We’re not going to say this is the dumbest thing we’ve ever heard… but it’s certainly up there. The Street contributor Anton Wahlman has honed in on what he is calling “the biggest risk” to Apple’s stock price. This risk is so great, in fact, it surpasses the health of current CEO Steve Jobs on his list of concerns. It is even ranked higher than Google’s Android mobile operating system. This apocalyptic threat is… Google Chrome OS? In a three page exposé, Wahlman explains three ways the browser-as-an-OS will hurt Apple’s stock price. First, Chrome OS desktops and laptops will be released and priced between $150 and $300, which in turn will cause “consumers and enterprises” to “pick Chrome OS PCs over the much more expensive Apple PCs.” Second, Chrome OS will make its way onto tablets and “we could see unsubsidized 10-inch Chrome OS tablets selling for no more than $299, with perhaps $199 on the horizon.” Lastly, in 2012 or 2013, “Google will likely offer the Chrome OS architecture for smartphones.” As John Gruber of Daring Fireball wrote, “Makes Me Wish I Still Did the ‘Jackass of the Week’ Bit.” We like when analysts think outside the box, but the threat vectors that Wahlman lists also seem to be detrimental to Android’s overall health as well — especially the tablet and smartphone predictions. Apple generated 50% of its Q2 revenue from the iPhone, if there is any threat to Apple’s business model we can assure you it’s Android, not Chrome OS. Regardless, we’re interested to know your thoughts. Do you think Chrome OS is a grave threat to Apple? Put on your monocle and thinking cap and drop us a comment with your musings. 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 →
Following one of the largest leaks in game developer history, Blizzard China General Manager Ye Weilun has left the company for reasons that have not been revealed. The leak, which occurred last week, included a bevy of sensitive information such as confidential financial data and budgets, personal subscriber data and the company’s product roadmap for the next four years. The roadmap, shown above, reveals Blizzard’s timeline for upcoming releases like the third and fourth installments of the company’s popular World of Warcraft franchise, the third Diablo game and a new title called Titan. Blizzard’s leaked financial data and its subscriber database are rumored to have been delivered to one or more of the company’s competitors. Former sales director of Nokia China Dai Jinhe has replaced Weilun as General Manager of Blizzard China.