Archive for September, 2011
Amazon will lose around $10 for every $199 Kindle Fire tablet it sells, but the company will make back that amount as a small profit when consumers buy digital content, according to a report by market research company IHS iSuppli.
The news isn’t too surprising, since it has been speculated for some time that Amazon’s tablet would serve more as a conduit to its digital media ecosystem, than a device to give Amazon a huge profit in sales alone.
IHS’s analysis of the Kindle Fire shows Amazon is spending around $192 on hardware components alone. Factor in manufacturing costs, and it appears Amazon is spending $209.63 to build each Kindle Fire.
IHS expects Amazon to generate a small profit of $10 on every tablet sold, taking into account expected digital content sales for every unit. That may seem like a low-ball estimate, considering users will likely be buying plenty of digital media with the Fire for years.
The research firm argues the real appeal of the Fire will be its ties to Amazon’s retail products: “The Seattle-based online-retail giant generates its profits on sales of shoes, diapers, and every other kind of physical product imaginable. Similar to Walmart and other large brick-and-motor retailers, Amazon’s content business is designed to lure in consumers to buy such everyday goods as well as other money-making items.”
By now, we all know that the US Department of Justice filed an antitrust suit to block the AT&T/T-Mobile merger. Sprint and C Spire Wireless (formerly known as the Cellular South) have filed suits to that same effect, but AT&T has asked the court to reject those companies’ complaints.
The reason? AT&T believes that Sprint and C Spire are fighting for their own sakes, and not for the public’s best interests. Because Sprint is a major competitor and not a consumer, AT&T doesn’t believe Sprint has a legal leg to stand on.
Ouch. Sprint is preparing to respond to AT&T’s claim next week, but only after saying the argument had no merit. The folks in Overland Park have one thing to smile about though: 7 state Attorneys General have already come out against the merger, and they are now joined by the Attorney General of Puerto Rico.
Meanwhile, AT&T alleged that C Spire Wireless fears “competition, not lack of competition.” In their filing to have the C Spire suit dismissed, AT&T’s lawyers included a memo from C Spire CEO Hu Meena asking AT&T for a network sharing agreement in certain parts of the southeastern United States. C Spire claims that AT&T mischaracterized their proposal, and fired back by alleging that AT&T asked for then-Cellular South’s support for the deal when it was announced.
With billions of dollars on the line, the situation just seems to be getting dirtier and dirtier. U.S. District Judge Ellen Huvelle has scheduled the merger trial for February 12 of next year, but who knows what crazy developments may arise between now and then.
Hitwise just published a new study examining how much time people living in different countries spend on Facebook. Singaporeans actually spend the longest on the social network, with an average of 38 minutes and 46 seconds per session, while people living in Brazil spend less than half that with an average of 18 minutes and 19 seconds per Facebook session for August 2011.
Singapore is followed by New Zealand (30 mins 31 sec); Australia (26 mins 27 sec); the UK (25 mins 33 sec); and the US (20 mins 46 sec). Brazil actually has the highest percentage of Internet visits going to social sites (18.9% of Internet usage) with 43% of all social networking visits in Brazil going to Google-owned Orkut. In contrast, the UK has the lowest market share of visits going to social networks with 12.2% of visits.
Facebook was the most visited Social Networking site in the US in August 2011 receiving 91% of visits among the sites followed by Twitter with 1.92% of visits. Tagged.com ranked 3rd for the first time, passing MySpace.com with 1.04% of US Internet visits.
The fastest growing country in terms of visits is India, which saw an an increase in market share of 88% in August 2011 compared to August 2010. The US also experienced a market share increase from Facebook of 5% year on year.
It’s no surprise that Facebook is seeing major growth internationally and in the U.S. Marc Zuckerberg just revealed that as many as 500 million members have used used Facebook in a given day, which is a milestone for the network. And the social network saw a record number of visitors in July.
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This morning, a Microsoft security software program started deleting Google’s Chrome browser from users’ computers.
So far, Microsoft reports that around 3,000 users were affected.
The company has acknowledged the mistake and issued a fix to the software that caused the issue. A Microsoft spokesperson stated, “We apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused our customers.”
The security software in question, Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE), had accidentally flagged Chrome as malware. Specifically, MSE thought Chrome was PWS:Win32/Zbot, a trojan that would steal passwords.
Users began reporting the issue at around 8 a.m. The first user to identify the issue wrote in the Google help forums, “This morning, after I started up the PC, a Windows Security box popped up and said I had a security problem that needed to be removed. I clicked the Details button and saw that it was “PWS:Win32/Zbot”. I clicked the Remove button and restarted my PC. Now I do not have Chrome. It has been removed or uninstalled.”
Microsoft now tells us that MSE versions 1.113.672.0 and higher include an update that will prevent Chrome from being flagged. If you’re an MSE user and the software has already blocked or removed Chrome from your PC, you will need to manually update Microsoft Security Essentials then reinstall Chrome. The official Google blog has detailed step-by-step instructions on how to do that, and Microsoft has the latest MSE virus and spyware definition updates available online, as well.
A Google spokesperson wrote in response to Windows and Chrome users’ complaints about the issue that, although the software’s hypersensitivity caused some rather significant issues for many users today, the same users should still “be cautious when allowing exceptions in antivirus or protection software; there are legitimate trojans that are included in the MS Security update, Zbot included.”
Neither company gave any indication that the incident was either intentional or malicious. We’re waiting to hear back from Microsoft as to why Chrome was flagged in the first place.
Every month I like to give a shout out to the sponsors who are supporting me and this blog. These are companies that value you, my readers, enough to want to have their names in front of your eyes. I hope you’ll read their messages below and, if interested, click through to learn more about what they provide.
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The Daily App Deals post is a round-up of the best app discounts of the day, as well as some notable mentions for ones that are on sale. More »
Aloha! You know where I wish I were right now? That’s right, Maui! You know who else is in Maui? Some of the Google Social team. Note: I am really jealous of anyone who is a Googler in Maui right now, because it sure beats being someone who has to write about being a Googler in Maui right now.
According to unpaid blogger Michael Arrington, I’m not alone in my jealousy, as some other people who worked on Google+ apparently weren’t included in the Google Maui trip, and “wish they were.” Makes sense.
Meanwhile, Facebook PR just invited me to a meeting next Wednesday to discuss the recently introduced Facebook Timeline features. According to our sources, Facebook also plans on announcing its iPad app and unveil Project Spartan early next week. And, as far as I can tell from trolling Instagram, there are not 450+ Facebookers hanging out by the beach right now (I’ve emailed Facebook PR for confirmation of this.)
Facebookers? “We never really had a formal term, I think that’s a reasonable portmanteau,” said a person familiar with the matter. “I think “Yahoo!” made it uncool.”
Click through Googler Chris Messina‘s Hawaii pics, below.
Google provides search and advertising services, which together aim to organize and monetize the world’s information. In addition to its dominant search engine, it offers a plethora of online tools and platforms including: Gmail, Maps and YouTube. Most of its Web-based products are free, funded by Google’s highly integrated online advertising platforms AdWords and AdSense. Google promotes the idea that advertising should be highly targeted and relevant to users thus providing them with a rich source of information….