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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.