Until Motorola speaks up and announces an official launch date, we're left to the mercy of Internet leaks, reports, and rumors as to when the company's Xoom tablet will see the light of day. One of Engadget's tipsters, for example, had the Xoom pegged for a February 17, 2011 release date and the Internet ran with it. Courtesy of a Facebook post by Best Buy's Grand Rapids South's store, it now looks like the launch date will come one week later.
It was seven months ago to the day that Apple released the GSM version of its iPhone 4, which was supposed to be available in black and white trim. But for whatever reason, Apple hasn't been able to offer its customers the white version in all that time. That might be about to change.
Mac Rumors claims to have received a screenshot from an un-named source showing the white iPhone 4 SKU in Best Buy's database. This was initially reported as an inventory database screenie, but BGR says it's actually a snapshot of Best Buy's Employee Toolkit. The reason this matters is that in-stock dates, which the screenshot shows as February 27, 2011, usually don't represent the launch date.
In any event, it appears that the iPhone 4 in white digs will show up very soon, likely by the end of March.
It's no secret that most brick-and-mortar stores jack up the price of cables, but we still did a double-take when we saw Best Buy's listing for a $2,200.99 AudioQuest Coffee HDMI cable.
To be fair, it's 39.4 feet long, so you're only paying around $55.86 per foot, or about $4.65 per inch. And as one user points out, "the best part is that it qualified for 36 months no interest financing!" Sold!
Here's a protip: If you need an extra long HDMI cable and can make do without the additional 9.4 feet, Monoprice.com sells a 30ft HDMI cable for $27 plus shipping.
Would you rank DirecTV as one of the least liked companies in the country? What about Charter Communications? AT&T? The Atlantic did, as well as a dozen other businesses in its list of "The 15 Most Hated Companies in America."
The list, in order, includes Bank of America, AT&T, Dell, Citigroup, Best Buy, Toyota, Nokia, American Airlines, Dish Network, Charter Communications, DirecTV, Johnson & Johnson, McDonald's, United Airlines, and BP.
The Atlantic claims there's more than an objective analysis going on here, with its rankings based on six different criteria:
Return to shareholders
Several of those look subjective to us, but whatever, it's their story and they can tell it how they like. The Atlantic details why each company made the list; for AT&T, poor 3G service played a big role, while Best Buy was dinged based on recent surveys and poor performance on Wall Street.
Agree with their rankings? Which companies would you add or remove from the list? Hit the jump and sound off!
In a note to investors this week, Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter said it's going to be increasingly difficult for Best Buy to compete with online retailers, CNet reports.
"We expect continued market share losses in consumer electronics to online retailers and lower-priced big-box competitors, and entertainment software to Gamestop, Amazon, and Wal-Mart," Pachter wrote.
Best Buy recently posted weaker-than-expected sales in a number of categories, including TVs, PCs, and videogames. Sales were down 3 percent from a year ago, though the brick-and-mortar electronics chain still made a profit of $217 million on almost $12 billion in revenue.
That means Best Buy doesn't have to go into panic mode just yet, but it should look to alter its strategy. According to Pachter, lower prices online undermine Best Buy's "widest selection of goods at premium price points."
Given that Intel's Atom processor is nearly ubiquitous with netbooks, it's fair to say the world's largest chip maker has a vested interest in seeing the netbook sector survive the emerging tablet era. To make sure that happens, Intel put its AppUp store in the hands of CompUSA, TigerDirect, and Best Buy Canada.
The AppUpSM center has nearly 2,000 free and paid apps to play around with running the gamut from social networking to gaming, productivity, travel, and the like. And just as Microsoft did with games for Windows Phone 7, all apps in the AppUpSM center include a try-before-you-buy feature.
We're more interested in Android and Windows Phone 7 devices ourselves, but for those of you itching to go all Apple-y with an iPhone, Best Buy is giving them away today only, the company announced in a Twitter post.
One of the caveats should be obvious -- this is the older iPhone 3GS and not the new iPhone 4 model, which means no FaceTime (or antennagate woes). And of course you have to agree to a 2-year service contract and data plan with AT&T.
Best Buy normally sells the iPhone 3GS for $100 with a 2-year contract.
Not to come off all bragadocious, but we had a feeling Walmart's decision to offer free shipping for the holidays would be contagious, and it looks like we were right. Following suit is Best Buy, which is offering the same deal up through December 21st, one day longer than Walmart.
"We know consumers are looking for value and convenience this holiday season, and we’re continuing to provide them with exciting ways to improve their shopping experience," said John Thompson, senior vice president and general manager of BestBuy.com. "With free shipping and Store Pickup Plus, in addition to our wide selection of must-have technology gifts, competitive prices and round the clock service, we’re giving our customers more choices than ever to complete their holiday shopping with ease."
So which deal is better? That really depends on what you're looking for. While Walmart's free shipping promotion includes all electronics, Best Buy said its offer excludes laptops, netbooks, iPads, iPods, game hardware, Dynex TVs, appliance, and a handful of other items that require scheduled delivery.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab Android tablet will be hitting US retail next month, but what if you don't care to do more business with the mobile carriers? As it turns out, Best Buy (of all companies) is coming to the rescue. The electronics retailer will be selling a Wi-Fi-only version of the Galaxy Tab for $499.
The Tab is already making an appearance in Best Buy advertizing, but no firm release date is mentioned. Best Buy will also carry the 3G versions for both Verizon and Sprint. The Galaxy Tab will sport a 7-inch touch screen LCD with Android 2.2 under Samsung's TouchWiz interface. The $499 price point is exactly the same as the 10-inch Wi-Fi-only iPad. It's going to be interesting to see how consumers respond to the choice.