Dell thinks big with China, Xbox thinks big with Kinect, and Best Buy claims tablets are hurting laptop sales in a big way. Let's wrap up the week in news!
Dell Plans to Spend More Than $100 Billion on China Expansion: That's $100 BILLION over 10 years, people, meaning they're committing $10 billion a year to this market. China is taking more and more of a central place in the geekonomy, and this may also open up more opportunities for Westerners in China.
Intel Launches Netbook App Store: AppUp is designed to be neither hardware nor OS dependent. Although it is being launched for Windows, it will support the MeeGo Linux platform, which Intel is developing with Nokia. Their primary target: Netbook users. (Yes, folks, in all the furor over tablets, netbooks still exist.) Intel is also giving companies the opportunity to set up a storefront of their own within the AppUp platform – for instance, Adobe is putting in an AIR app store. Probably something for developers to look into – if it was anyone else behind this, I'd be skeptical of its chances, but Intel has been a company on the move as of late. If anyone can pull this off, it's them.
Samsung to Launch Galaxy Tablets At All Major Phone Carriers: Similar to what they did with the Galaxy phone, different variations on the Galaxy tablet will be launched at Verizon, Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile. Features will include a Media Hub where users can rent and purchase movies and TV episodes from providers like NBC, Universal and Paramount. The Galaxy looks like the strongest challenger to the iPad yet – we'll have to see how the individual carriers price it. One thing's for sure – get those Android apps ready for the holidays.
Best Buy CEO: iPad Cannibalizing Up to Half of Laptop Sales: Those numbers do sound a bit exaggerated, but it can't be denied that computer buyers are increasingly thinking small – especially demographics like senior citizens.
Apple Developing Digital Newsstand: It would be for the iPad and structured similar to the iBooks store. They're currently said to be in negotiations with publishers like Conde Nast and Hearst over subscription rates. If they're able to reach an accord, this could be the serious boost the publishing industry has been waiting for – people planning to work in this industry should keep a careful eye on these developments.
Microsoft Predicting Sales of 3 Million for Kinect: They believe their motion control system will fly out of stores for the holiday season, even though Sony's Move will beat it to the marketplace and be less expensive. The jury is still out on these wanna-Wiis – their success will depend on price points and game quality (and whether the owners of Xboxes and PS3s already have a Wii in their life). Right now, I'd say the word is "Be aware of them, but don't consider them established in the industry yet." I'll definitely say this, though – if they connect, the ball will be in Nintendo's court to evolve their device or be trampled. (Meanwhile, Sony is boasting that the PS3 will soon be able to play 3-D movies with a software upgrade – which is probably directly connected to their company's investment in 3-D televisions).
Is Netflix Premium Cable's Worst Nightmare?: They claim they're not out to tumble HBO and Showtime – in fact, they're dependent on them for a lot of their content (like box sets of series like Weeds and True Blood). HBO, however, is scared enough of them to not allow Netflix to stream its original series. An in-depth look on how a Fan to Pro crush object is changing the contemporary media landscape.
Yahoo Unveils Three-Year Plan To Become 'Cool' Again: They're looking to transition to a "global series of Web experiences across a variety of different devices.” A revamp of Yahoo Mail that better integrates with Facebook and Twitter will kick the program off. I'd definitely wait to see how the self-reinvention efforts of both Yahoo and AOL go before considering either of them resume-worthy – they have potential, but they also have competition.
Square Enix Details E-Manga Plans: It's going to be launching in the U.S. and France this winter. An iPhone version is also reportedly planned, but it's going to be available only in Japan. Hopefully, this will jolt Big Manga into doing something similar.
DC Moving Announcement Coming Next Week?: Rumors have been swirling that they will move their base of operations to the West Coast, and reportedly, there's going to be an announcement regarding that in the next seven days. Keep an ear to the ground on this one – it might have an impact on a lot of people's relocation plans. Meanwhile, DC parent Warner Bros. said the comics company will be playing a bigger role in their future plans – does that mean a ramping up of film, TV and multimedia offerings in an effort to take on the very active Spidermickey?
Windows Phone 7 Delayed for Verizon and Sprint Until 2011: This is a huge blow for the already-struggling phone division of Microsoft. The new system will be available for AT&T and T-Mobile which use different protocol, but any phone company that isn't Apple really, really needs Verizon on board right now. I'd consider Microsoft's phone division a risky bet at the moment.
BlackBerry Parent Company's Sales, Profits Top Estimates: Kind of a surprise after all the "BlackBerry is doomed" talk we've been hearing lately, but Research in Motion shipped 12.1 million devices last quarter, 45 percent more than a year earlier, showing that their stronghold of business customers is hanging in there.
Movie Reboots Are The Latest Fad in Hollywood: Everything old is new again, or "What Hath Star Trek Wrought?" If you've got truly original movie ideas, it seems the movie community is starved for them.
QUESTION OF THE DAY: Are iPads really cutting into netbook and laptop sales to the extent that Best Buy claims? Or do these devices still have a future, as Intel is banking on? – Bonnie