Don't expect a powerhouse slate in this price range
How low can tablet prices go? Apparently under a Benjamin. As tablet makers dance the low-price limbo, consumers benefit from a bevy of affordable slates to choose from, even from name brand vendors. In this case, it's Hewlett-Packard that reportedly plans to build and sell a $99 tablet at Walmart as back-to-school shoppers flood the stores preparing for another school year.
Acer clearly got the memo indicating that the best way to sell a Chromebook is to undercut the competition with the lowest price, and then hammer out a deal with Walmart to carry the cloud-based laptop. Enter Acer's C710-2856, the latest version of the company's C7 Chromebook line that's available at 2,800 Walmart stores for just $199. Not only is it cheaper than other Chromebooks and widely available, it's also faster than Acer's previous SKU.
Walmart's disc-to-digital in-home service will "convert" your existing movie collection to UltraViolet digital copies starting at $2 a pop.
It's not just tablet makers and hardware manufacturers in general making a splash at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Retailers have joined the party, including Walmart, which used the annual convention to announce that it's expanding its in-store Disc-to-Digital service to allow for the same service from the comfort of your home. As an aside, Wally World also launched a new Facebook app that provides access to exclusive movie content and allows users to decide what movies are sold in-store and online.
Warner Bros. decided to play hardball with Netflix, Blockbuster, and Redbox by demanding they each wait 56 days after a title is released before making it available for rent, which is twice is long as the 28-day waiting period film studios typically impose. While Netflix and Blockbuster begrudgingly accepted WB's terms, Redbox decided it can do better on its own and decided not to renew its contract, which expired on January 31, 2012.
The next time you're out battling the crowd at Wally World stocking up on toilet paper, cereal, and fish bait (hopefully for different purposes and not because of some weird fetish), you may decide to add a Windows Phone 7.5 device to your shopping cart. It's not exactly a tough sell when the mega retailer decides to give one away for free, like it's doing with Nokia's Lumia 710 smartphone.
The PC market isn't growing as fast as it once was (though still expanding), economies in the U.S. and Europe aren't fostering lavish lifestyles for the masses, and good paying jobs are hard to come by. Some would argue that any job is hard to come by, period. Despite all this, consumers will still march into Best Buy to get their fix of electronics, and many will walk out with an Asus notebook in tow.
As the big four US carriers continue to raise prices and cap data, an increasingly competitive pre-paid market is being created. Pre-paid services like Boost and Virgin Mobile are starting to pull some more budget-minded consumers away, but T-Mobile is looking to staunch the bleeding with its new monthly 4G plan sold through Walmart.
Hey, guess what? Walmart has an MP3 store! Some of you already know that, and for others, you're just now finding out. There's a good chance the latter outnumbers the former, which would help explain why Walmart is closing its MP3 store by the end of the month. Or maybe music listeners were just too settled with iTunes, Amazon, and other music marts to pluck MP3s from Wally World.
Videogame publisher Electronic Arts announced preliminary financial results for its first fiscal quarter ended June 30, 2011, posting numbers that came in higher than what analysts were expecting. EA's GAAP total net revenue for the quarter settled in at $999 million, up 23 percent from the $815 million it posted in the same quarter one year ago.