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Blockbuster Offers to Buy Circuit City

Wow. There’s plenty of buzz surrounding Blockbuster’s offer to buy Circuit City. Blockbuster’s reasoning is full of the usual business jargon: cutting costs, benefiting from complementary products, exploiting the growing convergence of media content and electronic devices, etc. All this will result in a “game-changing retail concept with a sustainable competitive advantage.”

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14 Countries Have More Cellphone Subscribers than People

Cellphone subscribers in the 30 countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reached close to 933 million in 2005, meaning 80 subscribers per 100 people. Interestingly enough, there are 14 countries which have more cellphone subscribers than people with Luxembourg having the highest penetration rate: 157 subscribers for every 100 people!

The United States is below the average with at least 15 countries that have a higher penetration rate. South Korea and Japan appear to be the only countries which have adopted more third-generation (3G) phones than 2G phones. See below for a chart (via the Economist):

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Google Goes Mobile Even More, Now Wants to Sell You Stuff

Google MobileAccording to the Wall Street Journal (subscription required), which cites its favorite source of “people familiar with the matter,” Google is working on a new search service for cellphones that will help consumers search for and buy ringtones, games, and other mobile content. Google has even considered including a “social-networking component” (whatever that means in this context). The new service sounds basically like Froogle, er, Google Product Search but for the cellphone.

Google already has cellphone versions for most of its popular services, including search, Gmail, Google Maps, and YouTube. But Google will now effectively broker the sale of mobile content (likely via Google Checkout), which would divert consumers away from the likes of Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc. Those companies have their own storefronts for selling you stuff, of course. And they get a significant chunk of such transactions.

Considering global sales of music, video, ringtones, and other mobile content was $27.4 billion last year (and growing rapidly), it’s no wonder Google wants in on the action. But when will the search giant work on what we really need?