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Mar 16, 2011 9:37 AM by Kelly Werthmann - KTVQ News

What's the Buzz: Billings entrepreneurs win tech award at SXSW Festival; iPad 2 shortage

Two entrepreneurs from Billings are now "The King of Apps."

Cody Harris and Brock Holzer, founders of SnapAppointments.com, were awarded the title and $10,000 this week at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas. Harris and Holzer recently launched the new website, which helps small business clients make and find appointments, and it's been generating a lot of buzz at the SXSW Festival -- the same trade show where well-known sites like Twitter, Tumblr and Foursquare got their start.

Harris and Holzer launched SnapAppointments on March 1, providing users an online tool to find local service providers and a convenient way to book appointments that fit their schedule. The site gives users a detailed look at service profiles with a quick glance at each business' services, hours, pictures and maps. Clients can search by keyword, location and available time-slots on SnapAppointments, then choose the provider and appointment that best fits their schedule -- eliminating the need to call during business hours, sitting on hold or waiting for callbacks.

SnapAppointments also helps small businesses manage client profiles, keep track of contact information and appointment history. Businesses can also use optional email surveys to send to clients after each visit to get service feedback to ensure client satisfaction. Service providers that use SnapAppointments get detailed reports that identify client demand, appointment trends and peak service hours which can ultimately help make accurate data-driven decisions to better business.

The Montana natives say SnapAppointments is currently free to use, but plan to create several "premium" features that will be offered for a small monthly fee. The SnapAppointments smartphone app will be available to the public next week.

Click here to watch a demo video to learn more about SnapAppointments and how it works.

Harris and Holzer will compete in the next King of Apps contest in April.

To learn more about the South by Southwest Festival, visit their website, SXSW.com.

Looking to buy an iPad 2? Be prepared to wait.

According to ComputerWorld, Apple's iPad 2 is in extremely short supply, with shipping delays from Apple's online store now standing at four to five weeks and customers at several prominent retail stores going away empty-handed.

Apple originally promised online orders would be delivered in two to three days, but in the hours before iPad 2 tablets even became available for purchase in stores -- the tablet was first sold at the Apple Web store then, at 5 p.m. local time, at its retail outlets -- shipping time quickly surged from two to three weeks to four to five weeks. Experts say the shipping delay and limited supply of the popular tablet is due to high demand, not to the unfolding disaster in Japan.

"The current shortage is not at all related to Japan," Rhoda Alexander, an analyst at IHS iSuppli, told ComputerWorld. "It's the usual case of a new product and new excitement. Apple is just ramping up now and [the demand is due to the fact] that there's a huge portion of consumers who will not buy a first-generation product no matter what."

Apple has experienced shipping delays and product shortages before, most recently with the iPhone 3G and iPhone 4. Deliveries for the iPhone 4 were delayed by three weeks, prompting Apple CEO Steve Jobs to apologize for the short supply.

High-demand for the iPad 2 will likely continue for the next several weeks, but supply should match demands within the next two months.

"Just because Apple's showing four to five weeks does not necessarily mean that's the next time you can buy one," said Brian Marshall of Gleacher & Co. "I expect that Apple will stagger shipments to its retail stores, with the next large one coming Monday, March 21."

For more information, read the full article from ComputerWorld by clicking here.

Do you know of an online story or video that's buzzworthy? Send me the link! E-mail me at kwerthmann@ktvq.com so I can share it both on-air and online! You can also follow me on Twitter @kelly_werthmann for more buzz!


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