This Week in Geek: Busy week ahead for retailers, Newsweek ends print edition
by Whit McGhee
Special to The Star
Oct 21, 2012 | 10063 views |  0 comments | 327 327 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Apple could unveil iPad Mini this week

Apple will host a press event on Oct. 23 in San Jose, Calif., the company announced last week.

Invitations sent to the press on Tuesday read, “We’ve got a little more to show you.”

This event follows up on Apple’s September debut of the iPhone 5, and it is presumed that the company will introduce several new products this week.

The most likely product to be unveiled is an “iPad Mini” with a screen about two inches smaller than the existing iPad.

The current iteration of Apple’s tablet computer features a screen measuring 9.7 inches diagonally, but consumers in recent months have taken interest in smaller, more portable tablets with 7-inch screens.

Sources close to Apple say the iPad Mini will likely come with a price tag around $300.

Other products Apple may reveal Tuesday include updated Mac computers and a 13-inch MacBook Pro laptop featuring the company’s ultra-sharp Retina Display technology.

Two retailers to price-match online stores

Best Buy and Target announced last week that, for the first time, they will match the prices of some shopping websites, including Amazon.com, this holiday season.

Best Buy’s offer runs now through Dec. 24 — except during the week of Thanksgiving and the following Monday, known by tech-savvy shoppers as “Cyber Monday.”

It will also offer free shipping to customers trying to purchase out-of-stock items in store.

The offer applies to electronics and appliances at the discretion of salespeople, Best Buy said in a statement.

Target’s offer extends to the online prices of Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy and Toys ‘R’ Us from Nov. 1 to Dec. 16, CEO Gregg Steinhafel said Tuesday. Target planned to provide additional details about the program Monday on its website.

The price-matching promotion is part of an effort by Best Buy and Target to reduce “showrooming” — the consumer practice of handling a product in a store, then leaving and buying the item online for a lower price.

Online-only retailers like Amazon are routinely able to undercut the prices of brick-and-mortar businesses, thanks to overhead cost savings from not operating physical stores.

Newsweek to go digital-only

Newsweek will end publication and adopt an all-digital format next year, the news magazine’s editor-in-chief Tina Brown and CEO Baba Shetty announced Thursday.

“In our judgment, we have reached a tipping point at which we can most efficiently and effectively reach our readers in all-digital format,” Brown said in an online statement Thursday.

Citing data that 39 percent of Americans get news from an online source, the magazine’s leaders said it will be renamed Newsweek Global and available on the Web, e-readers and apps for most tablet computers.

The move to an online-only format follows multiple news publications around the country, which in the past year have ended or scaled back print production.

The Star ceased printing of its own Monday edition at the end of September, transitioning that day’s news to the Web. Newspapers in Birmingham, Huntsville, Mobile and New Orleans have cut back on daily print newspapers, as well.

Newsweek will issue its last printed edition on Dec. 31.
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