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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 (Lagardère 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.