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.
The latest case involves Sony detecting a mass attempt to sign in to PSN accounts with a job-lot of user names and passwords, which the company says it believes may have been obtained through a third-party rather than extracted from PSN itself. Fortunately, the “overwhelming majority” of user name and password combinations failed.
However, Sony believes approximately 93,000 accounts (33k in Europe) have been compromised, with outsiders able to correctly sign in to PlayStation Network using the stolen data. Those accounts have now been “temporarily locked” pending a new password reset and account validation scheme.
Image credit: NME.
Our newest offspring Gizmodo UK is gobbling up the news in a different timezone, so check them out if you need another Giz fix.
Though Steve Jobs was always seen as the cool innovator, for a long time Gates and Microsoft were the winners in business.
Microsoft’s success ate at Jobs. It became the world’s most valuable company, and Gates the world’s richest man, because “Windows just copied the Mac,” as Jobs put it in his 2005 commencement speech at Stanford.
Upon returning to Apple in 1997 he told the faithful, “We have to let go of this notion that for Apple to win, Microsoft has to lose.” Once Jobs and Apple did that, and began focusing on iPods, iPhones, and iPads, the company’s earnings and valuation soared.
After years of fighting as an underdog, Apple’s market cap blew by Microsoft‘s last year, making it the world’s most valuable tech company.
Jobs and Apple had finally and definitively triumphed over Microsoft. It’s fitting Jobs was able to enjoy that in the last year of his life.
Did he need market approval? Probably not. But you know he loved getting it.
In reaction to Jobs’ death, Gates was as gracious as could be. He wrote, “The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come. For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it’s been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely.”
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If you’re in an airport and using the public Wi-Fi, chances are you are reading this post on your smartphone or tablet. And for 83 percent of you, this mobile device is either an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.
According to data compiled by Boingo Wireless, the company behind 60 airport hotspots and over 400,000 public hotspots worldwide, a dwindling number of users (41 percent) pull out their laptop at public hotspots, while most (59 percent) use a smartphone or a tablet.
This is a complete 180 from 2008 when the majority of people (88.5 percent) were rocking laptops and a small minority (11 percent) were cruising the internet using a mobile device.
And it’s iOS that rules the mobile roost on Boingo’s wireless network. Yes, the data shows that Android devices have tripled in number over the last year, but its 11 percent share pales in comparison to the 83 percent commanded by the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
So what are people doing with their mobile devices on these public Wi-Fi hotspots? Boingo thinks most people are streaming music and video because data usage by mobile devices is skyrocketing. In 2011, users are pulling down 0.89MB of data per minute, up from a measly 0.37 MB in 2009. A little less than a megabyte per minute is not a lot, but it may be enough to secretly watch Rebecca Black on your iPhone while you wait for your plane. [Boingo Wireless]
Apple’s reported decision to release a new iPhone in the fall, as opposed to the summer, will deliver massive sales, writes RBC analyst Mike Abramsky in a note.
RBC surveyed 2,200 consumers and found “unprecedented demand,” with 31% of consumers very/somewhat likely to buy an iPhone 5, which is stronger than the 25% of consumers that were very/somewhat likely to buy an iPhone 4, when RBC did the same sort of survey before it launched.
Further, Abramsky says that Apple’s delay could cause a bigger upgrade from existing iPhone owners, since the iPhone 4 is 15 months old. He says 66% of existing iPhone owners are very/somewhat likely to buy a new iPhone.
He’s bumping his estimates for Apple’s 2012 fiscal year as a result. He thinks the company sells 110 million iPhones, generates $140 billion in sales overall, and earns $34.50 per share for fiscal 2012.
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Netflix has more subscribers than any single cable company, a number that is up 10 million from last year. That’s impressive.
But perhaps not as impressive as the 80 million the major cable companies boast as a collective. That figure could explain why Starz walked away.
“For now, they may be in a better position to make Starz money than Netflix is — even if Netflix reportedly offered more than $300 million per year for Starz content,” Dan Frommer writes.
In the coming months, we will see if Starz made the right call.
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In a recent report from Nielsen, Google snagged 40 percent of the smartphone market, while Apple captured approximately 28 percent — up just barely .01 percentage point from last year. This report coincides with findings filed earlier this week by ComScore, citing Google with 41.8 percent market share and Apple with 27 percent, up one whole percentage point from last year. Diving a bit deeper, Nielsen found that around 33 percent of people planning to buy a smartphone in the next year want an iPhone, while another 33 percent would prefer an Android. The tie between those who want an Android v. an iOS phone fluctuated when Nielsen asked the “early adopters” within the group what kind of phone they are hoping to cop. 40 percent of “innovators” said they would like a phone on Google’s OS, while 32 percent want a bite of the Apple — leaving a mere 28 percent of self-proclaimed tech junkies desiring something else, like a BlackBerry or Windows Phone. Perhaps these figures are an indication that Google will remain on top for 2012, or will there be an upset? Only time will tell.
Nielsen confirms Android on top, buyers split on next smartphone originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 01 Sep 2011 20:18:00 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+.
Online flower marketers experienced another great Mother’s Day season. Traffic to these sites grew by a healthy 7% from May 2010 to May 2011.
The online flower business is a great example of how small, mom and pop businesses might have been given new life thanks to the web. A flower shop in a drab storefront can be re-energized thanks to sites such as Teleflora.
As you can see, the sites are hugely dependent on the Valentine’s and Mother’s Day holidays. Outside of that, traffic is respectable but significantly lower.
One of the more fascinating trends to look at over this past Mother’s Day holiday is the range of cross-shopping that went on across online flower marketing sites.
FTD.com, which has the most loyal followings and largest volumes in the competitive set, saw it’s customer cross-shopping rate double this year. Meanwhile, sites such as Proflowers, BloomsToday and 1-800 Flowers saw an improvement in customer loyalty during the Mother’s Day flower buying season.
You have to wonder just how much more these sites can continue to grow in their current form. The seasonality issue is challenging. Right now, the sites are all focused on delivering fresh-cut flowers and other gifts to celebrate a special occasion.
As a recent homebuyer, I would not mind seeing more attention paid to outdoor plants and trees. The products are subtly marketed on sites, but the marketing is not prominently displayed. Imagine being able to log onto 1800flowers.com and create a “gift registry” of plants and trees that you wanted for a housewarming gift. Friends could log on and arrange to have them delivered the same day as a housewarming celebration.
What about ordering vegetable plants for mom’s garden during the upcoming summer as a Mother’s Day gift? The opportunities are endless out there to either increase the average order value and to shift consumer mindset from holidays and birthdays to other life events / purposes.
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.