IPhone 5 Might Represent Peak Of The Market

How hot is the iPhone 5 Analysts are now expecting the phone to be the bestselling mobile device of all time.

There is a worry, however, that the device will represent a peak of the smartphone market, particularly in the U.S. The number of American smartphone subscribers is expected to reach nearly 140 million by the end of 2012, equal to 57 percent of wireless customers.

It is expected that the percentage of wireless subscribers with a smartphone is on pace to eclipse the 70 percent threshold next year, or the level at which most telecommunications services, like cable and broadband, have historically begun to slow their rapid rise. Because of this, the iPhone 5 might hold the U.S.’s sales record, possibly forever.

“The smartphone market, and particularly the iPhone market, will slow next year after very strong shipments of the next iPhone through year-end,” predicts Kevin Smithen, analyst at Macquarie Securities.

The U.S. smartphone upgrade rate has already begun to fall, thanks to elements like limited innovation and expensive upgrades from carriers. Activation fees have also been increased, incentivizing more tiered plans and lengthening the contracts.

“These moves should result in fewer total upgrades … than seen in prior launches,” said Mike McCormack, analyst at Nomura Securities.

While iPhone sales nearly doubled in 2011 and is expected to double again in 2012 to roughly 20 million, with two-thirds of the 30 million iPhones sold in the U.S. sold to new customers. Expansion after this year, however, looks flat.

iPhone represented 45 percent of all smartphone sales last year with Verizon, AT&T and Sprint. That figure is expected to to rise significantly this year . . . then level off.

“We do not believe that Apple can grow its market share at the Big Three beyond 70 percent, as we expect several new low-end smartphones from Amazon, Huawei, LG, Nokia, Microsoft and Motorola in the new year as well as a Samsung Galaxy S4 at the high end,” said Smithen.

Because of these factors, Macquarie predicts that iPhone sales will top out at 46.3 million next year before falling to 45.5 million in 2014. Of course, if Apple makes the iPhone 6 an innovative, disruptive device then things could change.

“As long as there are Apple fanboys and fangirls, there will always be demand for the iPhone,” says Ramon Llamas, analyst at IDC. “There’s so much about the iPhone that people love and lust over, and Apple just kind of ropes you in. There’s a lot to keep Apple’s momentum going.”

Source: CNN


The Secret World Gets New Game Director

Funcom has promoted Joel Bylos from lead content designer on The Secret World to game director. He will work alongside producer Scott Junior and creative director Ragnar Tornquist to supervise the development team.

“Being given the opportunity to lead the game into a bold, new future is definitely a dream come true for me,” said Bylos. “I am very proud of what we as a team have created with The Secret World’, and it is truly a brilliant canvas that will allow us to create more groundbreaking MMO experiences for many years to come. The Secret World’s only really getting started, and with a game world that draws upon our own,real world, there is no limit to what sort of amazing stories we can tell and fantastic locations we can visit in the upcoming content updates.”

“Joel and I have worked together for many years, and I cannot think of anyone more suited to maintain the vision and lead the game going forward than him,” said Tornquist. “I look forward to continue working with Joel on bringing the game forward through many, exciting post-launch updates, and I especially look forward to spending more time expanding on what I truly enjoy the most about The Secret World, the story, characters and the setting itself.”

Transformers 4 Getting New Robot Cast

The Transformers movies have been phenomenally successful, with the third entry in the franchise taking in $1.1 billion at the box office. That isn’t the whole point of the franchise, however, and Hasbro president and CEO Brian Goldner indicates that as part of an effort to push more toys, the next Transformers picture would introduce a new set of robot characters.

The reasoning is that Transformers: Dark of the Moon action figures didn’t sell well because the two previous films had also featured the same characters. The hope of the toy company is that a new robot lineup will boost toy sales.

It has already been stated that the fourth Transformers film will feature an all new human cast along with a refreshed set of robots.

Source: Slashfilm.com


Resident Evil 6 Invades TGS

Resident Evil 6 is either one of your most anticipated or more loathed games of this holiday, depending on which side of the horror game divide you happen to rest. Regardless of your opinion, the graphics on this trailer are genuinely impressive.

A 46-foot Wide Interactive Comic

The popular webcomic xkcd has posted a massive black-and-white drawing called “Click and Drag”. Explore it from every possible angle by dragging your way through the image in its relatively limited frame. Explore artist Randall Munroe’s mountainous landscape from side to side, delve into the subterranean depths or sweep the skies looking for airplanes, levitating jellyfish and other oddities. It’s an amazing accomplishment, packed with Easter eggs, such as a Super Mario Bros.-esque series of pipes, which extend down, down, down into vertical caves with “walls worn smooth by billions of tumbling Mario corpses.” Browse a mashup of the full image here. This isn’t xkcd’s first ambitious art project. If you missed it, be sure to revisit Munroe’s awe-inspiring look at “Lakes and Oceans” around the world.


Wii U GamePads Available For Sale Eventually

Nintendo will not offer Wii U GamePads at U.S. retail when the Wii U system releases. However, Nintendo of America product marketing manager Bill Trinen says that GamePads will be sold separately sometime down the line.

“The launch window is all going to be single-GamePad. The dual-GamePad functionality, we expect to start seeing that in games sometime next year,” said Trinen.”Our feeling is, we’re not going to sell another GamePad if you don’t have something to use it with. We’ll make that available as an additional accessory when there’s content to support it.”

Source: 1UP


Mario Might Appear In Future Wreck-It Ralph Films

Wreck-It Ralph features Nintendo characters like Bowser, but Mario and Luigi are absent. Director Rich Moore indicates that if the franchise has a future, Mario and characters like Link and Samus might just appear.

“I think to them that those are like their Mickey Mouse and I don’t know that they are, like Clark [Spencer, producer] said, if they are legally kind of bound by another project that they are working on or something . . .” said Moore. “I don’t know if they were like ‘No, we don’t want them in there. We are against them being in it,’ I just think that there are other things they are doing with them that made it difficult or impossible to get them in there and maybe it will be a situation like Barbie not being in the original Toy Story and then maybe after they see it, if all goes well, they will say ‘If you’re doing a sequel, we would like to have these guys in it,’ which we would love to have.”

Source: SlashFilm.com


Valve Hardware Beta Might Come In 2013

Valve employee Jeri Ellsworth says that the company is working on its first hardware product and that it is looking to enter beta in the next year. Working with the Steam “Big Picture Mode” team, the hardware people are looking to create a solution for those that want mouse and keyboard controls in the living room and those that want to primarily use a game pad.

“[Our goals are] to make Steam games more fun to play in your living room,” said Ellsworth.

Source: Engadget