By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
San Mateo, Calif. – Tablet sales to U.S. consumers will face growth restraints in 2014, said market-research and consulting company IDC.
"It's becoming increasingly clear that markets such as the U.S. are reaching high levels of consumer saturation, and while emerging markets continue to show strong growth, this has not been enough to sustain the dramatic worldwide growth rates of years past," said IDC research director Tom Mainelli.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.
Arlington, Va. – The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) reports that 44 percent of online U.S. consumers owned tablets as of December 2013, an increase of six percentage points from the previous year.
According to research released today by CEA, the Consumer Outlook on Tablets: Adoption, Sentiment and Social Media Conversation (January 2014) semi-annual report examines trend information on consumer behavior and sentiment regarding tablet computers.
Overland Park, Kan. – Sprint launched a $29 cellular-equipped 7-inch tablet, marking the lowest price at which the carrier has ever launched a tablet.
ZTE’s Optik 2 is available through Sprint’s website and business channels at $29 with a two-year service agreement on a qualifying data plan. The tablet offers 3G, not 4G, access to the Internet.
The tablet features Android 4.1.2 OS, 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, rear-facing 5-megapixel camera with autofocus and flash, and front 2-megapixel camera.
Redmond, Wash. – Dollar sales of Microsoft’s Surface tablets more than doubled on a sequential basis during the company’s fiscal 2014 second quarter to hit $893 million, up from the previous quarter’s $400 million, the company announced.
Unit sales also more than doubled.
The company attributed Surface gains to improved Surface RT sales and to the introduction of the Surface 2 and Surface 2 Pro.
CES 2014 Las Vegas - Chinese smartphone maker Huawei will once again try to crack the U.S. market with its new 6.1-inch Ascend Mate2 LTE 4G phablet that features two-day operation and panoramic selfies, announced at International CES and due to land here in the spring.
Seoul - Samsung wants a piece of the console- and mobile-gaming action.
The company has begun a global rollout of its Smartphone Game Pad, a gaming controller that controls games running on a Bluetooth-connected Android smartphone or tablet. The device works with smartphones and tablets running Android 4.1 and up but is optimized for Samsung devices running Android 4.3 and up.
The GamePad is available in select European markets and will be available in additional regions in the coming weeks. U.S. pricing and availability weren’t disclosed.
Seoul – LG’s G Pad 8.3 tablet has become the first tablet to be designated by Google as a Google Play Edition tablet.
It joins two Google Play Edition smartphones, one from Samsung and one from Sony.
The devices are available in the Google Play store and are positioned as offering the latest version of the Android OS, being the first to get automatic Android updates, offering a pure Google user experience, and coming preloaded with key Google apps such as Google Now, Chrome, Gmail, and You Tube.
Andover, Mass. — Rullingnet launched its newest Vinci kids tablet, the Vinci MV tablet with a 7-inch screen.
The Android 4.1 device, which comes preloaded with a variety of educational apps and music videos, is designed for children up to 9 years old. It features dual, unlocked quad-band SIM slots for voice activation should users wish to make use of its 3G connectivity. It also has built-in Wi-Fi.
Seattle — Two Kindle tablet models were the best-selling items on Amazon.com over the Thanksgiving weekend, the e-tailer reported.
Sales of the Kindle Fire HDX (7-inch version) and Kindle Fire HD also helped make the holiday shopping weekend “the best ever” for the company’s proprietary tablet and e-reader line, which enjoyed record orders.
“We’re excited that so many customers have chosen Kindle this holiday season,” said Kindle VP Neil Lindsay. “And it’s just getting started.”
New York — Samsung’s first kids-oriented tablet, the Galaxy Tab 3 Kids, became available at $229 at Samsung.com, Best Buy, Fry’s, Office Depot, Sam’s Club, TigerDirect and Toys“R”Us.
A Tab 3 Kids hard-case bundle is available at $249.
The 7-inch tablet’s only preloaded kids-oriented reading app is the Barnes & Noble Nook App for Kids, and consumers who purchase the tablet and register for a new Nook account get more than $50 in free kids eBooks and magazines.