After teasing the store last month, Apple has confirmed on its website (as noted by MacMagazine) that the store will launch on the 15th of February, in just over a week. The store will launch at 11am local time (ATZ) in the luxurious Rio de Janeiro VillageMall, marking Apple’s debut entrance into the country.
Research firm comScore is out with its usual monthly report that ranks the top smartphone OEMs and platforms for the three-month period ending in February. Apple continues to grow its lead this month as top OEM in the U.S., jumping 3.9-percent from November to 38.9-percent of the market and increasing its lead on the second biggest OEM by subscribers, Samsung:
Samsung ranked second with 21.3 percent market share (up 1 percentage point), followed by HTC with 9.3 percent share, Motorola with 8.4 percent and LG with 6.8 percent.
It’s important to point out that the shipped vs. sold argument doesn’t apply to comScore’s results, as its data comes from surveys tracking smartphone subscribers and usage and not sales or units shipped. Google grabs the spot as top smartphone platform at the end of February, but Apple continues to close the gap capturing 38.9-percent of the market (up from 35 percent) compared to Google’s 51.7-percent (down from 53.7-percent): Read more
Best Buy takes 20% off select iTunes eGift Cards, as listed below. At up to $20 off, each is tied with our mention from early February and at or near the lowest price we’ve ever seen. Note that international US iTunes users are eligible to purchase because the gift cards will be emailed for redemption. iTunes gift cards are good for Mac Apps, iOS Apps, iTunes Music, Videos, iBooks and more.
- $15 iTunes eGift Card for $12
- $25 iTunes eGift Card (pictured) for $20
- $50 iTunes eGift Card for $40
- $100 iTunes eGift Card for $80
Last week we told you about a new online lottery system for reservations that Apple setup for iPhone 4S sales through its Hong Kong stores to combat scalpers after it was forced to suspend sales of the device in various locations throughout Mainland China. Unfortunately, until this week, Apple’s online store for China has been out of stock since the overwhelming launch.
After implementing the new reservation policies on Tuesday, and in Beijing on Wednesday, Apple has now resumed online sales of the device with shipments arriving to customers no later than March 2, reported ChinaDaily. Apple’s online store for Mainland China now lists the iPhone 4S with an expected delivery time of “February.” Customers are limited to two devices with all three models currently available in both black and white. An Apple employee confirmed the March 2 date to ChinaDaily:
Digitimes tonight reports that next generation iPads are expected to be available in the next 3-4 months as manufacturers in the supply chain have started delivering parts and components for the new tablets to OEM contractors while reducing those prepared for iPad 2. The report follows a Citi Analyst last week who said that “several sources” have confirmed the next-gen iPad will launch in February saying, “there do not appear to be any significant technical hurdles remaining”.
Current production of iPad 2 will reportedly remain high at 14-15 million units in Q4 2011 but tail to 4-5 million units in the first quarter of 2012 as anticipation for the next iPad grows and inventory is cleared out.
Meanwhile, Foxconn Electronics will begin to produce the next-generation iPads in January and to ramp up the production volume starting February, according to a Chinese-language Commercial Times report, which quoted Kevin Chang, an analyst of Citigroup Global Markets, as indicating.
Production of the new iPads is expected to reach 9.5-9.8 million units in the first quarter of 2012, estimated sources in the supply chain. Sales of iPad products totaled 25.06 million in the first three quarters of 2011 and are likely to reach 40 million units for all of 2011, the sources estimated.