Archives for February 9, 2011

HP announces phones, tablet to ship this summer

HP unveiled a trio of new products running its widely-praised new mobile operating system.

First up is the “powerfully small” Veer smartphone, with which, the company says, customers “really can have it all without sacrificing the size they want.” HP says the phone is “the size of a credit card and no thicker than a deck of cards.” (Wouldn’t that be the size of, well, a deck of cards?) It measures 2.1 by 3.3 by .6 inches. Why so thick? While most smartphone have screen-based keys, the Veer has a slide-out keyboard as well as a 2.57-inch touchscreen.
The phone has an 800 MHz processor, 8 gigabytes of storage, GPS, geotagging, and a 5-megapixel camera. No other photography features were described,

The Pre3 provides video calling functions.

For those who want a bigger phone HP debuted the Pre3, calling it “our premier phone, designed for the speed of business.”
The Pre3 has a 3.58-inch touchscreen, 1.4-GHz processor, slide-out keyboard, GPS, a 5-megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash, and a front-facing VGA fixed-focus camera, that, with its speaker and noise cancellation, provides a “state-of-the-art video calling experience,” HP says. The Pre3 measures 4.37 by 2.52 by .63 inches.

HP also demonstrated its new TouchPad. The tablet computer has a 9.7-inch touchscreen with a 1,024 by 768 resolution. The TouchPad has a 1.3-megapixel front-facing webcam for video calling. It measures 7.48 by 9.53 by .54 inches.

All three devices run HP’s revamped webOS, the operating system it acquired from Palm.
They are scheduled for later this summer, with exact pricing and availability to announced.

Ritz & Wolf announce Facebook photo print button

Facebook, the largest photo sharing site on the Web with more than 2.5 billion photos uploaded every month, recently announced an updated photo sharing platform, which includes the ability to upload high resolution images – large enough for print quality photos. On the heels of that announcement, Ritz & Wolf Camera & Image, unveils its new Facebook capabilities, including the ‘RitzPix Order Prints’ application, which allows users to order their uploaded and tagged images directly from Facebook with one hour pick up in-store or one day delivery using their account.

Customers may also visit any of the nearly 300 stores nationwide and access their Facebook photos at in-store Print Bar kiosks with the ability to upload and share photos on Facebook, free for the month of February. Starting in March, the service will cost a $.99 flat-fee. The company received more than 100,000 impressions from customer uploads during a trial period of the new Facebook capabilities that was conducted in select stores over the past month.

comScore releases “The 2010 U.S. Digital Year in Review” report

comScore Inc., Reston, Va., released The comScore 2010 U.S. Digital Year in Review. This annual report recaps key trends in the U.S. digital media landscape, including e-commerce, social networking, online video, search, online advertising and mobile, with an emphasis on how digital marketers can capitalize on these trends in 2011.

“2010 was a very positive year for the digital media industry, highlighted by a strong rebound in e-commerce spending , significant innovation and increased demand for online advertising, and an explosion in digital content consumption across multiple platforms,” said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. “As we embark on a promising 2011, marketers must have a sound understanding of the digital media landscape and how it is changing if they hope to capitalize on key trends that can drive their business into the future.”

As the economic environment showed signs of improvement in 2010, the digital media industry responded with significant growth across various media platforms. Industry innovations brought an unprecedented number of options to consumers as digital media continued to weave itself even tighter into the fabric of Americans’ daily lives.

Key findings highlighted in the report include:

  • Following 2 years of depressed consumer discretionary spending, the economy showed signs of improvement, leading to positive growth for the e-commerce market. Total U.S. e-commerce spending reached $227.6 billion in 2010, up 9 percent versus the previous year. Travel e-commerce spending grew 6 percent to $85.2 billion, while retail (non-travel) e-commerce spending jumped 10 percent to $142.5 billion for the year.
  • Social networking continued to gain momentum throughout 2010, with 9 out of every 10 U.S. Internet users now visiting a social networking site in a month, and the average Internet user spending more than 4 hours on these sites each month. Nearly 1 out of every 8 minutes online is spent on Facebook.
  • The U.S. core search market grew 12 percent overall in 2010, driven by a 4-percent increase in unique searchers and an 8-percent increase in the number of search queries per searcher.
  • U.S. Internet users received a total of 4.9 trillion display ads in 2010 with display ad impressions growing 23 percent in December 2010 versus December 2009. Social networking sites, which now account for more than one-third of all display ad impressions, were a significant driver of growth in the display ad market in 2010.
  • In December 2010, the average American spent more than 14 hours watching online video, a 12-percent increase from the prior year, and streamed a record 201 videos, an 8-percent increase.
  • Major milestones in mobile were crossed during the year as smartphones reached 1 in 4 mobile subscribers and 3G penetration crossed the 50 percent threshold. Approximately 47 percent of mobile subscribers are now connected Internet media users (via browsers, applications or downloaded content), up 8 percentage points from the previous year.

hhgregg announces third quarter increase

hhgregg Inc., Indianapolis, Ind., reported net income of $26.9 million for the three months ended Dec. 31, 2010, compared with net income of $22.7 million for the comparable prior year period. For the nine month period ended Dec. 31, 2010, net income was $33.6 million, compared with net income of $29.2 million for the comparable prior year period. The 18.4 percent and 15.2 percent increase in net income for the three and nine month periods ended Dec. 31, 2010, respectively, as compared to the same periods in the prior year, was the result of an increase in net sales due to the net addition of 46 stores during the past 12 months, offset by a decrease in gross margin rate, increased advertising as a percentage of net sales and comparable store sales decreases of 6.2 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively.

Net sales for the three and nine months ended December 31, 2010 increased 30.6 percent and 40.6 percent, to $653.7 million and $1.6 billion, respectively.

Silicon Image expands low-power camera processor IP to support 3D

Silicon Image, Sunnyvale, Calif., introduced the camerIC-3D/64MP, the newest member of its camerIC family of camera processor IP cores capable of supporting 3D and up to 64 megapixel still images and video. camerIC-3D/64MP is optimized for integration into low-power video system-on-chip (SoC) application processors for mobile devices such as cell phones, tablets, netbooks, digital still cameras (DSCs) and camcorders as well as video surveillance systems.

In addition to its DSC capabilities supporting up to 64MP resolution, the camerIC camera pipeline has the imaging bandwidth to support 3D 1080p resolution at up to 120 frames per second. 8MP resolution at 30 frames per second to implement in hardware, while consuming as little as 125mW of power and needing only 30MIPS of CPU bandwidth, makes the camerIC-3D/64MP one of the industry’s highest performing, lowest cost and lowest power camera processors.