Apple came out swinging this week, following some rough spots in the news recently. Besides issuing product news including the new iPad and Apple TV, they focused on telling a positive economic story with a jobs study and celebrating their 25 billionth app download. Content access was another major theme with Facebook Messenger coming out of beta, a rebranding of Google’s content into one package (now known as Google Play), and reports that Netflix is talking with cable operators to include movie streaming in your cable service bundle.

10. Samsung’s Tomorrow: How Twitter has become its go-to place to launch new phones and products
Samsung debunked rumors of a Galaxy S III launch after reports started to surface around their decision not to hold a conference at Mobile World Congress. In this same tweet, they noted that when the time comes to announce the new product they will use Twitter as the means to pull back the curtain.

9. Cloud computing to generate 14 million jobs, according to Microsoft-commissioned study
The results of an IDC survey funded by Microsoft, predict that cloud computing will create as many as 14 million jobs globally by 2015. Of the predicted jobs, 1.2 million will be in North America, but the most prevalent growth is expected in emerging markets such as China and India. The study emphasized that small and mid-sized businesses are leading the charge by moving to cloud services, enabling cost reductions and the option to hire new employees. We continue to see SMBs play a key role in the economic turnaround.

8. Apple’s App Store reaches 25 billion downloads, Chinese customer wins $10,000 iTunes gift card
This week, Chunli Fu of Qingdao, China, downloaded the 25 billionth app from the AppStore to win a $10,000 iTunes gift card. Fu’s winning download was the free Disney mobile video game “Where’s my Water?”. The fact to consider is the size of Apple’s market and the profit they make — a 30 percent return on each app downloaded. Apps alone will keep Apple a market dominator. How long will it take to surpass 50 billion?

7. Apple’s Job Creation Data Spurs an Economic Debate
Apple recently commissioned a study to show the number of American jobs it has created, claiming 514,000 is the magic number. The job study includes people who work directly for the company, which is numbered at 47,000, but also goes as deep as to include product delivery drivers and the people who manufacture the trucks that handle deliveries. While an interesting approach to convey an economic story, the loose figures weaken the argument.

6. Facebook Messenger for Windows Comes Out of Beta
After a downloadable testing link was leaked in December, Facebook has now released a version of messenger for Windows 7. The idea behind the app is to stay up-to-date with friends and family on Facebook without having to keep a browser window open constantly. The app will also have a live ticker feature. It’s Facebook Live, 24/7.

5. Pandora Revenue Misses Expectations
Pandora’s stock dropped more than 20 percent after announcing fourth quarter results Wednesday. Pandora reported a loss of $8.2 million, or 5 cents per share, which was short of forecasts. On the bright side, Pandora reported a 62 percent increase in users, 74 percent growth in advertising revenue and a 99 percent increase in listening hours. However, Pandora’s heavy base of mobile listeners continues to pose a challenge, as they don’t generate the same ad revenue return as desktop listening.

4. Yahoo Said to Consider Job Cuts as CEO Aims for Turnaround
After a failed attempt to turn things around by former Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz, new CEO Scott Thompson is looking for ways to reduce cost and increase productivity. His answer: a huge reorganization of the company that includes layoffs expected to be in the thousands. Expect the market to be flooded soon with more job seekers.

3. Exclusive: Netflix in talks for cable partnership
Netflix is reportedly in talks with top cable companies to include their movie streaming offerings as part of a cable service bundle. Although, Comcast recently launched its own online video service called Streampix – a look alike to Netflix. If this deal materializes, there will be a lag in go-to-market, as Netflix needs to first alter current licensing contracts to allow their offerings to be shared on a cable box.

2. Google Ditches Android Market, Rebrands its Content as Google Play
Google announced Google Play, a rebranding content play that will combine its apps, eBooks, movies and music all in one store. The rebranding encompasses more than just a new name.  Now that all of Google’s offerings will be in one place, it will likely bring in more profit from new customers to some of their less popular services. The new product is now online and device users can expect to see the change come over the next week.

1. Apple’s new iPad to hit stores March 16
Not much has changed in the pricing or look of the iPad, but within you will find LTE capabilities, battery life of nine hours on 4G LTE and 10 hours on Wi-Fi, voice dictation in English, French, German and Japanese, retina display and 3.1 million pixels, which is more than an HD TV of its size. In addition to the iPad announcement this week, Apple also presented a new Apple TV. PC Magazine argued that the iPad news left the Apple TV news in the dust, but that’s ok because “it seems Apple has mostly forgotten Apple TV, too,” as other electronics company take a leap forward in this space. Both products are available for pre-order and will be in stores March 16.

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