Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday's Top Tech Deals

Black Friday discounts bleed a little red as tough times in retailing call for sharp cuts on prices at a few big tech shops. These ten top deals show just how much pressure is riding on holiday sales.


No. 10: Apple

Apple is traditionally the stingiest of tech discounters in the gadget market, and this year will continue that grand tradition. If reports of Apple's Black Friday specials are true, Macs and iPods will get a one-day price break of about 10%.

The numbers. Apple's "cool" gizmos have enjoyed a remarkably resilient status among consumers. That position is reflected in the company's tightfisted pricing stance. Apple's implied theme here is big discounts are for big losers. But retail partner Costco seems eager to dangle some marked-down coolness to lure its members. Costco is selling the latest Apple iPod nano for $129, a 13% discount on the $149 regular price.

The stock. Like its gadgets, Apple's stock attracts an eager crowd willing to pay top dollar to be part of the action. Costco, however, could use a few tricks to keep its bargain-hunting customers from finding deals in Wal-Mart's aisles. In the past month, Wal-Mart shares have doubled the rise of Costco's stock.


No. 9: Hewlett-Packard

Hewlett-Packard grabbed the top place in PCs from Dell two years ago by jumping on the notebook bandwagon as consumers went shopping for desktop power in portable devices. Hewlett-Packard hopes to cash in again in an emerging category of hybrid laptops called super netbooks.

The numbers. One of the most-watched devices in this category is the DM3, a 13-inch, thin, lightweight notebook with an eight-hour battery life, four-gigabyte memory and no DVD drive. HEWLETT-PACKARD introduced the DM3 in July priced at $599. On Friday it will sell on Amazon for $499.

The stock. Hewlett-Packard branched into IT services last year and hopes to get a chunk of Cisco's networking market with the pending acquisition of 3Com. But computers are still its biggest business and if hybrid notebooks are a winning category, Hewlett-Packard could continue to punish Dell.


No. 8: Garmin

Garmin was a top destination in the GPS device boom, but navigating the post-boom is proving to be a challenge.

The numbers. While rivals like Magellan and TomTom have typically offered the cheaper options in GPS, Garmin is going on the offensive this Friday. For the first time in a national retail offering, Garmin will break the $100 barrier with a $99 device. The Garmin Nuvi 205W is being advertised for $99 at Best Buy this Friday, a 29% discount from the $140 regular price.

The stock. Garmin shares are down 16% in the past month as analysts and investors absorb the shock of weaker margins on new devices like the Nuvi phone. Deeper discounts, it seems, aren't exactly the right road toward alleviating those concerns.


No. 7: Dell

Dell has been paddling furiously, but still lagging behind and losing business to Hewlett-Packard and Acer, among others.

The numbers. Dell told analysts last week that it would not build its turnaround on deep price cuts on PCs. But Dell didn't mention computer monitors. Black Friday will see another $100 price barrier shattered when Dell's S2009W 20-inch desktop monitor goes on sale for $99 at Best Buy. That price is 37% below the monitor's regular mark up of $159.

The stock. Dell shares are down 8% from Thursday levels when the company reported disappointing numbers, thinning margins and eroding market share. Dell's lousy performance came amid a surprisingly strong period of PC industry sales giving investors the sense that Dell may be missing out on a recovery.


No. 6: Palm

Palm's Pre phone was expected to spark the revival of a smartphone pioneer. With a bright touch screen, a slide-out keypad and a new WebOS operating software, the $200 phone debuted as the best challenger yet to the Apple iPhone.

The numbers. After a dismal debut and meager sales, the Palm Pre, sold exclusively by Sprint, quickly fell in the bargain bin. In three months, the Pre price fell to $149. Getting into the spirit of Black Friday, Amazon has begun to offer the Pre for $80, a 46% discount on the previous price of $149.

The stock. Despite a 23% drop in the past month, Palm shares are still up more than 400% over the past year. A lot of that appreciation is tied to the value of the Pre as a contender in the booming smartphone market. But with the Pre prices falling so fast, it's difficult to stay as hopeful about Palm's revitalization plan.

Western Digital

No. 5: Western Digital

Western Digital drives down prices of external hard drives in its battle with rival Seagate Technology. The newest crop of hard drives offer twice the capacity at half the price of last year's models.

The numbers. As a Black Friday special, Wal-Mart is offering the Western Digital portable 320 gigabyte external hard drive for $49, a 50% markdown from the $99 regular price. Seagate's popular FreeAgent 320-gigabyte external hard drive goes for $80.

The stock. Storage has been a popular theme for tech investors this year. With component costs falling, manufacturers have been able to cut prices profitably as higher sales offset lower prices. Shares of Western Digital and Seagate have tripled this year.


No. 4: SanDisk

SanDisk is flashing some astounding Black Friday prices on flash memory devices. Flash drive prices have fallen faster than those of hard drives. USB thumb drives now pack three times the memory capacity at a third of last year's prices.

The numbers. The SanDisk 4 gigabyte flash drive is available for $8 at Wal-Mart, a 73% discount from the $30 regular price. In contrast, Target sells a Lexar 4 gigabyte flash drive for $20.

The stock. Falling memory prices haven't hurt SanDisk shares. The stock has doubled this year. A big part of that enthusiasm, however, was due to a positive resolution to a licensing dispute with Samsung in May.


No. 3: Palm

The Palm Pixi, the diminutive follow up to the Pre, hit stores last week priced at $100 with a Sprint contract. However, Sprint quickly started the discounts to stem the flow of subscribers from its service.

The numbers. Amazon is now selling the Palm Pixi for $25, a quarter of the price it went for when it was introduced Nov. 15. Falling prices on new smartphone models suggest demand may not be strong.

The stock. Palm's Pixi was designed to compete with the $99 Apple 2G iPhone and lower cost BlackBerries from Research In Motion. Investors have been concerned the Pixi could cannibalize Pre sales. The timing of Pixi's arrival also puts it up against Motorola's Droid at Verizon. Palm investors, who cheered the company's revival, are now looking at a very crowded market.


No. 2: BlackBerry

Research In Motion's BlackBerry Curve at Sprint is also battling it out in that market. Nothing in tech gets cut deeper than the price of a three-year-old phone. The best example was the Motorola Razr. The ultrathin trendsetter debuted in 2004 with a $600 price tag, but by 2007, it was a promotional freebie.

The numbers. Best Buy, along with desperate partner Sprint, is giving free Curve phones to people who sign up for two-year service contracts on Black Friday. The phone was recently advertised for $50 to $200.

The stock. Sprint's willingness to subsidize customers' phone costs is a bold strategy to keep and lure customers. Last year, Sprint lost more than 1 million subscribers because of neglected service and rival offers, such as those for AT&T's iPhone. Fewer contract cancellations will be seen as a major accomplishment. And while Sprint shares are well below their one-year high in May, the stock has still doubled this year.


No. 1: BlackBerry

Research In Motion takes the top two spots with the BlackBerry Curve. This model, the Curve 8900, is one of the newest from the three-year-old line. Its sold by Amazon on behalf of AT&T.

The numbers. Amazon has already opened the Web doors with its online Black Friday special on the Curve 8900. The phone costs 1 cent if you sign up for a two-year contract with AT&T.

The stock. While free Razrs once sounded the game-over bell for Motorola, free Curves aren't as dismal a warning sign for RIM. Unlike Motorola, RIM has new models to keep the smartphone momentum going. Even with a 9% drop in its share price over the past month, RIM is still up nearly 50% for the year.

Copyrighted, TheStreet.Com. All rights reserved.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Manny Pacquiao batters Cotto for TKO win

Manny Pacquiao celebrates with trainer Freddie Roach after beating Miguel Cotto in a WBO welterweight title fight on Saturday in Las Vegas.
(Jae C. Hong/AP Photo)

LAS VEGAS – Manny Pacquiao staked his claim atop boxing’s mythical throne as the pound-for-pound best, using his lightning hand speed to beat and batter Miguel Cotto into submission Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Pacquiao knocked Cotto down once in the third round and again in the fourth, pummeled him repeatedly and easily lifted the World Boxing Organization welterweight belt from the Puerto Rican with a 12th-round stoppage. The time was 55 seconds into the final round, as referee Kenny Bayless leaped between the fighters to save Cotto a more savage beating and ignominious end.

Cotto came out strong and landed some hard punches, but Cotto couldn’t deal with the speed. Pacquiao was landing three shots for every two Cotto did early. After the knockdown in the fourth, Cotto’s offense was nonexistent as he spent most of the last two thirds of the fight fending off Pacquiao’s onslaught.

Cotto landed in single digits in power shots in every round from the fifth forward.

Pacquiao nearly had the stoppage after the 11th when Cotto trainer Joe Santiago walked onto the ring apron and waved his hand at Bayless.

It appeared he was going to stop the fight, but then Bayless and ringside physician James Game spoke and allowed it to continue. It was only extending the misery as Pacquiao poured it on in the 12th.

When the fight ended, the crowd began to chant, “We want Floyd!” It was a reference to Floyd Mayweather Jr., the other man with a claim to the top of the boxing pound-for-pound list.

Pacquiao, who has won championship belts in five divisions and beat the linear champion in two others, can no longer be knocked as a small man who was beating washed up fighters.

In Cotto, he took on an elite and powerful welterweight whose only loss came under suspicious circumstances to Antonio Margarito last year. There is suspicion that Margarito’s gloves were loaded for that fight, though it has never been proven.

But Pacquiao proved he was able to not only take a welterweight punch, but rock him repeatedly. It was a magnificent performance and will create public demand for a fight with Mayweather.

“I want to see him fight Mayweather,” Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach said.

Santiago said Pacquiao hit harder and was stronger than expected. Cotto injured his left shoulder in the eighth.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Watch HBO 24/7 PACQUIAO vs. COTTO Episode 2

October 31, 2009 · Filed Under Announcements, Featured, News, Pictures and Photos


Watch episode 2 of HBO 24/7 Pacquiao/Cotto on Halloween Night Oct. 31, 8:00 pm PT/11:00 pm ET. HBO will continue to follow both fighters as they prepare for their upcoming bout on November 14th. Manny Pacquiao leaves the Philippines and begins training at Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, California. Miguel Cotto will be wrapping up his training at the Fight Factory in Tampa, Florida as he heads out to Las Vegas, Nevada.

HBO Sports 24/7 has featured Roy Jones Jr., Joe Calzaghe, Oscar De La Hoya, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Ricky Hatton, Manny Pacquiao, Juan Manuel Marquez and now Miguel Cotto.

Sunday, November 1, 2009 Pacquiao vs Cotto 24/7 - Episode 2



Part 3

Sunday, October 25, 2009 Pacquiao vs Cotto 24/7 - Episode 1

Latest Pound For Pound Ratings

  • 1. Manny Pacquiao

    Country: Philippines

    Record: 49-3-2 (37 KOs)

    Ranking: This Week: #1 | Last Week: #1 | Weeks On List: 303

    Titles: The Ring

  • 2. Floyd Mayweather Jr.

    Country: USA (Las Vegas, Nevada)

    Record: 40-0-0 (25 KOs)

    Ranking: This Week: #2 | Last Week: - | Weeks On List: 1

  • 3. Shane Mosley

    Country: USA (Las Vegas, Nevada)

    Record: 46-5-0 (39 KOs)

    Ranking: This Week: #3 | Last Week: #4 | Weeks On List: 35

    Titles: WBA

  • 4. Bernard Hopkins

    Country: USA (Philadelphia, Pa.)

    Record: 49-5-1 (32 KOs)

    Ranking: This Week: #4 | Last Week: #3 | Weeks On List: 172

  • 5. Juan Manuel Marquez

    Country: Mexico

    Record: 50-5-1 (37 KOs)

    Ranking: This Week: #5 | Last Week: #2 | Weeks On List: 132

    Titles: WBA, WBO, The Ring

  • 6. Israel Vazquez

    Country: Mexico

    Record: 43-4-0 (31 KOs)

    Ranking: This Week: #6 | Last Week: #5 | Weeks On List: 112

  • 7. Rafael Marquez

    Country: Mexico

    Record: 38-5-0 (34 KOs)

    Ranking: This Week: #7 | Last Week: #6 | Weeks On List: 70

  • 8. Nonito Donaire

    Country: USA (San Leandro, Calif.)

    Record: 22-1-0 (14 KOs)

    Ranking: This Week: #8 | Last Week: #7 | Weeks On List: 21

    Titles: IBF

  • 9. Miguel Cotto

    Country: Puerto Rico

    Record: 34-1-0 (27 KOs)

    Ranking: This Week: #9 | Last Week: #8 | Weeks On List: 21

    Titles: WBO

  • 10. Celestino Caballero

    Country: Panama

    Record: 33-2-0 (23 KOs)

    Ranking: This Week: #10 | Last Week: #9 | Weeks On List: 35

    Titles: IBF, WBA

Roach Won't Allow Cotto To Use Mayweather Trick

“We will make sure that Cotto cannot use his weight to his advantage,” Roach told The Philippine Star.

Trainer Freddie Roach will not allow WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto to use the weight tactic of Floyd Mayweather Jr. Last Saturday in Las Vegas, Mayweather weighed 146-pounds for his fight with Juan Manuel Marquez. The fight was agreed upon for a catch-weight of 144-pounds. At the late hour, the Marquez camp was informed that Mayweather was unable to make 144 and a deal was reached for the fight to move forward.

Marquez weighed four pounds less at the weigh-in. Nobody knows what Mayweather weighed on the night of the fight. He refused to step on the official scales in the back and refused to answer any and all questions regarding his weight. Some speculate that he may have been in the mid-150s.

Roach's prize pupil Manny Pacquiao faces Cotto at the catch-weight of 145-pounds on November 14. He will not allow Cotto to jump on the scales at any weight above the contracted limit of 145. Cotto is in a different position than Marquez. Mayweather was brining all of the money to the table and did whatever he pleased. Pacquiao is the one bringing most of the money to the table in his fight; giving himself the advantage to impose his authority on Cotto.

Fight's off if Cotto weighs over 147 lb

pacquiao vs cotto“It means he has a lot more work to do than us in losing weight,” said Ariza.

MANILA, Philippines - There’s just one thing that can keep the Manny Pacquiao-Miguel Cotto fight from happening, and that’s if the champion from Puerto Rico weighs in at over 147 lb.

“That’s the highest we could go (147 pounds),” Pacquiao’s chief trainer, Freddie Roach, was quoted as saying in an Internet report that came out yesterday.

Pacquiao and Cotto are fighting at a catchweight of 145 lb even if the 27-year-old Puerto Rican has agreed to stake his WBO welterweight (147 lb) crown.

At the start of the negotiations, Team Pacquiao tried to drag Cotto down to as low as 143 lb, but the latter said he can’t go lower than 145, and the fight was sealed.

“ I would call the fight off if he comes in weighing more than that,” Roach also said, meaning Cotto will have to make sure or even die trying to make the catchweight.

Or face the severe consequences, like losing all his purse, or even facing a legal battle.

Based on reports, Cotto will be fined $1 million for every pound in excess of 145. He can weigh in at 147, pay Pacquiao $2 million and go on and fight the Filipino pound-for-pound champion.

But if Cotto weighs just a fraction over 147, Roach said he’s pulling the plug on what could be or what should be the biggest fight of the year.

In the fight contract that either fighter who exceeds 145 lb will have to pay a fine, but it’s only today that the details had come out.

“We’re just protecting Manny,” Mike Koncz, Pacquiao’s adviser, had said.

Pacquiao is three days into training at the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood after spending more than 30 days training in three different gyms in the Philippines.

Before he boarded the plane to Los Angeles last Saturday, Pacquiao walked around 150 lb, and was happy to report in his regular column that he still gets to eat as much as he wants.

Cotto, on the other hand, must be bleeding to get down in weight. In New York, during the press tour last September, Cotto said he was at 160, and Pacquiao’s conditioning coach, Alex Ariza, liked what he heard.

“It means he has a lot more work to do than us in losing weight,” said Ariza.

Penalties if Miguel Cotto is Overweight on Official Weigh-in

“Our limit for Cotto is just 147 lb. There’s no fight if he weighs beyond that. Cotto will be assessed a $1-million penalty for every pound overweight.”

Just in case Cotto does a Mayweather on the official weight-in Freddie Roach warned that there'll be no fight if he comes in beyond the regular welterweight limit of 147 lbs.

Pacquiao - Cotto Fight Weigh-in Pictures/Photos and Videos to be posted once available