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Thanksgiving is a great time for not just consumers, but retailers. IBM reported that online Thanksgiving 2011 sales were up over 39-percent from last Thanksgiving, with mobile shopping on the rise. eBay and PayPal are seeing similar things, with PayPal Mobile announcing a 511-percent increase in global mobile payment volume when compared with the 2010 Thanksgiving.
On Thanksgiving in the U.S., consumers shopping through mobile via PayPal most frequently between 6pm and 7pm PST. Compared to the rest of the world where consumers shopped on mobile most frequently between 1pm and 2pm PST. There was more than a 350-percent increase in the number of global customers shopping through PayPal mobile on Thanksgiving compared to last year. These shoppers were mostly located in New York, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami and Chicago.
Microsoft have some pretty decent Black Friday sales, with the Microsoft Store retail site putting up a page teasing their lineup of upcoming Black Friday sales, which start at 12am Pacific time Friday. A few highlights are a Samsung RC512 laptop sporting Windows 7: $499, normally $799!
Xbox Ultimate Gaming Bundle has $200 off, Kinect Sensor Bundle (with Fruit Ninja, Gunslinger and Kinect Adventures) is just $99, down from $149 and also included in the Black Friday sales is a free Windows Phone with a two-year service contract.
Europe has ruled that ISPs can't be forced to block pirate sites, NZBs and torrent users cry pirated tears of joy.nzb
This is some good news for those who are based in Europe, your ISP cannot be forced to monitor or block you from using the Web. A European court has ruled that record labels and film studios can't use the courts to instruct your broadband ISP to track or try to block you.
The European Court of Justice ruled:
EU law precludes the imposition of an injunction by a national court which requires an Internet service provider to install a filtering system with a view to preventing the illegal downloading of files.
ISPs have been the magnet of blame shifting from record labels, film studios and other owners of copyrighted music, movies or media, where they've tried to steer governments into making ISPs responsible for piracy. They've tried to argue that ISPs should record what you're doing online, and if they notice you downloading illegally accessed copyrighted material, courts should order the ISP to boot you off the Internet.
China's largest e-commerce firm, Alibaba.com, posted an 11.9-percent rise in quarterly net profit, which is their slowest growth in nearly two years, which has led to Alibaba.com raising conerts due to a weak trade outlook coming from debt worries in Europe and the US.
Alibaba.com's third-quarter results missed analysts forecasts and were attributed to a weak macroeconomic climate that led to a slower pace of customer additions. Dick Wei, an analyst with JPMorgan says:
They are focusing on the quality of suppliers and also improving the overall quality of products that they are offering, such as some of the newer services to help buyers to check the quality of products before they are shipped. If you look at customer growth, there are no new initiatives and growth is not that top priority at this point," Wei said. "Revenue will pick up again later in 2012 or 2013.
Microsoft back in 2008, had a very public failed takeover attempt of Yahoo, where they were willing to dish out $46 billion to purchase Yahoo. It failed, and now according to reports, have signed a confidentiality agreement with Yahoo which allows them to take a closer look at the struggling company's business as they explore various options for striking a deal.
Microsoft are joined by private-equity firms such as TPG Capital and Silver Lake, where they're going line for line over Yahoo's books and operations. Microsoft this time, is not looking for a complete takeover, but is only looking to help finance a bid as part of a consortium and not buy Yahoo outright, in a move to safeguard their ongoing web-search partnership with Yahoo.
It has only just been up until now, that the United States has been the world's biggest market for smartphones, but China has taken that flag and firmly planted it into their soil. Nokia is top dog in China, Samsung are a close second, whereas Apple and HTC lead the U.S. markets.
China has for a long time now, had higher cell phone use when compared to the States, given that China has a population of 1.34 billion, compared to the 310 million U.S. citizens, one would think so. Strategy Analytics reports that 23.9 million units were sold in China in Q3 2011, compared to 23.3 million units sold in the U.S. for the same quarter.
Strategy Analytics researcher Tom Kang says:
China's rapid growth has been driven by an increasing availability of smartphones in retail channels, aggressive subsidizing by operators of high-end models like the Apple iPhone, and an emerging wave of low-cost Android models from local Chinese brands such as ZTE.
The European Commission has approved Western Digital to acquire Hitachi's hard drive business in a cash and stock transaction valued at $4.3 billion. Once the deal is finalized, Western Digital should cover roughly 50-percent of the market, but not until some requirements are met.
Requirements? Well, Western Digital will have to sell off some of its hard-disk drive production assets to a smaller competitor. The idea behind these requirements [in the eyes of the European Commission] is to ensure that competition in the industry is "fully restored before the merger is implemented."
At it stands right now, Apple is currently the second-largest PC vendor worldwide, with Hewlett Packard sitting firmly in first place. But, come to end of 2012, this could very well change. Research outfit Canalys, says Apple's share of the PC market has grown 6-percent in the past twelve months alone.
What is driving this growth? The super-famous iPad, which Canalys considers a personal computer. Canalys Analysis (say that three times fast) Tim Coulling says:
Apple has seen its PC market share expand from 9 percent to 15 percent in just four quarters, though iPad shipments in its core market - the United States - are likely to come under pressure in Q4 due to the launch of the Fire and Nook at extremely competitive price points. HP and Apple will fight for top position in Q4.
With the iPad 3 set to include a high-res 2048x1536 display, it will just make the iPad 3 an even tastier option. Canalys estimates global PC shipments to reach 415 million in 2011, a 15-percent year-over-year increase, thanks largely to the Apple iPad. What I'd like to know is, is this what the "2012 is the end of the world" is going to be... Apple, of all companies, as the number one PC vendor worldwide?
Apple have started sending teaser posters around as announcements of their Black Friday holiday sale for this Friday, November 25th. The first teaser appeared on the Australian online store and will most likely be floating its way around the world by now.
The special one-day Apple shopping event. This Friday, November 25.
Mark your calendar now, and come back to the Apple Online Store for the special one-day event. You'll discover amazing iPad, iPod and Mac gifts for everyone on your list.
Apple's Black Friday discounts aren't usually too bad, but are small when compared to other retailers. Last year, Apple offered $101 discounts on their iMac, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air lines, with $11-$41 discounts on the iPods and iPads. Not bad, but not great, either.
Apple lead Google by a fairly large margin when it comes to revenue generated by apps, with numbers from Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster suggesting Android-based users are conservative when it comes to shopping on the Android Market.
The analysis shows that Android users seem to shy away from purchasing commercial apps, when compared to iPhone and iPad users who have purchased 12 times more paid apps per device. 13.5-percent of iOS customers purchase apps whilst just 1.3-percent of Android users opt for non-free software on their devices.
Those numbers mean nothing unless we're talking dollars, right? The Android Market generated just shy of $350 million in gross revenue, where Apple's App Store pulled in an impressive near-$5 billion. Both companies take a 30-percent cut of these totals, which is very impressive as they're just hosting them.