Twitter’s vice president of international strategy, Katie Stanton, recently confirmed that the social network now has more than 200 million users. With 70% of those users are tweeting from outside of the United States. Japan is home to the Emperors’ share of tweets with more than 25% of posts originating from there. Twitter, which launched in July of 2006, adds a whopping 500,000 new users per day.
Speaking during an investor briefing on Tuesday, Nintendo’s president Satoru Iwata said that sales of his firms new 3DS portable gaming system failed to meet expectations. “Sales of the 3DS have been weaker than expected since the second week of launch in the US and Europe,” Iwata said while discussing the device’s launches in Europe, the United States, and in Japan. Nintendo had expected to sell 4 million units last quarter, but sales fell short at 3.61 million units. Iwata said that he hopes sales will increase as much as 40% during the next year, AFP reported. We reviewed the 3DS earlier this month and argue that the gaming system doesn’t offer enough features to justify its $250 price point. More →
It didn’t take a crystal ball to see this move coming — Samsung on Friday filed multiple patent infringement suits against Apple. Just four days following Apple’s filing of a lawsuit alleging Samsung smartphones like the Galaxy S “copy Apple’s technology, user interface and innovative style,” Samsung has filed three separate suits alleging infringement of a total of ten patents. The suits were filed in Seoul Central District Court, Korea; Tokyo, Japan; and in Manheim, Germany. In a statement, Samsung said it is “responding actively to the legal action taken against us in order to protect our intellectual property and to ensure our continued innovation and growth in the mobile communications business.” Ebb and flow… yin and yang… suits and countersuits. More →
According to AV Watch, Sony has announced that it’s ending sales of its PSP Go portable gaming console. Sony let the wraps off of the PSP Go in June 2009, and while it is both smaller and lighter than the PSP, that comes at the cost of a UMD gaming cartridge slot. The requirement to side-load games or purchase them over the air no doubt played a role in Sony’s poor hardware and software sales in Japan. While the Japanese firm will no longer produce the PSP Go, it will continue to offer device support for repairs and updates. Sony said it will focus its efforts on the PSP-3000 and its successor, currently codenamed “NGP.” More →
RBC Capital Markets Managing Director Mike Abramsky on Tuesday reiterated the firm’s position that sales of popular Apple products like the iPad 2 likely helped Apple record an impressive fiscal second quarter. In a note to investors, Abramsky wrote that tremendous demand for Apple’s iPad 2 tablet along with solid sales of the iPhone 4 (17 million units) and Apple’s refreshed MacBook Air and MacBook Pro notebooks (3.6 million total Macs) may have led to $24 billion in revenue in the second quarter. The figure would represent 78% growth over the same quarter last year, and is above Wall Street’s consensus of $23 billion. RBC sees Apple having shipped 7 million iPads in the second quarter, which includes 2-3 million iPad 2 units and is down 5% from the year prior. The firm estimates 8 million third-quarter iPad shipments, and also notes that Apple will likely launch the iPhone 5 in September — but if it instead launches in June, it could add $1.2 billion to the firm’s $23-$24 billion third-quarter revenue estimates. RBC adjusted its full-year iPad sales forecast up from 25 million to 31 million units, thus pushing its fiscal 2011 revenue estimates from $99 billion to $102 billion and possibly helping Apple to cross the $100 billion milestone for the first time. Apple will report its fiscal second-quarter earnings on April 20th.
Sony Ericsson released a statement on Friday delaying the broader launch of the Xperia Neo until the third quarter due to supply chain disruptions caused by the earthquake in Japan. The firm said that volumes of its Xperia arc and Xperia PLAY were also affected, but it doesn’t appear that there are any delays with those launches. Sony Ericsson’s official statement is as follows:
As Sony Ericsson continues to assess the impact of the situation in Japan on its business, we have communicated to our operator customers and distributors that some volume of Xperia arc, Xperia PLAY and Xperia neo phones has been affected. Xperia neo has already been introduced to the marketplace in limited quantities. However, due to supply chain disruptions resulting from the situation in Japan, we have shifted the timing of Xperianeo’s broader launch and it is now planned for early Q3.
We will address this topic at the time of our Q1 financial results announcement call that is scheduled for April 19, 2011.
Sony Ericsson’s Italian Facebook page has a similar explanation, and confirms that the Neo will launch in July. More →
eBay has revealed sales figures for the iPad 2 during its first two weeks on the market. The online auction house created a chart that shows just under 12,000 iPad 2 units were sold during the two week period that it was exclusively available in the United States. The graphic notes that 35% of iPad 2 units sold during that 2 week period were to international customers looking to get an early taste — that figure is down from the 65% of international customers who purchased the original iPad on eBay. Canada and Russia were the two largest importers, each purchasing about 500 iPad 2 tablets. Hong Kong, Japan, and the United Kingdom each bought about 350. Australia purchased 317 iPads last year, but only purchased 110 iPad 2 devices in 2010. The 16GB Wi-Fi version of the iPad 2 was the most popular, as it represented 30% of all iPad 2 sales. Apple has yet to release its official iPad 2 sales figures. More →
Apple has reportedly placed a new order for 30 million display panels per year from leading display manufacturer AU Optronic. The unconfirmed report from Taiwan Economic News suggests Apple paid a huge 300-400% premium to lock in the order, which could see AU Optronics produce up to 100,000 iPad 2 displays each day. The order accounts for about half of the global tablet market, the report claims. Apple had sourced its 9.7-inch iPad 2 displays from LGD and Samsung and some manufacturing took place in Japan, which could be part of the reason for Apple’s willingness to pay a premium to a new supplier. It is also unclear if the move is a response to light leakage problems many have reported with Apple’s current iPad 2 displays. More →
In the wake of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan, Google has issued an experimental version of its Translate application for Android. “Download this experimental version of Google Translate for Android to translate text automatically between Japanese and over 50 other languages,” writes Google. “You can also use Conversation Mode for speech-to-speech translation between English, Spanish and Japanese.” The app, which is posted on Google’s “Japan Crisis Response” page, will run on Android version 2.0 or higher and is available here or by scanning the above QR code. More →
In a purported email from Apple CEO Steve Jobs to employees, Jobs sympathizes with staff who have loved ones affected by the current nuclear crisis taking place in Japan. The email, which was published Wednesday on Japanese tech site Chihouban.com, offers support to Apple employees who need it. “Our hearts go out to you and your families, as well as all of your countrymen who have been touched by this tragedy,” Jobs writes. “If you need time or resources to visit or care for your families, please see HR and we will help you. If you are aware of any supplies that are needed, please also tell HR and we will do what we can to arrange delivery.” Hit the jump for Jobs’ full letter to Apple employees. More →
In the wake of last week’s devastating earthquake and tsunami, Apple, Inc. has announced that it will postpone the release of its iPad 2 tablet in Japan. The iPad 2 was scheduled to launch in twenty six international markets — including Japan — on the 25th of March; the company will go forward with its release in the other twenty five markets. “Our hearts go out to the people of Japan, including our employees and their families, who have been impacted by this terrible tragedy,” wrote an Apple spokesperson. The company has yet to communicate a new launch date for the product. More →