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Best of the Consumer Blogs: Could the iPhone 5 Be the Biggest Consumer Upgrade in History?

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This column highlights the most interesting and useful business and financial commentary on consumer stocks and companies from around the Web.
ZDNet
Link: Why the iPhone 5 Launch Will Be the "Biggest Upgrade in Consumer Electronics History"
"The reason that the iPhone 5 (AAPL) -- or whatever it ends up being called -- is going to be big is that it will be the first major redesign of the iPhone since the iPhone 4 was released back in June 2010.

"Consumers like a redesign because it means that their new handset doesn't look like everybody else's handset. To people who like to pore through endless specification sheets and hardware teardowns, it seems odd that people will base their purchasing decision on something as simple as a product looking different, but they will."

CNNMoney
Link: JC Penney Offers Kids Free Haircuts
"JC Penney (JCP) announced an unconventional new promotion Monday in a bid to take a cut out of the competition.

"In an email to customers, CEO Ron Johnson said that starting in November, kids from kindergarten to sixth grade can get free haircuts every Sunday at JC Penney stores."

The Consumerist
Link: Sprint to Roll Out 4G LTE Network to 100 Cities Over Coming Months
"While Sprint (S) may be a distant third place in the wireless wars, the folks in yellow are not going down without a fight. Earlier today, the company announced a plan to roll out a new 4G LTE network in more than 100 cities during the near future."

The Wall Street Journal
Link: Amazon Offers Advertising Opt-Out on Kindle Fire
"For $15 extra, buyers can avoid seeing ads that would otherwise be occasionally displayed on the devices. The announcement follows a raft of online criticism of the arrangement, which helped Amazon (AMZN) keep down the prices of the $159-$599 tablet computers."

Time Moneyland
Link: Why Stores and Shoppers Alike Are Embracing Layaway
"Just a few years ago, layaway seemed near death. The old-fashioned payment program had fallen out of favor with the vast majority of shoppers, and only a few retailers thought layaway was worth the time and hassle to keep it alive. Suddenly, though, major retail chains are battling it out for layaway program supremacy. What happened? And given how heated the competition has become for layaway shoppers, does it make more sense than in the past for consumers to consider layaway?"
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