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Wednesday, Jan 09, 2013 6:51pm
Briefly: rise of tablets, FreedomPop delayed, iTunes economy
NDP DisplaySearch has announced that it expects worldwide combined tablet sales, lead by Apple's iPad, to outsell combined notebook sales in 2013 for the first time ever. It also says that smaller tablets -- again led by the iPad mini -- will become the dominant size this year, a fairly obvious conclusion given sales over the holidays. The company says 7-to-8-inch tablets should account for about 45 percent of all tablet shipments, while the 9.7-inch full-size iPad and its competitors will slip to 41 percent of shipments. Overall, tablets will sell about 240 million units compared to notebooks' 207 million, a rise of about 64 percent year-over-year.

FreedomPop iPod cases being delayed by FCC

FreedomPop, a company that makes a specialized casing for the iPod touch that turns it into a full working phone, says that FCC certification processes are delaying the long-awaited delivery of the clever hardware modification. The company says that the FCC was forced to conduct extensive testing beyond what would normally be done for a cell phone because the cellular radio in the FreedomPop is outside the body of the core device, in this case the iPod touch. The device uses LTE or 3G data to offer both data and VOIP use, and can also work with iPhones. The case sells for $99, and comes with a 500MB of free monthly cellular data, but there is no ETA on when the FCC will clear the case to actually be sold.

Apple's 'iTunes economy' generating about $12B per year

Asymco's Horace Dediu has crunched numbers from Apple's various announcements of app download milestones to come up with figures on pricing of apps, download totals and developer revenues, which reveal that the "iTunes economy" generates about $12 billion per year at present, though the figure is still rising over time. The average rise, in fact, is calculated to be between 32 and 38 percent per year, and app revenues are now a third of all iTunes revenues. The main factor behind this is growth rates: app sales are growing at about 50 percent per year compared to traditional media sales at 28 percent. Dediu estimates that iTunes costs Apple about $3.5 billion per year to operate, and has paid content owners (media and app combined) about $24 billion over the last five years.