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December 14, 2012

Technology News Briefs — Dec. 14, 2012

Samsung Top Executive Admits to Using Apple Devices

Samsung’s chief strategy officer admitted to MIT Technology Review he uses a Mac, iPhone and iPad for his personal use due to the devices’ “sticky” ecosystem.

Young Sohn described Apple as a “very innovative company that is both a customer and a fierce rival of Samsung.

“At work I’m using Samsung devices; Apple at home, mainly because all of my systems and files are done that way,” Sohn told MIT Technology Review. “That’s sticky, you know? However, I did figure out how to sync all of my contacts and all of my schedules between the two different systems. You can do it. It’s a bit of work, but it’s possible.”

Sohn said people are drawn to Apple’s ecosystem rather than to the products themselves. He described the Galaxy Nexus as a “better phone” than the iPhone, but added the “connected ecosystem is really critical.”

Tablets Killing E-readers Sales, Market to Plummet

The rising popularity of tablets could eventually kill the e-book reader market, according to a new study.

IHS iSuppli said that after “spectacular” growth during the past few years, the e-book reader market is now on an “alarmingly precipitous decline.”

The firm is forecasting shipments of e-book readers will drop 36 percent this year to 14.9 million units and then fall an additional “drastic” 27 percent next year to 10.9 million units. IHS iSuppli also expects the e-book reader market by 2016, to total just 7.1 million units — that equates to a loss of more than 66 percent from its zenith in 2011.

“The rapid growth — followed by the immediate collapse — of the ebook reader market is virtually unheard of, even in the volatile consumer electronics space, where products have notoriously short life cycles,” said Jordan Selburn, senior principal analyst for consumer platforms at IHS iSuppli. “The stunning rise and then blazing flameout of ebooks perfectly encapsulate what has become an axiomatic truth in the industry: Single-task devices like the ebook reader are being replaced without remorse in the lives of consumers by their multifunction equivalents, in this case by media tablets.”

Amazon Instant Video App Arrives for iPhone, iPod

Amazon’s Instant Video streaming app for the iPhone and iPod Touch have arrived — finally.

The e-retailer announced the launch of the app Dec. 13, adding that there are more than 30,000 titles in the Prime Instant Video library for users to stream.

The app also enables users to access to more than 140,000 movies and television shows that can be downloaded for purchase or rental.

The Prime Instant Video is only for customers who sign up for the Amazon’s $79-a-year Prime membership. Prime customers receive free two-day shipping and free access to the Instant Video.

The Instant Video app can be downloaded for free from Apple’s App Store.