a product that is easy-to-use, one that people find useful and a great addition to their lives. It weighs a little more than its predecessor
On the day Apple released iPad in California, I met Stella, in Chandigarh. The four-year-old uses her parents' iPad with practised ease to draw and express herself. For this little chatterbox, the iPad is just another device; she is not intimidated by it in any way.
A child can use it! That's what Apple would be proud of.
iPad is heralded as the icon of the post-PC world. The device was introduced only in April 2010, and it took just four months to sell over a billion of these devices, and by the time iPad2 was announced on March 2, 2011, almost 15 million iPads were in the hands of people who had downloaded millions of applications for their use.
iPad, the latest one, offers some great goodies, and has significant improvements over its predecessors. The most visible change is, of course, the Retina Display with 2048-by-1536 resolution for the 9.7" screen. This is an eye-popping resolution that is familiar to the users of the iPhone 4 family.
The first two models of the iPad had a resolution of 1,024-by-768 pixels, and the new one is four times of that. This high resolution, according to Steve Jobs, when he introduced it for the first time for the iPhone, is enough "that the human eye is unable to distinguish individual pixels when (the phone or the tablet is) held at a normal distance."
Nitpicking purists do point out there is a difference in the pixels-per-inch on the iPhone 4S' (326 ppi) and the iPad (264 ppi). Thus the iPad has 20 per cent less pixel density, but then you hold the iPad at a different distance from the eye than the iPhone, and thus the debate goes on…
It is really difficult to pack in so many pixels and thus the need for a powerful processor, the dual-core A5X chip. Apple has, however, boosted the graphics component to four cores. In the tablet's technical specifications, it calls it "quad-core graphics." This allows the iPad to handle the increased pixels of the higher-resolution screen with ease and fluidity that you expect an Apple tablet to have.
Can take dictation
The 5-megapixel iSight camera is a bit of a disappointment, since it is akin to its counterpart in iPhone 4, rather than the one on iPhone 4S, which has an 8 megapixel camera. The iPad offers HD video capture at 1080 p, which is similar to what iPhone 4S has. Video capture and a FaceTime camera for video chat are the standard offerings with the high-speed LTE wireless broadband as optional.
The iPad also features speech-to-text dictation, which can be a boon for those who find it difficult to type on a virtual keyboard. You touch a microphone icon next to the space bar on the on-screen keyboard, and viola! You can dictate and see the words you speak typed—that too in English, French, German and even in Japanese! The full-featured voice assistant Siri, is, however, not yet available.
Now, we all know that the hardware improvements mean more to nerds than to ordinary users. Others can give similar or even better hardware, and notably Samsung and Sony have done so.
Apple's strength has also been been its application (app) store through which customers can download apps that they want for the activities that they would like to do.
Apple provides more apps than anyone else, and more people make apps for Apple than they do for any competitor. Thus you have apps for every kind of thing—the most popular categories include games, books, entertainment, education and lifestyle.
App my world
How popular are these apps? Shortly before the latest iPad was unveiled, a customer in China download the 25 billionth app from the App Store, which offers 5,85,000 apps!
Its closest competitor, the recently re-named Google Play, can't match it in numbers, although it has been seen that most of the popular apps are available on practically all platforms, including Android, Windows Phone 7, RIM BlackBerry, and even Symbian, Nokia's practically defunct smart phone operating system, which recently made waves for being the OS platform on which Nokia demonstrated its latest 41 mega pixel camera phone.
Apps contribute in great measure to the experience of using the iPad. No wonder Apple used its strength in music and showed off its GarageBand, app, which has many features to make music, and allows as many as four musically inclined individuals to collaborate, over wi-fi and make a recording that can be edited and posted online. Then there is the Apple iPhoto, with rather advanced features that make optimal use of the touch screen as well as the new display.
As the world moves on to 4G, so has Apple. The new iPad supports 4G or Long-Term Evolution network (LTE), as it is known in the US. It holds the promise of blazingly fast 72Mbps (megabits-per-second) connectivity. It also downshifts its performance to support 3G standards.
Of course, we know that in India 4G support is still awaited, and even 3G is patchy, at best. So, Indians will probably get the best connectivity when they take their iPads along with them on holidays abroad, but still, the promise is great and in metros at least, there is hope that this feature will be useful for us.
Right now, iPad is available in Apple's retail stores in the US, and also through the online Apple store. The best part is that it costs the same, as its predecessor did. (see box). Apple has also retained the 16 GB version of its earlier iPad2, and has announced that it is dropping its price by Rs 5,000 in India.
The new iPad will be available in India by the end of the month, but then there is often a lag as supply tries to fulfil demand. Soon many people will purchase the latest tablet, even as others wait eagerly to get one for themselves.
The post-PC world is here. We will either have it in our hands, or look over the shoulders of others to see its rich display and the fantastic graphics.
THERE never has been a more exciting time for ‘smelling good’ in India than now. Indians have had a great affinity with luxurious, all-natural perfumes (ittars) for thousands of years. Our maharajas and affluent, well-travelled Indians have always been connoisseurs of luxury perfumes, flaunting a superiority of taste. Lovers of ittars included Mughal nobles of India, Nizams of Hyderabad and other notables, including sufi saints. The pursuit of this indulgence is no longer confined to traditional perfumes. Young, aspirational Indians are filling up their shopping carts with top-of-the-line international fragrances. Fragrances by foreign brands are now percolating even towards the middle class.
Changing lifestyles, increasing disposable incomes, lavish weddings and rising influence of media and Western culture have made luxury fashionable. The burgeoning domestic luxury perfume market (around Rs 600-700 crore) is growing at a rate of 20-25 per cent every year. According to the latest Indian Cosmetic Sector Analysis (2009-2012), the women’s fragrance (perfume and deodorant) market will drive the Indian cosmetic industry in 2011-2014.
Indeed, luxury perfumery in India is here to stay. For, given the sheer attractiveness of today’s luxury brands (both international and national), and the fortunes that are being pumped into driving these in emerging markets like India, it appears increasingly unlikely that these will fall out of favour. “As luxury accessory buys, perfumes are among the most popular must-have items on the aspirational buyers’ list. An outlet at a mall, selling luxury fragrances, can easily expect to do a sale of Rs 40,000-Rs 50,000 in a day! The market for such perfumes has a huge potential in India with a lot of players operating in multi-brand outlets as well, besides boutiques or standalone stores. Perfumes for Punjabis are no longer a luxury but a necessity. It’s a stamp of who they are," says Harpreet Singh, the young entrepreneur behind Fragrance & Flavor, an exclusive standalone perfume store at Sector 17, Chandigarh,
While Hindustan Unilever’s Axe, Henkel’s Fa, and CavinKare’s Spinz, Paras Pharmaceutical’s Set Wet Zatak, Reebok, Adidas, and Nivea are some prominent names in India’s deodorant market, it is the high-end perfumes that are doing brisk business in the country.
India is no more a mere testing ground for luxury brands but a lucrative market with an explosive growth potential. Industry estimates suggest that as many as 200-300 international luxury brands are trying to make inroads into the Indian luxury market, already worth Rs 2,400 crore. One study pegs the Indian market’s potential of the 15-35 year bracket at a whopping $14 billion. Spurred by this growth in the purchasing power of young India, these brands are actively looking to either launch themselves here or scale up their existing presence.
The luxury products division of L’Oreal India is marketing brands such as Lancome, Ralph Lauren Fragrances, Giorgio Armani Fragrances and Diesel Fragrances in India. Esprit Holdings, the $5-billion luxury apparel and accessories maker also set up shop in India in 2005. Luxury fragrance brands such as Davidoff, Bulgari and Jennifer Lopez are selling like hot cakes at more than 150 outlets.
Two Escada flagship stores recently debuted in Mumbai and seven more are scheduled to open in India within the next two years. Retail chains like Westside, Lifestyle and Shoppers’ Stop have introduced brands like Versace, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, and Espirit. The once unsophisticated retailing environment is making way for luxury malls like MBD Zephyr and Emporium. Around 600 new malls are reported to be coming up across the country.
Chanel, Tommy Hilfiger and Brioni are opening boutiques or in the process of doing so, in Mumbai and Delhi. Gucci with two stores already in Mumbai and New Delhi, in partnership with the Murjani Group, is planning to open two more in New Delhi and Bangalore by the yearend, according to its chief executive Mark Lee. Leading Italian fashion brand Versace has already opened its first boutique in the country. Chanel, present here since 2005, and Christian Dior since 2006, have a boutique each in New Delhi.
For Spring-Summer 2012, luxury majors are counting on breezy, floral and fruity notes to entice customers. It is more botanical, fruity, woody, light, aqueous or marine scents fragrances for men whereas fruity and floral notes (with a modern twist of gourmand sweetness) for women.
Some are the latest olfactory sensations from top-of-the-line fragrances. Seductive yet playful, they have made a recent splash in the sea of fragrances flooding the Indian market. Others are the legendary perfumes that have constantly ranked on the top-of-the-perfumery sales charts for years. But each of these comes in one-of-a-kind perfume bottle that translates itself into an objet d’ art.
Here are some of the season’s haute fragrances
SEEING IS BELIEVING
DANCE TO THE MONEY BEAT
ONE FOR THE ROAD
PACESETTER Kshitij Mehra
THIS unassuming do-gooder had an impassioned desire that fired his every moment. Kshitij Mehra wanted to empower rural youth by making them aware of the career opportunities that lie ahead. No wonder, while still in his early twenties, he steered forth on an offbeat career path. At 26, Kshitij Mehra was the CEO of YuvShaala — a career-cum-future awareness endeavour for rural youth. The enterprise has had young people travelling across Himachal Pradesh and Punjab to counsel students on diverse careers, “YuvShaala is a platform for youngsters. It is the combination of yuva and shaala, yuva being the youth of the country and shaala being the place,” says Mehra, who presently has an affiliation with more than 1200 schools in the North.
In the first year of its operations, YuvShaala made sales of approximately Rs 10 lakh through advertisement revenue. Last year, YuvShaala counselled 10,000 students in four districts. “It conducted counselling sessions in 86 schools, apart from guiding students of DAV College, Sector 10 Chandigarh, and of LR Group of Institutes, Solan,” shares Mehra. He was nominated for the True Hero Award, constituted by a New Delhi-based newspaper in June, 2011 for empowering rural youth.
A commerce graduate, Mehra pursued his MBA from Management Development Institute, Gurgaon. While preparing for CAT 2008, he taught at PT and Teachwell Education in Noida. It was, however, a chance visit to Kullu in January 2010 that made him discover his true calling, “A friend was launching an institution in Kullu and took me along for marketing presentations. However, the buoyant response we got from students inspired me to counsel village kids. Some of our students today are working with Fortune 200 Companies like John Deere & Company!” The months that followed were not easy. Anxiety, frustration, fear that nothing was moving, dogged the inexperienced social worker. But there was no going back for this gutsy lad.
Kshitij’s bedroom became YuvShaala’s boardroom, “I worked overtime to garner finances, spent sleepless nights brainstorming, lost my way in remote Himachal villages and even had a rickety door fall on me in a village,” laughs the entrepreneur.
“Also in the pipeline is our CEO project. Students will be divided into groups called companies, and every company will have its CEO as mentor. The group will learn how a hospital, a bank, an educational institution, and newspaper work in real life,” reveals a buoyant Kshitij.