Amazon announces their new tablet while Google releases the Google Wallet. Don’t miss these headlines and more in this week’s industry news update!
Holiday Web Sales Expected to Grow 13.5%
U.S. web sales during the fourth quarter will hit $60.4 billion, up 13.5% from the $53.2 billion spent by online shoppers during the same period last year, predicts Kantar Retail. The growth rate for the 2011 holiday shopping season will likely be a bit lower than the 16.5% increase registered in 2010, thanks in part to declining consumer confidence.
Amazon Launches New Tablet and Slashes Kindle Prices
Amazon has announced that they will be releasing a color, 7-inch tablet device called Fire for just $199. The Fire is set to compete with Apple’s iPad by offering consumers an affordable and simpler tablet that is complimented by a powerful inventory of books, movies, television shows and digital tunes. At the same time Amazon unveiled a new e-book reader called the Kindle Touch which will cost $149 and include Amazon Whispernet mobile connectivity.
Net Neutrality Rules Will Go Into Effect November 20th
The Federal Communications Commission has published its long-awaited net neutrality rules, designed to generally prevent internet service providers from giving priority to certain forms of web traffic. The heavily debated measures were approved in December, 2010 and will go into effect on November 20th.
Mobile Devices Expected to Aid Holiday Shopping
According to recently released data from the mobile ad network Mojiva, at least half of mobile consumers view their mobile device as a holiday shopping resource for product information, coupons and sale information. The study also found that four in ten consumers feel comfortable spending $50 or more on a single holiday item using their mobile device.
Google Launches the Google Wallet
Google has officially released the first version of the Google Wallet. The Google Wallet stores virtual versions of a user’s payment cards, and leverages near field communication technology to allow users to tap, pay and save with their phone. The app is currently available on Sprint Nexus S 4G phones but Google is looking to expand to more phones soon.
Bing Launches Deal Aggregator
Bing has created an offer aggregator that lets consumers browse and sort through more than 200,000 discounts available from around the country. Bing says it’s responding to 87% of consumers who said they’d increase their use of daily deals if they could find them in one place rather than sort through e-mails from multiple providers.
Google Expands Video Ad Options
Google wants video advertising to be as pervasive across its network as search and display ads are. The company announced their plans to enable more integration between its AdWords and YouTube ad offerings for all advertisers. Though the formats available do not all enable video to play directly within the ads, Google hopes the offerings will expand inventory for video ad buyers and inspire more advertisers to use video ads.