Samsung is Apple's strongest competition right now, and the way it's worded, you'd think Apple have sold more. Well, in Q3 of 2011, Samsung beat Apple by 65-percent in unit sales, to take over the global lead. But, it was Samsung's greater phone lineup, which consists of so-called "feature phones", which are just the traditional cell phones, that Samsung were celebrating in their recent press release.
Samsung now have to look at Nokia's 2010 market, where they moved an astounding 453 million devices, compared to Samsung's 280 million. Samsung have not revealed precise numbers, but sales of "over" 300 million would indicate at least a 7-percent growth.
Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc. announced today that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 passed the $1 billion mark in sales in just 16 days since its November 8 launch. This beats the record set in 2009 from James Cameron's "Avatar" which hit $1 billion in 17 days.
The Call of Duty community now consists of more than 30 million gamers, which is more than the combined populations of the cities of New York, London, Tokyo, Paris and Madrid. Some crazy, crazy numbers. Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard has said:
Engagement of our Call of Duty audience continues to rise around the world. Call of Duty as an entertainment franchise has made an indelible mark on popular culture and its broad and continued success is further validation that audiences increasingly value interactive experiences over passive experiences.
Call of Duty is now amongst that rarified group of sustained franchises like "Star Wars", "Harry Potter", "Lord of the Rings" and the National Football League (NFL) that attract or engage tens of millions of people every year or every new release.
Intel have just announced that their fourth-quarter results are going to be lower than their previous outlook due to the Thailand floods and the resulting shortage on hard drive supplies. Intel now expects a fourth-quarter revenue of $13.7 billion, plus or minus $300 million, on both a GAAP and non-GAAP basis, lower than the previous expectation of $14.7 billion, plus or minus $500 million.
Sales of PCs are expected to be up sequentially in Q4. But, the worldwide PC supply chain is reducing inventories and microprocessor purchases as a result of hard disk drive supply shortages. Intel expects the HDD supply shortages to continue into Q1 2012, followed by a rebuilding of microprocessor inventories as supplies of HDDs recover during 1H 2012.
Motorola would be running around saying HELLO MOTO to each other today in excitement, as a German court ruled against Apple in an ongoing battle over patents. Motorola's complaing was that Apple failed to license on of their wireless intellectual properties. Apple use this technology in their 3G-packing iPads and iPhones.
Motorola could now force Apple to remove the feature from their products, or even have the ability to slap a sales ban in Germany. Apple have said that they intend to appeal the ruling, while Motorola claim the ruling validated its "efforts to enforce its patents against Apple's infringement."
Apple have replied, by saying:
We're going to appeal the court's ruling right away. Holiday shoppers in Germany should have no problem finding the iPad or iPhone they want.
comScore have just released their U.S. online holiday spending numbers for the season to-date, where it has been revealed that consumers continued to spend online in record amounts. In just 39 days of the November to December 2011 holiday season, $24.6 billion was spent online, which is a 15-percent increase compared to the same time last year.
The week ending December 9 reached $5.9 billion in spending, up 15-percent with 3 days surpassing $1 billion in spending. For this holiday season, six individual days have surpassed $1 billion in spending, which for an economy in tatters, is quite the achievement. Cyber Monday leads this with $1.25 billion in sales, as well as Monday, December 5, which now ranks as the second heaviest spending day in history at $1.18 billion.
One of the driving forces behind this new found love for online retail shopping is the use of coupons and deals as well as the increased amount of free shipping offers from retailers. Smartphones and tablets have also helped, with more and more people using price comparison apps, both making purchases from the comfort of their own homes, or inside retail stores. E-commerce companies have noticed this trend and are now offering strong incentives to use and buy through mobile apps.
Like Apple aren't in enough lawsuits as it is, but here's another to add to their ever-growing list of people who are angry with them. A court in southern China has rejected a lawsuit by Apple Inc, where they have accused a Chinese technology company of infringing on its iPad trademark.
Apple have faced multiple roadblocks in setting up shop in China, even earlier this year there were fake Apple stores discovered in southwestern Yunnan province. What of the lawsuit? The Intermediate People's Court in southern boomtown of Shenzhen rejected Apple's complaint against Proview Technology (Shenzhen).
You may think theres some form of trickery to my title there, but there is not. Quite simply put, Amazing are offering consumers up to $5 off on purchases if they are to compare prices using Amazon's mobile phone application in-store.
The promotion is for one day only, this Saturday, and is a sneaky way of Amazon to increase the usage of its bar-code-scanning application, while also collecting intel on prices in the stores. Mobile commerce is a booming market right now, with more and more customers more than happy to use applications on their smartphones to either shop, or compare prices not just at home, but at work, in the shop itself, or while in the toilet.
Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales were enormous, and I'm sure Amazon want a repeat of that success when Santa comes visiting in a few weeks. Amazon's Price Check app is available on both the Apple App Store and the Android Market, the app allows shoppers to scan a bar code, take a picture of an item or conduct a text search to find the lowest prices.
Sharp Corp., Samsung Electronics Co., and six other makers of LCD panels have agreed to pay $388 million to settle price-fixing claims by direct purchasers of the products. Sharp, Japan's largest panel maker paid $105 million, Samsung, who are the world's largest TV maker, paid $82.7 million and then we have Chimei Innolux Corp who are Taiwan's largest maker of display panels, paying $78 million.
The price-fixing isn't just for a few years, according to a class action, or group lawsuit filed in 2007, this has been going on from 1999 to 2006. Where the companies allegedly fixed prices of the panels, driving up prices for purchasers who bought the screens or goods containing them.
The U.S. Justice Department investigation ended in guilty please from LG Display Co., Chunghwa Picture Tubes and Sharp. The companies agreed in 2008 and 2009 to pay $585 million in criminal fines.
This is something that should develop into 2012, but early reports are that the European Commission just announced a few hours ago that they have opened a formal antitrust proceeding to investigate whether a number of international e-book publishers have engaged in anti-competitive practices affecting the sale of e-books in Europe, "possibly with the help of Apple."
Publishers that were identified in the antitrust investigation include Hachette Livre (Lagardčre Publishing, France), Harper Collins (News Corp., USA), Simon & Schuster (CBS Corp., USA), Penguin (Pearson Group, United Kingdom) and Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holzbrinck (owner of inter alia Macmillan, Germany).
The Commission says it will investigate whether these publishers and Apple have engaged in illegal agreements or practices that would "have the object or the effect of restricting competition" in the European Union or in the European Economic Area (EEA). The Commission isn't stopping there, either. They're also looking into "agency agreements" between the publishers and e-book retailers, in collaboration with the UK Office of Fair Trading.
Facebook are moving to some new [evil?] headquarters with a most interesting address. Apple have 1 Infinite Loop, Genentech have 1 DNA Way, Microsoft have 1 Microsoft Way and now Facebook have joined the club with 1 Hacker Way, Menlo Park, 94025.
As seen above on a new business card from a Facebook employee, the new address is baldly displayed. Facebook were looking at a name of 1 Social Circle, but that is pretty close to Google+ with its Circle friends list, which obviously led to Facebook choosing a different name.
Facebook are in the process of transitioning between their current Palo Alto buildings to the new Menlo Park HQ.
Apple and Samsung have butted heads once again, but this time, on U.S. soil. More precisely, a San Jose, Ca. court at the end of last week. In April of this year, Apple sued Samsung for "copying the look and feel" of its iPhone and iPad in its Galaxy range of phones and tablets.
Apple then expanded the suit to include another 13 models, such as the Galaxy Tab 10.1, Nexus S and Droid Charge. The full trial is set to go ahead on July 30, 2012, but Apple were pushing for a temporary sales injunction on the contested Samsung devices in the U.S. as that date arrived. It seems Apple are scared of Samsung, and so they should be.
U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh refused Apple's request, stating it was an "extraordinary remedy." She was unconvinced that Apple would suffer irreparable harm should Samsung continue to sell their devices pending the court case, where she continued:
Given the evidence Samsung presented, it seems likely that a major beneficiary of an injunction would be other smartphone manufacturers.
It looks like Apple retail stores are in for some competition from the fun-sounding creation from Google and Telstra: Androidland. Androidland was unveiled at Telstra's retail outlet in Bourke St, Melbourne, where its based in the 154 square metre space which brings together interactive technology, games and on-site experts to explain the features of Google's Android OS.
Executive Director of Telstra Mobile, Warwick Bray, said that its the first time a mobile carrier had teamed up with Google to create an Android-dedicated retail presence. He added:
Over the past 12 months we've seen a huge growth in the number of customers coming in-store and asking us about Android phones and tablets. With Androidland we wanted to create a retail environment like no other that helps us to answer customer questions in a fun, interactive way. The result is a world-first collaboration that goes beyond conventional product displays by allowing visitors to get hands on with a range of popular mobile services and apps found on Android devices.
Google is reportedly shopping around with multiple retailers and shipping couriers in an effort to create a service that would compete with Amazon's Prime one-day shipping option. Google could even offer same-day delivery on certain items, which would actually be better than Amazon's offering.
The way it differs to Amazon, is Google's service would not have them selling items directly to the customer, but rather allow them to handle the delivery process through deals and companies such as UPS and local couriers. When a customer is checking out at a particular retailer, Google's system would kick in and offer expedited delivery services.
WebOS, it's gone. WebOS, it's back. Now HP is set to announce the fate of WebOS within the fortnight, according to CEO Mig Whitman in an interview with French newspaper Le Figaro.
Whitman hasn't hinted at what direction HP might take with WebOS, but she has said that HP have a team of roughly 600 people in limbo and that they need to have another operating system. WebOS has been up in the air, which I'm sure most of you all know about. HP's TouchPad tablet had its priced slashed to $99 and enjoyed some huge sales in that time.
HP did acquire Palm in April 2010 for the tidy sum of $1.2 billion, with WebOS a key part of that deal. HP have recently announced plans for Windows 8 tablets, which will arrive next year with Windows 8. More news as it comes.
Social game developer Zynga are set to start talking with potential public investors on Monday ahead of a mid-December IPO. Reuters have some early details, with reports of Zynga wanting to raise around $900 million by selling 10-percent of its stock at a range between $8 and $10 per share, for a valuation of around $10 billion, according to the report.
It was speculated previously that Zynga would be eyeing down the hallway of between $15 and $20 billion, but those estimates are quite off from what we've recently seen. What is contributing to the scale down in valuation? Well, Zynga have concerns over larger economic issues such as the ongoing financial crisis in Europe, and the poor reception that other tech IPOs have had recently.
Super Mario 3D Land hit the Nintendo 3DS and store shelves on November 11, and has since become the fastest-selling Mario game in Nintendo's history by selling more than 500,000 copies since launch.
Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword which was released on the Nintendo Wii on November 20 has sold 535,000 copies, which makes it the fastest-selling Zelda game ever. Black Friday is filled with wonderful things, even with the way the world's economies are right now.
The two releases also spiked Nintendo 3DS and Wii systems, with the 3DS sales tripled (by 325-percent) compared with sales the week of November 6th, the week before Super Mario 3D Land launched out of its green pipe. The week of its debut, however, sales rose 49-percent from the previous week.
Microsoft's Xbox 360 may be in its seventh year of its life, but it has just closed the biggest sales week in the history of the console by selling more than 960,000 consoles in the U.S. alone during the week of Black Friday.
More than 960,000 consoles were sold, with 800,000 being sold in a 24 hour period. Kinect also saw a huge boost with more than 750,000 sensors being sold across the U.S. in both standalone packages as well as bundles. Microsoft aren't stopping there, come December 6th, the "next generation of TV entertainment will begin" with the availability of a new Xbox 360 experience, and the launch of the first group of custom entertainment apps on Xbox LIVE.
Black Friday has come and gone, so how did Apple fare? They were the fifth most-trafficked retailer on Black Friday, but were the only individual product brand to reach the top ranks among the major big-box retailers.
Apple were fifth only to some pretty large companies, consisting of Target, Best Buy, Wal-Mart and Amazon. This is according to a comScore report that analyzed online shopping trends the day after Thanksgiving. Andrew Lipsman, an analyst at comScore said:
Apple has not historically been in the top five - in fact, this is the first time I can remember.
Rovio, the team behind the phenomenally successful Angry Birds, allegedly rejected a $2.25 billion acquisition offer from Zynga over the summer. The news comes from a New York Times piece of how Zynga's tough corporate culture may gush talent as soon as unhappy employees with stock make some money on the IPO.
Zynga also reportedly lost out on acquiring PopCap Games also, which it tried to wave a sweet billion dollars under the noses of the company. In the end, Electronic Arts took PopCap under their wing for just $750 million with performance bonuses.
For Zynga to offer PopCap games more money, and still lose out, it says a lot about their employee perception problem. I do like what Joystiq had to say with "At least Zynga execs can dry their tears with thousand dollar bills." Sums it up nicely.
Facebook will reportedly file its long-anticipated IPO between April and June of next year, according to The Wall Street Journal. The initial public offering will value Facebook at more than $100 billion, according to people "familiar with the matter".
Facebook is raising $10 billion in its IPO - which would be one of the largest ever, in a deal that might give Facebook a $100 billion valuation, something that is double when compared to a company such as HP.
Larry Yu, a spokesman for Facebook has said "We're not going to participate in speculation about an IPO". More on the IPO talk is available at the source.
Well, this certainly is something to be careful of! Thailand has warned Facebook users that they could face some serious jail time for charges of lese-majeste, or insults to the kind, queen, heir or regent.
Thailand's Information and Communication Technology Minster, Anudith Nakornthap, says that even though Facebook clicks of 'like' or 'share' are only done to show support for messages, they could actually violate laws that carry sentences of between 3 and 15 years for each charge.