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iPhone’s big sales… See you online… Yellow Pages gold… Net address character test… Butting out… Quote of the Day…

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iPhone rings up big sales

Apple sold half a million iPhones in its opening weekend in the US, analysts say. The LA Times reports that Trip Chowdhry, an analyst at Global Equities Research, puts the figure at 525,000, reports ITWire.

Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster estimated sales of 500,000 units. If these figures are correct, Apple has already sold 5% of the iPhones it expects to ship during the first year. Will it reach its stated target of 10 million by the end of 2008?

See you online

In the old days it used to be that people would meet online and then, one day, perhaps get together in person. Well, all that is out the window: the way of the future is to allow people to connect online after first meeting in the physical world.

Springwise has found two new concepts capitalising on this trend. Canadian Admit an Attraction prints Attraction Tickets for members who can then hand them to someone they meet in public. The lucky ticket receiver can then go online to check out the member’s profile using a unique access code and get in touch if the attraction is mutual.

The tickets don’t contain any personal information, so both parties are guaranteed a level of privacy they would not have if they exchanged phone numbers or email addresses.

Hitchoo, which recently launched in Singapore, works on the same principle, sending members cards with a friendly “You made my day” on the front, and access details on the back.

A simpler route might be just to ask for someone’s phone number, but that is totally pre-web thinking. For the shy, security conscious or those who don’t want to divulge personal details to total strangers, these dating cards could be the way to go.

Gold in Yellow Pages

You can improve your return on investment from directory ads with good design and better content, according to a US study. The author’s tips, reported in the Australian Financial Review, include: don’t assume people know anything about your business, so provide complete and relevant information services(including opening hours and delivery areas); use headlines that are large, visible and benefit-oriented; and provide a call to action (such as a free appraisal).

The study, by Dennis Fromholzer as part of the 2007 Yellow Pages metered Ad Study, found more than 70% of searches using the Yellow Pages result in a purchase. Plumbings, taxi drivers, removalists, car repairers and solicitors got between a third and half of their calls from clients through ads in the Yellow Pages. Book stores got just 10% of business this way.

Net address character test

Internet addresses consisting entirely of non-English characters are just around the corner. The internet oversight agency Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers will begin testing in late 2007.

But non-English speakers will have to wait for the flexibility in their domain names. It may take another two years to develop policies on their use and who is entitled to use certain combinations.

No more smoking

Victoria is not the only place banning smoking in bars and pubs from July 1. Smoking in England is now essentially banned in all indoor public places and workplaces that are considered “enclosed” and “substantially enclosed”. Such places include cinemas, pubs, restaurants, cafes, nightclubs, taxis, public buildings. Smoking is not banned in homes and home-like settings such as hotels.

Quote of the Day

The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin.

– Mark Twain

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