Apple to unveil next chapter in iBooksSmartphones saw their biggest holiday, you might be reading books and magazines on your next Wii U game console, and Apple has something up their sleeves later this month regarding publishing.
It's Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012. Happy New Year. I'm Bridget Carey on CNET.com and it's time to get loaded. The consumer electronic show is next week but Apple rumors are dominating the tech buzz at least for the moment. Apple will reportedly hold a press conference in New York sometime this month and early speculations say it has something to do with electronic books and publishing. Sorry kids, we're not gonna hear anything about an iPad 3 or Apple TV just yet and speaking of e-books you might be able to do some reading on the Nintendo Wii U game console which is expected to come out later this year. The Wii U has a touchscreen tablet like controller and not only will the controller has stand alone games available on an app store, but reports this morning say there will also be an e-books store. So if you're stuck in a game, you can pull up the how-to player's guide right from the controller. This was a huge holiday for smart phones. According to Flurry, a mobile application analytics firm, a record 6.8 million iOS and Android devices were activated on Christmas day and more than 242 millions apps were downloaded. If you take a step back to look at the whole last week of December, 1.2 billion apps were downloaded. It was also a big holiday for Mario. Nintendo sold 4 million Nintendo 3DS systems and 4.5 million Wii consoles. Overall for the year Nintendo sold more than 12 million gaming systems in the United States and it has hit that number for 5 years in a row according to the company, and it isn't just devices that could have a good holiday season. The social network Google Plus saw its usage in the United States rise 55% from November to December according to the firm Experian Hitwise. That means Google Plus had 49 millions visits but Google's keeping mum on the official numbers. One analyst and self proclaimed Google statistician, the founder of Ancestry.com, believes Google has 62 million users. Of course it's a ways away from Facebook count of 800 million users. With election day 9 months away you can follow the campaign trail on Google's new election hub at google.com/elections. You can see which candidate is trending in searches or go on the ground to get election stories pinned across the map and see what's going on in a particular location. Of course if you go on now, all the news is around Iowa. Today is the Iowa Caucuses, the first major electoral event in nomination the president of the United States but if you rather go by Facebook stats than Iowa polls to determine the Republican presidential candidate, well then Mitt Romney is in the lead with more than 1.2 millions fans according the social media statisticians at Socialbakers. He's followed by Ron Paul, who has more than 600,000 Facebook fans. Paul also has the greatest percentage of interactions with fans between likes and comments, but if you just look at fan growth in the past month, Rick Santorum has the lead. Those are your headlines for today. I'm Bridget Carey for CNET.com and you've just been loaded.