Tech News 4/10/13

Good morning folks,

A number of announcements and reports today in the news.  Here are the highlights.


– Video streaming service Vudu’s main offices were burglarized late last month resulting in the theft of a number of hard drives with consumer data on them.  The company has taken steps to alert customers, encouraging users to change their passwords.  The hard drives did contain names, emails, addresses, phone numbers, and the last four digits of some credit card numbers, but full numbers aren’t kept by Vudu.  Customers are entitled to AllClear ID protection for a year for free. (link)

– A recent NPD study on second screen usage suggests that a minority of users are utilizing specially designed companion apps while watching TV.  The research found that 47% of viewers who use second screen devices have engaged in second screen activities, with the most common action being to learn more about the program they are watching by utilizing IMDb, Wikipedia and social networks, rather than specific apps like Viggle, Zeebox, and others.  The third most popular function was shopping for products seen in commercials.  (link)

– Speaking at an OTT Video Panel at NAB, Arris exec Brook Longdon stated that their research has discovered that only about 10% of people are generating about 70% of the video viewing and that is primarily due to the business models in place.  “Netflix is cheap.  And you can get it anywhere.”  Further, online video providers have a better user experience with search than cable companies.  (link)

– Panasonic introduced their new line of streaming media players yesterday, which includes the 3D-capable DMP-MS10 which is available for $79.99, giving users access to a number of streaming services like Netflix, Hulu Plus, CinemaNow, Vudu, and YouTube.  For $20 more, users can get the DMP-MST60 which adds 2D to 3D conversion and Miracast functionality to display content on your smartphone or tablet onto your TV.  (link)

– A new Canalys report finds that Apple’s App store accounts for 74% of the $2.2 billion in app store revenue across the four major storefronts: Apple, Google, BlackBerry and Windows.  Overall, the number of mobile downloads has grown by 11% YOY, with the cumulative number at 13.4 billion downloads.  In terms of revenue, there has been a 9% increase YOY.  (link)

– RUMOR:  While the rumors are out that Apple may start iPhone 5S production soon in order to launch this summer, new rumors suggest that production for the next-gen tablet will begin in July or August to time towards another October release. (link)

– Poor BlackBerry.  A new MKM Partners survey reveals that 86.2% of Americans did not know that BlackBerry released its newly revamped operating system, but now that they do, 68% have not interest in buying the phone.  Windows Phone 8 has a slightly higher brand recognition, but there are still 60.5% of Americans that did not know the devices were available to buy.  (link)

– Riding on the heels of Google Fiber’s second city announcement, AT&T revealed plans for their own gigabit fiber internet service in Austin.  Austin residents will now have a choice, once AT&T determines their plan and pricing, which weren’t offered during their announcement.  (link)

– Pandora announced that their user base has now surpassed 200 million registered users, with 140 million of those users accessing the service via mobile devices.  On average, Pandora users stream around 200 million songs before 10am each morning.  (link)

– Following the difficult launch of its popular Sim City, Electronic Arts has unfortunately received the honor of being named the “Worst Company in America” by the Consumerist, for the second year in a row.  The Consumerist suggests that EA looks at customers only as piggy banks and their lack of attention to the products clearly shows as the company asks “customers to pay extra for what they should have received in the first place.”  Err… I don’t congratulations is the word I’m searching for here… (link)

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