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If you got all excited by the news yesterday about a new Apple media event later this month, you might want to temper your expectations -- unless you’re an educator or student, that is, in which case you’re likely to be excited by today’s followup report on the subject. Meanwhile, RIM is making headlines again (and not in a good way) and there’s plenty more in store for this Tuesday, January 3, 2012.
Following a report from AllThingsD on Monday about a possible Apple media event in New York City later this month, other sites have been digging for further information on exactly what Cupertino might have in store for us. According to MacRumors, the rumored event might focus on digital textbooks and the education market, which was of particular interest to co-founder Steve Jobs just before his death in October. Ars Technica believes the event will focus on digital textbooks that include support for the EPUB 3 standard, enabling “a wider variety of multimedia and interaction features.” The website speculates: “Digital textbooks represent another nascent market that Apple could potentially upend as it did with music and mobile apps.” Makes sense to us, but it’s likely to bum out those waiting for the iPad 3 or something more exciting.
The bad news keeps coming at BlackBerry maker Research In Motion, who is having a new fire sale on their BlackBerry PlayBook tablet with a bizarre twist: All models are priced at $299, a significant savings from the high-end 64GB model that launched at $699. According to AppleInsider, the savings are only available from RIM’s website and the sale ends on Wednesday, so snap ‘em up while the getting is good. Meanwhile, The Vancouver Sun is reporting today that RIM may soon get a good “corporate shakeup” that will remove co-founders Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie as joint chairmen of the board, but keep them installed as co-CEOs. Board member Barbara Stymiest is reported to be a candidate for board chairman.
9to5Mac is reporting that Apple is keeping up with the traditions heading into the Chinese New Year, participating in a one-day shopping event called “Red Friday” on Friday, January 6. But don’t bother looking for deals here in the U.S. store -- the Red Friday bargains can only be found in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines. The event comes on the heels of last weekend’s “lucky bag” promotion across Japan.
By all accounts, Amazon’s $199 Kindle Fire is making a dent in the tablet market, but no one really knows exactly how much. Thankfully, we have the educated guesses of analysts to help us fill in the blanks. According to Cult of Mac, Morgan Keenan analyst Travis McCourt is telling investors that Amazon sold upwards of four to five million Kindle Fires this holiday season, which translates to “maybe one to two million cannibalized iPad sales at most.” That may sound like something for Apple to worry about until you consider that Cupertino unwrapped 4.2 million iOS devices on Christmas Day alone, which is what Amazon likely sold in the entire month of December.
The Loop is reporting that classic game publisher Atari has been stepping up efforts to rid the App Store of knockoffs, with publisher Black Powder Games claiming the company has a “special relationship” with Apple that gets potentially infringing titles yanked faster than normal. According to GamesIndustry.biz, Atari is apparently “applying legal pressure to developers which it believes are infringing on its intellectual property rights, despite affected developers claiming that attempts had been made on their part to reach an agreement.” Apple has historically been quick on the draw when IP complaints hit their desk, so we’re not sure if Atari has any special privileges or if their stature as an established publisher of classic titles simply makes their complaint more valid.
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