We generally try to ignore this sort of thing, but quite a few media outlets have jumped on the Verizon iPhone bandwagon.
60 Minutes has reported on a new fuel cell product called a Bloom Box, a big metal box containing a small stack of ceramic disks and “ink” that can supposedly provide enough power to run a Starbucks. The big questions are: Does it work? And will it ever help the average homeowner save on energy costs? Google has supposedly been using four of them to power one of its data centers for the past 18 months, so yes to the first question. As for home use, a Bloom Box currently costs over $700,000, so no. Inventor K.R. Sridhar optimistically says he wants to get the price to under $3,000 in the next 5 to 10 years, though. Watch the 60 Minute segment below.
AT&T may have tried to slow sales of the iPhone in New York to avoid putting additional stress on its overtaxed network, but in the company’s earnings call today, the talk was all about how things are getting better. In slides shown to investors, the company highlighted service improvements in New York and San Francisco — the two cities where customer service chief Ralph De La Vega had warned that data hogs had been eating up too much network capacity.
Apple has announced that they have stopped pre-orders for the iPhone 3G S, which comes out tomorrow “to make sure we have the new iPhone in stock at every Apple retail store,” according to the Boston Globe. [Boston Globe]
Consumerist Flickr pool member shakerdesigns spotted this poster for the iPhone at his local Walmart. A recent leaked memo said that Walmart would begin selling the iPhone on Dec. 28th.
As Consumerist’s resident Apple fanboy, I spent the last few hours standing outside an AT&T store waiting to buy the iPhone 3G, then waiting for it to activate in iTunes. Here’s what went down.
Apple’s new 3G iPhone might seem like a bargain at $199: more features, 3G speeds, and $200 cheaper than the original model. Great, except it’s not actually cheaper. The new $199 iPhone is actually $160 more than the $399 iPhone it replaces.
Last night’s commercials were a tame batch of disappointment. Everybody wanted cutesy animals—squirrels, horses, ponies, pigeons, crickets, dogs, lions, and lizards—to endorse their products. After the jump, the four spots that caught our eye.
Companies are paying $90,000 per second tonight to get their products before our recession-fearing eyes, and they plan to get their money’s worth. Tonight’s advertisers will use an array of tactics designed with one purpose: motivating us to buy their products.
Here’s a problem: Apple says they’ve sold 3.7 million iPhones. AT&T says they’ve activated 2 million iPhones. Just where the hell are the rest of the iPhones?
Stores offer the steepest discounts the day before Christmas, not on Black Friday. A Boston Globe study found that the orgy of mindless early-morning consumerism is good for cutesy door prizes and savings on one or two items, but provides no discount for the vast majority of surveyed goods.
Bundling may be a popular tactic retailers employ to force customers to spend more money, but Nintendo of America’s celeb-President Reggie Fils-Aime has come out against it, finally: “Retailers have already been given feedback that we are not big fans of that,” he told Reuters this week. Is the pre-purchase deal with GameStop one way Nintendo is preventing that from happening this December? If anyone actually buys one of those empty DVD cases, let us know if they try to upsell you to a bundle.
I saw your article on the Wii shortage and in the spirit of the holiday I want to come clean and confess my consumer sins. I am a reseller.
ABC News informs us once again that so-called “Cyber Monday” (today) is a creation of the National Retail Federation, and is “by no means the busiest day for online sales, just as Black Friday is not the biggest day of sales for most stores.”
The Los Angeles Times is reporting that traffic was up in stores around the country, but that shoppers were spending about 3.5% less per person than last year, or about $347.44.
Ars Technica says that T-Mobile has been forced to sell unlocked iPhones in Germany for just under US $1,500. The (temporary?) unlocked iPhone sale is a result of a lawsuit brought by Vodaphone (which is part of Verizon here in the U.S.) that claimed locking a phone to one carrier violated German law.
Consumer Reports seems sort of disappointed by Walmart’s Black Friday ad:
The New York Times recently tested some “Vitasea” seaweed clothing from athletic clothing store Lululemon Athletica and could not find any evidence that there was any actual seaweed in the fabric. Lululemon disagrees.