Digital Zone 225: Save Money, Call Better

technology news, tech news, free podcasts,

In this edition of the Digital Zone, we talked about:

  • GoDaddy looking for a sugar daddy
  • iPhone 4 production numbers
  • Apple killing free bumper program
  • Android is #2
  • Paying for apps
  • Wal-Mart branded cell phone service
  • Facebook passes Google
  • News consumption
  • Really fast internet access

The Wall Street Journal is reporting has put itself up for sale and could be sold for more than $1 billion in an auction. The company says they have more than 43 million domains under management and posted revenue between $750 million and $800 million in 2009.


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Apple will end its free iPhone 4 case program on September 30. Customers who purchase an iPhone 4 after that date and experience connectivity or “death grip” issues can contact Apple and discuss a free case option on a case-by-case basis.

Foxconn is producing about 137,000 iPhone 4s per day at one of its Chinese plants. The rate translates into 1.5 per second, 90 a minute and over 50 million a year.

According to research firm Gartner, Google’s Android will become the world’s second most popular operating system for cell phones this year and will account for nearly 30 percent of all cell phone operating system sales by 2014. Google CEO Eric Schmidt says more than 200,000 Android devices are sold every day. NPD said Android became the No. 1 operating system for U.S. smartphones in the second quarter. Gartner projected that Apple’s iOS software will add nearly 3 percentage points of market share to achieve a 17.1 percent slice of the global market by 2011, but will slip back to a 14.9 percent share in 2014. Research in Motion will see its share fall from 19.9 percent in 2009 to 11.7 percent in 2014 while Microsoft’s Windows Phone software will decline to 3.9 percent in 2014 from 8.7 percent in 2009.


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According to new research from Nielsen, mobile phone owners are willing to pay for apps. Of those surveyed, a significant majority, or 91 percent, say they would pay for a game app, and 86 percent would pay for an entertainment app. Eighty-four percent would pay for a navigation app, 82 percent for productivity, and 76 percent for news apps. iPhone owners typically paid for one app for every two free apps downloaded. Android and BlackBerry owners downloaded only one paid app for every three and a half free apps. BlackBerry owners were also the least likely to convert from a free version to the full.

Wal-Mart said they are introducing the first cell phone plan that uses the Wal-Mart name. The Wal-Mart Family Mobile service will run on T-Mobile USA’s network. Unlimited calling and texting will cost $45 per month for the first line and $25 for each additional line for the family. The service will be offered starting next week in most of its stores across the nation. The new service won’t have a contract requirement, have early termination fees, and won’t require a credit check.


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comScore says Internet users are now spending more of their time on Facebook than on Google and Yahoo. In August, users spent a total of 41,088 minutes on Facebook, or 9.9 percent of their total time spent online. Last month users spent about 9.6 percent of their time on Google. ComScore also examined time spent on Yahoo, which came in at 37,708 minutes in August, or 9.1 percent of time spent online.

Chattanooga’s city-owned electrical utility is offering 1 gigabit-per-second Internet service for $350 a month and is part of the city’s $37 million fiber-optic network venture.

According to the Pew Research Center, Americans spend an average of 57 minutes a day getting news from print newspapers, radio and television, the same amount of time as in 2000. However, they now spend an additional 13 minutes getting news online bringing the total to 70 minutes. Pew said the news consumption totals did not include Americans who get news on cellphones. Pew said 83 percent of Americans get news in one form or another on a daily basis while 17 percent reported consuming no news at all. Thirty-six percent of the 3,006 adults surveyed by Pew said they got news from digital and traditional sources the previous day while 39 percent said they relied solely on traditional sources. Only nine percent of those surveyed said they got news through the Internet or mobile devices without also using traditional sources. Twenty-six percent of those surveyed said they read a print newspaper the previous day, down from 30 percent two years ago and 38 percent in 2006. Online newspaper readership is growing with 17 percent of Americans saying they visited a newspaper website the previous day, up from 13 percent in 2008 and nine percent in 2006. The survey also found that more Americans are using Internet search engines to track down news on topics of interest. Thirty-three percent said they regularly use search engines to find news, up from 19 percent in 2008.


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