Netbooks slip under tablet shipments, achieve has-bEeen status originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 25 Oct 2011 02:34:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
IDC and Gartner: Lenovo leaps past Dell for second place, still trails HP for the gold originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 17 Oct 2011 07:37:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Blame it on the economy, or simply chalk it up to a better way of earning revenue, but physical distributors of new video games are beginning to feel some major heat from the scrappy competition. While this mainstay segment still comprises the bulk of sales with $1.44 billion earned in the previous quarter, the combination of digital purchases, subscriptions, downloadable content, social network and mobile games — along with help from rentals and used purchases — now tops $1.74 billion dollars. This news comes from the NPD Group, and while we’re still scratching our heads at the logic of combining second-hand purchases with electronic distribution, it provides a strong indicator of consumers’ changing tastes and preferences (along with their willingness to spend). Does this industry titan simply need a new console or another Call of Duty to maintain supremacy? Perhaps a modest uptick in GDP? Or does this signal the changing of the guard for our favorite electronic pastime? There’s a full PR after the break, where you’re welcome to fire one off in the comments and let us know your take.
Digital video game distribution finds brick and mortar camping, moves in for win originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 06 Oct 2011 14:32:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Gather ’round, everyone, because a fresh batch of ComScore numbers has just arrived. According to the research firm, Android remains in firm control of the smartphone platform market, commanding 43.7 percent, followed by Apple (27.3 percent) and RIM (19.7 percent). In fact, Google extended its share by nearly two points over last month’s figures, while Apple’s iOS grew by just 0.3 points, but further distanced itself from RIM, which now sits 7.6 points behind. On the manufacturing side of the equation, Samsung remains top dog, accounting for 25.3 percent of all mobile subscribers (including both smartphone and feature phone users), followed by LG (21 percent) and Motorola (14 percent). Apple, meanwhile, sits a distant fourth, at 9.8 percent, followed by RIM, which rounds out the top five with 7.1 percent market share. Number crunchers can find more fodder in the full PR, after the break.
ComScore: Android extends lead over Apple, holds 44 percent of smartphone market originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 06 Oct 2011 07:27:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
When I was a child, there was a number that crudely measured how many people paid attention to something. It was called the Nielsen rating. Perhaps you remember it. Today it’s an unimportant relic that only reveals what was happening.
The VMAs had its biggest show ever this year. A record-breaking 12.4 million people tuned in live. Which actually seems like a very small number, given how many people were talking about it. Because while MTV had a hit with the VMAs, so did Twitter. News of Beyonce’s uterine passenger, which she revealed at the show, generated some 8,868 Tweets per second. It was Twitter’s biggest moment yet. And it shows that the company is sitting on the most valuable advertising data that there is: a way to measure, package and sell unexpected things that we care about right now, in real time.
We used to rely on ratings or audited circulation numbers to determine what people were interested in. Today, we increasingly talk about Tweets Per Second. (And by “we,” I mean the always hungry media maw, smacking its lips in anticipation of sucking marrow from the next micro trend or attention spasm that might convince an otherwise disinterested viewer to flip the channel to 759—or even better, stay there.)
Whenever anything big happens in the news, CNN and Fox News and the networks increasingly break into Twitter mode, reading tweets on the air, talking about how many people are tweeting and generally going into wild-eyed social media mania.
Aside from making Mark Zuckerberg wish he had made status messages public by default from the get-go so that CNN would read Facebook updates on air, it’s revealing in that it shows that even the professional media—the ostensible arbiters of opinion and news—have realized that you and I are no longer paying attention.
We’re more interested in each other. We’re all broadcasting now. I’d prefer to hear what you have to say, especially in aggregate, than tune into Wolf Blitzer. And when it comes to measuring the impact of events, social media ratings matter more than Nielsens, or at least they should, and here’s why.
Twitter is the most important metric of attention. It is not based on past behavior. It is equally capable of measuring scripted events, and the completely unexpected. And it is remarkable because it measures not just consumption, but also interest.
Yes, the Nielsens will tell you how many people watched the VMAs, but social media can tell you how many people actually paid attention. And while maybe you could have foreseen they might be big this year, would anyone have been able to predict that the VMAs—not the Oscars, not the SuperBowl, not the final Shuttle launch—would be the most talked-about television event of the year? Twitter can tell you that. (Facebook should be able to as well.) And it can tell you that as it happens.
The chart is a remarkable demonstration of Twitter’s growth. Tweets per minute? How quaint! Tweets are now measured at a faster rate per second than they were just three years ago per minute.
But it’s more interesting to see how consistently interested we are in the unexpected. Because while Twitter has changed greatly in the past three years—from how it works, to the way we access it, to the number of people on it—the things we are simultaneously interested in haven’t changed at all.
Today, Beyonce’s VMA appearance holds the top spots for Tweets per second. Prior to that, the news of the Japanese Women’s World Cup victory held the record. (Likely because it was an event intently watched by two very Twitter heavy countries.) And while it didn’t break a record, the recent east coast earthquake generated 5,500 TPS. In 2008, a presidential debate held the top spot. It knocked off a Japanese earthquake. A Euro 2008 semi final match was the big event prior to that. What all of these events have in common is a certain unpredictability.
The thing about television ratings or audited circulation numbers is that they have never truly been about what we are paying attention to. They were (and are) a way for advertisers to make informed decisions about what to invest in based on what people have paid attention to in the past, as a predictor of future performance. They only measure what has already transpired. This may have been useful for buying chunks of time during a season finale of Dallas, but when something amazing and unexpected happens, there is no good way for an advertiser to catch up with it.
When Twitter measures tweets per second, it measures what people are interested in right now. It measures live attention. And that is very, very valuable. Imagine if, during an earthquake, a QuakeKit ad appeared in your timeline, one that was triggered only when earthquake tweets per second crossed a certain threshold. Tacky? Sure. But you can bet your bottled water it would sell a lot of kits.
This is the promise of real-time conversation, that our interests can be commoditized, live and on the fly. It doesn’t have to be just about Twitter, of course. Facebook and Google+ should be equally capable of measuring, packaging and selling our real-time, trending interest data. But it’s very clear that this new ability to measure what we care about enough to comment on right now, at this very instant, is much more valuable than measurements of past performance or passive consumption.
All the moreso because of how much society has fragmented. We no longer all watch the same four channels, or even tune in to television series at the same time. The only things that seem to capture our simultaneous attention anymore are those that offer the high drama of the unexpected and unknown: sports, politics (itself a sort of sport), provocative live television, and natural disasters that occur with little-to-no warning.
And, of course, Beyonce.
You can keep up with Mat Honan, the author of this post, on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+.
We make our own truth. That’s how IDC can come up with roughly the same numbers as fellow research firm Canalys and crown Apple the king, when its rival called Android top dog — it’s all about how you slice it. See, where as Canalys bundled all Android handset makers together, IDC has broken them up, which leads to a rather interesting twist — the largest smartphone maker in the world is now Apple. Cupertino’s growth of 141.7-percent in shipments year over year was enough to push it past Nokia (which slipped to number three) and Samsung (which climbed two spots to take the silver medal), while RIM and HTC rounded out the top five. That being said, no one is running away with the lead here, and Sammy’s continued stratospheric rise should keep Apple on guard. Check out the full report after the break.
Apple now the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer, Samsung checks in at number two originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 04 Aug 2011 18:27:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Whether you believe we’re living in a post-PC world or not, there’s no denying the overwhelming growth of tablets in the past few years. Just this March, IDC put out figures saying 2010 saw the sale of 18 million tablets, but despite the recent boom, the outfit’s now reporting a 28 percent drop in tablet shipments in Q1 2011, bringing first quarter worldwide shipments to 7.2 million. IDC’s latest report points to “slower consumer demand, overall economic conditions, and supply-chain constraint,” but nonetheless estimates that total tablet sales will reach 53.5 million by year’s end, up from IDC’s original estimate of 50.4 million. Once again, Apple’s come out on top of the slate game, with the iPad 2 leading the market, despite its own dip in shipments. E-readers have apparently also seen a decline in the first quarter, with shipments dipping to 3.3 million units. Despite a slow start to the year, however, IDC’s optimistic about future sales, but you don’t have to take our word for it — full PR awaits you after the break.
Milestone-maker may not be the first words that come to mind when you think ‘Wyoming,’ but consider this: the state lays claim to the first ever national park (Yellowstone), the first national monument (Devil’s Tower), and to being first for women’s suffrage. Not content to rest on its laurels, Wyoming Governor Matt Mead put on his early adopter hat and marched all ten thousand civil servant soldiers into the Google cloud. It’s a major first for both parties, and might even help Google ease the federal government’s earlier MS-favoring snub. By switching solely to Google Apps for Government, Mead says the move will save his great territory significant coin, not to mention getting everybody under the Gmail umbrella like Los Angeles did back in 2009. Unintended consequence of the move? The inefficiency of, oh, about nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine workers whiling away their days on Gchat. Check below for official video of the address.
Wyoming wholly commits to Google apps, adds more flair to state’s firsts originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 22 Jun 2011 22:32:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Bitcoin, for those not aware, is a completely digital currency — one where exchanges between individuals are largely anonymous and secured through cryptography, and one that has seen its hype-meter go off the charts in recent months. That, inevitably, has had some people waiting for a fall, and it took a big one this week. While things have since bounced back, the value of the currency on the so-called Mt. Gox exchange dropped from around $17.50 to just one cent in a matter of moments during the early hours of June 20th — a drop that’s since been attributed to a compromised account. Thanks to a daily withdrawal limit, however, that apparently only resulted in $1,000 actually being stolen, and a claims process has now been set up for those affected.
While not directly related to the sell off, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (or EFF) also dealt a bit of a blow to the upstart currency this week, when it announced that it would no longer be accepting Bitcoin donations. According to the organization, that’s both because it doesn’t “fully understand the complex legal issues involved with creating a new currency system,” and because it doesn’t want its acceptance of Bitcoins misconstrued as an endorsement of Bitcoin. Head on past the break for an account of the aforementioned plunge as it happened.
[Thanks, Zigmar; image: Wikipedia]
Compromised account leads to massive Bitcoin sell off, EFF reconsiders use of currency originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 22 Jun 2011 06:56:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Our big, bad digital era’s been caught red-handed overturning media industry business models before, so it comes as no surprise that publishing houses have a new headache on-hand. Straight outta sunny Seattle comes word that Amazon has welcomed its first self-published author to the “Kindle Million Club.” John Locke (so this is where he wound up after going to that quasi-’heaven’) is the lucky dude who gets to claim the prize, and that’s not all — Mr. independent-author-from-Kentucky now shares bold-face status with the likes of Stieg Larsson and Nora Roberts. By churning out action / adventure novels on the $0.99 cheap and making heavy use of some leggy lady models, Locke easily blew past the one million mark, and even has a book to tell you how he did it. Take that evil publishing overlords. Hit the break for Amazon’s official PR spiel.
Self-published Kindle author breaks one million in sales, legs might have something to do with it originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 21 Jun 2011 17:46:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.