Smartphones based on Google’s Android mobile operating system have outsold Apple’s iPhone in the U.S. during the first quarter of 2010, according to a report by research firm The NPD Group. The data places Android, with 28 percent of the smartphone market, in second place behind RIM’s Blackberry smartphone market share of 36 percent. Apple now sits in third place with 21 percent.
Last month, Google announced that it was applying to buy and sell electricity on federally-regulated wholesale energy markets via a new subsidiary called Google Energy. Well, it just got the green light from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission — giving it the same rights and abilities as any other utility company, just like PG&E. The question now becomes: how will it exercise its new power?
It still seems unlikely that Google will actually set up its own utility company. It doesn’t seem to have any interest in selling electricity to average homeowners.
Dragged down by the recession and free games, the U.S. console video game industry saw its sales fall for the sixth consecutive month in August, according to market researcher NPD Group.
Sales were $908 million in August in the U.S., down 16 percent from $1.09 billion a year ago. Anita Frazier, an analyst for NPD, said the remaining four months of the year would have to be up 14 percent in aggregate for 2009 to be flat compared with 2008 sales.
At Blizzcon, the company’s annual event for the Blizzard fans, the company did its best to explain that Battle.net is undergoing a major overhaul. The service has 12 million members who play older games such as the original Starcraft and Diablo II on it. But it hasn’t been overhauled since 2003. That means it has to be remade for the age of social networking. The features behind the new Battle.net explain why Blizzard is taking a long time with the new game. The original Starcraft launched in 1998 and it has sold more than 11 million copies.
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