Archive for November, 2010

Initial Online Holiday Spend Up 13%

Initial Online Holiday Spend Up 13%

For the first 21 days of the November-December 2010 holiday season, US consumers have spent $9.01 billion online, marking a 13% increase from the corresponding days last year, according to data from comScore.

Online Holiday Spending Expected to Hit $32B

So far, online holiday shopping spending totals are up significantly from the $7.95 billion US consumers spent […]<img src="" height="1" width="1"/>

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010 news No Comments

Black Friday Proves Green Online

Black Friday Proves Green Online

Black Friday (November 26, 2010) saw $648 million in online sales, making it the heaviest online spending day to date in 2010 and representing a 9% increase from Black Friday 2009, according to new figures from comScore.

Thanksgiving, Holiday Season Sales Show Online Growth

In addition, Thanksgiving Day (November 25, 2010), traditionally a lighter day for online […]<img src="" height="1" width="1"/>

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010 news No Comments, Gmail Show Impressive Annual Growth, Gmail Show Impressive Annual Growth

Among the five most-used email providers, and Gmail grew at substantially higher rates than their competitors in the past year, according to data from CompetePRO. Grows 65%

Although in terms of monthly unique visitors ranked a distant fifth in October 2010 with about 7.9 million, that figure represents an impressive 65% increase from 4.8 […]<img src="" height="1" width="1"/>

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010 news No Comments

Android Phones Will Sell Well This Holiday Season (AAPL, GOOG, MSFT)

CHART OF THE DAY: Android Phones Will Sell Well This Holiday Season (AAPL, GOOG, MSFT)

button more charts
button chart prev button chart next

The iPhone might not be at the top of consumers’ wish lists this holiday season, according to data from a Nielsen survey of people over 13.

As you can see, more people are interested in non-iPhone smartphones than the iPhone. This could have to do with the fact that thanks to AT&T, the iPhone is only available to 1/3 of the U.S. population. Or, it could mean that Android (and maybe Windows Phone 7?) are more appealing now than ever.

chart of the day, christmas presents, nov 2010

Follow the Chart Of The Day on Twitter: @chartoftheday

Join the conversation about this story »

Tags: , , , , , ,

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010 news No Comments

Interest In Apple Laptops Explodes (AAPL)

CHART OF THE DAY: Interest In Apple Laptops Explodes (AAPL)

button more charts
button chart prev button chart next

Apple is going to sell a lot of laptops in the next month and a half, according to this chart from ChangeWave Research (via Fortune.)

ChangeWave is seeing an “explosive leap” in interest for Apple laptops. It says, “simply put, it’s the highest level of planned buying ever for Apple in a ChangeWave Survey.” ChangeWave thinks the new MacBook Air is giving Apple momentum.

Also of note, consumer interest in Apple laptops is greater than Dell or HP laptops according to ChangeWave.

chart of the day, apple computers sales, nov 2010

Follow the Chart Of The Day on Twitter: @chartoftheday

Join the conversation about this story »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010 news No Comments

Enjoy Your Unlimited Data Plan While It Lasts

Enjoy Your Unlimited Data Plan While It Lasts

For years now, we’ve seen carriers pushing customers to adopt smartphones and pay for unlimited, monthly data plans. We’ve seen commercials of families bonding over streaming video and students exploring the world in new and innovative ways. There’s just one problem – if we keep buying into these spiels, adopting smartphones and taking to watching Netflix on the subway ride home each night, the carriers are going to go out of business.


According to Dr. Reinaldo Valenzuela, director of wireless research at Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs, the problem is part of what he called the “too-much-data paradox”. Dr. Valenzuela spoke on the topic last week at the Texas Wireless Summit, describing a situation wherein the constant push for smartphone adoption will prove unsustainable for carriers.

“There’s a tremendous amount of relevant content on great devices at reasonably affordable rates,” explained Valenzuela, “however, networks have started crashing under this pressure. It’s no surprise that just in New York, to address the iPhone, AT&T is spending billions of dollars.”

The problem, Valenzuela pointed out, is that just 10% of all smartphone users are using the majority of data. With current smartphone adoption rates, carriers are looking at a situation where soon cost of providing the data being consumed will surpass profit. Dave Gill, the senior director of mobile media at Nielsen, also spoke at the summit and offered similar conclusions.

“You’ve got to somehow throttle the top end of the spectrum here to make money in this market,” said Gill, offering the following chart of mobile data use.


The Solution? Metered Pricing

Here’s the part we, as mobile Web users and smartphone owners, don’t want to hear. The answer, according to Valenzuela, is metered pricing.

“Inescapably,” he said,” we’re going to have to start metering. If we continue to sell just bytes, we’re going to lose money.”

In addition to metered data pricing, said Valenzuela, the rates for new apps and services need to greatly increase and “we need to move away from data as the only game in town”.

The question, of course, is what will this sort of data pricing mean for innovation? When AT&T introduced its tiered data plans in June, ReadWriteWeb’s Marshall Kirkpatrick asked precisely that question. Nearly 80% of our readers said they were concerned by the limitations and Kirkpatrick asserted that most people likely fall under the 2 GB limit, but “what about a future of live video streaming to and from mobile devices, video chat and unforeseeable data-intensive innovations?”

Update: Valenzuela contacted us after this story was posted to offer the following:

“I intended to convey that usage based pricing is one answer. There are many others, like moving away from focusing on higher rate applications and usage based pricing and moving onto content based and new service revenue generation that is not directly tied up with high rate usage.” He also said that he did not intent to imply “that AT&T is spending Billions in NYC alone to accommodate the iPhone. I do not know what the number is for NYC alone. I believe they are spending substantially in capacacity nation wide.”


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010 news No Comments

Amazon Price Check Searches Using Text, Your Voice, Photos, and Barcodes [Downloads]

Amazon Price Check is the one app that can conduct a product search using practically every method available. If you’re comfortable only looking to Amazon for the best price, it’s an incredibly versatile price checking app. More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010 news No Comments

Why Cable Subscriptions Really Declined For the First Time Ever [Cable]

Why Cable Subscriptions Really Declined For the First Time EverFor the first time since cable has existed, the number of subscriptions has fallen from one quarter to the next. Have we finally found the mythical mass exodus to Hulu and Apple TV? I don’t think so. Here’s why.

The map above shows activity that took place between the first and second quarters of this year. Orange circles represent with net subscription declines in metro areas, green circles show net increases. Compare that to this heatmap from RealtyTrac that shows where the highest incidence of foreclosure in May of 2010:

Why Cable Subscriptions Really Declined For the First Time EverIt’s not an exact correlation by any means. But it’s close. And I’m way more inclined to believe that cable’s one of the first things people sacrifice when times are tight than that everyone in the Southeast suddenly bought a Boxee Box.

The real worry for cable companies is that as people are forced to drop cable, they’ll suddenly realize that they never needed it to begin with. It’s so easily replaced! So while the top graph isn’t the death of cable, it may well be the vulture circling overhead. [WSJ]

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010 Uncategorized No Comments

Charting The Wii’s Decline In The US [Sales]

Charting The Wii's Decline In The US2007 was the year of the Wii. So was 2008. But 2010? Not the Wii’s year, especially when you look at the console’s decline in the United States over the course of the year.

This chart, provided by Gamasutra and based upon US retail sales figures, shows a console in decline, its sales down by a significant margin over the past two years (and to such a degree that even a miraculous Christmas for Nintendo’s console won’t reverse that trend).

Charting The Wii's Decline In The US

A price cut might help stop the rot. A “must have” game – something the Wii is lacking at the moment – wouldn’t go amiss either. But then, would either of those things make Nintendo’s machine seem more appealing to a “casual” consumer wowed by Kinect’s advertising campaign? Or the ever-growing ranks of PlayStation 3 owners, lured by its multimedia capabilities and reduced price-tag?

In-Depth: Where Do Wii Sales Go From Here? [Gamasutra]

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010 Uncategorized No Comments

Hacked Kinect does multitouch, Minority Report just around the corner


The open source Kinect driver was just released yesterday and we’re already seeing some pretty impressive hacks for the Xbox 360 accessory.  Florian Ectler used the open source Kinect driver to turn the Kinect into a gesture-based multi-touch control device, above.  As you can see, the hacked Kinect identifies hand gestures, which are then used to manipulate photos.  Awesome.

Ectler’s interface gave us creepy flashbacks to the futuristic interface used by Tom Cruise in Minority Report.  As you can see in the clip below, Cruise tosses windows back and forth between screens with hand gestures.  That’s not too far off from what Ectler’s interface provides.  An unlike Minority Report, Ectler’s solution doesn’t require users to wear dorky three-fingered gloves


Open source Kinect camera driver now available for download

By Paul Miller posted Nov 10th 2010 12:50PM

This is a little confusing, but it looks like there’s another Kinect driver out in the wild, and this one is actually available for download. The folks at NUI Group, who posted results first, are working on an SDK and Windows driver for all the capabilities of the device, which they plan to release as open source once their $10k donation fund is filled up. Meanwhile, hacker Hector Martin has performed a quick and dirty hack of his own (three hours into the European launch, no less) and has released his results and code into the wild. Sure, pulling data from the IR and RGB cameras and displaying it is a lot different than actually making sense of it, but if you’re just looking for a way to plug your Kinect into your computer and squeeze some fun visuals out of it (and you’re smart enough to deal with some pretty raw code), it looks like Hector is your man of the hour. Peep his video proof after the break.


Kinect hacked to show off how Windows 8 multitouch controls may work

Hackers are hard at work ripping apart Microsoft’s controller-less Xbox 360 accessory. Recent developments have shown off Minority Report style multitouch control and the Kinect running on Mac OS X.

Firstly, Florian Echtler has taken the recently created open source camera driver and created his own multitouch UI “TISCH” software library. Echtler’s software shows off Minority Report style control for the Kinect running on a Linux distribution. The software is cross platform according to the developer page.

The second piece of Kinect hacking news comes in the form of the Mac. Theo Watson has released an OS X port of libfreenect, a library that can run Kinect’s output inside of OS X. Watson released a video demonstrating the Kinect running in Apple’s OS X operating system.

Kinect hacking is only at the very early stages but what’s clear is hackers are demonstrating the potential of the technology for use on PCs. Microsoft recently purchased 3D gesture experts Canesta. Microsoft’s investment in this technology is likely to see them focus heavily on bringing gesture based control to Windows 8. Earlier this year a number of Windows 8 product slides leaked from a HP employee that pointed towards some new product features. Kinect integration, a Windows App Store and fast boot were all promised. Microsoft previously purchased 3DV systems, who also make gesture recognition technology. With the push for this technology in gaming, it’s only natural that Microsoft would also want to port this to Windows.

With Windows 8 approximately two years away from general availability, Microsoft has the time to avoid any potential intellectual property issues and secure a number of key software patents. Canesta has secured 44 patents related to gesture control. Microsoft will likely port a number of improvements to Kinect during this time too. If Microsoft can perfect the technology and control most of the patents then it’s a strong market that the software giant will be dominant in. Hackers will only help refine certain usage scenarios and ideas for the future of the technology.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010 digital No Comments

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.

Augustine Fou portrait
Send Tips:
Digital Strategy Consulting
Dr. Augustine Fou LinkedIn Bio
Digital Marketing Slideshares
The Grand Unified Theory of Marketing