Dear Friends,

Black Friday and Cyber Monday were a huge success here at Small Dog Electronics, with thoughts of the troubled economy temporarily pushed aside as our stores and website were crowded with shoppers. The free shipping promotion on our website was so successful that the website broke for a couple of hours, but Mark quickly re-wrote the code to get us back quickly. You, our customers, gave us such positive feedback on the shipping promotion that in addition to the other special values, we have decided to offer free ground shipping in the 48 contiguous states through the end of the year for all orders over $99!

I’m finally making the transition back to a single Mac. I have been using a MacBook Pro at the office and carrying around my MacBook Air. With MobileMe syncing and IMAP mail servers, this is an acceptable and manageable set-up, but it is also extravagant. I now have one of the latest generation MacBook Airs with the 128GB solid state drive and have enough storage capacity to make the switch. I’m waiting for one of Apple’s new 24” displays, and I’ll be back to a one Mac guy.

This new MacBook Air seems to be much faster than the older version, even though the processor is not that much of an improvement. I think that this speed is due to the new NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics chip. It provides a 4X boost over the original MacBook Air, and in terms of speed-perception it makes transitions and window draws seem to just ‘pop.’ The new 1066MHz frontside bus with more cache and faster RAM also contributes to the speed enhancements.

I dropped in at the new Apple Store in Montreal when I was there to see Neil Young on Monday (the show was fantastic, by the way!). The new store on St. Catherine St. was looking good with lots of customers and the same great look and feel that has marked Apple Retail in the US.

I talk frequently about how Apple “invents” markets and even more evidence came out this week that underlines the strength that Apple has developed. While the US automakers are on the verge of collapse due to lack of innovation and swollen overhead, Apple continues to innovate and create new business. Forrseter Research claimed this week that digital music accounts for 18% of the total of all music sales in the USA (and project that growing to 40% within 5 years), and since Apple owns about a 70% market-share of digital music, we can conclude Apple has a 12.6% share of all music sold in the USA.

That is an amazing number and a paradigm change that is a direct result of Apple’s innovation. Apparently, people are still buying a lot of iPods since we have seen some spot shortages of specific models and our sales this past weekend were significantly above last year’s numbers. Apple is not recession-proof, but they seem to be doing a lot better than many other businesses!

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