Demand for media tablets is picking up ahead of the holidays according to a recent survey, with Amazon and Apple in particular looking like they will emerge as leaders this holiday season. According to data from market research firm ChangeWave, demand for tablets this holiday season is three times higher than it was last year during the same period. Holiday shoppers are most interested in Apple’s iPad 2 and Amazon’s Kindle Fire according to the results of a ChangeWave survey, preliminary results of which were released earlier this month. Read on for more More →
Amazon’s upcoming Kindle Fire could be the hottest tablet on the market this holiday season, with demand that may even surpass Apple’s blockbuster slate, the iPad 2. Results from a recent survey published by electronics shopping guide Retrevo.com suggest that more consumers are interested in purchasing Amazon’s upcoming tablet than Apple’s tried and true iPad. As a result, the site speculates that the Kindle Fire represents Apple’s first real competition in the tablet space. Read on for more. More →
T-Mobile announced on Tuesday that it will offer the HTC Radar 4G in time for the holidays. The HTC Radar 4G is a Windows Phone 7.5 device and we recently had a chance to go hands-on with the international version, which we said felt like the “perfect Windows Phone for budget-minded buyers.” It is equipped with a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, a 3.7-inch display, a 5-megapixel camera with a single LED flash, 512MB of RAM and support for T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network. T-Mobile has not yet announced pricing for the HTC Radar 4G. Read on for the full press release. More →
Over five years after the Xbox 360 launched in November 2005, the console powered through the 2010 holiday season — racking up its biggest sales month ever and capping off the biggest year in the console’s history. Microsoft sold 1.9 million Xbox 360 units in December according to NPD Group, providing more icing on Microsoft’s gaming cake following news that the company sold over 8 million Kinect sensors in 60 days. Year-over-year growth came in at 42%, making Xbox the fastest-growing console in 2010. NPD also says consumers spent more money on Xbox 360 than any other game console in 2010 — a whopping $6.2 billion. The top three games for Xbox in 2010 were Call of Duty: Black Ops, Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood and Kinect Sports. More →
During Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s keynote speech at the Consumer Electronics Show this evening, Microsoft confirmed some pretty outstanding sales figures for the Kinect sensor. The company’s initial projections at launch time set Kinect sales goals at 5 million units by the end of 2010. Today, Ballmer confirmed that Microsoft not only exceeded that projection — the company crushed it. Over the Kinect sensor’s first 60 days of availability, over 8 million units were sold. Xbox 360 users have spoken… Kinect is a smash hit.
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 →
Big box retailer Best Buy has announced a new promotion aimed at potential smartphone purchasers this holiday season. Citing the success of its Free Phone Fridays campaign, BB will be offering “a minimum of four free smart phones (one from each carrier) in all Best Buy stores, in all Best Buy Mobile specialty stores and online” through the holiday shopping season. Currently, Best Buy’s website has fourteen smartphones listed with a $0 price tag, including HTC’s DROID Incredible and Aria, LG’s Optiums S and T, BlackBerry’s Curve 9300, and Sony Ericsson’s Xperia X10.
“We were excited by the amount of consumer interest we received around our ‘Free Phone Fridays’ promotion in October, so we wanted to do it again only bigger,” said Best Buy Mobile’s president, Shawn Score. “People want smart phones and we couldn’t think of a better way to end the year for our customers than to offer free devices every day in December.”
As with most free phone promotions, a new or upgraded activation with a signed two-year contract is required. 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 →
Oops. It looks like someone running Microsoft’s Windows Phone Twitter account got a little excited and spilled the beans on a 2010 Windows Phone 7 launch at Verizon Wireless. In response to a tweet from Twitter user @joeyjoyjoy asking Microsoft to “get on some CDMA networks already,” an official Microsoft-run Twitter account replied. The response, which came as a surprise considering no official announcement has been made, stated that “WP7 devices will be rolling into Verizon stores this holiday season.” Microsoft’s Windows Phone Twitter account went on to say more devices would launch on Verizon Wireless in early 2011. The Microsoft tweet has since been pulled, but no correction was issued in its place. As a result, we can only presume Verizon will indeed be getting its Big Red mitts on at least one Windows Phone 7 device before the year is through. 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 →