Today in Tech: Mac App store peek, Chrome OS app sales disappoint

January 5, 2011: 6:00 AM ET

A curated selection of the day's most newsworthy tech stories from all over the Web.

"He doesn't really want people to live. He loves people because they have made him wealthy beyond every human being's wildest imagination. That's why he loves people." -- eccentric country-folk performer Will Oldham on Bill Gates

  • Tomorrow, Apple launches its Mac App Store, which ought to make the app discovery, payment, and installation process -- we're talking one-click downloads and automatic installs -- even easier for Mac users. But if early input from four iOS developers is any indication, don't expect much in the way of reduced prices for apps like Chopper 2, Air Hockey, reMovem, and Compression, which will be priced exactly the same. Meanwhile, developers' expectations seem to fluctuate. While Majic Jungle Software, maker of Chopper 2, believes it'll only sell 10% of of what it made in the iOS store, Compression developer Little White Bear Studios expects to double its sales. (Pocket Cyclone)
  • Wondering how Chrome OS apps sales are faring so far? Apparently, not so hot. One Top Paid app, MathBoard ($2.99), reportedly has 65 weekly installs, which means it's pulling in $165 a week. Another, Toddler Jukebox ($1.99), was installed just six times this week. On the free apps side though, an app like Quick Note reported some 8,000 downloads this week. (TechCrunch)
  • If you're one the very special few who can consider him or herself among the upper echelon of Goldman Sachs's clients, you have until the end of this week to jump onboard the Facebook wagon -- at least, according to a letter one customer got last Monday. (Reuters)
  • Wireless tech company Qualcomm is in the final stages of buying chip maker Atheros Communications for roughly $3.5 billion. (New York Times)
  • Adding more credence to the belief by some that 2011 will indeed be the year of the tablet, Forrester Research predicts tablet sales in the U.S. will double to more than 24 million this year. "The replacement rate (for tablets) will be closer to that of MP3 players or iPhones than to that of PCs," Forrester analyst Sarah Rotman Epps wrote in a blog post. "We think a significant number of first-generation iPad buyers will buy the iPad 2 when it comes out this year." To boot, some 80 tablets will be shown this week at CES. (Forrester and PC Magazine))
  • Windows Phone 7 users who've lamented the omission of copy/paste -- and justifiably so -- have something to look forward to. The first OS update, reportedly codenamed "NoDo," could go live in early February, with a later update, dubbed "Mango," with Internet Explorer 9, HTML 5, and Silverlight support in the works, too. (Engadget)
  • Facebook users apparently uploaded 750 million photos over the New Year's weekend. (TechCrunch)
  • AdMob VP of Sales Tony Nethercutt, also a Yahoo and YouTube vet, is leaving the company, which was acquired by Google last May to the tune of $750 million. Nethercutt will serve as General Manager North America at Mojiva Inc., which oversees a mobile ad network and platform. (MarketWire via Horn Group)
  • On February 9, HP is hosting a webOS-related event which could see the introduction of a tablet and smartphone loaded with Palm's critically-acclaimed mobile operating system. (9 to 5 Mac)

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About This Author
JP Mangalindan
JP Mangalindan
Writer, Fortune

JP Mangalindan is a San Francisco-based writer at Fortune, covering Silicon Valley. Since joining in 2010, he has written on a wide array of topics, from the turnaround of eBay to the evolution of net neutrality. A graduate of Fordham University, Mangalindan has also written for GQ, Popular Science, and Entertainment Weekly.

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