Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 3, 2013 03:53 PM
Cyber Monday sales set a new one-day record for online shopping yesterday with an increase of 20 percent over 2012, while mobile sales increased 55 perent year-over-year and now account for more than 17 percent of total online sales for Cyber Monday.
Walmart, Amazon and eBay were the day's big winners, as Walmart.com quickly sold out of its entire stock of PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles, with CEO Joel Anderson proclaiming, "There's no way ... that it won't finish as our biggest Cyber Monday ever," according to USA Today. "I think 2013 will be remembered as the year online went mobile."
Amazon offered half-off Mattel and Fisher-Price products, 46 percent off a Canon digital camera and 65 percent off men and women’s cashmere, while eBay promoted more than 80 percent off diamond stud earrings.
Most consumers accessed the deals via tablets, while mobile phones were used most for browsing. Tablets accounted for 12 percent of purchases versus 5.5 percent from smartphones.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 2, 2013 07:36 PM
WhatsApp, the free Internet-based messaging service is now the most popular mobile messaging platform, according to a survey of more than 4,000 smartphone owners in the US, Brazil, South Africa, Indonesia and China.
Leapfrogging Facebook, 44 percent surveyed use WhatsApp at least once a week, compared to 35 percent for Facebook messenger. The study also found that mobile messaging apps in general, such as WhatsApp, WeChat and even BBM are more popular than calls and texts: 60 percent of respondents used emails; 75 percent SMS text; 73 percent voice calls; and 86 percent said they used social messaging apps daily.
WhatsApp has a stronger following abroad than in the US, but reportedly has more users than Twitter and carries 25 billion messages a day. Most popular among teens, school friends and extended families who create groups for shared texting, photos and status updates, WhatsApp allows free communication without the threat of divulging personal details—an increasing concern for competitors like Facebook and Google.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 9, 2013 07:07 PM
Readers often come across products while reading stories about them, garnering interest and and intent to buy—eventually. But now Wired magazine has teamed up with MasterCard to make the page-to-purchase process and instant shopping satisfaction.
Starting with the November tablet edition of Wired, which becomes available Oct. 15, readers will be able to simply click on products within the magazine’s content and dump it into a single shopping cart for purchasing, according to a press release. MasterCard’s technology for the effort is appropriately named ShopThis! and MasterPass.Continue reading...
tech in the spotlight
Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 6, 2013 05:51 PM
Apple fanboys (and girls!) are at the edge of their seats in anticipation of the company's planned Sept. 10 event. What will they reveal? How many and how soon? Let's hope one of those is innovation—a key ingredient that arguably the world's favorite tech brand has been lacking for quite some time.
Since the loss of founder Steve Jobs, Apple has struggled to maintain its own high standards for beautiful, user-friendly tech. And in the time that the company has taken a few steps back, others, like main rival Samsung, which is the largest mobile manufacturer in the world, have made leaps and bounds. With no fear to go big, go small or go cheap, Samsung has proven that it can give consumers what they want, and how they want it, with many more options than Apple has ever offered.
But this latest round of devices may be the most important yet. Rumors, leaked photos and the general wants and needs of the public suggest that Apple will unveil both an iPhone update, the iPhone 5S, and a cheaper, pared-down version, possibly called the iPhone 5c (for 'cheap'—or China). This would mark the first time that the Cupertino, Calif.-based company pays some attention to the value-conscious consumer—a growing demographic in a world full of economic crises and $600 mobile phones. Apple may reportedly also unveil an Apple TV, while other updates, including iOS 7 and iTunes Radio have already been teased.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 3, 2013 01:47 PM
In what may be the last notable move from exiting Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, the company acquired Nokia's devices and services division and its intellectual property for $7.2 billion.
While the brands have been connected since 2011, when Nokia adopted Microsoft's software across its smartphones, the merger will create a hardware and software supplier bolstered by the addition of Nokia's 32,000 employees. Ballmer believes that a deeper integration between devices, software, and services is required to compete with Google and Apple and that vertical integration will better finance the development of the Windows Phone platform.
While the deal at first glance seems to be a departure from the "One Microsoft" idea that Ballmer debuted in July under his restructuring plan, the company has outlined a connection between the success of its mobile venture and its other devices. "Success in phone is important to success in tablets. Success in tablets will help PCs.”Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 13, 2013 11:48 AM
Medical care, insurance, banking: Members of the US Military have access to countless services that are uniquely designed to serve them, though, when it comes to communication, a vital service for families that are spread across the world, there has never been a specialized service provider—until now.
This Veteran's Day, Nov. 11, anyone associated with the US Military, including active service members, veterans and family members can sign on with Defense Mobile Corp., an independent company that will provide affordable 4G mobile phone service. The network will run on Sprint, with plans ranging from $20 per month to $60 per month for a family plan, Bloomberg Businessweek reports. Also, members will have access to the latest smartphones, including the iPhone 5, Galaxy S 4 and the HTC One.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 12, 2013 12:46 PM
From AT&T to Verizon Wireless and every Sprint and T-Mobile in between, smartphone companies are doing everything they can to attract and retain customers in this never-ceasing battle. The most recent punches were thrown by Sprint and T-Mobile.
Sprint, hoping to jump up from its position in third place in the US, announced that it would be guaranteeing unlimited data services for the lifetime of an account, Reuters reports. Verizon Wireless and AT&T ditched the unlimited idea toward the end of last year and most folks were thinking Sprint would eventually follow them.
"We are distinctly different in our market position (from) AT&T and Verizon," Sprint Chief Executive Dan Hesse told the Associated Press.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 6, 2013 10:29 AM
Sunday Night Football was the most-watched show on TV last year even though millions of fans were also able to stream the big game on their smartphones. Now the NFL is going a step further and will offer up Sunday afternoon games on smartphones as well.
The NFL’s new $1 billion, four-year deal with Verizon Wireless will help make this happen, expanding the number of games being streamed to smartphones from just the evening games on Sunday, Monday and Thursday to all of the games in a customer’s home market, the Wall Street Journal reports. The broadcasts will begin next year after Verizon’s current four-year, $720 million contract concludes.
"I can see viewers for NFL games on mobile continuing to double for the foreseeable future," Lee Berke, a media consultant who has worked with Verizon Wireless, told the Journal. "At this point, nobody knows where the upper limit is, and that's why these deals are being done. In the 1970s people predicted cable would reach an inflection point at 30 percent penetration, but now we're at 80-90 percent with pay television."Continue reading...