Category Archives for Black Friday

Macy’s Reports Sales Increase & New Deals

Macy’s Inc. released data today that shows the company made over $4.925 billion in the last five weeks of 2011. By the end of the year, Macy’s sales were up 6.2% when compared to the same stores the year prior. Over the last two months of the year, Macy’s sales were up 5.7%.

“December sales continued very strong at Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, and we are solidly on track to exceed our expectations for same-store sales in the fourth quarter.” says Macy’s President and CEO, Terry Lungren. He went on stating the [store’s] ongoing success reflects our exceptionally talented organization, which has implemented our key strategies at a very high level in spite of weak macroeconomic conditions.”

Over the entirety of 2011, Macy’s Inc. managed to pull in over $25.070 billion. Much of Macy’s recent success has been due to their aggressive online marketing push, that has put them at the top of many search engines and advertising networks. The Macy’s online store was flooded with consumer traffic over Black Friday, Cyber Monday and during the After Christmas/New Years sales events.

Macy’s is holding a one day sale that will start on Saturday, January 7th. Previews of the sale will be available today or Friday, January 6th. Valentines day is fast approaching and that means that the Valentines day sales are not far behind. For more information on the “one day only” sale and on Macy’s deals year-round see the Macy’s ad section here on Black Friday Magazine.

Apple iPad 2 Likely to Remain Best Selling Tablet

Just hours after we asked Black Friday Magazine subscribers which tablet PC they would buy in 2012, over 1,500 responded and it seems as though the Apple iPad 2 will hold on to their place as the leader in tablet PC production. In our article, Which Tablet PC Will Take 2012?, we asked our users which tablet PC they would be most likely to buy. The options were: Apple iPad 2, Acer ICONIA Tab, ASUS Eee Pad Transformer, Toshiba Thrive, RIM BlackBerry PlayBook, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Other. Out of more than 1,500 votes the Apple iPad received 67%. The closest (and practically only) contender was the Acer ICONIA Tab which pulled in 33%.

Some of the tablet fanatics even sent our editors email telling them WHY the Apple iPad and Acer ICONIA were their choice.

“The iPad is years ahead in terms of its technology and design,” says one voter in a statement via email. She went on to tell us that “[her] husband had bought the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 over Black Friday and was disappointed when it stopped working properly. Support for the device was hard to contact and he had no receipt so the tablet couldn’t be returned to the store.”

Acer’s ICONIA Tab is a surprising contender for second place to the iPad 2, especially because the product has made little if any splash in the media at all. A reader who voted for Acer told us that “at around $300 Acer’s ICONIA Tab is cheaper than most other tablet PCs on the market right now but comparable in all of its functions… I’d buy an Acer.”

Google is rumored to be developing a new tablet, which could upset Apple’s domination over the industry. However, if Apple can manage to release the iPad 3 at roughly the same time as Google drops their tablet, the damage could be mitigated. It seems as though, at least for now, Apple’s iPad 2 will stay on top of the tablet PC market.

Google’s going for Kindle-sized tablet

Tech companies based in Hong Kong that develop components for major companies like Apple, Amazon and Google, have recently divulged hints  that the latter is going to release a 7 inch tablet similar to the Kindle Fire, which is quite the contrary to reports implying that Google was going to launch a similar product to compete with the iPad.

The following specs have been given according to the information leaked by various sources; it will come with a 7-inch panel, run on Android and will be sold at $200; which is about the same price as the Kindle Fire.

The  one thing that would make it a little bit more distinct from the Fire is that it will supposedly focus more on entertainment i.e. music, e-books, movies, etc. and unlike the iPad or the Samsung’s 10.1 Galaxy Tab, it will not be considered a viable laptop substitute.

Digitimes has even stated that instead of Apple, Google is going to try and duke it out with Amazon to surpass their small yet formidably popular product. The mere fact that a smaller tablet has proven to be a best-seller has critics and analysts from all sides wonder if this claim is even plausible, but given the circumstances it is quite likely.

In regards to the iPad 3, it is already under production at Apple’s Chinese suppliers and is expected to make its debut around springtime as opposed to February 24 which is Steve Jobs’ birthday. It is still unknown on what its base specs are, but many believe that it will have a Retina display similar to the iPhone but with a screen resolution higher than 2048×1536, and a quad-core processor as seen in many high-end laptops, although the latter is still debatable. Both are also speculated to ship at almost simultaneous times.

Google will need to pick up the pace if it is ever going to make any good time in today’s economy; especially given the fact that Apple still dominates the majority of the tablet market; with Amazon shortly in pursuit with over millions already sold since its initial release.

Gorilla Glass 2: Where will it go?

Corning Inc. has recently announced its latest innovation to be the successor to its highly revolutionary and popular Gorilla Glass. This highly durable glass has been used for many popular devices like the iOS (iPad and iPhone), and even though Apple has officially refused to acknowledge this, Walter Isaacson; Steve Job’s biographer, has confirmed in an interview that Jobs indeed settled an agreement with the company.

To those who are familiar with the Gorilla Glass, it is a super-strong lightweight 21st century glass that was designed and manufactured by Corning, who specializes in the manufacturing of ceramics and other related materials. It is an alkali-aluminosilicate sheet glass engineered specifically to be thin, light and damage-resistant for the specific application to mobile phones, tablets, portable media players and laptops.

The durability is so exceptional that it has even survived a demonstration of being sand-blasted to simulate prolonged usage and even then, after being applied with a considerable amount of pressure it still refused to give in.

With Gorilla Glass 2, the high demand emanating from tablet device manufacturers is anything but moderate, with Apple especially active in the mix due to the highly rumored iPad 3 and iPhone 5 (more on that later) said to be released within this year, but Corning is still ambiguous as to the true nature of their new product whether it is going to be thinner or stronger as it has yet to be officially released.

They even have plans of developing an 82-inch touchscreen for the unveiling at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week, along with a Gorilla Glass-covered video wall, flanked by Gorilla Glass-fabricated speakers to boost credibility and sales.

Now, in regards to another issue that is plaguing a lot of eager anticipants; where is it going to go? Élyse Betters from 9to5Mac reports that is still under heavy speculation as to where and how the GG2 is going to be utilized, although it is never an impossibility that Apple will not be excluded by Corning from its clientele nor is it so farfetched as to assume that the former hasn’t received a fresh order for its upcoming line of products even before the annunciation to the general public.

New Beer Application brewed for iOS

Two friends from; John Federal and Peter Pagano, who own American Brewmaster and Tir Na Nog Irish respectively in Raleigh, North Carolina, have recently unveiled a new application for the iPad and iPhone that is sure to make any beer enthusiast’s day, christened under the appropriate moniker the Beer Prophet.

Federal and Pagano came up with the concept one day after discussing an idea involving an app that would not only suggest the best places to get a drink but also determine what kind of brew that would best suit the user. All that needs to be done is input the necessary data and it will recommend several brews, their location and tally them by a 0 to 100 percentage rate.

They accomplished this by hiring two tech savvy friends and formed Zooqini, the company behind the creation of the Beer Prophet. It only took a rough investment of a few thousand dollars and through a lot of perseverance their hard work paid off splendidly. Pagano even described their work as “an after hours passion for everybody.”

The database itself contains over 5000 beers from more than 100 breweries across the country, and the list just goes on after every use; the longer you use the app the better.

Julie Johnson, an editor of All About Beer Magazine, has her doubts about Beer Prophet. Although she sees it as a valuable tool for app users to find the beer they like much faster, it inhibits them from trying out new brews and therefore has a slightly limited perspective on a more open palate.

There was a similar app that was released much earlier than the Prophet which is the Brewery Map, also created by Raleigh web developers which allow users to locate local brews faster.

Over 2000 Beer Prophet apps have been sold, attributing to its more creative function and convenience.

In order to boost sales and expand their marketing, Federal and Pagano plan on cooperating with other breweries and retails stores across the country.

Mundane Year for Tech Companies

What many assume to be a more fruitful year for major tech companies leaves many analysts and critics unconvinced as more new gizmos and gadgets are rumored to start popping out of the woodwork sometime around 2012. Some of them will be new video game machines, the Windows 8 and maybe even the Apple TV.

Sad to say that these newcomers aren’t going to be that hot, because of various factors involved with them that many professional critics deem redundant and inadequate. Let us begin with the new Windows 8 and while it may sound promising at first; since it comes after Windows 7 which has proven to be a best-seller in terms of an excellent OS, it is nothing short of just a revamp as it is an actual upgrade as there are actually several differences that separate Widows 8 from its predecessor, like being able to run on tablets, USB 3.0 support for better power management and a longer battery life, a bootable Windows To Go USB Flash Drive and many more.

Now, the problem that Windows users are having with this new OS is that it is now enabled to run on tablets like the Mac, iPad and even the iPad 2, and while this may be a huge breakthrough for Microsoft by getting in on the tablet trend, many users are complaining about compatibility and installation issues with the demo version and state that it has just as many bugs as the Windows 7.

Now if this is the case, then no self-respecting tech savvy would think twice before wasting any good money on something that unnecessary. Keep in mind however, that it is still in the demo and beta testing period so there might still be many improvements that Microsoft has yet to make along the way.

Next are these two new editions to the gaming world; the PlayStation Vita and the Wii U from Sony and Nintendo respectively. Now, the Vita will be a new handheld game console with two analog sticks, a 5 inch (130mm) OLED multi-touch capacitive touchscreen, support Bluetooth, WI-Fi and optional 3G. Its internal components consist of a 4 core ARM Cortex-A9 MP Core processor and a 4 core SGX543MP4+ graphics processing unit, as well as LiveArea software as its main user interface, which succeeds the XrossMediaBar. Finally, it is backwards compatible with PlayStation Portable games.

The Wii U is a direct successor to the Wii and is backwards compatible with all of its games. It is similar to in terms of functionality but with some new features, like being the first Nintendo game console with 1080p hi-definition graphics and a new controller with an embedded touchscreen, which is to serve as a “second screen” for you to continue playing the game even if the television is turned off.

The reason why this is faring poorly for critics is because of the assumption that customers who are hardcore and experienced gamers will barely express any interest as they might classify the new additions as mere gimmicks and not actual improvements. Considering the fact that iOS devices are already starting to become the next best thing next to a new game console, there is still room for doubt.

Finally, we go to the Apple TV which has long been rumored alongside the highly anticipated iPad 3. This “smart television” will function in a similar manner to a tablet i.e. touchscreen, Wi-Fi, apps and Internet. There are only a few minor drawbacks to this; most consumers in their right mind would barely consider trading-in their already good TV for a “smart” one. The other reason for this is that television sets today are reasonably expensive and that Apple is planning on pricing theirs competitively, which will eventually incite bitterness from other companies who have already set their rates on even ground.

Still, even if the tech world is going to have its ups and downs that still isn’t going to stop technology from developing, and we’ll me sure to see more and more as the year goes on and beyond.