No platform in recent history has grown as fast as Google’s Android OS, and now Google has created a quick video to help us visualize the Android phenomenon. The sequence was first shown ahead of former CEO Eric Schmidt’s keynote at Mobile World Congress, and this week Google finally posted it to its Android Developers YouTube account. The video gives us a visual representation of all Android device activations from October 2008, when the platform launched, through the end of December 2010. It also displays helpful indicators just ahead of major device launches, such as the Motorola DROID launch in November 2009. Hit the jump for the video and prepare to be wowed. More →
According to analytics company Nielsen, digital music sales in the United States were flat during the first half of 2010; showing no positive growth from 2009. The data should be concerning to record labels as digital music sales rose 28% from 2007 to 2008 and 13% from 2008 to 2009. Nielsen’s Jean Littolff spoke with Reuters and explained: “I think this is a plateau, it doesn’t mean that this digital consumption is going to drop significantly.” Nielsen cited lack of consumer confidence and confusion over the plethora of ways to acquire your digital music online as possible reasons for the sudden slowdown. How about you? Are you buying less music these days? More →
Forget the fact that we’re in the second half of 2009 and Microsoft is still releasing new versions of software with “2008” in the name because the day countless Mac users have been waiting for is finally here: say goodbye to Entourage and hello to Outlook. Soon, anyway. That’s right ladies and gents, Outlook for Mac will ship with the next generation of the Office suite, hopefully some time in early 2010. Entourage, you will not be missed. Actually, Entourage isn’t going away completely just yet — a “Web Services Edition” is available immediately, free for current Office 2008 users, and it will continue to be supported indefinitely. The interim version of Entourage will also be included in the newly announced Business Edition of Office 08, which will be available for pre-order starting August 18th and will launch on September 15th. Pricing will run $399.95 for a new copy of Business Edition, $239.95 for a Business Edition upgrade.
As expected, Sony announced a record ¥98.9 billion ($1 billion) loss for the fiscal year ending in March 2009. This is Sony’s first reported yearly loss in 14 years and a significant change from the ¥369.4 billion profit Sony reported for the fiscal year ending in March 2008. Overall sales dropped 12.9 percent to ¥7.73 trillion during 2008 with US sales plummeting 20 percent, European sales slumping 17 percent and Japanese sales falling 14 percent. A small ray of hope in an otherwise bleak report were sales of the PlayStation 3 and the PlayStation portable, which both showed slight improvements. PS3 sales were up 10 percent YoY and PSP sales increased from 13.8 million the previous year to 14.1 million in the recently ending fiscal year. Though improving, sales of Sony gaming products still lag far behind those of Nintendo and Microsoft.
In an attempt to further lower its operating costs, Sony will continue with its previously announced work force reduction of 16,000 employees and will also close 3 plants in Japan, lowering its total number of plants to 49 from a high of 57 last year. Despite its cost cutting measures the outlook remains similarly bleak for the fiscal year ending in March 2010, with losses projected to be in the ballpark of ¥120 billion.
2008 turned out to be a milestone year for LG as it managed to leapfrog past both Motorola and Sony Ericsson by outselling them for the first time in their history. With 100 million phones sold, LG’s 2008 sales are no small feat considering the turbulent economic times. However, it must be said that LG only just surpassed Motorola by 100,000 devices. Motorola, which has quite a lot of new devices headed for Verizon in 2009, is going to have to push very hard for sales in 2009 to regain the number three slot but that might be difficult considering that an LG executive had previously said that his company aims to release over 100 devices in 2009. Yikes. Oh, and in case you were wondering how many units the industry sales leaders in Nokia and Samsung sold, the answer is 470 and 200 million respectively. Add in Sony Ericsson’s 96.6 million and that’s nearly 1 billion phones from the top five in 2008.
Hope you are all recovering well, friends. In case you haven’t heard, a new year is upon us, and we’ve taken the liberty of listing out the top 15 posts of 2008 on BGR (sorted by traffic). If there was something you felt was more relevant and wasn’t on this list, you’re free to add it in the comments, but this is a statistical thing, so don’t get upset if your favorite poster’s favorite post wasn’t included. Here we go!
Best Buy reported on Tuesday its earnings for Q3 2008 which, despite a strong Black Friday showing, were abysmal. Best Buy pulled in a meager $52 million in earnings or 13 cents per share which is a 77% drop from the same quarter last year during which Best Buy raked in earnings of $228 million, or 53 cents a share. Best Buy did not even come close to meeting Wall Street’s expected earnings of 24 cents per share which were adjusted downward from Q3 2007 to reflect the slowdown in the economy. As result of this poor Q3 2008 showing, Best Buy CEO Brad Anderson has announced that Best Buy will be offering voluntary buyouts to all 4,000 of its employees. If a sufficient number of buyouts are not taken, then layoffs may ensue. In addition to cutting back on its workforce, Best Buy also plans on cutting expenditures in half and delaying new store openings. Not so good end of the year news for Best Buy and its employees but as always, we feel for all of those who will be affected by this announcement.
As has consistently been the case in recent history, Sprint’s Q3 2008 results show a decline in revenue and a loss of customers. Sprint’s overall revenue fell 12% to $8.81 billion from $10.04 billion a year ago. Sprint’s wireless service also showed a similar decline, losing 13% from last year and 3% from last quarter. The decline in revenues was due primarily to a loss of customers as Sprint’s total number of wireless customers declined by 1.3 million during this quarter alone and almost 3.5 million since Q3 2007. Post paid customers make up the bulk of this loss during the current quarter as 1.1 million post paid customers left Sprint for its rivals. Sprint did have some good news as post-paid ARPU has stayed at $56 compared to Q1 and Q2 2008, primarily due to increase in the numbers of customers using data. Prepaid ARPU also showed a $1 increase from Q2 2008 as the number of Boost Unlimited subscribers also increased. Nonetheless, the take home message is that Sprint is continuing to lose customers at a relatively fast rate. Sprint’s introduction of several customer care programs to keep customers and encourage them to sign up for data plans may help stem the tide of its decline. It also has a decent lineup of new phones but that nagging question still looms, will new phones and new services be enough to compete against the likes of Verizon and AT&T?
The upset of the year is not happening on the ice or the gridirons, instead it is happening over at Time’s website. Believe it or not but a poll over at Time.com has the Peek Email device leading the list as the top gadget of 2008. Not the sleek Flip Mino portable video camcorder, the iPod Touch, the MacBook, or the many other fantastic products that are among Time’s options, it is the Peek that is the fave amongst the Time respondents. You remember the Peek. It is that email only device that runs on T-Mobile’s EDGE network and provides unlimited email access for $20 per month. It is not just slightly ahead of the competition either. It is mopping the floor with them, garnering almost as many votes as the iPod Touch and the MacBook combined. We’re going to reserve comment on this one and turn it over to you readers. What do think? Is the Peek really the gadget of the year or this a case of some wild online ballot stuffing? Chime in and let us know if the Peek’s rightful place is atop Time’s list, or if Time readers are crazy and the Peek belongs somewhere back around 1998.
Nokia released its interim report today covering performance in Q3 of this year. Long story short, it wasn’t pretty. Nokia had predicted a slow third quarter and a slow third quarter it had indeed. Market share was down, shipments were down, sales were down and profit was down. Perhaps the most alarming statistic is Nokia’s market share – Nokia had been enjoying a steadily rising global share that finally reached an astounding 40% last quarter. Q3 brought the figure down 2% to 38% however, and it would have been worse if not for Nokia’s saving grace: emerging markets. As for Nokia’s presence here in the US, at least it didn’t lose any market share! Nokia held strong at 4.5%, down substantially from 2007 but identical to its share in Q2 2008. Some might consider that a small victory actually, considering the release of the iPhone 3G. Snippet from OPK:
As a result of our strong operational management and market position, Nokia was able to achieve solid margins and operating cash flow of 1.3 billion euros for the third quarter of 2008. With our scale, brand, improving product portfolio and low cost structure, we believe Nokia is well positioned for the current times.
Things are expected to turn around for Nokia in the coming months with the release of its first S60 touchscreen handset, the 5800 XpressMusic. Nokia also is expected to formally announce its first Nseries touchscreen device before the year is over. At the time this post was written, Nokia’s stock was up 2.58% to 15.50.