Samsung's Galaxy Note, the uber-large, but curvaceously sexy Galaxy Note, which sports a 5.3-inch screen is a kind of tabletphone hybrid. This hasn't stopped the device from shipping more than 1 million in Europe and Asia, before it even hits the shores of the U.S.
The rapid sales of the device show Samsung that creating a new market for something between a smartphone and tablet PC. Samsung says that the speed of sales should accelerate even further going into the new year when it becomes available in the U.S.
Samsung also note that the Financial Times reviewed the Galaxy Note highly, commenting it as:
A happy medium for consumers who want to carry just one device, rather than both a smartphone and a tablet and whatever other portable gadget they pick up on their way out.
Amazon have had a very Merry Christmas when it comes to Amazon Kindle sales over the holiday season. Amazon customers purchased millions of Kindle Fires and millions of Kindle e-readers. 2011 was the best holiday ever for the Kindle family, with one million Kindle devices sold each week.
Amazon CEO and founder, Jeff Bezos, says "We are grateful to our customers worldwide for making this the best holiday ever for Kindle." He continues pointing out the fact that the #1 and #4 best-selling Kindle books released in 2011 were both published independently by their authors using Kindle Direct Publishing.
Three Kindle-based products took the top three spots on Amazon's best seller list, with the Kindle Fire, Kindle Touch and Kindle taking out the top three spots, respectively. Amazon's latest, Kindle Fire, was the most gifted and wished for product on Amazon this season, and was also the top selling product in the UK, France, Spain and Italy. Kindle Fire also took out the best selling product on Amazon's mobile site.
With Newegg in one corner as the second-largest online retailer in the U.S. and the number one destination for tech-savvy shoppers, with Amazon the top U.S. e-tailer in the other corner, both releasing their holiday best-selling item reports.
Neweggs list contains:
Laptops/Notebooks: 15.6" Asus A53E-EH91
Televisions: Sceptre 32" 720p LCD HDTV
Video Games: Microsoft Xbox 360 250GB Holiday Bundle with Halo Reach and Fable 3
Digital Cameras: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ47K 12.1 MP
Software: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit
Monitors: Acer G235HAbd 23" LCD
CPUs/Processors: Intel Core i5-2500K
Motherboards: Asus P8Z68-V Pro
Hard Drives: Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 500GB 3.5"
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL 8GB (2 x 4GB)
Video Cards: EVGA GeForce GTX 550 Ti
Sony's NGP, PlayStation Vita, enjoyed a first week of record sales, selling 321,400 Vita units in the first 48 hours on sale in Japan. Second unit numbers, however, are much, much lower.
According to research outfit Media Create, who track the Japanese console gaming industry, Sony sold just 72,479 Vita's during the most crucial shopping week before Christmas. A huge decline of over 75-percent versus the first week.
The numbers were so low that the PS3 actually outsold the Vita, with the PS3 pushing 75,943 units versus the Vita's 72,479. The decline reportedly stems from inventory issues, as well as early reports of issues with the Vita. Sony was quick to refuge the allegations, which ranged from laggy gameplay to crashes.
As of January 1, 2012, and part of a new Xbox Live policy, Microsoft will ban the purchase of any and all gun-related Avatar accessories within Xbox Live. In what seems like a troll from Microsoft, it's actually a 'family-friendly' move by them.
The news came from an Epic Games forum post, where community manager raczilla noted that the Lander and Hammerburst Avatar accessories related to the Gears of War series will no longer be available for purchase on the Xbox Live Marketplace in the New Year.
Microsoft debuted Avatars in November of 2008, to copy Nintendo's Mii's on the Wii console, to visually represent a gamer using a cartoon-style character. What I don't understand is, how the hell do Microsoft think they can justify this when Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty, Battlefield, Halo, Gears of War, with the list virtually never-ending, are all on sale and huge money makers for the company?
It's almost as ridiculous as watching someone get banned on a Battlefield 3 server 'for swearing' when the core game itself, in single-player swears all the time and so do the people within the multi-player itself. It's trolltastic.
There have been plenty of people who have worked for ATI, that have moved onto bigger and better things by packing up their brown box, throwing their personal items inside like a plant or a family portrait (ok, ok, that sounds like a Hollywood cliche, but it's how I imagine it as an Australian) and moving to a better job.
Now former AMD employee, Richard Huddy, has moved onto Intel. His goal with the red team was to form stronger relations with the game developers themselves. Big news, eh? Huddy has pushed through plenty of things for not only the technological industry, but the gaming industry. He worked with one of my favorite games, Max Payne, and ended up with a starring role as the mad professor in the lab. From there, he has helped a tonne of huge games hit the market.
6.8 million Android and iOS devices were activated on Christmas Day, also 242 million apps were downloaded
Christmas Day 2011 must have had stockings filled with electronics, because an estimate from mobile app research from Flurry give details on just how many Android and iOS-powered devices were activated on Christmas Day, as well as the amount of downloaded apps.
Combined, we saw 6.8 million devices activated, an insane 353-percent increase from the 1.5 million average activations per day for the first 20 days of December. This is also 4 million devices higher than the 2010 Christmas record of 2.8 million. Flurry doesn't break down the split of iOS and Android, but if we go with the information of Android chief Andy Rubin saying just before Christmas that Android activations are sitting pretty with 700,000 per day, we know that Apple must be pulling the same numbers.
Foxconn, a major Apple manufacturing partner, are planning a huge expansion of their operations in 2012. The expansion is set to dramatically increase production of iPhones and iPads to meet the never-ending demand.
Foxconn is reportedly working with the Chinese city of Zhengzhou to double the size of its workforce at the facility there, where another 10,000 employees will be hired. This is the same number of employees hired in 2011 alone.
The expansion is valued at $1.1 billion and would make the Foxconn factory the largest smartphone production facility in the world. Foxconn's Zhengzhou plant currently pumps out close to 200,000 iPhones each and everyday. Doubling their workforce and having a larger factory is only going to increase that, by, well, a lot.
I've covered SOPA-related news for the past few days, as it is getting quite serious with GoDaddy being hit hard. It has just been announced that Jimmy Wales decision to find a new home for Wikipedia, away from the SOPA loving hands of GoDaddy.
Wales is quite unhappy with GoDaddy's position on the Stop Online Privacy Act, by announcing the shift in the following tweet:
I am proud to announce that the Wikipedia domain names will move away from GoDaddy. Their position on #sopa is unacceptable to us.
He then updated, and posted another tweet the next day:
Wikia is also moving several hundred domains from godaddy. Which registrar has quality and price right?
SOPA is starting to snowball into a serious issue, it needs as much airtime as possible.
It looks as though the iOS platform is the platform for mobile shopping, with a retail analysis coming from RichRelevance. In the months between April and December 2011, RichRelevance analyzed 3.4 billion shopping sessions and found that consumers making purchases from mobile devices accounted for roughly 3-percent of total sales.
Let's take April, where 88-percent of these purchases were made from an iOS-powered device, mostly the iPad and iPhone. Fast-forward to December and it increased to 92-percent. The increase in mobile shopping is being spearheaded by iOS. RichRelevance also add that the average order value (AOV) of purchases made from an iOS device is also more than the other platforms. iOS's AOV sits at $123 in December, where Android's AOV is just $101.
RichRelevance CEO, David Selinger says:
The numbers across our retailing partners sites demonstrate just how powerful the iOS platform is enabling mobile web shopping and, while still below 5 percent in total conversion, mobile traffic's doubling in eight months is a trend we only see accelerating.
After a 7-year partnership with S-LCD, Samsung have acquired all of Sony's shares in the joint-venture for close to $939 million. S-LCD will now become a wholly owned subsidiary of Samsung. Up until now, Sony owned 50-percent of S-LCD.
On top of this, both companies have entered into a new strategic agreement for the supply and purchase of LCD panels, with the end goal of increasing the competitiveness of both Sony and Samsung. The agreement also allows Sony and Samsung to continue cooperative engineering efforts focused on LCD panel technology.
Go Daddy have gotten a fair amount of news lately, we reported a few days ago that if Go Daddy supported SOPA, Reddit would be closed down. If Reddit were closed down, 90-percent of my Internet browsing would go with it. GoDaddy have since reversed their decision to support SOPA, and customer service representatives are even taking the phones to beg you to keep your domains with Go Daddy.
According to TheDomains, 21,054 domains were transferred away from Go Daddy on Friday alone. A nice early Christmas present for them and at $6.99ea, this would make for a loss of $147,167. This doesn't take future accounts into consideration. In the days leading up to Friday, they lost 8,800, 13,000, 14,500, and 15,000 on Monday through to Thursday, respectively.
It looks like this could get worse for Go Daddy, but we need these stances from not just people, but companies if we don't want laws like SOPA pushed upon us. Obviously the Government has no idea, and should be "for the people" but like to push these things in while insulting other countries like China for building their firewall. Irony, you're funny.
SOPA is continuing to mark its territory with news of anti-SOPA rallying the tech world's best. Cheezburger (who also does I Can Has Cheeseburger, FAIL Blog, Know Your Meme, and more) CEO Ben Huh has announced that they would be moving their array of over 1,000 domains away from GoDaddy unless the registrar recants their support of the act.
The question now is, will Huh's threat be enough to get GoDaddy on his side? GoDaddy is a large enough company with plenty of controversies under their belt, so they're used to this sort of heat. But, the more news, the more awareness is being raised on the issue.
If SOPA is supported by GoDaddy, it could be not only a big change to Cheezeburger, but to virtually the entire Internet as we know it. With Cheezeburger's 1000 domains, just imagine the implications of SOPA to the rest of the world.
Microsoft have announced that their attendance at CES 2012 will be their last, where on January 9 at 6:30PM, CEO Steve Ballmer will give his third keynote speech. Microsoft will continue to attend to connect with partners and customers, but won't deliver a keynote or schedule a booth.
Microsoft have explained that CES simply doesn't gel with its marketing strategy. Microsoft asks:
What's the right time and place to make announcements? Are we adjusting to the changing dynamics of our customers? Are we doing something because it's the right thing to do, or because it's the way we've always done it?
One would presume that ASUS had deal written up with Hasbro over the use of the Transformer name, but that is not the case. Hasbro have just filed a lawsuit alleging that ASUS is infringing on the Transformers trademark. What I would like to know, is a few things.
First, why did it take Hasbro this long to get onto a lawsuit, it has been nearly a year since the Transformer has been released. I think it mainly has to do with ASUS releasing the next-gen tablet, Transformer Prime. If you're not up with it, Prime comes from Optimus Prime, from Transformers.
Did ASUS step over a boundary here? Should Hasbro just feel proud that their name is making it into the technology world? Or is it just business as usual, use my name and I'll sue the hot pants off you, ASUS. I'm putting it out there, but ASUS can use my full name for their next tablet, it has a ring to it: The ASUS Anthony Garreffa tablet. I'd buy one.
Apple have just completed a deal to purchase Israeli flash memory firm, Anobit. The deal is reportedly worth between $400-$500 million, which makes it Apple's largest acquisition since NeXT which cost $404 million. A tweet from the Twitter account of Israel's Prime Minster has said:
Welcome to Israel, Apple Inc. on your 1st acquisition here. I'm certain that you'll benefit from the fruit of the Israeli knowledge.
It is not just exciting for Apple, but for consumers, too. Apple's new investment in Anobit shows their commitment to requiring fast flash memory, as Israel is a country known for technological breakthroughs, such as its early work in mobile phones and instant messaging.
Anobit explains their technology:
Anobit's MSP™ (Memory Signal Processing) technology is comprised of proprietary signal processing algorithms combined with advanced error correction and innovative flash management schemes, resulting in a dramatic improvement in endurance, performance and system cost. Specifically, MSP™ enables SLC (one bit-per-cell) endurance and performance with MLC (two bits-per-cell) NAND, and MLC endurance and performance with TLC (three bits-per-cell) NAND, resulting in a significant reduction in cost per-bit.
If you haven't heard of SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act), then I suggest you do some serious reading, because last week the House Judiciary Committee discussed it, and the results of SOPA would not be good, at all.
There was an abrupt end to the markup session on Friday, with a new hearing date set for this week. Opposition to SOPA is growing, with the General Manger of Reddit stepping in and saying that the bill would "almost certainly mean the end" of Reddit.
On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee will continue discussing SOPA to decide whether the bill should move to the full House. Until then, lobbying groups for and against the bill continue with their efforts to influence the votes of committee members.
AT&T have decided that the merger with T-Mobile won't be happening. AT&T blames the FCC and the U.S. Department of Justice and states that the actions of two government bodies "do not change the realities of the U.S. wireless industry."
AT&T also added that the merger would have been an interim solution to the spectrum allocation issue that is currently hurting the industry, and that without the merger, "customers will be harmed and needed investment will be stifled." An FCC staff report was released just hours after AT&T and T-Mobile withdrew their merger application, with the staff report calling into question the claims that the merger "would serve the public interst, convenience, and necessity."
Apple's patent trolling has striked once again today, with the ITC siding with the Cupertino-based company. HTC was on the other side of the stick, where they will have certain models of their products either banned from sale, or imported.
The ITC found that HTC violated a pair of patents held by Apple regarding the formatting of data (such as phone numbers) in otherwise unstructured documents (such as e-mails) allowing users to interact with them.
The ban isn't set to strike until April 19th of next year, which gives both HTC and Google enough time to work through it. In the meantime of this news going to air (or to keyboard), HTC have said that they have a plan in place to not face the ban. The ITC did not find that HTC violated two other patents that were in question, which related to real time signal processing and would've been much harder for HTC to circumvent.
His Aunty didn't throw him in a cab and send him to Bel-Air, but Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the nephew of the Saudi Arabian King Abdullah, has invested a cool $300 million in social-networking site, Twitter. Alwaleed is one of the richest people in the world, ranked at No. 26 on Forbes' billionaire list, with a net work of $19.6 billion.
He made the investment through his 'Kingdom Holding Co.', where it was announced through a press release, and confirmed by Twitter. Twitter's last round of funding, valued the company at $8.4 million and was led by Digital Sky Technologies (DST) of Russia. DST founder Yuri Milner, has stakes in Twitter, Facebook and Zynga.
CD Projekt, developers behind the successful currently PC-only game The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings is going after pirates. The game has sold over one million copies so far, and while they are confident behind these sales numbers, they are also confident in going after pirates of their hard work.
CD Projekt are going after pirates, claiming that only people who they are sure downloaded a copy of the game illegally are receiving a threat of legal action. Michal Nowakowski, CD Projekt's VP of Business Development says:
We're addressing only 100% confirmed piracy causes that are 100% possible to prove. We are not worried about tracking the wrong people. As this is the trade secret of the company working on this, I cannot share it. However, we investigated the subject before we decided on this move, and we aware of some past complications. The method used here is targeting only 100% confirmed piracy cases. No innocent person was targeted with the letter so far. At least we have not received any information as of now which would indicate something like that.