Archive for April, 2011
Good news for Android users who hate paying for stuff: according to new numbers from Netherlands-based mobile analytics group Distimo, there are now more free apps available for Google’s mobile OS than the iPhone, at 134,342 to 121,845. There are a few things to consider here: first, when one adds free iPad-only apps, the total number of gratis iOS apps increases to a more competitive 132,239. And then there’s Apple’s sometimes rigorous vetting process, which has probably played a role in its numeric slippage — after all, this report doesn’t highlight things like legality, repetition, or the overall number of apps dedicated to making farting noises. Also, Apple has a lot more premium apps, giving it the overall lead at 333,124 to 206,143 — but between Android’s rapid growth and what the report terms iOS’s relative stagnation, Distimo expects Google to take the top spot in five months’ time, outnumbering iPhone and iPad apps combined — a rough scenario for Cupertino to stomach, no doubt, but at least the company will still have Windows Phone to kick around a while longer. [Source link requires registration]
Shocker! Free Android apps outnumber free iPhone apps originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 28 Apr 2011 22:04:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Everything’s coming up Jack Dorsey these days. Last week Apple started stocking Square’s iPhone credit card readers in its 235 US retail locations, and now, according to Reuters, Visa has put its plastic where its mouth is. The credit card giant has invested in the personal payments startup, scoring itself a spot on Square’s advisory board in the process. No word on how much Visa is actually dropping on the company, but one thing stands to reason: it probably didn’t make the deposit via Verifone. If you would like to invest in a Square reader, it’ll cost you a lot less — the company is still offering smartphone plug-ins for free on its site.
Square gets financial backing from Visa, asks to see some ID originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 27 Apr 2011 21:47:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Remember Intel’s Larsen Creek SSD? It’s not alone. By the end of the year, it looks like Intel expects to ship five new solid state storage series in total — some of them even speedier than its current SSD 510 Series flagship. We managed to obtain this leaked roadmap listing the potential additions, and we’re afraid to ask how much the new kings of the hill might cost — the “Ramsdale” SSD 720 Series uses up to 400GB of SLC NAND in a PCI Express card form factor, and the “Lyndonville” SSD 710 series with a similar quantity of enterprise-grade MLC flash. There’s also a direct successor to the current top-of-the-line in the “Cherryville” SSD 520 Series, which will stretch all the way up to 480GB and down to 64GB in Q4 of this year, as well as Paint Creek, which seems destined for boot drives with only 80GB and 40GB capacities to choose from. Still, the most intriguing addition might be Larsen Creek after all, which sounds like it’s been purpose-built for caching data from your existing rotational storage. It’s slated to come in both 2.5-inch SATA and mSATA configurations in Q3 and uses SLC NAND, which suggests it won’t run cheap despite the tiny capacity here. We can’t wait to find out for sure.
Intel SSD 720, 710 and 520 Series leak out, Larsen Creek and Paint Creek bring up rear guard originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 28 Apr 2011 05:04:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Yahoo’s tanking search revenue (down 19%) ruined what would have been an otherwise strong earnings report last night.
Carol Bartz blamed sliding search revenue on Microsoft’s adCenter not delivering high enough revenue per search — her implication is that the ads aren’t as relevant as they were under Yahoo’s system, so users aren’t clicking on them as much.
Danny Sullivan, one of the smartest journalists watching the search business, took a long look at Bartz’s claim and Yahoo’s search business, and he thinks Bartz is too quick the place the blame at Microsoft’s feet.
He found that Yahoo’s search business was declining before the Microsoft deal. It has continued that decline at a steady rate — even if you subtract out the 12% that Yahoo pays Microsoft now that Bing is powering its search results.
Sullivan offers an alternate reason why revenue per search has continued to drop after the Microsoft deal: Bing offers better organic results than Yahoo did, so users are clicking on the actual search results and not relying as much on the ads.
Whatever the reason for the drop in Yahoo’s search, Sullivan calls it a “disaster,” and warns, “The search revenues need to reverse themselves, and quickly, for Yahoo to be convincing that the deal it hawked is really paying off. Otherwise, when 2012 rolls around, and those headwinds have finally slacked off, Yahoo might find it has slowed down to earning Blekko money.”
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Netflix has announced that they made a ton of money this quarter, sure. But they also let it be known that for the first time in the company’s history, year over year DVD shipments had actually declined. Which is pretty much exactly what they want to happen. All those past shipping costs add up compared to streaming content, the bread and butter of Netflix present and future. The downside? The company’s having to unload truckloads of cash to license those streaming shows, as studios try to choke the life out of it.
So for those of you filling out your scorecards manually: DVDs are dying, Netflix is thriving in the face of adversity, and studios don’t want you to have nice things. [WSJ]
We’re taking this with a grain of salt, since it applies only to users of the cross-platform Appcelerator Titanium development environment, but it appears that Windows Phone 7 is facing an increasingly uphill battle for mobile mind-share. At this point it should go without saying that a platform lives and dies by its developers and, according to Appcelerator, they’re growing less and less interested in creating apps for Microsoft’s smartphone OS. Only 29-percent of devs responded to the company’s quarterly survey that they were “very interested” in putting their wares on WP7, a fall of 7 points from last quarter and far less than market leaders Android and iOS. News is even worse for RIM, which saw a fall of 11-points in developer interest for BlackBerry, and now trails the folks from Redmond. Again, this survey is based only on the responses of 2,760 developers using a particular product, so we’d refrain from calling the results incontrovertible. Still, it reinforces something that even a casual observer could discern: BlackBerry and Windows Phone 7 have a tough row to hoe. Two more charts after the break.
Windows Phone and BlackBerry struggle to attract developer attention originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 26 Apr 2011 18:11:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of! feeds a>.
With NFC payment systems just starting to roll out in the US, it’ll be awhile yet before you can cut up those credit cards for good. But in the present, at least, you can use your handset to make sure you don’t get stuck with a $100 bar tab… again. Discover just announced that it will let its cardholders send money to people in 60 countries — so long as they have either a cell phone number or email address. As AllThingsD notes, Visa and American Express have hatched similar plans, though Discover is the first of the bunch to partner with PayPal. While people sending money don’t need PayPal accounts, people receiving moola do — or, at least, they must be willing to create one. For senders the service is free and, in fact, they get 0.25 percent cash back for the first $3,000 exchanged. As for Discover, a smaller player than Visa and MasterCard, it hopes some of PayPal’s 230 million customers will sign up for a shiny new credit card while they’re at it.
Discover cardholders can send money to anyone with a cell phone, email address originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 16 Apr 2011 08:23:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
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