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theEweekly wrap – iPad, Google Apps and online sales

iWant one of those Popular producer of sleek electronic goods Apple finally unveiled its iPad last week, spawning not only a slew of ‘hilarious’ parodies on its name but also a worldwide debate as to the actual usefulness of the new visual touch brick. Is it a revolution in computing? Will it change the way we design for the web? Is it just a really big iPhone that you can’t make phone calls on?

The answer, to at least one of these questions, is yes. As soon as Steve Jobs finished presenting the iPad to the gathered throng of slavering tech types in San Francisco, hype began to spread around the net faster than a Susan Boyle YouTube clip. Our verdict on the machine? It’s a beautiful piece of equipment, but it will take more than a few killer apps to make it a must-have purchase.

Market share? There’s a scrap for that Speaking of applications Google is said to be on the verge of launching its own app store in a bid to rival the market-dominating Apple App Store. The service would initially focus on selling third-party products (add-ons, extensions) for its suite of Google Apps tools, splitting revenues from sales with developers.

It is thought any new Google app store would supersede the existing Google Solutions Marketplace. True to its penchant for secrecy, Google refused to be drawn on the accuracy of these rumours, merely stating: “[We are] constantly working with our partners to deliver more solutions to businesses but we have nothing to announce at this time”.

Hey big spender(s) Recession? What recession? New research has revealed that we Brits spend more money online than any other country in Europe. The findings, from the Centre for Retail Research, show that Britons bought £38billion worth of goods over the course of 2009 alone, making up almost one third of all web sales across the continent.

Not only that, but the proportion of consumers willing to spend over £1000 on a single transaction has also gone up – doubling from 12 to 25%. You could buy 125 Susan Boyle albums for £1000. Or pay for the hosting of a personal website for 21 years. In all seriousness, the news is positive for people whose business is in online sales. “This year is when we will really start to see online sales achieving a significant share of overall retail trade in the UK,” said Bruce Fair of Kelkoo.

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