6at4 Business Report: Possible iPad shortages?

December 21, 2011 1:57:58 PM PST
Could an iPad shortage be on the horizon? Plus, home sales slow and bad gifts are on the way!

Possible iPad shortages?
Apple's iPad may be harder to come by in the coming weeks. There was an explosion at the factory that assembles the must have device in China; 61 people were hurt in the incident. Authorities think it was caused by aluminum dust, which is highly combustible. Forbes magazine reported that this incident, coupled with the earthquake and tsunami in Japan earlier this year could cause a shortage of iPads. [Notes:25 ++++ pad]

$335 million Bank of America settlement
If you had a mortgage with Countrywide, you might see a check in the mail becuase there's millions of dollars in refunds coming to Countrywide customers. Bank of America, which now owns the mortgage unit, has agreed to a record $335 million settlement after the U.S. Justice Department investigated the unit's mortgage practices. The Department accused Countrywide of charging higher fees and interest rates to more than 200,000 black and Hispanic borrowers from 2004 to 2008.

Existing home sales slow down
The housing market is not looking pretty. Existing homes coming in even slower, down 14% since 2007 , according to the National Realtors Association. The group's chief economist says it looks like the housing market is much worse than previously thought.

Free return shipping increases
Free return shipping is the new craze! USA Today reports consumers are demanding it from traditional retailers now. Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Neiman Marcus are offering free return shipping. In most cases, though, it's just for the holidays. Nordstrom however, offers it year round and by next year even more retailers are expected to sign on. Online shopping has really exploded this year with sales hitting $31 billion over the holiday season according to comScore. That's a 15% jump over last year.

Bad gifts poll
Get ready to bite your tongue and force a fake smile. Twenty percent of adults will get a lousy gift this holiday. That's according to a study by Consumer Reports. So what does one do with their new Chia Pet or Snuggie? Well, most will grin and bear it, while others will donate the item or even try to pass the inferior present along to another victim. We want to know what you do! Follow this link and vote in our 6at4.com Bad Gift Poll!


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