News Bits: Dell Loses Consumer Notebook Sales, San Fran Cancels Wi-Fi, Data on an Atom

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Delays cause Dell’s consumer laptop sales to drop by 20%

Dell sold 887,000 notebooks to consumers during the second quarter. Last year at the same time, Dell sold 1.1 million more notebooks, about 20% more. Rival HP sold 2.4 million notebooks in Q2,  Apple also sold more notebooks than Dell at 1.1 million. Dell’s site suffered thousands of complaints from many impatient customers complaining about long delays.

Customer Bryant J posted "I have several of these Inspirons that I’ve ordered for personal stuff, and it’s approaching 60 days since the order date. I’m the IT director for a large account with you guys, and this is the last straw. You’ve lost me as a customer." Dell blames some of the problems on short supply for certain LCD panels. The company appears to be selling notebooks faster than their suppliers are capable of building the computers.

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Thanks to Jason for submitting this story

Quanta expects 15% sequential growth in notebook shipments

Quanta Computer expects a 15 percent sequential increase in notebook shipments, up from the 7.4 million the company shipped in Q2. The company expects its notebook shipments to grow an additional 20 percent in 2008.

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Retail notebook sales increase 24% for 2007 over 2006, but slower growth seen

The back-to-school notebook PC sales have begun to slow down according to The NPD Group. For the first five weeks of the back-to-school season (July 15 – August 18), notebook sales were up 24 percent in units/11 percent in dollars, although the average selling price was down 10 percent. The same time period in 2006 saw a 48 percent increase in units/15 percent in dollars, with the average selling price down 22 percent.

Vice president of industry analysis for The NPD Group said in a statement that Notebook sales have exhibited strong growth the past few years, but you can only keep that 50 percent plus growth going for so long."

Price is another factor – average selling prices are not going down as fast as they used to go in recent years, so the deals are not as attractive.

Other reasons for the slower back-to-school season include less promotional activity for both notebooks and desktops, as well as fewer computers being on the shelves in stores.

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San Francisco city Wi-Fi plans halted

The free citywide Wi-Fi idea that San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom presented two years ago has not gone far. The plans for the project have been halted by city politics and business challenges. Earthlink was supposed to build the network but backed out this week. The Internet service provider is currently being restructured after disappointing business results. Google, who was supposed to provide the free service while Earthlink was going to provide the faster but for pay service, has not commented on Earthlink’s backing out.

Although the project appeared to make progress in January when San Francisco and Earthlink signed a contract, the plan was never voted on by the city’s Board of Supervisors. Many backers of the project are disappointed with Earthlink’s decision because the plan was almost ready to be voted on.

Although the plan is not going anywhere at the moment, it has not been abandoned yet. In November, a non-binding ballot will ask citizens if they want free Wi-Fi – politicians could be compelled to create a new plan if there is a high enough percentage of yes votes.

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New York State gets faster Sprint Mobile Broadband access

Customers across parts of New York State are now using a faster mobile broadband network from Sprint. Sprint Mobile Broadbanc with EV-DO Rev. A allows customers to browse the Internet and download large Email attachments.

For detailed information on which areas of New York State that have Sprint Mobile Broadband access, see the link below.

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IBM Stores data on an atom

IBM’s Almaden Research Center in San Jose discovered how to store data on a single atom. The company also stated that they used a single molecule as a switch, that could possibly replace transistors in the future. Building off this technology, one day it might be possible to make processors the size of a dust particle. According to IBM spokesman Matthew McMahon, the technology is at least 10 years away from being used.

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Special thanks to forum moderator Jason for submitting this story



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