Perhaps Apple should send Gizmodo a Thank-You card for helping to hype the hell out of the iPhone 4 weeks before its release, or at the very least call off the dogs and lift the unofficial ban on Gizmodo from Apple-sponsored events. As it turns out, Steve Jobs and company would have bigger concerns with the iPhone 4, like trying to keep up with record-setting orders.
"Yesterday [June 15] Apple and its carrier partners took pre-orders for more than 600,000 of Apple’s new iPhone 4," Apple said in a statement posted to its website yesterday. "It was the largest number of pre-orders Apple has ever taken in a single day and was far higher than we anticipated, resulting in many order and approval system malfunctions. Many customers were turned away or abandoned the process in frustration. We apologize to everyone who encountered difficulties, and hope that they will try again or visit an Apple or carrier store once the iPhone 4 is in stock."
According to AT&T, the only wireless vendor in town officially allowed to carry and service Apple's smartphone, pre-order sales for the iPhone 4 were 10 times higher than they were for the first day of pre-ordering for the iPhone 3GS.
"Given this unprecedented demand and our current expectations for our iPhone 4 inventory levels when the device is available June 24, we're suspending pre-ordering today in order to fulfill the orders we've already received," AT&T said.
The iPhone is ready for its fourth refresh and there are still no signs of sales slowing down. The new iPhone’s arrival is expected to provide fresh sales impetus to the franchise. Recent comments from Asia Optical chairman Robert Lai provide some insight into Apple’s preparations and sales expectations.
Lai told Digitimes.com that his company began shipping VGA lens kits for the iPhone 4 in May. According to Lai, Asia Optical has been asked to deliver 3 million units every month. It is conspicuous from Lai’s revelation that Apple is prepping itself for unprecedented demand.
The sheer volume of components ordered by Apple is also being regarded as the death-knell for AT&T’s iPhone exclusivity. Some people believe that Apple will have to end AT&T’s exclusivity for the iPhone 4 to sell the way it wants it to.
Numbers are hard. Either that, or someone over at Sprint-Nextel wasn't paying very close attention when tallying up the number of HTC Evo 4G smartphones sold at launch. Maybe both.
"We originally reported that the total number of HTC Evo 4G devices sold on launch day was three times the number of Samsung Instinct and Palm Pre devices sold over their first three days on the market combined. We inadvertently erred in the comparison," Sprint said in a statement.
After carrying the 1 and correcting any other mathematical errors that were made, Sprint now says that the actual number of HTC Evo 4G devices sold on launch day was in line with the two other above-mentioned smartphones. Even still, that's not all bad if the real numbers from the first weekend come out to 150,000 as some analysts have estimated.
Although Sprint refrained from letting out any numbers, it revealed that EVO's first day sales far exceeded the previous record for the “largest quantity of a single phone sold in one day ever for Sprint - the record was previously held by both Samsung Instinct and Palm Pre.”
Furthermore, the EVO's launch day sales also blazed past the tally racked up by Samsung Instinct and Palm Pre during their first three days on the market: “The total number of HTC EVO 4G devices sold on launch day was three times the number of Samsung Instinct and Palm Pre devices sold over their first three days on the market combined.”
The huge demand lead many of the 22,000 retail locations to expend their quota of EVO's in no time at all. To counter this, Sprint is constantly sending in fresh supplies, with some sales locations even receiving them on a daily basis.
Another sign that the tech recession is finally subsiding, worldwide semiconductor sales continue to grow and have never been higher than they were in April, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA).
SIA's numbers have global chip sales checking in at $23.6 billion in April 2010, a 2.2 percent increase from one month prior when sales hovered around $23.1 billion.
"Global sales of semiconductors grew at a healthy rate in April, surpassing the previous monthly record level of November 2007," said SIA president George Scalise. "As expected, both the year-on-year and sequential growth rates moderated slightly. The unusually high year-on-year comparison is a reflection of the trough of the recession in early 2009 compared to strong demand today."
According to Scalise, the worldwide adoption of 3G wireless communication played a big in the industry's growth, as did the consequent investment in infrastructure and recovery of demand from the enterprise, automotive, and industrial sectors.
With all the attention surrounding AMD and Intel, it's easy to forget that VIA is also a player in the x86 processor platform market. Despite this, the company is off to a relatively strong start in 2010, as evidenced by VIA's January-May sales results.
VIA announced net sales of about $13.07 million for the month of May, a pittance compared to the numbers Intel puts up on a regular basis, and nearly a 4 percent month-on-month decrease for VIA over revenue numbers posted in April ($13.62 million). But compared to this same time last year, VIA's numbers are up 9.55 percent, and 3.9 percent for January-May.
Depending on how VIA plays its cards, the company could finish off the year with a bang and head into 2011 with a bit of momentum. It all hinges on how aggressively VIA attacks the tablet market, and so far, the company looks to be on the right track. In a recent interview with Bloomberg, Richard Brown, VIA's vice president of marketing, said he expects about five different low-cost tablets to emerge in the second half of 2010, each one sporting a VIA chip inside. Brown says these tablets will sell for between $100 and $150.
According to research firm IDC, PC microprocessor shipments were up 39% in the first quarter, when compared to last year. The quarter by quarter numbers were better than expected as well. There is usually a decline from the holiday season into the first quarter, but it was more modest than most years. This could be yet another sign of a recovering tech sector.
This jives nicely with Intel's recently reported profits. The chip maker managed to pull in $2.4 billion in Q1. That's a 288% improvement over last year. Additionally, Intel inched up another 0.5% in market share to 81%. AMD on the other hand lost market share in all form factors.
IDC is predicting continued growth in the CPU market as the year goes on. They base this on expected IT spending, which makes up a sizable proportion of computer sales. Have you noticed new hardware rolling out in your place of business?
Barnes and Noble had grand visions for its Nook ebook reader when the device first launch at the tail end of 2009, but other than an initial flurry of sales, the ebook reader hasn't been able to pluck the crown off of Amazon's market-leading Kindle. Maybe things are starting to turn around.
According to DigiTimes Research, ebook reader shipments to Barnes and Noble jumped ahead of shipment numbers to Amazon for the first time in March, indicating that demand for the Nook might finally be starting to pick up. Looking at figures from upstream suppliers, the Nook accounted for some 53 percent of ebook readers shipped to US vendors last month.
The Nook's future now looks a little brighter than it has been. B&N just recently released another firmware update -- version 1.3 -- which, among other things, purports to kick performance up a notch yet again. In addition, B&N recently struck a deal with Best Buy to carry the company's ebook reader both in the electronic chain's brick and mortar stores and website.
Talk about a cash cow. Not only did James Cameron's Avatar sink Titanic as the highest-grossing movie worldwide, but it has gone on to set the record for first-day Blu-ray sales too. And that's just for the 2D version.
Some 1.5 million copies of Avatar flew off of Blu-ray stocked shelves, comfortably outpacing first-day sales of The Dark Knight, which previously held the top spot. Early estimates have overall disc sales somewhere above 4 million units, putting Avatar on pace to become the year's best selling movie, eventually surpassing The Twilight Saga: New Moon.
Viewers will have to wait until early 2011 before 20th Century Fox releases a 3D version for home consumption. The movie studio is hoping that more homes will be equipped with 3D Blu-ray players and television sets by then. However, Fox will milk consumers for more cash later this year by also releasing a special edition version in November with more bonus features.
In a time long ago, Amazon was a book seller. They've continued to sell paper books while becoming the leader in ebooks, but they also sell a multitude of other products. In the past, most of Amazon's business was selling media like books, music, and movies. Now those "other" products make up the majority of the online retailer's sales. The news came in Amazon's earnings call today when it was also announced that they smashed projections by rocking a 46% revenue increase over last year.
Overall, Amazon took in $3.43 billion in sales from media, and $3.51 billion from everything else. Many analysts have expected this so-called "inversion point" to occur eventually. Amazon benefits from this in that they have a solid buffer in the face of the changing media landscape. It's no secret that Amazon liked having the eBook business all to themselves, but they'll never have that kind of comfortable perch again.
Certainly people are buying all sorts of things from Amazon. What are getting there? Still just books and DVDs? Or have you started buying your electronics from Amazon as well?