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We may be Apple fans, but we can still appreciate when competitors bring their best game to the table. Microsoft and Nokia are betting the farm with the new AT&T-branded Lumia 900, which the carrier seems to think will have a bigger launch than even the iPhone. We’re hoping that’s a misquote, but we won’t have long to wait -- the Lumia 900 will hits stores on April 8. Since you’re sitting at home plotting which AT&T store will have the shortest lines on that day, why not catch up on the day’s news for Wednesday, March 28, 2012…?
Chances are, you probably know at least one other person with an Apple Inc. product in their house -- and likely more than that. According to CNBC’s All-America Economic Survey, more than 55 million homes have at least one iPhone, iPod or Mac, with another one in 10 ready to drink Cupertino’s Flavor Aid in the next year. That amounts to nearly 51 percent of U.S. households, and homes with Apple products have an average of three devices. “It's a fantastic business model — the more of our products you own, the more likely you are to buy more,” says Jay Campbell, vice president of Hart Research Associates, who helped conduct the CNBC survey. “Planned obsolescence has always been a part of the technology industries sales model, but Apple has taken it to a whole new level.” The poll of 836 Americans was conducted via landline and cellphone from March 19 through 22 -- and presumably a lot of those cell phones who answered the call were of the iPhone variety.
Photoshop fans have been eating up the new CS6 public beta released on Adobe Labs last week, and today the Photoshop.com Blog has announced the software has been downloaded a whopping half a million times during that period. “It’s not often that we provide an advance preview of the next release of Photoshop and we’re grateful for all the support and buzz the beta has received,” the blog notes. “We’re glad you’re as excited as we are to see all of YOUR requests come to life.” And it doesn’t end with the downloads -- Photoshop CS6 Beta became a worldwide trending topic on Twitter as soon as it was announced, and the curious among you have already viewed the accompanying videos half a million times as well. Seems fair to say that CS6 is well on its way to success when it launches later this year, and the company is already teasing a vector pattern creation tool for Illustrator CS6, which will launch alongside the new Photoshop.
Don’t get us wrong: Nokia’s new Lumia 900 looks like a pretty sweet piece of hardware, and if we had to be trapped on a desert island with a mobile device running something other than iOS, we could very well be content with Windows Phone. That said, AT&T is taking a pretty big risk, spouting off at the mouth about just how substantial the Lumia 900 launch will be. "At all levels, this is a notch above anything we've ever done," extorts AT&T device head Jeff Bradley in an interview with CNET, noting that includes the iPhone launches over the last five years. Does that mean we’ll see throngs of hipsters lined up at AT&T retail stores en masse on Sunday, April 8? Sure, the $99.99 price with two-year agreement is certainly enticing, and the carrier is planning a barrage of television advertising over the next six to eight weeks to support the launch. "Before you walk in to the store, you know this is our hero phone," Bradley continues, noting that the Lumia 900 is considered a flagship product for the carrier -- and will no doubt be even more important to Microsoft and Nokia, who are hinging their collective futures on launches such as this one.
TechCrunch is reporting on an interesting side note from the recent legal action that toy maker Hasbro attempted to serve up on tablet maker Asus over the use of the name “Transformer Prime” for their latest Android 4.0 release. While a Federal judge has ruled that the name does not infringe on Hasbro’s Transformers property, the most interesting tidbit comes from court filings that expose just how many of the tablets eager fans scarfed up during preorders. If you’re thinking six figures, guess again: Asus only racked up 2,000 preorders for the Transformer Prime, which is without a doubt one of the premiere Android tablets on the market today. Of course, that wasn’t the end of the story, with another 80,000 units pushed out to retail, but those numbers do pale in comparison to Apple’s new iPad, which moved three million units over the first weekend alone. Adding insult to injury, the case will still be going to trial, since the judge in question “simply rejected Hasbro’s request to have sales of the Transformer Prime device halted.” Better luck next time, Asus...
The general consensus among analysts is that Apple will release its fabled HDTV later this year -- after all, sooner is always better, isn’t it? But it turns out there’s at least one research group who is breaking away from the pack and looking ahead to next year instead. “We continue to view Apple TV hardware as a 2013 event,” a note from Asian research group CLSA reveals in a report published today by Business Insider. “Most clients agree that a TV is coming; the critical question becomes how the video providers fit into the equation and how Apple's offering would/could differ from current TVs beyond iOS/iCloud.” CLSA spouts off a whole lot of reasons why they think 2013 is the year of the true Apple TV and it all seems to make sense -- but doggone it, we want to believe in 2012. Call us a bunch of Mulders, but we’re still hoping our annual viewing of A Christmas Story is beamed to a slick new Apple set this year.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter