Toys R’ Us may begin selling the iPad 2 next month according to a report from enthusiast site ModMyi. The site’s source provided a leaked screen shot that shows employee training software as well as a secondary product knowledge sheet. Apple’s latest tablet has been wildly popular since its launch on March 11th so this is good news for consumers trying to get their hands on a unit. As of late March, Apple began replenishing the stock in some retail stores, and its online store says that customers still have to wait 2-3 weeks for new orders to ship. The iPad 2 is also available from AT&T, Best Buy, RadioShack, Target, Verizon Wireless and Walmart, among other retailers. Toys R’ Us has not yet officially announced plans to offer the iPad 2. More →
The fate of Blockbuster is now up for auction. On Monday Blockbuster’s next owner, and future, will be decided. According to Reuters, it’s possible that a new owner could close the video rental chain, liquidate it entirely, or continue operations in a bid to compete with the likes of Netflix and the growing number of online media streaming services. Reportedly, Dish Network Corp. and Carl Icahn have already placed bids for the company, and SK Telecom is also interested. Monarch Alternative Capital LP opened the bidding at $290 million in February when Blockbuster put itself up for sale, and bids last week needed to be less than $296 million to qualify. It’s unclear how much Dish or Icahn bid on Blockbuster, but Dish Network reportedly has plans to continue building Blockbuster’s online movie offering should it win the auction. After a new owner is decided on Monday, it will have to be approved by bankruptcy judge on April 7th before the deal can move forward. Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy in September 2010. More →
Research In Motion’s first QNX-powered device — the BlackBerry PlayBook — will be hitting a plethora of retailers beginning next month, and Office Depot has officially thrown its proverbial hat into the ring. Via a press release, the retailer has announced that beginning April 19th customers can purchase the 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB PlayBooks for $499, $599, and $699 respectively. “Office Depot provides customers with the most innovative lineup of products that will help them take care of business, and the BlackBerry PlayBook is certainly one of those game-changing products,” said Randy Wick, the company’s Vice President of Merchandising. “There has been a lot of buzz and excitement for the BlackBerry PlayBook to hit the market, and we are thrilled to be one of the first retailers to offer this professional-grade tablet.” RIM’s first tablet venture will be available at Office Depot’s retail stores and online at officedepot.com. The full press release is after the break. More →
On Tuesday, Amazon announced that Kindle owners that have signed up for a Kindle subscription to The New York Times will also be able to access NYT content at no additional charge. The New York Times said on March 17th that it will begin charging readers for access to its website. After reading 20 articles, readers will be prompted to sign up for subscription plans that range from $15 to $35 every four weeks, but if you own a Kindle, you could be saving a few bucks — The New York Times for Kindle costs just $19.99 per month. “New York Times readers on Kindle are a very loyal and important audience, and we are pleased to be able to include online access as part of their subscription experience,” said Yasmin Namini senior vice president, marketing and circulation, and general manager, reader applications, of The New York Times Media Group. Hit the jump for the full release. More →
Right on queue, Amazon has announced a new, cloud-based, music storage service dubbed Cloud Drive. The new offering will allow users to store up to 5GB of music in Amazon’s new, online locker and playback uploaded tracks via their Android smartphone, Android tablet, Mac, or PC. Users that purchase a complete album via Amazon’s MP3 store will automatically be upgraded to 20GB of storage, free of charge, and tracks purchased on Amazon are automatically uploaded to the cloud; purchased tracks do not count towards your storage quota. Stored music can be played-back using the Cloud Player for Web or Cloud Player for Android software (available in the Market now) and additional storage plans starting at $20 per year (we know some of you have large music collections). Congratulations Amazon, you are officially the first to market. The full press release is after the break. More →
Just ahead of Apple’s international launch of the iPad 2, replenishment of U.S. inventory appears to be incoming. BGR has confirmed with various Apple Store and third-party retailer locations that new shipments have begun to arrive over the past few days. Retailers we have spoken with in the New York metropolitan area appear to be receiving new units in very small quantities, and Wi-Fi iPad 2 tablets seem much easier to come by than 3G-enabled units. Apple’s online store also adjusted its shipping estimates for new orders down to 3-4 weeks from 4-5 weeks. While the short supply has lead many to believe Apple’s new iPad 2 is selling quite well, the company still hasn’t announced any sales figures. More →
The early bird gets the worm. If you didn’t rouse yourself at 4:00 a.m. EST to order an iPad 2 online, you’re going to have a little bit of a wait on your hands. Apple’s online store has now placed a 2-3 week shipping lag on all iPad 2 models and colors. If you absolutely must have the tablet before then, you may want to come up with a retail strategy. The iPad 2 will be available beginning at 5:00 p.m. EST this evening at a host of retailers across the States. If you plan on venturing out for a retail iPad 2 purchase, good luck. More →
Apple, AT&T, Verizon Wireless confirm tomorrow’s 5PM retail launch of iPad 2; online sales at 1AM Pacific
Apple, AT&T, and Verizon Wireless have independently fired off press releases letting us know exactly how and when we can acquire yourself an iPad 2 tomorrow, March 11th. Starting at 5:00 p.m. local time, interested parties can head to an Apple, AT&T, or Verizon Wireless retail store to purchase the 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB tablet in white or black. Verizon will be offering four data plans for the iPad 2:
- 1GB per month – $20
- 3GB per month – $35
- 5GB per month – $50
- 10GB per month – $80
While AT&T will be offering just two in both the pre-paid and post-paid formats:
- Monthly statements: $14.99 for 250 MB or $25 for 2GB. Customers who exceed their monthly data allotment will be billed $14.99 for another 250MB on the $14.99 plan or $10 per 1 GB of overage on the 2 GB plan [AT&T is offering consumers who choose monthly statement billing one free month of service].
- Credit card billing: $14.99 for 250 MB or $25 for 2 GB. Customers who exceed their monthly data allotment may choose to purchase another 250 MB on the $14.99 plan or purchase an additional 2 GB for $25 on the 2 GB plan.
All models of the iPad 2 — Wi-Fi and 3G — will also be available at Apple retail stores and select Walmart, Best Buy, Sam’s Club and Target stores nationwide starting at 5:00 p.m. AT&T and Verizon stores will only carry GSM and CDMA iPads respectively. If you’re not inclined to hit up a retail outlet, but are still interested in the tablet, AT&T and Apple will begin selling the iPad 2 online at 1:00 a.m. Pacific Time (4:00 a.m. Eastern) on the 11th. There you have it, if you’re jones’ing to get yourself an iPad 2, start formulating your game plan. More →
While no formal announcement has been made, Verizon Wireless has updated its website to reflect the fact that it will begin selling Apple’s new iPad 2 on launch day, March 11th. Details surrounding the launch have not been clarified, but Verizon Wireless is expected to begin selling the highly anticipated iOS tablet at 5:00PM local time on launch day, in line with other retailers that will offer the iPad 2. Verizon will sell a 3G-enabled version of the tablet that is compatible with its EV-DO network, and pricing will start at $629 for the 16GB model. More →
Like clockwork, Apple’s online store has been brought down as the team in Cupertino prepares the new pages tablet fans around the world having been waiting for. The Apple Store went down shortly after 10:00AM ET, and we don’t expect it to come back up until shortly after 1:00PM when Apple finally lets the cat out of the bag — not that’s it has really been in the bag for the past few months. Stay tuned to BGR for all the latest iPad 2 news as it breaks.
It looks like Big Red is doing a little wheeling and dealing with its entire DROID smartphone lineup. Via the company’s web store, Verizon Wireless is offering online-purchasers of any DROID-branded smartphone an additional $100 off the subsidized, two-year contract price. With the new, temporary pricing schema in place, the DROID X (CPO), DROID R2D2, and DROID Incredible (CPO) will retail for the always enjoyable sum of $0. If those three handsets aren’t to your liking, the DROID 2 Global can be acquired for $99.99, the DROID PRO will set you back $79.99, and the DROID X (non-CPO) will retail for $49.99. Of course, the DROID BIONIC (not to mention the HTC ThunderBolt) is right around the corner. But if you don’t have that burning desire for the absolute latest and greatest, why not save yourself some cash? More →
In a short press release yesterday, Microsoft announced a deal with the State University of New York (SUNY) to bring the company’s Live@edu cloud-based collaboration services to all 64 SUNY campuses. “SUNY sought to decrease costs while providing its 465,000 students with up-to-date technology necessary for success in college and in today’s workforce,” reads the press release. “As a result, SUNY students will have access to advanced online software, including hosted e-mail, calendars, online storage, Office Web Apps, instant messaging, document sharing and videoconferencing, among other services.” SUNY estimates that the move to Microsoft’s cloud system will save the state roughly $600,000 over the next five years. More →
Blizzard Entertainment announced Monday that its new title World of Warcraft: Cataclysm sold 3.3 million copies on its first day of availability. The game’s remarkable sales pace shatters the previous record for opening day sales of a PC game, which was also held by a Blizzard title; World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King launched on November 13th, 2008 and sold 2.8 million copies in its first 24 hours of availability. “We had to bring Azeroth to the brink of destruction in Cataclysm, but the result was our best expansion yet,” Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaim said in a statement. “We want to thank all of our new, existing, and returning players throughout the world for their incredible enthusiasm and support, and we look forward to hearing what they think about all the new content.” Cataclysm is the latest addition to the extremely popular World of Warcraft series, which is one of the most popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) franchises in history. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →