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Australia's Telstra iPad-style budget tablet

Top 100 Asia pay-TV broadcasting bosses upbeat: survey
Hong Kong (AFP) Oct 27, 2010 - Asia's top 100 pay-TV broadcasting bosses are upbeat about the future, according to a survey released Wednesday, with most planning to expand "within and beyond" their current markets. Mobile devices and online video are expected to spur growth, according to the Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia (CASBAA) survey, and almost 70 percent reported that this year was better than last. High definition TV and programming delivered over the web are tipped to grow rapidly over the next 12 months but 3D TV is not expected to have a significant impact. "The survey showed an unprecedented level of confidence at a time of so much change," CASBAA chairman Marcel Fenez told AFP. "My view is that the confidence is well placed but the industry needs to not be complacent." Almost half the CEOs recognised that they need to learn more about emerging opportunities as new channels and platforms launch across Asia.

The survey was released at the annual CASBAA conference in Hong Hong which brought together the industry's top movers and shakers. The conference also heard Tuesday how piracy is a big concern, with the Asian pay-TV industry expected to lose more than two billion US dollars this year, a problem that could ultimately "kill" the region's cable business. "This is a very disturbing problem and frankly it has the potential to kill the industry," John Medeiros, CASBAA's deputy chief executive, told a press briefing. Medeiros also criticised Asian governments for their "lax approach" in combating the growing problem. Over 360 million homes in Asia subscribe to pay TV services, ahead of North America where pay TV reaches 121 million homes, according to industry research, also released at the conference.
by Staff Writers
Sydney Oct 27, 2010
Australia's major telecom firm Telstra unveiled a tablet device to rival Apple's iPad on Wednesday, featuring many of the same functions but with the added bonus of also working as a mobile phone. Telstra's T-Touch Tab, which goes on sale next week, allows users to make video and phone calls and send text messages, and is being touted as the country's "most affordable wireless tablet". "T-Touch Tab will suit Australians' appetite for quick and affordable access to information, useful apps and digital media wherever they may be," said Rebekah O'Flaherty, executive director of Telstra's consumer division. "From games that keep the kids amused, reading e-books, checking your email or catching the weather on the move, the possibilities are virtually endless." The device will retail for 299 Australian dollars (295 US) and has a seven inch (18 centimetre) touchscreen. It runs on Google's Android 2.1 operating system, offering access to more than 80,000 applications. Experts have described it as Australia's first budget-priced tablet, giving it generally warm reviews. PC World computer magazine said it stood out compared with competitors like the iPad and Samsung's Galaxy Tab as an "affordable, entry-level tablet that doesn't skimp on too many features". Tech website Gizmodo Australia said the device was aimed at teenagers and older buyers "who might be interested in the idea of a tablet but don't want to pay 650 dollars for an iPad". But the T-Touch's resistive touchscreen -- meaning users have to push down on it slightly -- was "probably too big a sacrifice for any discerning gadget lover," it cautioned. Apple launched the iPad in Australia to much fanfare in May, with some customers holding overnight vigils to be first through the doors. Marketing firm GfK recently estimated almost 200,000 units had been sold. Apple told AFP it "does not break figures down to a country level" but said more than 4.2 million iPads had been sold worldwide in the three months to September alone. earlier related report
Apple launches online store in China
Beijing (AFP) Oct 27, 2010 - Apple on Wednesday launched online sales in China and made its App Store available in simplified Chinese, as the US technology giant expands aggressively in the world's largest mobile market.

Apple opened two new retail shops in mainland China last month as it launched the iPhone 4. It now has two shops in Beijing and two more in Shanghai, with a total of 25 outlets expected by the end of next year.

The company's coveted products, from the iPod to the iPad tablet computer, are also available from a number of authorised resellers in major cities -- and widely in China's unofficial "grey" market.

"We are thrilled to open our newest online store in China," Apple's chief operating officer Tim Cook said in a statement.

"With personalised engraving, configure-to-order options and free shipping on everything, the Apple Store is a great destination for our customers in China."

The launch of the App Store in simplified Chinese comes after Chinese users had complained that it was difficult to access content due to a lack of display in the local language.

Users still must have dual-currency credit cards to make purchases.

The iPhone 4 made its debut in China on September 25, a week after Apple officially launched the iPad in the country, with some customers queuing for several days to get their hands on the computer.

China has at least 420 million web users and is also the world's largest mobile market with more than 833 million subscribers at the end of September, according to official data.

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Amazon says e-book sales of best-sellers double print
Washington (AFP) Oct 25, 2010
Amazon customers are buying Kindle digital versions of the top 10 best-selling books more than twice as often as print copies, the online retail giant said Monday. "Kindle books are also outselling print books for the top 25, 100, and 1,000 bestsellers - it's across the board," said Steve Kessel, senior vice president of Amazon Kindle. "This is remarkable when you consider that we've be ... read more

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