Verizon said Thursday that it sold 2.2 million iPhones in its first two weeks and sold out of the iPad 2 in early March.
Verizon also sold 260,000 HTC Thunderbolt devices, the first smartphone for its 4G LTE network, and another 250,000 4G LTE Internet devices, Fran Shammo, president and CEO of Verizon Telecom and Business, said during a Thursday earnings call.
About 22 percent of iPhone activations were for people new to Verizon Wireless, while 78 percent were existing Verizon customers who upgraded.
Overall, 60 percent of phones sold during the quarter were smartphones, up from 36 percent last year. About 65 percent of those were new to the smartphone category, meaning they upgraded from a feature or multimedia phone or were new to Verizon. Overall, 32 percent of Verizon Wireless's retail post-paid customers are now using smartphones, up from 28 percent last quarter.
AT&T just announced it will buy T-Mobile USA for $39 billion. If the transaction gets approved by the government and closes in a year as planned, it will create the nation's largest wireless carrier by far.
While this is great news for both companies, it's an awful idea for consumers - and I desperately hope the US antitrust authorities rake this merger over the coals.
An AT&T/T-Mobile merger at least makes more sense than the silly T-Mobile/Sprint idea which was being bandied about. Both carriers use the same technologies: GSM, HSPA+ and LTE. While they're on different frequency bands, radios which use all of the relevant bands are becoming easier to build.
The merger neatly solves T-Mobile's long-term problem of not having enough spectrum for LTE, the 4G technology which will soon be a global standard. It gives T-Mobile's struggling parent, Deutsche Telekom, a gigantic cash infusion. And it lets AT&T once again position itself as the number-one carrier against Verizon Wireless, which leapfrogged AT&T technologically this year with Verizon's 4G LTE launch.
AT&T is ahead of T-Mobile on building LTE. T-Mobile is far ahead of AT&T on building HSPA+, a intermediate 4G technology that fits right between the carriers' existing 3G networks and LTE. Together, they could have a smooth and powerful nationwide network.
AT&T's press release for the merger backs this up. The combined carrier will be able to build out much more LTE Than AT&T could alone, by combining AT&T's 700 Mhz spectrum with T-Mobile's AWS spectrum.
For stockholders, this all sounds great. With reduced competition and the efficiencies of a combined network, the new company will probably be quite profitable.
For phone owners, tech lovers, and American consumers, this is a total disaster.
January has just not been a pleasant month for video game sales. At least, that's according to new numbers released by NPD. Total January 2011 sales for gaming accessories, portable systems, and games for PCs and consoles fell to $1.16 billion from last year's total of $1.22 billion. And the $1.22 billion figure for January 2010 is itself a decrease from January 2009 figures, or $1.33 billion in total sales.
Breaking that number out a bit, hardware sales took the biggest year-to-year hit, dropping 8 percent from $353.7 million in January 2010 to $324 million in January 2011. NPD no longer splits this number out into publicly available data for the various console manufacturers; however, Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter said that Microsoft was the only big player to experience year-to-year growth on hardware sales.
According to Pachter, Microsoft sold approximately 332,800 Xbox 360 units, representing a year-to-year growth of 14.4 percent for the company. More than half of the systems sold were also bundled with Microsoft's Kinect accessory.
Nintendo, on the other hand, found its sales down 31.5 percent compared to the same period of time last year. That's a drop from 465,800 Wii consoles sold in January 2010 to 319,000 sold in January 2011. The company still leads the current console market with 34.5 million Wii units sold in the U.S., in total, with Microsoft's Xbox 360 coming in second place at 25.8 million, followed by Sony's PlayStation 3 at 15.7 million.
During an earnings call, News Corp. COO Chase Carey indicated that "now is the right time" to place MySpace "under a new owner". The news is not a big surprise, as things have been going downhill for the social network. Its owner, News Corp., has attempted to revive the property last Autumn with a site redesign, and while the site is still popular with some niche crowds, there's no question that Facebook took its place long ago. Still, Carey stays positive on the outlook of MySpace, saying “the new MySpace has been very well received by the market and we have some very encouraging metrics, but the plan to allow MySpace to reach its full potential may be best achieved under a new owner.” Of course, it's still unknown whether anyone would be interested in buying it.
It appears that nobody wants the read a book that Snooki claims to have written. The tanned and tiny "star" of MTV's Jersey Shore had her first novel, A Shore Thing published about a month ago. Since then, it's sold less than 9000 copies.
This despite a massive pr push that's seen the little orange pumpkin rolling from TV appearance to TV appearance.
How does that compare to graphic novel sales? John Jackson Miller at The Comics Chronicles has the scoop.
In 2010, Image's Walking Dead Vol 1: Days Gone Bye sold 43,900 copies, DC's Blackest Night hardcover (19,200), Image's Chew Vol. 1 (13,600), and Dynamite's Boys Vol. 6 Self-Preservation Society (11,100). And that's just a sampling.
In all, some 38 graphic novels outsold Snooki's book and that's just using GN sales figures from the direct market.
In conjunction with Free App A Day (FAAD), Atakamalabs has released the popular IndieCade Jury Award winning title rewrite, Today I Die Again by Daniel Benmergui, completely free. Today I Die Again is a thought provoking adventure using words as means to action.
The scene opens underwater with the body of a dead woman floating lifeless in the dark. The rock tied around her waist suggests that her demise was no accident. A poem floats above her: “hopeless world / full of shadows / today I die”
Players must use the floating glowing words or reveal hidden ones to help you transform the ever-present poem in order to progress through the game. All along the way you battle the dark creatures from the depths in effort to break through to the surface. The oddly creative music score sets the mood perfectly as you are immersed deeper into this pixelated world. Today I Die Again is truly a unique game unlike any other, exploring new ways to express emotions through a video game experience.
Amazon released some facts about their Christmas Holidays, and among them we find out that the Kindle 3 is their best selling product ever, eclipsing Harry Potter which held the spot with the Deathly Hallows. Other facts include Christmas day itself having seen more people download more Kindle Buy Once and Read Everywhere apps ever, and the most popular book on Kindle was The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Some other Holidays best sellers were The Confession: A Novel by John Grisham, Decision Points by George Bush and Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. On the site's peak day, November 29, 13.7 million items were ordered worldwide. Another interesting tidbit is the fact that Amazon is seeing many people who buy Kindles also have another tablet such as the iPad. It seems the e-ink display of the Kindle, and it's low price point, may be enough incentive for readers, even if they already own another device.
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Real quick, we wanted to let you guys know that LogMeIn Ignition for iPhone and iPad is on sale today. The app, which lets you control your PC or Mac remotely from your iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, normally costs $29.99--one of the more expensive apps out there. However, for the next 24 hours, you can grab it for $19.99, 33% off.
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If you're unfamiliar with Newegg, we suggest you head on over to their Black Friday sale page right now. They've got some of the best deals around, even beating out Amazon. How does an $80 Blu-ray player sound, or new video games for $20 off? That's just the tip of the iceberg - seriously, if you or anyone on your gift list is into technology, this is one of the best places to find fantastic deals on consumar electronics!
Even better, you can combine the deals with some of the coupons from our Newegg promo code page!
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