Tag - NPD
Welcome to the Game Replay, the thrice-weekly look at the wider world of gaming by the staff of MacNN. In today's edition, Blizzard ships a Hearthstone expansion, JJ Abrams works on a new game, the NPD claims the Xbox One beat the PlayStation 4 in hardware sales last month, and Nintendo holds its first Nintendo Direct presentation since the passing of company president Satoru Iwata.
After Microsoft provided internal figures that saw sales for the Xbox One double since dropping the Kinect and $100 off the price, NPD confirmed that the increase still wasn't enough to catch Sony's PlayStation 4. For the sixth month in a row, the PlayStation 4 claimed the top spot for console sales as the hardware market increased to $292.7 million.
Nokia is making its Lytro-style Refocus app available to all Windows Phone 8 Lumia devices, as a free download via the Windows Phone Store. The app, which was initially released for Lumias with PureView, allows users to adjust the focal point of an image, after the photograph has been taken, with the resulting image shareable on social networks and stored on OneDrive.
Streaming video services such as Netflix and Hulu could in some cases be eroding the customer base of premium television broadcasters, according to a new report. NPD Group figures for the period between March 2012 and August 2013 show that the number of subscribers to HBO, Showtime, and other channels have dropped from 38 percent of US households to 32 percent.
According to new data from retail analyst NPD, revealed in a note to investors from Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, US Mac sales are up 29 percent from the year-ago quarter. In part, the figures come from the fact that the just-redesigned iMac was severely constrained in the year-ago quarter, with extremely limited supplies largely missing the holiday buying season entirely. In addition, the company has recently refreshed most of its Mac lineup to Intel's latest "Haswell" chip.
Owners of smartphones with larger screens consume considerably more data on their devices than do the owners of smaller devices like Apple's iPhone. The finding comes from new figures out from The NPD Group, which looked at monthly Wi-Fi and cellular data consumption among American consumers. For the three months ending July 2013, NPD found that the owners of smartphones with screens sized 4.5 inches and larger used 44 percent more data than those with smaller devices.
Internet-connected HDTVs, despite growing install base, aren't being used for much more than watching TV. This according to NPD's latest Connected Intelligence Application & Convergence report, which shows that the majority of connected TV owners are using the devices to access video media, but not much else. Streaming video services are faring well, but other uses -- such as mapping, social networking, gaming, and shopping -- are seeing low adoption according to the market research firm.
The low-end smartphone market will experience phenomenal growth over the next six years, with shipments of models costing under $150 set to double every year between now and 2016. This according to NPD DisplaySearch's new Smartphones: Displays, Designs and Functionality report. The report sees low-cost smartphone shipments doubling every year from 2010 to 2016, with the sector moving 311 million units in 2016.
The smart TV sector is moving from technological novelty to the mainstream, according to NPD DIsplaySearch. The consumer information company has just published its Quarterly Smart TV Shipment and Forecast Report, finding that smart TV shipments should grow 15 percent worldwide this year. The growth in smart TVs is seen as indicative of a larger trend among consumers, one in which media consumption habits are shifting to adjust to the digital era.
Android smartphone users download an average of 870MB of data per month through mobile networks, a study suggests. A survey by research group NPD also found that around 2.5GB of data is transferred on Wi-Fi networks, and effectively mirrors the results found in a similar survey performed last month.
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Apple offers customizable Mother's Day ad creator
In a follow-up to its recent Mother's Day TV ad that continues the "shot on iPhone" campaign, Apple has now set up a dedicated website that allows users to upload a single image of their own mothers into the end of the TV spot, which does not include any advertising message other than a brief Apple logo at the end. The uploaded photo is inserted into the ad, which carries no overt images of Apple products, narration, or other identifiers that the footage was shot on iPhones. Users can preview the finished custom video and share it to social networks in time for Mother's Day, which arrives on May 8. http://bit.ly/1ZnVPL2
Drake album tops 250M views on Apple Music
The latest album from Drake, titled Views, was streamed some 250 million times in its first week as an Apple Music exclusive, according to label Republic Records. The album, which was released last Thursday, topped a streaming record previously held by Justin Beiber of 205 million streams across all the popular streaming services in its first week. Views will become available on other streaming services starting May 13. The album has also sold over 1.2 million copies in its first week on iTunes. http://bit.ly/1s0S3gO
Cook to speak at Startup Fest Europe
May is turning out to be a busy travel month for Apple CEO Tim Cook: following on from reports that he will head back to China to meet with government officials there to help smooth out some recent difficulties, Cook is scheduled to be among the guest speakers at Startup Fest Europe in Amsterdam on May 24 at 11:10AM local time. His talk will run about 35 minutes, according to the schedule for the event. Other speakers across the five-day event will include Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, the Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte, and Alphabet Chairman Eric Schmidt. http://bit.ly/1q3Zvpr
Retail VP Kupbens leaves Apple
Bob Kupbens, who joined Apple in 2014 just ahead of Dame Angela Ahrendts to run the online Apple Store and other web-based retail programs as vice president of online marketing efforts, has reportedly left the company for another position. Kupbens, who was previously in charge of digital marketing initiatives and e-commerce at Delta Air Lines, replaced Jennifer Bailey when she was appointed to run the Apple Pay project. He has overseen the redesign of the online store, the online iPhone upgrade program, and has generally worked to make the site better integrated with the retail Apple Stores. No replacement for Kupbens has yet been named.
Xcode updated for Git security
Apple on Friday patched two known critical vulnerabilities in its Xcode development tool that were concerned with the Git source code management client portion of the program. For unknown reasons, Apple waited seven weeks to update the version of Git shipping with the command-line tools in Xcode to v2.7.4, released by Git developers on March 17 to address the vulnerabilities. The flaw, now corrected, could allow for cloning a repository with a specially-crafted file structure, giving attackers a chance to execute malicious code on systems where cloning operations were initiated, reports Computerworld. The Command Line Tools package is not installed by default on OS X, but users have the option of installing it, and in some cases were forced to disable Git until the tools were updated. http://apple.co/24BQJP3
Twitter for Mac gets Moments, Polls
Twitter has updated its Mac app with Moments and Polls, features previously rolled out in its web portal and in its mobile apps. The new Moments tab is designed to make it easier to find more interesting and relevant content. Content is curated in categories including News, Sports, Entertainment and Fun, with trending topics highlighted for an easier to use, more engaging experience. The Twitter for Mac app also picks up the ability to create custom multiple choice polls via Tweets that are live for a 24-hour period. Users can also share GIFs in both Tweets and Direct Messages thanks to a new GIF search function. http://apple.co/1rxCvA0
GoPro revenue drops, Karma drone delayed
Action camera maker GoPro announced its first quarter results on Thursday, and the news was largely bad. While unit sell-through of the cameras was close to the year-over-year compare, revenues dropped 49.5 percent from Q1 last year, though was slightly above the company's guidance. Overall, the company lost $107 million in GAAP net income, and margins declined to 32.5 percent from 45.1 percent in the year-ago quarter. The company further announced that it would be delaying its planned Karma drone product until this winter, which will likely further impact next quarter's results. The upside of the delay, said GoPro Founder and CEO Nicholas Woodman, is that the Karma will now benefit from debuting just before the holiday buying season. http://bit.ly/1OgpdgD