By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Redmond, Wash. — Microsoft, which originally limited sales of its Microsoft-brand Surface tablet to its online store and company stores, is expanding distribution to other retail outlets in the coming days.
Best Buy and Staples have already said they will carry the device, which is Microsoft’s first branded computer.
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.
New York — Barnes & Noble dropped the price of the Nook Simple Touch to $79.
The Simple Touch had been selling for $99.
BN made the move one day before Amazon launched a one-day sale on its Kindle products.
Seattle — Amazon.com is offering a $50 discount on its 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD today.
The one-day sale suggests that demand for its top-of-the-line tablet may be trailing that of its lower-priced 7-inch models.
The temporary discount brings the price of the 8.9-inch 4G LTE wireless Kindle Fire with 32GB and sponsored screensavers down to $449 from $499, and reduces the 64GB model to $549 from $599.
Similarly, the price of the Wi-Fi only, screen-saver subsidized version will be reduced to $249 from $299, and the 32GB model will sell for $319, down from $369.
Bedfordshire, U.K. — The research firm FutureSource Consulting is forecasting that the global tablet market will hit 132 million shipped in 2012.
This figure will almost triple to 352 million per year by 2016. The category saw more than 32 million units shipped in the third quarter, a 75 percent year-over-year increase.
The United States market leads the world in tablet adoption, with an installed of 90 million tablets by the end of 2012, FutureSource said, while Europe will account for about 45 million units.
West Covina, Calif. – E Fun is launching its first Android tablet with access to the Google Play store to download apps and content.
The 7-inch Nextbook Premium 7SE-GP will be available in early December at a suggested $129.
With GooglePlay access, the tablet downloads apps, games music, movies, and offers such Google apps as Gmail, Google Talk, Google+, Google Maps, and YouTube.
Seattle — The 2013 edition of Black Friday and Cyber Monday were the best ever in sales of Kindle products, Amazon said.
Without revealing specific numbers, online retailer said customers purchased the seven different Kindle products in record numbers. The biggest driver was the Cyber Monday special that dropped the price of the Kindle Fire to $129.
Cyber Monday was the best day for Kindle sales worldwide, the company said.
Los Angeles — Ematic took the wraps off another kid tablet this week, this time a stepped-down version of its FunTab Pro.
The new tablet, known simply as the FunTab, runs Android 4.0 and is also geared toward children. Both models have capacitive 7-inch touchscreens with 800 by 400 resolution, but the FunTab drops its suggested retail to $119 (vs. the FunTab Pro’s $149), its RAM to 512MB (vs. 1GB), its internal memory to 4GB (vs. 8GB), and its battery life to five hours (vs. eight).
San Francisco – Computer accessories supplier Elgato has begun offering a dongle that turns iPads, iPhones and iPod touches into TV screens for viewing free live mobile-DTV broadcasts transmitted by local stations under the Dyle Mobile TV brand.
The $99 EyeTV Mobile accessory must be used in conjunction with a free EyeTV app, which is available in Apple’s iTunes store. The accessory itself is available at www.elgato.com, Amazon and other retail locations.
New York – The 4G LTE versions of the iPad Mini and fourth-generation iPad have begun to trickle into the U.S. market for activation on the AT&T, Sprint and Verizon Wireless networks.
When it unveiled the two tablets in October, Apple had said the Wi-Fi+ Cellular versions would ship in the U.S. “about a week” after the Nov. 2 launch of the Wi-Fi models.
Dallas – AT&T will begin offering the first Windows RT tablet with 4G LTE when the Asus VivoTab RT becomes available on Nov. 16 for as low as $499.
AT&T said it would be the only carrier offering an LTE version of the 10.1-inch Windows 8 tablet during the holiday season.
The quad-core VivoTab RT will be available Nov. 16 through direct and indirect channels.