BI Research Express

Why The Kindle Fire’s Tepid Reviews Won’t Affect Sales
Amazon’s game-changing Kindle Fire tablet has met with tepid reviews. We think it’s still going to be a big seller this holiday quarter, and over the long term, for two reasons:

  • The price. At $200, the Kindle Fire is 40% of the price of the iPad. Consumers understand that at that price, they’re not going to get all the same bells and whistles, and still get great value for money. Surveys show great demand for this price point.
  • The product will only improve. What matters for the Kindle ecosystem is whether Amazon can sell many tablets over the long term, not just this holiday season. And on this score, Amazon’s experience suggests they will pull it off.

Our full analysis →

 

The Android OS now has a 52% share of the smartphone market, according to Gartner. That’s a huge number compared to last year’s 25.3%. Android’s marketshare is also growing faster than the smartphone market as a whole and is doing better than the iPhone, which saw a decline in marketshare.

Bob Iger, President and CEO of Disney, is joining Apple’s board. Apple also announced that Arthur D. Levinson will be the new chairman. Apple and Disney have been intertwined since 2006, when Disney bought Steve Jobs’ Pixar; Jobs also sat on Disney’s board.

French media conglomerate Vivendi sells $472 million of its stake in Activision Blizzard, the world’s biggest video games maker. Activision is doing really well right now, with its latest Call of Duty game having the biggest video game launch in history. The sale seems to be more related to the group building cash positions in stormy European credit markets than any shift in strategy.

Founders Fund, the VC firm that includes PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel and Facebook founding President Sean Parker as partners, is raising a $600 million fund. Founders Fund is one of the most ambitious VC firms in the world, and so paying attention to what they do is always important.

RIM’s co-CEO Jim Balsillie visited Indonesia and declared himself “impressed” by the local market. Indeed he should be; Indonesia is a huge, fast-growing tech market, and emerging markets are the places remaining where RIM is still a premium brand and can find growth. It doesn’t solve their broader underlying problem which is their outdated platform, and it’s going to be hard to compete with Android in price-sensitive emerging markets.

Foursquare has unveiled a new homepage, and it’s pretty snazzy. Once users are logged in, they can see where friends are nearby as well as suggestions for places to go, which change depending on the day and time. As Mashable asks, does Foursquare want to become the next Yelp?

Links from big Facebook pages have higher click through rates (CTRs) than Facebook ads and online display ads. That makes sense given that consumers have already opted in to the content by ‘liking’ the page.  However, CTRs are only one metric for advertisers and marketers on Facebook, where impressions and consumer engagement are important as well.

Thirteen per cent of holiday shoppers say they will shop online from a mobile device, according to a PriceGrabber survey.That’s up from 9% last year. The number of shoppers who said they would shop in a regular store dropped dramatically, from 65% last year to 48% this year. 90 per cent of shoppers said they would do some shopping online from a computer.

The first ETF based on stocks of social media companies will begin trading today. It includes 25 stocks from LinkedIn to Googleto Groupon, and 37% is Chinese companies. Given how many social media companies (like Facebook) are still private, and how many companies do plenty of stuff other than social media (like Google), don’t think for a second this ETF represents “social media” anything.

DON’T MISS OUR REPORT: The Way Companies Are Getting Financed Is Completely Changing →

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