Apple’s retail stores continue to outsell, on a sales per square foot basis, all other retailers by a large margin. Horace Dediu of Asymco found that the number of Apple Store visitors grew 7% last quarter and helped Apple’s in-store retail revenue reach a record $57.60 per visitor. Each store is now averaging sales of $13 million per quarter, the highest level for any non-holiday quarter. The average number of visitors per store was said to have reached 250,000 per quarter in the past 12 months, up from 170,000 per store per quarter between 2009 and 2010. Dediu speculates that the jump in visitors could be from more space in new stores and renovations in older stores. Apple’s retail stores now outsell No.2 Tiffany & Co two-to-one and No.3 Lululemon Athletica three-to-one.
Samsung on Monday announced a new super-high resolution display for laptop computers. The company revealed a 13.3-inch QHD display with a resolution of 3200 x 1800 and a pixel density of 276 ppi. The display’s pixels are packed even tighter on Samsung’s new panels than on Google’s Chromebook Pixel and Apple’s MacBook Pro with a Retina display. The Chromebook Pixel previously featured the highest laptop resolution display with a 2560 × 1700 pixel resolution and 239 ppi, while the Retina MacBook Pro features a 2560 x 1600 pixel display and 227 ppi. Samsung claims its displays are 30% more power efficiency than existing LCD displays. The company gave no details about when we may see these displays arrive in future products. Samsung’s full press release follows below. More →
The rumored X Phone being developed by Google and Motorola unit is headed to AT&T later this year. A recent filing with the Federal Communication Commission revealed that the device, which carried the codename Motorola XT1058, will support AT&T’s LTE and HSPA+ networks. The smartphone didn’t include CDMA radios for Verizon and Sprint’s networks, however a new leak suggests a CDMA model is also in the works. A configuration file reportedly from a leaked Motorola USB driver that was obtained by Droid-Life revealed a device with the codename XT1060, similar to the recently leaked AT&T model. The file also confirmed that the smartphone will be equipped with a dual-core Snapdragon 4 Pro processor and support for CDMA networks, although it isn’t clear if it will be compatible with Verizon, Sprint or perhaps both carriers.
Consumers have begun to move away from two-year contracts and embrace the prepaid smartphone market. In response to this growing user base, Verizon Wireless this week announced that it is increasing its data allowance for prepaid customers. The carrier’s new plans offer unlimited talk and text with 2GB of data, up from 500MB, for $60 a month. There is also a plan with 4GB of data, up from 2GB, for $70 per month. The increased data allowance is available now to current customers, and will be available to new customers beginning June 6th. AT&T also recently announced a new prepaid service in select markets, known as Aio Wireless, which offers unlimited talk and text with 2GB of data for $55 per month, or 7GB of data for $70 per month.
Nokia is rumored to be preparing a 41-megapixel Lumia smartphone, codenamed EOS, that will be released later this year. According to WMPowerUser, the handset will look similar to Nokia’s Lumia 920 smartphone and will feature a polycarbonate case with a 4.5-inch 720p display. The device will reportedly come with a new application called “Nokia Pro Camera” to compliment the 41-megapixel PureView camera, which is also said to include a protective lens cover that automatically opens when the camera application is launched. Unlike the handful of Lumias that came before it, however, the EOS will reportedly not come in different colors and will not natively support wireless charging. Earlier reports suggested that Nokia would launch its EOS smartphone in the United States this summer.
The Xbox 360 topped the charts again in April, marking the 28th consecutive month Microsoft’s gaming console has outsold Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Nintendo’s Wii consoles. According to research from NPD Group, the Xbox 360 accounted for 42% of current-generation sales with 130,000 units sold last month. It wasn’t all good news, however, as sales plummeted 50% from 261,000 units in March. As a whole, the industry continued to struggle in April with total gaming sales down 25% year-over-year from $657.5 million to $495.2 million. Microsoft and Sony’s next-generation consoles are expected to help sales pick up when they launch ahead of the holidays this year.
It has been widely reported that Apple will debut a new streaming radio service at its Worldwide Developers Conference next month. The company was said to be close to striking a deal with Warner Music and Sony Music to launch its iRadio service, however recent reports suggest negotiations may have hit a roadblock that could prevent Apple from debuting the service at next month’s event. More →
Earlier this week, BlackBerry announced the arrival of BlackBerry Messenger for Android and iOS. A new report suggests that the messaging service will have some limitations, however. According to TrustedReviews, BBM will not be available for the iPad or for Android tablets at launch. Vivek Bhardwaj, head of the BlackBerry software portfolio, reportedly told the website that BBM will be limited to iPhones running iOS 6 or higher and Android smartphones. More →
Samsung and Apple have fought over market share and patents, and they may soon start fighting over supply chains. Samsung traditionally built its products using internal supply lines, but as its devices became increasingly popular the company has been forced to seek outside help. Reuters reports that Samsung has reached out to some of Apple’s key supply chain partners about helping the company manufacture its products. With the two companies fighting for supply lines, Samsung’s presence could increase Apple’s cost and lead to component shortages that might disrupt Apple’s future products. More →
The United States Department of Defense on Friday approved the use of Apple devices running iOS 6 on its networks, Bloomberg reported. The iPhone will compete with BlackBerry 10 and Samsung KNOX devices, which received approval earlier this month. The Pentagon has continued to test alternative platforms to give employees flexibility when choosing a work phone. The DoD even has plans to create a mobile app store that can handle as many as 8 million devices. There are currently more than 600,000 mobile devices in use at the agency, 470,000 of which are older BlackBerry smartphones. There are currently more than 40,000 iPhones and 8,700 Android devices in use, however most of them aren’t connected to military networks except for testing purposes.
The Galaxy S4 is Samsung’s fastest-selling smartphone ever with shipments topping 6 million units in two weeks. Samsung co-CEO Shin Jong-kyun revealed on Friday that sales of the Galaxy S4 into channels will likely pass 10 million units next week, The Korea Times reported. The executive noted that it is selling much faster than the Galaxy S III, which took 50 days to reach the 10 million mark. The Galaxy S4 will hit the same milestone in less than a month. More →
Google on Wednesday announced a new application, known as Hangouts, during its annual I/O Developers Conference that looks to unify the company’s existing chat and video services. The application was released for Gmail, Android, iOS and Chrome, and it supports Google Talk, Google+ Hangouts and Google Messenger. Dori Storbeck, community manager of Google+ Hangouts and Chat, confirmed on Thursday that SMS integration is also “coming soon,” noting that is it one of the company’s “most requested features.” Adding the ability to send and receive SMS messages will help Google further compete with Apple’s iMessage service and BlackBerry’s upcoming cross-platform BBM app. More →
A U.K. judge has sentenced four members of hacking collective LulzSec, an offshoot of hacking group Anonymous, for their role in taking down various corporate and government websites between February and September 2011, ZDNet reported. Judge Deborah Taylor sentenced 26-year old Ryan Ackroyd, 20-year old Jake Davis, 18-year old Mustafa al-Bassam and 21-year old Ryan Cleary in a London courtroom on Thursday. More →