Sales of video game consoles in the U.S. hit a five-year low last month according to new data from research firm NPD Group. “May 2011 was the lowest month of sales for the industry since October 2006,” NPD analyst Anita Frazier said in a statement. “A light slate of new releases is at the heart of this month’s performance.” Combined sales of hardware, software and accessories totalled $743 million according to the firm, representing a 14% decline compared to May 2010. Software sales were down 21% from the same month a year prior to $400 million. Microsoft managed to combat the trend — and keep total console sales in May from sliding to unheard-of lows — having sold 270,000 Xbox 360 consoles, up 39% year-over-year. Take-Two Interactive’s L.A. Noire was the top-selling software title for the month. More →
An explosion at Foxconn’s iPad manufacturing plant in Chengdu, China last month had a negative impact on the company’s business in May despite initial assurances to the contrary. Foxconn’s revenue last month dipped 2.14% sequentially to NT$200.56 billion, or approximately US$6.95 billion, following production halts tied to the fatal explosion that killed three workers and injured at least 15 more. The tragic accident, caused by the ignition of flammable aluminum dust in a parts polishing workshop, is thought to have cut iPad 2 production by as many as 500,000 units. Foxconn’s revenue in May was still up 23% compared to the same month last year. More →
HTC saw its monthly revenue in May surpass NT$40 billion for the first time in the company’s history. Taiwan Economic News reports on Thursday that HTC’s May revenue came in at NT$40.6 billion, or US$1.6 billion, thanks to continued high demand for its smartphones. Revenue was up 115% compared to the same month last year, and up from NT$38.73 billion last month, which had also set a company record. The cell phone maker’s revenue now totals NT$183.5 billion (US$6.3 billion) through the first five months of 2011, up 145% compared to the same period in 2010. The trend is expected to continue, as analysts project HTC’s June revenue to climb 10% to NT$44 billion. More →
According to Kaufman Brothers analyst Shaw Wu, RIM may be forced to delay the release of its first tablet computer, the BlackBerry PlayBook. Wu claims he is hearing that the PlayBook “needs to improve its relatively poor battery life of a few hours compared to 6 hours for the Samsung Galaxy Tab and 10 hours for [Apple’s] iPad.” As a result, Wu writes, the launch of the BlackBerry PlayBook may be delayed until May, 2011. Wu notes that the cause of the battery issues may stem from the fact that QNX, the PlayBook’s operating system, was designed for use in scenarios where battery life is not an issue — such as in automobiles. RIM Co-CEO Jim Balsillie stated last month that the PlayBook would launch in the first quarter of 2011, with a price tag under $500.
We ran an exhaustive video preview of the BlackBerry PlayBook earlier this month, and called the PlayBook experience as it stands now “fluid, quick, and downright impressive.” With Apple’s iPad 2 and several Android tablets set to launch over the course of the first quarter, however, sales of the BlackBerry PlayBook could be negatively impacted should RIM be forced to delay the tablet’s launch until the second quarter. More →
Verizon Wireless Chief Executive, Lowell McAdam, told MSNBC that his company would, “offer a slew of [Android] devices, including tablet computers and three to five phones, that could run on its new LTE high-speed wireless network by May 2011.” Cha-ching! Android phones on Verizon’s network are nothing new, however the fate/destiny of an Android tablet has been murky at best. Details on the aforementioned tablet are scarce, however, at the Reuters Global Technology Summit Lowell announced that LG, Motorola, and Samsung would all be competing to create an Android tablet for Big Red. There you have it folks, LTE and Android in May of 2011…let the countdown begin! More →