Reading List: iPad Burn Out

Each day we provide a roundup of five stories from around the Web that our editors read and found noteworthy. Follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day@digiday.

iPad Due For a Price Cut: The iPod and iPhone both exploded onto the scene, establishing new massive categories overnight. Yet neither grew at the exponential rate that the iPad has. According to a new Goldman Sach’s report, Apple has sold 40 million units over its first six quarters, versus around 12 million for the iPhone’s first six quarters. The downside of burning so hot so fast is that the iPad may cool faster than its brethren. Goldman is seeing the first signs of an iPad slowdown. Meanwhile, four years into its lifespan the iPhone is expected to move 30 million units this quarter. Why? Price cuts (iPhones have been available for $50, and some now even free). Goldman says that the iPad is due for one. Another reason that the iPad may be seeing a demand slowdown is that the market suddenly has two new, much cheaper entries coming in the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet. Another reason why a price slash makes a ton of sense. Business Insider— Mike Shields @digitalshields

The Wrong War, Google Plus vs. Facebook: The war between Google Plus and Facebook, at least according to Pete Cashmore, is a bit contrived. Google Plus isn’t trying to kill Facebook in the social arena: It’s trying to create a layer to bind its services (including search) together. Facebook can do search to an extent, but not like Google. Google can dabble in social, but it would have to work some serious miracles to dethrone Facebook, at least anytime soon. What it’s after is relevancy. If Google can make Google Plus a go-to destination for socialized search, document-sharing, content-sharing and more, Facebook may still be king statistically, but it won’t rule the world when it comes to getting things done or searching and sharing content. CNN — Carla Rover @carlarover
Kinect’s Telling Holiday Season: Last year, Microsoft’s new gesture-based gaming platform Kinect shook up the video game world, selling a whopping 10 million units and putting the Xbox 360 into a new stratosphere of family gaming and home entertainment. Problem is, if there is a problem, is at last count there were 55 million Xboxes in the market. Microsoft wants and needs the Kinect to be a broad hit again this holiday season. Per All Things D, the company is rolling out 75 new Kinect games this season in an effort to move past dancing and racing titles. But there’s another compelling reason for Microsoft to push hard into the gesture-based gaming world: It wants Xbox to be the central TV delivery device in Americans homes, and it wants to take interactive ads to unseen levels. Kinect will provide a major boost to both goals All Things D— Mike Shields @digitalshieldsAmazon Looks for Loyalty: Amazon is increasing its investment in its six-year-old Amazon Prime loyalty program, and it is willing to lose hundreds of millions of dollars a year on the program, according to the Wall Street Journal by way of the Chicago Tribune. Although the program once offered consumers little more than free shipping if they ponied up almost $80 a year, new program perks include a free (with stipulations) lending library for Kindle devices and access to a digital video library of more than 13,000 titles. The program will get a boost this month when the Kindle Fire begins shipping. It includes a free 30-month trial membership to Prime. The move reflects the company’s wish to move away from being known as a seller of paper books and toward a new identity as a virtual mall where consumers can find virtually anything. Chicago Tribune— Anne Sherber @annesherber

Someone Is Always Watching: Big brother can help you keep track of your employees. New services assist business in keeping track of workers using some of the same tools that social media use. The tools enable managers to see what employees are working on and how long they are spending on each project. These new systems improve on older project-tracking packages by streamlining the process of logging in and updating data. The packages can reduce supervisory time. What remains to be seen is how easily employees integrate these procedures into their routines and how resistant workers are to an increased level of supervision. WSJ — Anne Sherber @annesherberQuicker Than A Tweet: Pam Kramer, Twitter’s marketing vp of just three months, has already left the company. Kramer joined Twitter from eTrade this past July. Her rapid departure follows a string of recent departures under COO Dick Costolo, according to Bloomberg. Executives come and go all the time, but it never looks good when a marketing executive leaves a Valley tech giant that is supposedly changing the world singlehandedly. Especially one that has taken some recent hits in the press. Maybe Ashton Kutcher is available? Bloomberg — Mike Shields @digitalshields
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