iFive: iPad Sales, Skype for Android, Palm Smartphone, Facebook Rumors, Nokia MeeGo Chief Resigns

Welcome to Tuesday. Pull up a chair at the breakfast bar, and cast your eyes over today’s early news:

On December 7th, the world will be riven by a Cataclysm, the landscape will change and molten lava will pour forth. Not on Earth, in Azeroth. If you’re one of the 12 million players in the habit of playing World of Warcraft in your freetime hours (i.e. at work) you’ll be frothing over your muesli at this news. It’s an official confirmation from Blizzard that a huge expansion to its massively multiplayer online game has an arrival date. Managers, expect at least part of your team to call in sick that day.


1. Data from Bernstein Research shows that the iPad is going to become the most quickly adopted electronics device ever, with three million units sold inside the first 80 days and a continuous sales rate of 4.5 million per quarter. That’s an even faster adoption rate than the DVD player, which previously held the title. Even though the iPad is a single device (not a genre of devices like the DVD player), it sold ten times more in its first three months of life than DVD players did in a year.

2. Tada! Skype is now available for Android phones, ready to change your calling habits forever and piss off your smartphone carrier… oh, wait. No. It won’t do this last bit–Skype for Android only works over Wi-Fi in the U.S., just as it did when it arrived on the iPhone raising much hilarity from the anti-iPhone brigade. Everyone else sporting an Android unit with greater than 2.1 OS version can get Skype right now.

3. Big rumors today about a new Palm device, many months after HP swallowed the little cell phone maker that tried to beat the iPhone with the Pre, and failed. Word is the new phone, codenamed “Mansion,” is even more iPhone-like as it ditches the physical keypad (once championed as an iPhone-killer) and has a 800 by 480 pixel screen. Proof that “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” still rings true.

4. There’s a lot of head scratching about Facebook’s “special event” scheduled for tomorrow: Will we hear of Skype integration? Will the rumored Facebookphone arrive? No one knows. But the U.K.’s Ministry of Defence knows about Facebook Places, and has alerted its members, including soldiers, that using Places (or other geo-location services, like Foursquare) may make them accessible as a terrorist target. Lucky for the military, then, that Foursquare was not working for most of the day on Monday.

5. Nokia’s chief of MeeGo Ari Jaaski has resigned–significant news because MeeGo is the OS that Nokia hopes may allow it to tackle the iPhone and Android threat in the smartphone game. It’s beginning to look like handsets with MeeGo aboard won’t arrive in 2010 as Nokia promised, which could cede more of the market to Nokia’s ascendant rivals.

To keep up with this news, follow me, Kit Eaton, on Twitter.

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