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Saturday, April 13, 2024

A tech look back

As this is the last tech segment for the year as 2009 comes to an end, it is only appropriate to look back at some of the most notable technology trends of the year.

Apple iPhone 3GS and Motorola Droid

The Apple iPhone is still the most popular smart phone on the market. After the launch of the iPhone 3GS in June, Apple managed to sell over 7.4 million units by the end of the fourth fiscal quarter despite efforts by competitors to cap that number. Apple already has a fourth generation iPhone in the works that may become available through carriers other than AT&T. With a launch as early as next year, Apple seems to have a profitable future ahead of them.

On the other hand, the Motorola Droid – which made its debut just last month – has also seen success. After Verizon Wireless’s efforts with a $100 million campaign entitled “Droid Does,” they have managed to sell nearly 800,000 units to date. Motorola hopes to pass the million unit milestone before the end of the year as they take advantage of the holiday season. While the Droid still only represents a fraction of the smart phone market share, it’s one of the fastest selling devices, has been blessed by tech reviewers and has been popular with consumers. As Verizon Wireless plans to add more Droid devices to their lineup that sport features that the iPhone doesn’t yet support, they hope to produce a better product.

Top 10 Searches for 2009

Even though December just started, popular search engines Google, Yahoo! and Bing have all released the most popular search terms for the year. Twilight, Lady Gaga, Megan Fox and Jon and Kate were just some of the most popular searched for entertainment terms. For technology, the top results were Facebook, Twitter and Windows 7. For the category of news, searches for Kennedy, Cash for Clunkers, AIG, swine flu and Bernie Madoff topped the charts.

Despite all those trends, the single search term that came in first across all three search engines was Michael Jackson. A new set of trends, events and issues managed to bump Barack Obama entirely from the top ten lists. There were billions of searches placed through each of these search engines this year. As results become more accurate, displaying content relevant to geographic locations, browsing trends and interests, search engines will become an even greater part of our lives in the following year.

Online: Black Friday and Cyber Monday

While the United States is still in a tough economic situation, the internet saw over $595 million in revenue through online purchases during Black Friday, an 11 percent increase from last year. Online retailers saw a large increase in visits with Amazon.com topping the list for Black Friday. A 28 percent increase in visitors with stores such as Walmart, Apple and Best Buy trailed behind according to ComScore, an independent firm that measures digital data. The fairly new Cyber Monday – the biggest online shopping day following Thanksgiving – was also seen as a success by online retailers. According to Coremetrics, an independent analytic firm, there was a 13.7 percent increase in sales. Online stores that offered steep price cuts on technology gadgets saw the largest increases. Amazon and Walmart once again topped the list, taking in most of the sales. As HDTVs, video games, laptops and smart phones drop in price, retailers are hoping to once again see increases from sales last year.

SAHAS KATTA can be reached at features@theaggie.org.


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