NEW YORK, Aug. 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Prentice Capital, the Michael
Zimmerman fund specializing in retail investments, predicts that retail sales
will grow faster than expected during the second half of 2014. This view is
supported by the latest National Retail Federation retail sales forecast
which calculates that retail sales are expected to grow at least 3.9% during
the second half(1).
Zimmerman's positive view is despite the fact that US store visits fell by
nearly 7% in June and nearly 5% in July, and overall have fallen by 5% or
more from a year earlier in every month for the past two years according to
ShopperTrak(2). It's not all bad news however - consumers are still buying,
they are just increasingly doing it online.
Consumer behaviour is changing. Instead of wandering through stores making
impulse purchases, shoppers use their mobile phones and computer... (more)
It's not going to surprise anyone that Apple's fiscal Q2 numbers were light
on iPads given its obvious inability to meet demand, but what may surprise
Google and its many Android followers was the surge in iPhone sales to 18.65
million units, a 113% jump in growth year-over-year, significantly ahead of
IDC's 48% growth projection.
Apple said sales of the dingus were up 155% in the US and 250% in China,
where alone it represented a bit under $5 billion, up 4x.
iPads, whose future seems assured given what Apple called a "staggering" iPad
lust resulting in the "mother of all backlogs," only hit 4.69 million units
in the quarter, reportedly demanding every widget Apple could make and
turning into $2.8 billion in revenue.
Happily, in answer to everybody's most pressing question, Apple said it
suffered no material supply line disruption or cost impact in Q2 because of
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Rising demand for 4G handsets and base stations, plus China’s recent
issuance of fourth-generation network licenses, are fueling the boom in 4G
networks predicted for China. Read Original Content
E-commerce in China is making a move to mobile in 2014. Amazon China
announced the percentage of its sales from mobile devices... (more)
Roughly two years after it started working on an operating system based on
its Chrome browser - and now late by its own timetable - Google is ready to
start commercializing its so-called Chromebooks and challenge the Microsoft
During those critical two years, however, Apple's iPad and Google's own
copycat Android have drastically changed the market terrain so it's possible
that the Chromebooks could experience rejection despite Google's claims that
the web-based widgets, where everything is done in the cloud, are a "game
Well, we shall soon see. Beginning June 15, Samsung- and Acer-made
Chromebooks will be available to consumers at prices ranging from $329 to
They will be sold in the US, UK, France, Germany, Holland, Italy and Spain.
Amazon.com and Best Buy online should have them. So too international
However - and more clev... (more)
After waiting a brief interval for tears shed over Steve Jobs to dry, Google
and Samsung, the biggest seller of Android phones, met in Hong Kong and
unveiled Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphones powered by the brand new Ice Cream
Sandwich version of the Apple-loathed Android operating system.
Sales of the "co-developed" dingus are set for next month; pricing was not
The move came a few days after Apple sold a reported four million of its new
iPhone 4S in 72 hours, a personal best.
Ice Cream Sandwich, now officially Android 4.0, is using facial recognition
programs that enhance security and photo sorting as a come-on. It's unclear
whether users having a bad hair day will be locked out of their phones.
The widgetry is also said to include improved multi-tasking, upgraded voice
technology that converts dictation into text, a new font called Robot... (more)
RIM said Tuesday that its PlayBook OS 2.0 is ready, free and downloadable,
which puts it that much ahead of the equally vaunted webOS that HP has in
open source triage seeing what will come of it.
It would of course have been better yet if 2.0's new features had been in
1.0. It might have stopped the PlayBook from tanking.
Anyway, the new PlayBook operating system, derived from RIM's QNX acquisition
and bound for its smartphones later this year, is supposed to enrich the
experience of users of the poorly selling RIM tablet, mostly by putting
Android apps on the thing.
Although still lacking instant messaging, it's finally got an integrated
native e-mail client whose unified inbox will consolidate all messages
including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn communiqués. 2.0's calendar will
also integrate with those social networks and there's a Bluetooth connection
Apple has reportedly fired Richard Williamson, the NeXT legacy who botched
the mission-critical maps program that replaced the Google Maps program Apple
used to offer on its widgets.
Apple wanted Google Maps off its iPads and iPhones because it loathes Google
and its Android operating system.
The screw-up forced CEO Tim Cook to publicly apologize and promise the
widgetry would improve.
Apple then fired Williamson's boss, mobile-software chief Scott Forstall,
last month. He reportedly refused to apologize for the blooper.
SVP of online services Eddy Cue, a confidant of Steve Jobs, reportedly just
fired Williamson and is supposed to be seeking advice from outside mapping
experts and pushing digital maps provider TomTom to fix the unreliable
mapping data it shares with Apple.
Meanwhile, Google is supposed to be getting an iOS-based mapping program
Apple's map... (more)
PCs being what they are nowadays HP went into the Chromebook business Monday.
Demand for the kind of ho-hum computing the thing exemplifies is apparently
expanding. Acer says that its $199 C7 Chromebook now accounts for 5%-10% of
its US shipments.
Samsung, which leads in the space, has a $249 ARM-based Chromebook and a more
fully featured $449 version. Lenovo will be coming out with a $429 ThinkPad
X131e Chromebook later this month.
The $330-to-start HP widget is called the Pavilion 14 Chromebook. The 14
comes from its 14-inch 1,366-by-768-pixel screen, the largest on the market
The 4lb dingus is built on a dual-core 1.1GHz Intel Celeron chip, 16GB of
flash storage, 2GB of RAM, expandable to 4GB, with Wi-Fi, Ethernet, a 720p
camera, three USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI port and an SD card slot.
HP says the battery is only good for four hours and 15 minutes. Samsung ... (more)
Microsoft wants to buy Nook Media LLC, the Barnes & Noble's digital and
college books joint venture, for a billion dollars according to TechCrunch,
which says it's got internal documents to prove it.
With Windows 8 in mind Microsoft bought 16.8% of the operation last year for
$300 million plus another $180 million due sometime for Windows 8 content.
Apparently it now just wants the e-book piece as well as Nook's e-readers and
tablets. That digital territory includes movies, TV, comics and apps.
TechCrunch says Nook Media means to discontinue its Microsoft-opposing
Android-based tablet business by the end of its fiscal 2014 year and move
Nook content through apps on "third-party partner" devices although it just
signed a deal to get Google Play and the entire Google mobile stack - Gmail,
Chrome, YouTube and Google Maps - onto the platform.
Nook also offers apps on mob... (more)
This year’s CES expects to have 160,000 attendees and tonight’s keynote
by the CEO of Samsung Mr. BK Yoon was “unlocking infinite possibilities of
IoT”. The Internet of Things seems to be the overall theme this year.
Today I listened to an interesting panel on disruptive technologies over next
five years. Here is a brief summary.
3D Printing: This year expects to see 300,000 desktop 3D printers in the US.
Mainstream consumer adoption is doubtful. Someone jokingly said that you can
build a statue of yourself and install it in your yard. Another term for 3D
printing is additive manufacturing. Most likely it will be adopted by small
industries providing repair service (by building plastic parts for a washing
machine, for example). Many such 3-D printing devices are on display.
Wearables: This is a diverse market of connecting the unconnected ($2B
market). Healthcare s... (more)
REDWOOD CITY, Calif., March 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Funambol, the leading provider
of Mobile 2.0 messaging software powered by open source, today announced new
Code Sniper projects to encourage its global community of mobile open source
developers to write apps that sync content between mobile phones and social
Code Sniper is Funambol's community program that rewards developers with
monetary bounties to work on open source projects that benefit mobile users
around the globe. This new slate of Code Sniper projects ranges from syncing
pictures of friends on social networks to the address book on a mobile phone,
to making it easy to invite your mobile contacts to join your favorite social
network. All of the apps developed as part of Code Sniper are made freely
available under standard open source licensing.
"Funambol has always been about delivering cool new mobi... (more)