Apple's Bold Predictions for the Holiday Season and What You Need to Know about Android Now

After hitting stores last Friday, it took just three days for consumers to snatch up 4 million iPhone 4S devices – an all-time mobile industry record. At the beginning of the week, Apple announced that 25 million people were already using its new operating system, iOS 5, and that more than 20 million had signed up for its iCloud service. We’ll check out Apple’s audacious predictions for the upcoming holiday season, seven Android must-reads and also find out what all the Siri and Ice Cream Sandwich fuss is about in this week’s Fiksu Feed.

On Tuesday, Apple announced its Q4 2011 earnings. Though the company had its second best quarter ever, tongues were wagging as it fell short of the Street’s lofty expectations for the first time in a long time. Nevertheless, it’s onward and upward for Apple. The company is projecting to make $37 billion in revenue next (holiday) quarter – a whopping $10 billion more than last year. Additionally, MG Siegler of TechCrunch reports that "Apple is so confident that next quarter is going to be a blow-out quarter that Apple CEO Tim Cook and CFO Peter Oppenheimer went out of their way to predict that Apple would see record iPhone and iPad sales next quarter. That’s something Apple never does." So despite some negative press this week, Apple seems more confident than ever.

In other Apple news, the company’s latest game-changer, Siri, the voice-controlled virtual assistant, continues to make headlines. There’s no shortage of reporters singing its praises, while many others are quick to gripe about their experiences. Louis Bedigian shares his thoughts in this Forbes piece – Is Siri Seriously Awesome or Seriously Flawed?

Sharing center stage with Apple this week is Android. AdWeek’s Kim Mae Heussner reports that "While Apple’s iPhone and iOS ecosystem are still a hit among consumers, developers and advertisers, Android’s fortune is slowly changing." The publication surveyed a number of analysts, industry insiders and developers to compile seven things you need to know right now about Android, the platform that may just give Apple a run for its money.

Ryan Kim of GigaOM reports that being at the top of the smartphone market hasn’t satisfied Google execs. The customer experience team behind Android wants to move beyond record sales to inspire user emotions like "wonder" and "awe." In other words, it wants Android users to love their phones as much as iPhone users do.

Android’s efforts to become more usable and lovable were illustrated in the unveiling of its long-anticipated 4.0 mobile operating system, Ice Cream Sandwich. According to Jason Ankeny of FierceMobileContent, the new OS promises a more sophisticated and unified user experience across smartphones and tablets – reducing the platform’s rampant fragmentation issues. Full details can be found here.

Fun Friday fact: did you know that cell phone technology has been around since 1973? Geek.com covered Wilson Electronics’ visual depiction of the cell phone’s evolution – from a "literal brick to the svelte smartphones we have today" – that filled our team with nostalgia and prompted a few chuckles. Check out the infographic – along with some fun mobile trivia – here

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