Countless analysts predicted Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet would be a big seller this holiday season, and new data suggests that the slate may have been the most gifted tablet this past Christmas. Advertising network Chitika saw traffic across its network from the Kindle Fire grow roughly 20% each day leading up to Christmas, and traffic then exploded by more than 120% between December 24th and 25th. Research In Motion’s BlackBerry PlayBook saw the second biggest spike on Christmas Day, up just over 50% thanks to deep discounts during the holiday shopping season, and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab line of tablets saw traffic jump about 15% on the 25th. Traffic from Apple’s iPad didn’t increase at all on Christmas Day, suggesting that rival tablets may have had an even bigger impact on holiday iPad sales than previously predicted. Read on for more. More →
Google’s Android head Andy Rubin confirmed via Twitter on Wednesday that there were a total of 3.7 million Android devices activated on December 24th and December 25th combined. Google recently said that there are now more than 700,000 Android devices activated per day on average, which means the average daily activation figure was more that doubled over the holiday weekend. Flurry Analytics reported earlier this week that iOS and Android activations jumped 353% during the holiday weekend to set a new record for the most activations in a single day. Flurry also said more than 6.8 million Android and iOS devices were activated on December 25th (Christmas Day) alone. More →
On Wednesday, Citadel Securities analyst Shing Yin said that an iPhone launch on Sprint is ever more likely since Verizon Wireless’ announcement that it will move from unlimited data plans to tiered data pricing on July 7th. According to Barron’s, Yin believes that Apple will be more compelled than ever to launch a device on Sprint, given that it’s the last remaining of the big four U.S. wireless carriers to offer a truly unlimited data option. “We believe Sprint could capture more than its fair share of iPhone sales, especially if it gets the new model at the same time as AT&T and Verizon.” Yin explained. “We see little reason for Apple to hold back,” he argued, noting that Sprint most likely would attempt to launch the device before the holiday season this year. “[Sprint] could offer an attractive proposition for more price-conscious users (a demographic we think is increasingly important to Apple following the rise of Android,” he said. “[It] could be a relatively stronger seller than the Verizon iPhone.” More →
Didn’t get that iPhone 4 you were so hoping to receive for Christmas? AT&T Wireless is offering up some new pricing on refurbished iPhone 4 units, and it is pretty spectacular. AT&T has cut $50 off the price of the iPhone 4, making the total price with new two year activation just $99 for a 16GB unit. If you’re alright with taking one with a “cosmetic blemish,” you’ll be able to snag one for just $79. Again, these are refurbished units (usually returned or exchanged items that have been quality tested and then reboxed), but if you have been waiting for the right time to hop on the iPhone train, this is one of the best offers we have seen. Here is all the new pricing from AT&T:
- iPhone 4 16GB — $99
- iPhone 4 32GB — $199
- iPhone 4 16GB with cosmetic blemish — $79
- iPhone 4 32GB with cosmetic blemish — $179
Let us know if you pick one up, alright?
SpendingPulse, a MasterCard Advisors service that monitors national retail and services sales, has an early Christmas gift for all of us this year. According to tallies of MasterCard payments along with survey-based estimates for other forms of payment, MasterCard Services estimates that online spending this holiday season hit $36.4 billion in the U.S. The massive number represents a 15.4% increase compared to the holiday season in 2009. “Today eCommerce accounts for a much larger share of overall retail sales compared to a few years ago. And during this holiday season, it registered double digit growth for 6 out of 7 weeks,” said Michael McNamara, VP for MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse, in a statement. Daily online spending in the U.S. topped $1 billion six times during the holiday shopping season this year, compared to three times in 2009. Hit the break for the full press release. More →
The Amazon Kindle’s position as one of the top electronics gifts of the 2010 holiday season is reaffirmed today as Amazon notes that the Wi-Fi-only version of its popular eBook reader is currently sold out. New orders will not be delivered until after Christmas, and Amazon suggests interested parties purchase the more expensive Kindle 3G instead, if delivery by Christmas is desired.
Due to overwhelming customer demand, Kindle (Wi-Fi) is temporarily out of stock. Orders placed today will arrive after December 24th. Order now to reserve your place in line. Our Kindle 3G for $189 is still available in time for Christmas.
Amazon’s Kindle Wi-Fi is very affordable at $139, and it currently sits at No. 2 on Amazon’s list of best-selling products. The Kindle 3G — which, at $189, costs $50 more than the Wi-Fi-only version — is No. 1 on the list.
Thanks, Mike More →
‘Tis the season to spend money, and the countless sales that continue to pop up across the country make it oh so easy for us to part with our hard earned cash. One of the latest in a long line of enticing sales comes from Electronic Arts, which is offering a massive collection of iOS games for just 99¢ each. In fact, 68 of EA’s popular titles for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch are on sale right now. Hit the break for the complete list compiled by Touch Arcade, which shows all of the games on sale along with links to each title’s App Store page. More →
In a note to investors Monday, JP Morgan analyst Imran Khan wrote that online shopping during the holiday season is up 22% so far this year compared to the same period in 2009. Khan cites a Chase Paymentech survey of 50 online retailers as his source. Online shopping during the same period in 2009 was up 15% compared to 2008, so this year’s positive trend is good news for Amazon.com and other popular online retailers. Khan also noted that the heaviest days for online holiday shopping have historically been December 15th through the 21st. More →
Reaffirming a note sent to investors last week by RBC Capital Markets, DigiTimes now reports that iPad production has been increased ahead of the 2010 holiday season. iPad builder Foxconn Electronics has purportedly begun manufacturing iPad units at its new plants in Chengdu, China. These new plants are each capable of assembling 10,000 iPads each day, which is expected to meet demand when added to totals already being built in Foxconn’s Shenzen plants. Foxconn is currently able to build 2.5 million iPads each month at its Shenzen locations. More →
One of the most highly anticipated accessories among gamers may now be one of the most highly anticipated accessories among Microsoft investors as well. Microsoft’s Don Mattrick told Bloomberg News in an interview that the company is raising its holiday season Kinect sales projections from 3 million to 5 million units. According to the executive, that would make Kinect Microsoft’s biggest Xbox product launch in company history. Microsoft Kinect, which goes on sale November 4th, is a new type of gaming accessory that will allow players to use their bodies to control functions within a video game. Kinect’s sensor bar includes a series of cameras that observe players’ movements and then translate those movements into commands. The sensor will be sold as a stand-alone accessory or as part of a bundle with either a game or the Xbox 360 console itself. More →
In line with rumors that surfaced over the summer, Apple has introduced free engraving with all new iPad orders. The service, which affords buyers two lines of text that can be engraved on the rear case of an iPad, adds 1-3 days to the estimated delivery time of iPad orders. Rumors from over the summer suggested that Apple wanted to offer free iPad engraving from the start but demand had been too high to offer the service, which would have delayed production. Just like Apple’s free iPod engraving service, those hoping to get their iPads engraved will be able to do so during the ordering process.
Ah, Nintendo’s Virtual Boy. What seemed like a push forward in the gaming world at first glace unfortunately never really took off. The Virtual Boy used a pair of monochromatic linear arrays and an oscillating mirror that would vibrate back and forth to create the entire image which would then be seen in 3D. It was easily the most wanted Christmas gift in my book, and when I finally got one, it unfortunately only held my interest for around 2 days. If a gaming system can’t keep a 8 year old engaged, you probably have a serious issue, and Nintendo did. The system was discontinued only 5 months after it’s July 21st, 1995 launch with only 22 games available for sale. It retailed for $180. Who could forget that controller, though?
BGR Throwback Thursday is a weekly series covering our (and your) favorite gadgets, games, and software of yesterday and yesteryear.
Earlier today, while speaking to a group of students and journalists at the London School of Economics, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer revealed that there will indeed be iPad-competing slate products running Windows by Christmas. The catch? Steve didn’t clarify whether these products would be shipping, or just announced, nor who would manufacture them. With HP most likely changing course to offer a webOS-based tablet as opposed to a Windows 7 slate, we’ve got to wonder who will end up being first in this category… More →