Amazon’s $199 tablet is expected by many to be a smash hit when it begins shipping to customers on November 15th, but inexperience with global distribution could prove to be a huge barrier for the fledgling tablet vendor. DigiTimes cited anonymous industry sources on Thursday in reporting that sales of Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet may “not be significant” outside the U.S., the tablet’s initial launch market, and Europe due to the retail giant’s lack of experience with channel sales abroad. The report notes that Amazon will have to develop relationships with regional channel operators in order to facilitate delivery in regions where shipping electronics via standard parcel services is prohibited. “Cooperating with channel operators will be a must as well as a challenge for Amazon as it cannot compete efficiently with Apple utilizing only its current sales platform and online shopping channels,” DigiTimes’ source said. More →
Reuters is reporting that Verizon Wireless is still debating whether or not to distribute Research In Motion’s new tablet, the BlackBerry PlayBook, via its sales channels. “We’re still evaluating the BlackBerry Playbook and have not made a determination as to whether we’re going to distribute it,” said a Verizon Wireless spokesperson speaking to the publication. The new tablet, which runs RIM’s QNX-based software, launched in U.S. and Canadian markets yesterday. The Waterloo mobile devices company had originally indicated that Verizon would be a distribution partner. More →
Here’s a bit of good news for Android enthusiasts: as of December 1st, 83% of Android devices are now running OS version 2.1 or higher. The numbers, which come directly from Google’s developer analytics, show the progress the Big G is making in getting the wide-variety of handsets in market updated to newer code. As you can see from the above chart, the majority of handsets are now running Google’s latest mobile OS version, Android 2.2. While the nature of the mobile market will always be prohibitive to 100% of in-market devices on a single OS version, it is nice to see the lion’s share of handsets on a more recent, modern code — a favorite party-line of Android detractors is to call the platform “fragmented.” Hit the read link to check out the full article. More →
Following news that the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS would become available at Target stores on November 7th, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports that Apple’s iPad will soon be available at all Best Buy Mobile locations. Apple continues to widen its net ahead of the 2010 holiday season, pushing popular products like the iPad and iPhone to as many new distributors as possible. Just last week, Apple added cellular giants Verizon Wireless and AT&T to its list of iPad vendors. Now, 158 stand-alone Best Buy Mobile locations will offer the popular iOS tablet by Thanksgiving. This is of course in addition to Best Buy’s standard retail locations, which have been selling the iPad since it launched this past April. Apple has already sold over 4 million iPads and with supply finally catching up to demand, the popular tablet is certain to be a hot item during the holiday season. More →
It appears as though Apple is really starting to loosen up the death grip (pun intended) its kept on the iPhone’s retail-distribution channels for the past three years. Yesterday, big box retailer Target announced that it would be carrying the Cupertino company’s iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS smartphones in 846 retail locations beginning on November 7th. “At Target we continue to offer our guests the best in electronics so we’re happy to add iPhone to our Target Mobile offerings,” said Mark Schindele, Target’s senior VP of merchandising. The press release went on to say that “most” Target stores will be carrying the iPhone by mid-2011. Hit the jump for the full press release.
PSA: The Apple iPad can now be purchased online or in stores from both Verizon Wireless and AT&T. As a quick recap, you’ll notice that pricing is the same from both carriers (16GB: $629, 32GB: $729, 64GB: $829) despite the fact that AT&T sells the iPad Wi-Fi + 3G and Verizon Wireless is only selling the iPad Wi-Fi model. This is because Verizon chose to bundle a MiFi 2200 with each iPad. And to stay competitive with AT&T’s iPad deal, Verizon will not require a contract. Instead, the carrier is offering month-to-month data packages of 1GB for $20, 3GB for $35 or 5GB for $50. AT&T’s data packages for the iPad remain unchanged — $15 for 250MB each month, $25 for 2GB, or $30 for unlimited data if you’re grandfathered in. The most important takeaway by far is still the fact that a piece of Apple hardware is now being sold by Verizon Wireless. Needless to say, it bodes well for the future. More →
Google has released their latest Android platform distribution numbers, and it looks like Android 2.1 — Eclair — is dominating. In a report from last month, Google reported 50% of the Android install-base was running version 2.1 of the mobile operating system, however, in just one months time that number has jumped 5.5%. Other highlights include Android 2.2 (Froyo) having 3.3% of the platform pie, with Android 1.6 registering in at 22.1% and Android 1.5 at 18.9%. Apparently, Android 2.0 and 2.0.1 have fallen into the “statistically insignificant” category. Hopefully, when the next report comes out, Android 2.2 will have a much bigger slice of the pie… if you know what we mean. More →