iPad Industry Roundup: Kleiner doubles iFund, Apple mulls search, rival offerings emerge

Mar 31, 2010
Finance

Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is doubling the size of its application-focused iFund to $200 million. In other news, less than seventy five hours until the first batch of iPads hit the street, the story lines are focusing more on Apple’s wider ambitions to crack into other markets, how rival companies are preparing to market […]

Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is doubling the size of its application-focused iFund to $200 million. In other news, less than seventy five hours until the first batch of iPads hit the street, the story lines are focusing more on Apple’s wider ambitions to crack into other markets, how rival companies are preparing to market their own tablet alternatives and why employee’s at Apple’s retail stores are just as anxious as the rest of us to get their hands on the new device. 

From the Internet, to energy and now applications, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is the Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm that can literally move markets. Kleiner Perkins, which a year ago launched the first venture capital fund to invest exclusively in iPhone apps, today revealed that its iFund will double in size to $200 million. The firm, which has 14 portfolio companies to date, will soon announce investments in five more developers. 

This Saturday the iPad arrives and we believe it’s going to rule the world,” said Kleiner Perkins partner John Doerr.

We do too. 

Analyst predicts Apple entry into search 

For years, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster made a living predicting that Apple would one day add a tablet computer to its offerings. Now that the iPad is just about here, Munster is on to Apple’s next frontier saying that there is a 70 percent chance the company will develop its own search engine in the coming years. 

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“We believe Apple could utilize data unavailable to Google, data generated by the company’s App Store, to create a mobile centric search engine, which would be a unique offering to Google’s search engine,” he said. 

While Munster believes Apple will tap the search market by 2012, author and search guru John Battelle believes that any encroachment by Apple into the search space will be based around apps (and not encompass the entire web.) 

“It already has app discovery via the iTunes store,” Battelle explains, “but it’s terrible, with no signal that gives reliable results based on accrued intent.”

RIM, Palm, Microsoft fight for mobile app scraps 

Getting the attention and respect of mobile app developers was hard enough in an iPhone-based world. Now, with the release of the iPad, the Wall Street Journal and others are reporting about “toehold” battle between Research in Motion, Palm, Microsoft and others

The Financial Times is reporting how executives at HP and Microsoft are touting their Slate tablet computer’s ability to support Adobe’s Flash software as a point of differentiation. 

Apple employees chomping at the bit 

When you’re in line this Saturday waiting to get your brand new iPad, it is likely that the employees selling you the device will be getting (close) to their first looks as well. Reuters is reporting that Apple’s retail employees have get to see and get a hold of the iPads. Credit or complain about Apple’s notoriously leak-averse culture. Thankfully, none of us will have to wait too much longer. 

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Brad Spirrison

Brad Spirrison is the managing editor of appoLearning and Appolicious Inc. In this capacity, he has sampled and evaluated thousands of iOS and Android applications. He also holds an M.A. in Education and Media Ecology from New York University.

Spirrison worked in concert with appoLearning Expert and Instructional Technology Specialist Leslie Morris while curating and evaluating educational applications.

A longtime media and technology commentator and executive, Spirrison is also a regular contributor to ABC News, The Huffington Post, TechCrunch, Bloomberg West and The Christopher Gabriel Program.

Spirrison is married and lives with his wife and young son in Chicago. As his son was born just weeks before the debut of the iPad, Spirrison takes his work home with him and regularly samples and enjoys a variety of educational applications for young children.

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