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On their rampage for world domination, Corsair have just acquired Scotland-based Simple Audio. Simple Audio have been around for five years and is mostly known in Europe for their networked set-top receivers.
These receivers are capable of sharing music from PCs, Macs, TVs, iPods and MP3 players, so we should expect Corsair to expand their audio lineup in the coming months and years. Corsair's acquisition will see Simple Audio's products jump across the pond, hopefully sooner rather than later.
Corsair haven't said anything about the amount of money they paid for Simple Audio, but the American computer component maker have said that they'd been checking out Simple Audio's dance moves for a while now - even since 2010 - and felt that now is the right time to acquire them.
According to an analyst, Apple's fourth largest business is iTunes. Horace Dediu from Asymco says that the $13.5 billion in revenue generated by iTunes last year is enough to make it one of Apple's main focuses. According to Dediu, iTunes revenues have been rising "steadily and rapidly."
iTunes has apparently managed to have an average growth rate of 30 percent over the past two years. Due to Apple's Mac and iPod businesses shrinking, Dediu predicts that iTunes could soon become Apple's third largest business. Whether or not this negates the RIAA's argument that pirating is bad, it can be shown that digital sales are certainly growing despite pirates.
"Indeed, if seen in isolation, iTunes plus Accessories combined is a bigger business in terms of revenues than any of the other phone vendors except Samsung," Dediu said.
In a new Harris poll that sought the opinions of more than 14,000 people, Amazon has come out on top in two of the six categories. The poll asked respondents to rank companies based upon six criteria: social responsibility; emotional appeal; financial performance; products and services; vision and leadership; and workplace environment.
Amazon pulled out a win in the "emotional appeal" and "products and services" categories. Amazon managed to place in the top five for the other four categories. Overall, Amazon managed to come out with a grade of 82.62, which makes this the fifth year in a row that they placed above 80 out of 100.
"Our results show that Amazon has managed to build an intimate relationship with the public without being perceived as intrusive," Robert Fronk, executive vice president of Reputation Management at Harris Interactive, said in a statement. "And as the company that is so widely known for its personal recommendations, more than 9 in 10 members of the public would recommend Amazon to friends and family."
Google made it into the top five for five of the criteria and Apple, just four. Still, tech companies appear to be doing well when it comes to reputation. Even Facebook made it into the Top 60 companies.
There were some rumors, discussions, and rumblings about Intel working on a settop box and Internet TV service. Erik Huggers, Intel's general manager of media, has confirmed that Intel is working on an Internet-based TV service and plans to launch it sometime this year.
"For the first time, we will deliver ... a new consumer electronics product that people will buy from Intel through a new brand," Huggers said.
Don't get too excited, though, as it appears that the service will be similar to how cable currently offers. It won't likely come with the ability to purchase individual channels. "If bundles are bundled right, there's real value in that. ... I don't believe the industry is ready for pure a la carte."
Details on the service are still scarce, but we can expect to know more now that it has been officially confirmed.
The Australian government will be holding an upcoming investigation into Adobe, Apple and Microsoft on allegations that the company's price their products much higher for domestic consumers.
Adobe has dropped the price of its Creative Cloud suite days ahead of the inquiry's start date, in what can only be seen as a move to appease investigators. Individual pricing have been reduced to $49.99 AUD per month based on an annual subscription whereas a month to month subscription will cost you $74.99 AUD per month.
While it remains unseen if Microsoft or Apple will make similar moves, Adobe's actions have gained some favor with Labor MP Ed Husic who is spear heading the investigation. Husic said in an interview that he was pleased with Adobe's decision to lower prices, but stated that the company needed to do more.
As we thought might happen, Alicia Keys, BlackBerry's new Global Creative Director, has seemingly tweeted from an iPhone. She had previously stated that she was strictly exclusive to BlackBerry now that she is apparently on their payroll. She isn't the first, nor will she be the last, to accidentally tweet from a competitor's product.
The tweet has since been deleted and Keys has subsequently said that she was hacked. "What the h*ll?!!!! Looks like I've been hacked... I like @Drake but that wasn't my tweet :-(" reads the tweet. What do you think? Did she accidentally tweet from her iPhone or was she legitimately hacked?
Numbers from AdDuplex show that Nokia has roughly 75 percent of the Windows Phone market. AdDuplex's numbers are usage numbers from the company's ad network. While the numbers only come from 294 applications, which creates a fairly small and unreliable sample size, general questions, such as the top manufacturer, can be asked fairly reliably.
As you can see, Nokia holds just over 75 percent of the Windows Phone market. HTC comes in second with just over 10 percent. From there, the numbers drop off pretty significantly. It's no surprise that Nokia is leading the market; it's Lumia line of devices are solid and Nokia has worked closely with Microsoft.
We're always on the lookout for data and trends. We'll keep looking to see if we can come up with some interesting trends in the Windows Phone market.
If you're looking to advertise on Twitter with a Promoted Trends tweet, it's going to cost you a bit more than it used to. Twitter has raised the price of the Promoted Trend advertising option to $200,000 per day. This is up 33 percent from its previous price of $150,000 and up 150 percent from the $80,000 price it launched at in 2010.
Clearly, Twitter is having no issue selling these spots as the price has continually increased from the start of the service. Doing a bit of math, we arrive at the fact that Twitter could bring in $73 million a year if they sell one advertising slot each day, which might not be that hard to do.
This is ahead of rumors that Twitter could be planning to go public next year. Estimates place the company at being worth $11 billion in a year.
Apple's Genius Bar's are a staple of Apple's retail dominance, and now German car-maker BMW is stepping up to the plate with a new "BMW Genius Everywhere" program.
BMW have been training their employees to assist customers with questions about their cars and features, even getting iPad's into employees' hands to help them. The German car-maker hope to have these BMW Genius Everywhere setups in the US by "early 2014".
BMW will first launch the program across Europe, where it will jump across the pond to the United States just before their new i3 electric car drives into dealerships in early 2014. BMW will hire associates based on their knowledge versus offering them commission on sales. BMW's Geniuses will be there to help customers, instead of pushing them into new sales.
Australian government going after Apple & Microsoft over the "Australia Tax" that forces up pricing down under
As an Australian myself, it hurts so much to see products so over priced here versus other places in the world. The government here hates it, as they lose out because consumers purchase the goods overseas, bypassing the GST (goods & services tax) that they would normally make.
The Australian government are now stepping in, with the government's IT Pricing Inquiry into something that is known as the "Australia Tax", which is now going after the big boys in Microsoft and Apple. The committee has issued three summonses to appear before the inquiry today to three repeat offenders: Microsoft, Apple and Adobe.
These three companies will appear before the House Committee on March 22 at 9:30am to answer concerns raised by Choice and the ACMA in regards to the "Australia Tax" on goods sold across the country. Federal Member of Chifley, Ed Husic, said:
This is an important move - but one we shouldn't have to take. These firms should have cooperated and been prepared to be more open and transparent about their pricing approaches. In what's probably the first time anywhere in the world, these IT firms are now being called by the Australian Parliament to explain why they price their products so much higher in Australia compared to the US. Adobe, Apple and Microsoft are just a few firms that have continually defied the public's call for answers and refused to appear before the IT Pricing Inquiry.