October 25, 2012

Amazon just released its earnings report ahead of Apple. It is reporting a net loss of $274 million last quarter, but it claimed the $199 Kindle Fire HD is “the No. 1 bestselling product across Amazon worldwide.” With the launch of Apple’s $329 iPad mini to be the Kindle Fire’s biggest competitor in the months to come, Amazon is comparing the two devices spec by spec in its press release today.

In the press release, Amazon claimed the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD has 193 percent more pixels (2,304,000 pixels vs. 786,432 pixels). It also said the 7-inch model (a more accurate comparison) has 30 percent more pixels (1,024,000 vs. 786,432 pixels), while noting the 8.9-inch boasts 56 percent more pixels-per-inch than the iPad mini (254 vs. 163). The 7-inch has 33 percent more pixels per inch (216 vs. 163), Amazon further added.

Amazon also claimed it has better audio, with “with dual stereo speakers and Dolby Digital Plus.” If that isn’t enough, it noted the 8.9-inch model costs $30 less than iPad mini and the $199 7-inch model is $130 less.

Amazon’s full comparison is below:

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Just ahead of Apple’s Q4 2012 earnings call, Bloomberg is reporting that Apple is preparing an online radio service to rival Pandora in 2013. Bloomberg alleges that executives from Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group Corp, and Sony Corp’s music division recently met with Apple at the company’s Cupertino headquarters to discuss radio plans.

Talks are centered in part around how to share ad revenue and a deal could be reached by mid-November, with Apple starting a service within the first three months of 2013, said the people, who asked not to be named because discussions are still in progress.

According to Bloomberg: “With sales of music downloads slowing, Apple and record companies are seeking new ways for customers to discover and buy digital music.”

This is, of course, is not the first time we heard this, but the time frame finally seems to be in place.

Pandora’s stock price is reacting slightly to the news:

Now, how about iTunes 11 already!?!? expand full story


Parallels for Mac virtualization software has been getting major updates this year with the recent release of version 8, making it even easier to run Mac and Windows apps side by side. In version 7, it made it a lot easier to upgrade and buy copies of Windows directly from within the app, and we even had a Windows 8 developer preview up and running. Unfortunately, with today’s launch of Microsoft’s Windows 8, Parallel’s is warning Mac users that the app is not ready to update to the new OS.

In a support document on the company’s website, it issued a “critical and urgent Windows 8 service advisory” telling customers it should wait before upgrading from an existing installation of Windows to Windows 8: expand full story

Bad Piggies version 1.1.0: Rovio has updated its new Bad Piggies title with 15 new levels today, as well as a new free sandbox level. The update also includes its biggest sandbox level yet, called “Field of Dreams”, as an in-app purchase.

 The Bad piggies finally did it — they finally got the eggs! But can they hold on to them with the Angry Birds in hot pursuit? Even under the cover of darkness, they’ll need all of their best machines to stay ahead! 

-Fly through 15 tricky new levels with the birds on your tail!
-Take cover in a brand new moonlit theme!
-Unleash your creativity on a free new sandbox level!
-Introducing the Field of Dreams: Our biggest sandbox level yet, now available for purchase!

National Geographic Magazine version 2.1: With this update the free app is now available to National Geographic subscribers on the  iPhone:

• Now available for iPhone!

Kindle version 3.4: A nice update to the Kindle iOS app comes following Apple releasing new features for iBooks. The app now supports Japanese with vertical text & Manga, an option to read books in the publisher suggested font, and a new “Caecilia” font choice. Also included is X-Ray for Textbooks:

X-Ray for Textbooks gives you instant access to all the most important terms and concepts in a book, with glossary definitions, links to relevant textbook pages, and related content from Wikipedia and YouTube (available on many of the most popular print replica textbooks)

Cut the Rope version 2.0: Popular Chillingo title Cut the Rope is getting updated today with new levels, iPhone 5 and Game Center support, and more. The HD iPad version gets the same updateexpand full story

Apple is all set to announce its fiscal Q4 financial earnings today, during a conference call with company executives scheduled for 2 p.m. PST/ 5 p.m. EST. iPhone 5 sales are expected to be a topic of conversation, of course, while recent predictions from 59 analysts provided an average estimate of 26.3 million iPhones total for the quarter. Today, Forbes posted revised estimates from 36 of the analysts that also includes predictions for iPhone, iPod, Mac, and other product sales.

A few things we already know from CEO Tim Cook’s announcements during the iPad mini event: 5 million iPhones 5s sold during opening weekend, 3 million new iPod nano and touch units sold, and 200 million iOS 6 devices. Cook also noted the company has now sold 100 million iPads in 2.5 years and more iPads in June than any PC manufacturers’ entire PC lineup.

In Q3 Apple reported revenues of $35 billion. As for Q4, Apple predicted during its last conference call that revenues for the fourth quarter would be around $34 billion with diluted earnings per share of about $7.65. Today, Forbes pointed us to updated estimates from Wall Street showing a consensus of $8.81 on sales of $36.02 billion.

Forbes has also posted revised estimates from 36 analysts (below). Among the 20 pros in the group, the average estimate is $8.75 on sales of $35.51 billion. The independents, on the other hand, have earnings of $9.66 on sales of $37.23 billion.

As you can see from the chart of the 36 analysts below (pros in blue), the high-end of iPhone estimates hit the 32 million-unit mark, while one independent has Mac sales as high as 5.70 million units:

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