And We’re Off! Technology Launches That Took Place Just In Time For Black Friday
The checkout line at the Times Square Toys R Us, which opened last night at 8pm. Image: AP Photo/John Minchillo
The Black Friday madness has already begun, kicking off the holiday shopping season. Hot gifts this year definitely include consumer electronics, with gadgets like tablets, smartphones, and laptops appearing on many wish lists.
Over the past several weeks, technology companies have battled to break through the noise with news of their new tech launches. Let’s take a look at the good and bad from Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, Nokia, and Google, which might even inspire a few presents for under the tree.
Windows 8 appeared on the covers of 14 different Conde Nast publications, including Glamour, Vanity Fair, and Wired. While Conde Nast claims the covers are not an official ad buy, critics are skeptical.
Sales so far of new gadgets with the operating system have been disappointing. Which might mean discounts on Windows 8 technology are coming to a store near you. Keep an eye peeled.
For its Windows Phone commercials, Microsoft turned to celebrities to gain buzz, calling on Jessica Alba, Gwen Stefani, and others. It’s getting good reviews from the experts at MIT, but will consumers love it?
Samsung went a (slightly) different route, turning to an athlete, Lebron James, to tout its Galaxy Note II, making the device look extra small in the six-foot-eight-inch-tall player’s hands. We saw the family-friendly commercial running yesterday, which should play well during the holidays.
GALAXY NOTE II
Awards shows became a hot place to demonstrate new products, with Windows 8 at the MTV Europe Awards and the Samsung Galaxy Note II playing a prominent role in the American Music Awards. Watch above as presenters Kerry Washington and Apolo Anton Ohno read one AMA winner from the Galaxy Note II.
Apple iPad Mini
Apple, meanwhile, stuck to its bare-bones publicity strategy. This time around, many articles about the publicity-seekers waiting in lines for iPhones and iPads hit the Web, changing the tone of the news coverage and showing that many were willing to wait for a new Apple product rather than stand in line for days. That was the right decision. The Apple Black Friday sale is happening now.
Shoppers looking over a LeapFrog product at a New York Toys R Us on Thanksgiving evening. Image: AP Photo/John Minchillo
LeapFrog LeapPad 2
For the kiddies, there’s the LeapFrog LeapPad 2, the latest learning tablet that has gotten a lot of positive talk since it was released earlier this year. Though it’s not technically a launch, the company has decided to push hard for those parental dollars this holiday season. And some LeapFrog products are available at a discounted rate this year, which is unusual.
Google, for its part, tried to turn the tides toward its maps product, but is still waiting to get its maps app ready for iOS. 6. It did, however, produce a Superstorm Sandy Crisis Map to help those affected by the storm. Apple Maps had some well-publicized problems earlier this year, which makes Android and other iOS smartphones a viable alternative, especially if that’s an important app for you.
Google has been working on its Google Shopping page, which, according to The New York Times, now looks a lot like Amazon. Though the Times finds some flaws, it’s a digital alternative to Amazon, and could provide you with a new place to seek out and purchase your gadgets online.
Meanwhile, Google hosted a publicity event around its super-secret data centers, giving access to The Associated Press, posting a YouTube video, and introducing a website all about its data centers called Where the Internet Lives. You can check it out above.