Today in Tech: Why tablets will replace the smartphone

August 6, 2012, 4:42 PM UTC

How some techies are breaking a fashion taboo; RIM ‘seriously’ considered switching to Android. 

Apple’s secrets revealed at trial [THE WALL STREET JOURNAL]

On Friday, Scott Forstall, a senior vice president who oversees the software used on the company’s mobile devices, testified that as early as January 2011, an Apple executive advocated that the company build a tablet with a 7-inch screen. Apple has generally disputed the appeal of devices smaller than its 9.7-inch iPad, despite reports the company is developing a smaller model.

In Silicon Valley, showing off their Louboutins [THE NEW YORK TIMES]

“Designing software and products isn’t all that different from the design of clothes,” Ms. Mayer, 37, the new chief executive of Yahoo, said in an interview last February. She once paid $60,000 at an auction for lunch with Oscar de la Renta. “Like components of software,” she said, “fashion designers learned how to do this shoulder, put pleats on the skirt that way.”

Ms. Mayer, who for years was responsible for the design of Google’s search engine, proved her point when she asked Naeem Khan to make the dress for her wedding to Zachary Bogue, a financier, in 2009. She gave the designer a spec (a set of requirements that engineers write for new products) for the gown, including scalloped trim, an A-line skirt and lace, preferably with snowflakes.

Y Combinator’s first batch: Where are they now? [THE NEXT WEB]

To say that Y Combinator has been a success is definitely true. But what of those eight members of the first Summer Founders Program; Y Combinator’s “First Batch”? While not every startup born in that experiment back in 2005 is still going today, their founders have arguably all found success. It all depends on how you define that word.

RIM CEO says company ‘seriously’ considered switch to Android [BOY GENIUS REPORT]

“We took the conscious decision not to go Android,” Heins told the Telegraph. ”If you look at other suppliers’ ability to differentiate, there’s very little wiggle room. We looked at it seriously — but if you understand what the promise of BlackBerry is to its user base it’s all about getting stuff done. Games, media, we have to be good at it but we have to support those guys who are ahead of the game. Very little time to consume and enjoy content — if you stay true to that purpose you have to build on that basis. And if we want to serve that segment we can’t do it on a me-too approach.”

Here’s why tablets will replace the smartphone [BUSINESSWEEK]

Tablets can do the same things as smartphones, only better. I always turn to my tablet before my smartphone when possible. Why? The tablet experience is simply better for browsing, apps, e-mail, and nearly everything else I can think of. … In fact, I can’t think of a single digital activity that’s better on a smartphone than on a tablet. You could reasonably argue that voice calling is, but my suspicion is that most who say that haven’t yet tried to use a tablet for such communication. But GPS navigation? Web browsing? Gaming? Reading? With few exceptions—say, capturing photos or video—I think most will say these are better on tablets. And they are activities that are likely to improve even more; the tablet market is in a far earlier stage of its maturity than smartphones are.

AT&T to leave 2G behind [THE WALL STREET JOURNAL]

The telecom giant said about 12% of its contract wireless customers, or roughly 8.4 million people, were using 2G handsets at the end of June, but it will work “proactively” in coming years to move them to more advanced devices. Like the other major carriers, AT&T’s customers mostly use phones with 3G, or third-generation, technology, and it is aggressively rolling out a nationwide 4G network.