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Amazon sends out over a billion holiday packages; Echo sales surge

Editor’s note: DT Daily was produced today before we learned of Carrie Fisher’s death. You can read more about her here and we’ll have a remembrance on DT Daily on Wednesday.

Alexa, order me a case of Oreos

Happy Holidays from DT and hey, we still have New Years to go and it’s on a Saturday. So who’s really celebrating after this year’s holiday buying frenzy? Amazon, for one. USA Today says the online retail juggernaut shipped over a billion items for the holidays, and a whole bunch of them included their A.I. homebot Alexa, as all things Echo were hot sellers this year; in fact they were seven times more popular than last year.

Seems like A.I. homebots are starting to catch on, and Amazon is riding the wave to billions in revenue. Amazon also said 72 percent of shoppers bought from mobile devices, and December 19th was their busiest day. Also super popular this year? Oreo cookies.

Rumor: All iPhone 8s will be delivered by unicorns

The iPhone 8 rumor mill continues to run at full speed, a full nine months ahead of when Apple will likely unveil the 10th anniversary device that everyone is sure will be some sort of game changer. Fortune is now saying that Apple is working on three new models for 2017, according to information they’re getting from reliable Apple forecaster KGI Securities and news leaks from “unnamed supply chain sources” via the Mac Otakara blog.

So now it sounds like there will be a halo iPhone 8 with an edge-to-edge OLED screen and other fancy bits, along with two smaller models, one with a 4.7 inch screen, and a new model with a 5-inch screen. All of the phones may have the new dual-camera setup, and perhaps wireless charging as well. But Fortune says Apple won’t finalize the design of any of the phones until March, so hey, we’ll wait to report on any more rumors until then. Yeah, right, we totally won’t.

At this point, we’ll almost believe anyone famous has died

And we know, following the actual death of pop star George Michael on Christmas Day, a lot of people thought the same fate had befallen Britney Spears, especially since word of “accidental” her death went out on the Twitter account of Sony Music Global. But, as many people suspected, and Sony later confirmed, the tweet was due to a hack, and we-told-you-so good-guy hacker group OurMine says they were the culprits – again.

Sony later tweeted out their apologies over the incident and Britney assured her nearly 50 million followers on Twitter that news of her death had indeed been greatly exaggerated.