ANALYST: AMAZON DEVICE TO BE IPAD'S BIGGEST RIVAL

A new Forrester Research report predicts that Amazon will present the iPad 2's strongest competition. Forrester analyst Sarah Rotman recently blogged that Amazon has the brand, content and sales channel to launch a competitively priced tablet that would be a major competitor to Apple. As for other competitors like Research in Motion's PlayBook, HP's TouchPad and Motorola's XOOM, Rotman says they don't offer a competitive price and lack the same proven sales channels that Apple and Amazon offer.


QTRAX LAUNCHES MUSIC SERVICE WITH DRM

Qtrax, the often-delayed, ad-supported download service, has launched in North America, Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Fiji, Mexico, New Zealand and Hong Kong roughly three years after its first attempted launch in January 2008. The free music service lets users download unlimited tracks to their computers. But the digital rights management-protected songs-a business model that has largely been surpassed by cloud-based subscription and Internet radio services-aren't compatible with iPods, iPhones or Apple computers.

SECONDARY MARKET EMERGES FOR SOCIAL COMMERCE SERVICES

Social commerce, a hot trend for concert tickets and recorded music, now has a secondary market. DealsGoRound and Lifesta are two examples of a handful of online marketplaces where people can buy and sell unused daily deals from services like Groupon, Living Social and BuyWithMe. Deals are listed by city and category. Both sites offer free listings and charge only when an item is sold. DealsGoRound uses PayPal and takes 10% of a deal's sale price. Lifesta uses Amazon credits to facilitate purchases and charges 99 cents, plus an 8% commission.

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