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iPad Owns Black Friday Mobile Shoppers

By Rachelle Dragani MacNewsWorld ECT News Network
Nov 28, 2012 5:00 AM PT

Apple's retail stores were bustling with shoppers this Black Friday, but this year, its iPad tablet won the day as the favorite mobile device for online shoppers to use while buying other things.

iPad Owns Black Friday Mobile Shoppers

Mobile shopping overall was on the rise this year, according to a report from IBM. The iPad generated 10 percent of mobile commerce activity, with the iPhone bringing in another 8.7 percent. Rival Android devices accounted for 5.5 percent of the shopping.

Among tablets connecting to online retailers, the iPad generated 88.3 percent of all traffic, following by a distant 3.1 percent from Barnes & Noble's Nook. Amazon's Kindle brought another 2.4 percent. While there are certainly more iPads in the market, Apple's tablet saw a disproportional amount of e-commerce activity this holiday.

That could be because in some ways, Apple has made sure iOS is shopping-friendly compared with its competitors, said John Feland, CEO of Argus Insights.

Amazon has taken its products in the opposite direction. "One of the early criticisms of the Kindle Fire was that Amazon made it too easy to shop by enabling one-click shopping without a password confirmation, meaning that small children racked up quite a number of Amazon.com charges before the software was modified," Feland told MacNewsWorld.

Online shoppers' reliance on the market's favorite tablet will likely be noticed by marketing and retail professionals, Feland noted, giving Apple and its ecosystem yet another edge over some of its rival tablets.

More Fallout From Botched Maps

The manager in charge of Apple's widely criticized mapping software is out at the company, according to a report from Bloomberg. Richard Williamson oversaw Apple's switch from Google Maps to Apple's in-house product. The company boasted features such as flyover views and turn-by-turn navigation before the app debuted. It launched to harsh criticism, however, from users frustrated by its incorrect directions and lack of public transportation support, among other problems.

Apple eventually apologized for the software and urged users to turn to other mapping technology while it fine-tuned the product. The company did not confirm the news of Williamson's departure. It has also not announced a potential replacement.

Apple did not respond to our request to comment for this story.

Former Apple mobile software chief Scott Forstall may have already paid some of the price for the botched maps launch last month. In October, the company reshuffled its executive suite, resulting in Forstall's departure from the company. He had been with the company for more than 15 years, starting at Apple after leaving NeXT Computers, which Steve Jobs founded.

"iOS 6 was buggy, and especially the Maps app was buggy," Trip Chowdhry, senior analyst at Global Equities Research, told MacNewsWorld. "It was unclear that how is that now, only after Steve Jobs' death, one of the most innovative engineers in the software industry was having a series of missteps."

Murky Maps Future?

Following Forstall's departure, Senior Vice President Eddy Cue took over many of his duties, including overseeing maps and the company's Siri mobile voice assistant feature.

The need for additional executive overhaul could be a sign Apple's maps development team was forced into working too aggressively to launch a product that wasn't ready, and might still not have a direction about what lies ahead for Apple Maps, said Chowdhry.

"This may also be indicating Apple is lacking a three- to four-year product roadmap, because if a roadmap existed, engineers would not be pushed to ship products prematurely, especially when they are not fully tested," he observed.

As dysfunctional as the Maps app might be, however, it doesn't appear to be having a significant impact on iPhone sales. Apple's iOS has grabbed a 48.1 percent market share in the U.S., beating rival Android's share of the market at 46.7 percent, according to a report released this week by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

Rachelle Dragani is a freelance reporter based in Brooklyn, NY. She enjoys staying on top of e-commerce deals, reporting on what new gadget is coming your way, and keeping tabs on anyone trying to hack into your info. Feel free to e-mail her at rachelle.dragani@newsroom.ectnews.com.

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