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Samsung reveals Amazon Instant Video 4K streams start this October

08/28, 7:19pm

Samsung Ultra HD televisions among first to receive 4K Amazon content

Amazon Instant Video will soon start to stream TV shows and films in 4K-resolution, with Samsung Ultra HD televisions set to be among the first to receive the content. The electronics giant revealed that the retailer will start streaming the high-resolution video to customers with 4K-compatible televisions from October, with all global versions of Amazon Instant Video and Prime Instant Video set to receive it at the same time.

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Report estimates Amazon has sold fewer than 35,000 Fire Phones

08/26, 7:19pm

First Amazon smartphone sales speculated as underwhelming

Amazon may not have made as much of an impact with its first smartphone than initially thought, according to a report. Using data from Chitika's advertising network and ComScore figures, it is suggested that the online retailer may have sold fewer than 35,000 units of the Fire Phone, an underwhelming figure when compared to the hype.

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Amazon procures streaming site Twitch for $970 million [u]

08/25, 5:45pm

Sources state that the deal is worth $1 billion, same as reported Google acquisition

Updated with confirmation of deal between twitch and Amazon Originally reported by The Information, Twitch has been purchased by Amazon. While Google was thought to be the forerunner that would pick up the company for $1 billion based on earlier reports, Amazon has completed the deal, worth $970 million in cash.

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Briefly: Kaebo cloth Lightning cable, bike mount case for iPhone

08/22, 7:45pm

Juno Power announces cloth braided Lightning cables

Portable power solutions company Juno Power has announced its newest line of Lightning adaptor cables, named Kaebo. An Apple certified charge and sync cable, the Kaebo features high strength cloth that is resistant to rips or tears. Its aluminum build is designed to withstand most accidental damage. The cable is equipped with an aluminum connector and USB head for optimal performance, and is available in silver, light gold, and slate gray. Measuring at one meter long, the Kaebo is priced at $22 through Juno Power and Amazon.

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Amazon wins Department of Defense cloud services contract

08/22, 10:35am

Amazon hopes contract will pave the way for cloud-based confidential data

Amazon Web Services has received the first ever U.S. Department of Defense level three through five provisional authorization for the AWS GovCloud (US) region under the Defense Information Systems Agency's (DISA) codified Cloud Security Model (CSM). This new authorization allows Department of Defense users to conduct development and integration activities for everything but classified workflows with Amazon's service.

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Amazon pushes the first major update over-the-air for Fire Phone

08/21, 5:15pm

Update brings FireOS version 3.5.1, improves battery and ability to create folders

Amazon announced that it is pushing out the first major update for the company's new smartphone, the Fire Phone. The update will be delivered over-the-air for early adopters on AT&T, bringing with it a number of improvements and changes that are said to give the phone better battery life, video sharing and make navigation easier. The update pushes FireOS to version 3.5.1.

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Amazon allegedly aiming for Prime Air drone delivery launch in India

08/21, 6:05am

First Amazon Prime Air service could operate in Mumbai, Bangalore

Amazon's Prime Air drone delivery service will initially launch in India, according to a report. The retailer is allegedly preparing the service, which uses an army of automated flying drones to carry light parcels, to operate out of its warehouses in Mumbai and Bangalore, with a view to getting it up and operational this October.

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Amazon quietly increases storage in new Kindle Paperwhite model

08/17, 3:15pm

Listing added for new version, reportedly increased memory from 2 to 4 GB

It appears that Amazon recently began directing consumers looking for a Kindle Paperwhite to a new version of the popular e-reader. The listing modification had occurred with what appeared to be no changes in the e-reader. As it turns out, a minor change did take place in the amount of storage that is included in the unit.

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Amazon Local Register takes on Square, PayPal with mobile card reader

08/13, 7:35am

Amazon severely undercuts competitor transaction fees for Local Register launch

Amazon is taking on PayPal and Square in mobile payments, by releasing its rumored card reader for smartphones. Local Register is a combination of the Square-style card reader and an accompanying mobile app to create a small and portable point-of-sale system, allowing retailers to directly accept physical credit and debit card payments.

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Opinion: Hachette and Amazon fight, who loses?

08/09, 3:45pm

Ongoing struggle between Amazon and content publishers highlight changes

In advance of a coalition of authors' letter being published in The New York Times tomorrow supporting publisher Hachette, Amazon has lashed out in an open letter to consumers, asking readers themselves to take Amazon's side in the "fight" for e-book pricing. The problem is that the matter is not as simple as either Hachette or Amazon are portraying it, and the real victims in this dispute are the customers, caught in the middle.

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Disney latest victim of Amazon DVD pre-order denial

08/09, 11:27am

Refusal of popular title pre-orders now seems to be standard Amazon tactic

Amazon's latest target for hard-line contract negotiation tactics appears to be Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment. Amazon has pulled nearly every disc-based pre-order option from the studio's upcoming titles, including Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Maleficient, and Muppets Most Wanted.

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Amazon expands same-day delivery to NYC, DC, Philadelphia, Baltimore

08/06, 2:01pm

Amazon order cutoff of noon for NYC; 1PM for Baltimore, DC

Amazon.com has expanded Same-Day Delivery with new "Get It Today" capabilities for customers in Baltimore, Dallas, Indianapolis, New York City, Philadelphia and Washington DC metro areas, with more than a million eligible items now available for same-day delivery. Customers who search or browse the Amazon product selection will find the "Get It Today" filter on the left-hand navigation panel, just below the "Amazon Prime" filter. They can select "Get It Today" and see only those items eligible for Same-Day Delivery. A similar "Get It by Tomorrow" filter will allow customers to discover millions of additional items that can be delivered the next day.

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Amazon offers video credits for slower Prime deliveries, expands Fresh

07/30, 5:45am

Video credits offered to Prime subscribers opting for slower order deliveries

Amazon has made some changes to two of its delivery-based services. Users of Amazon Prime deliveries are reportedly being given video credits as an incentive to opt for slower deliveries. Amazon Fresh, the grocery delivery service operated by the retailer in a limited number of locations, is expanding its reach into San Diego, California.

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Amazon reveals motives in Hachette war: forcing lower e-book prices

07/29, 8:34pm

Retailer holds e-book authors hostage in standoff for lower profits for publishers

Painting itself in an altruistic, pro-consumer light, Amazon in a post posing as an "update" on the Hachette standoff -- that has prevented customers from buying print or e-book editions from the publisher because Amazon refuses to fill orders -- explains that it is putting pressure on Hachette (and other publishers soon to follow) to lower the wholesale price of e-books to where Amazon can make a profit on them selling them at $10 or less. Amazon argues that e-books "must stay competitive" against all other forms of media.

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Amazon opens 3D printing store with curated list of customizable items

07/28, 7:52am

Personalized 3D-printed models, accessories offered by Amazon

Amazon has become the latest retailer to offer sales of 3D printed objects. Just as with Hasbro, the Amazon 3D Printing Store is making more than "200 unique print-on-demand products" available to buy and created through manufacturing partners, and though it is a curated collection of items instead of a user-designed object printing service, it still provides customers the chance to customize some of their purchases before printing.

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Briefly: PS4 3D Blu-ray support, Amazon card reader speculation

07/27, 6:14pm

Sony's PlayStation announces upcoming 3D Blu-ray support for PS4

Sony's PlayStation has announced that its next system update for PS4 will include support for 3D Blu-ray releases. The firmware update, v1.75, is anticipated to arrive next week, according to PlayStation Europe's tweet from earlier today. This information was released in light of Microsoft's announcement of Xbox One's upcoming 3D Blu-ray support.

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NCTA to FCC: Google, Facebook may charge ISPs for customer access

07/26, 11:55am

FTC net neutrality letter addresses concerns about Internet 'hyper-giants'

In a letter filed with the US Federal Communications Commission regarding the pending net neutrality proposal, pro-cable company advocacy group The National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) believes that if the "fast lane" net neutrality proposal stands as is, then "hyper-giants" like Amazon, eBay, Netflix, Facebook, and Google could charge the cable companies to allow customers to access services, essentially holding Internet Service Providers hostage. The cable companies allege to have no defense against such tactics, and claim to lack a "practical ability" or the incentive to throttle said large Internet companies.

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Coalition of authors blames 'thuggish' Amazon for Hachette dispute

07/26, 10:01am

Amazon fires back, continues to claim to be looking out for consumers

Some authors have begun to side with publisher Hachette in its struggle against Amazon. A letter, signed by almost 900 authors, is objecting to the way that Amazon is handling Hachette, saying that the fight is "harming authors who have nothing to do with this dispute to gain leverage." Amazon claims to be "looking out for the customer" in the dispute, and has already responded to the unpublished letter, calling the spearhead of the campaign "entitled" and an "opportunist."

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Presidential executive order over drone usage reportedly on the way

07/25, 7:34am

NTIA may be called to create voluntary best practices for commercial drones

President Barack Obama may issue privacy guidelines for commercial drones in the United States, claims a report. Plans to issue an executive order allegedly involve the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) working with consumer groups, and companies planning to operate drones in the future, to create "voluntary best practices" for the unmanned aircraft.

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Amazon widely misses street, hit with $126 million quarterly loss

07/24, 5:37pm

Growing losses troubling investors, stock down six percent in an hour

Amazon today announced financial results for its second quarter. The company reports that net sales increased 23 percent to $19.34 billion in the second quarter, compared with $15.70 billion in second quarter 2013. However, despite the increase in sales, the company's net loss was $126 million in the second quarter, or $0.27 per diluted share, compared with a net loss of $7 million, or $0.02 per diluted share, in second quarter 2013.

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Microsoft updates Skype for Android, reveals Amazon Fire Phone app

07/23, 6:40pm

Skype update allows linking of phonebook with Microsoft account

Microsoft has made a few changes to Skype for Android, adding the option to connect the smartphone's address book to the service. At the same time, Microsoft has revealed it is releasing a version of the messaging app client for Amazon's Fire Phone, one which will take advantage of the smartphone's home screen and graphical effects.

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Amazon bolsters small Prime Music catalog with thousands of tracks

07/23, 12:02pm

Extra music added on top of existing million-track Amazon Prime Music collection

Amazon is attempting to improve the selection of music available on its Prime Music service, to make it more appealing to Prime subscribers. The retailer has announced it has added "hundreds of thousands of songs" to the Prime Music catalog, as well as more curated playlists to the service, though it appears users wanting more modern music may be disappointed.

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Kindle Fire, iPad make gains in North American web traffic

07/22, 2:40pm

Samsung sees big setback

Since April, the shares of North American tablet web traffic from iPads and Kindle Fires has increased by 0.8 and 1.2 points, respectively, according to new data compiled by Chitika Insights. The figures put the iPad at 78 percent of traffic, and the Kindle Fire at 7.3 percent, the latter displacing Samsung tablets in aggregate (down to 6.3 percent). Google and Microsoft -- also generally considered prominent tablet makers -- managed shares of just 2.1 and 1.4 percent.

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Amazon Wallet app for storing gift cards, store cards surfaces

07/22, 2:08pm

Mobile app from Amazon stores retailer card details, no mobile payments by card yet

Amazon has quietly launched an app to help people manage gift cards and loyalty cards with stores. The Amazon Wallet app for Android and the Fire Phone is able to store membership cards for retailers on the smartphone, allowing shoppers to digitally carry all of their store cards and gift cards without having to also bring along the physical versions.

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Amazon launches Kindle Unlimited e-book subscription service

07/18, 9:29am

Over 600,000 e-books, audiobooks can be downloaded from Kindle Unlimited

Following a leak from earlier this week, Amazon has launched its subscription e-book service. Named Kindle Unlimited, the service operates as a form of "Netflix for e-books," providing all-you-can-eat access to over 600,000 Kindle books and thousands of Audible audiobooks via Kindle devices or the Kindle apps on smartphones and tablets for $9.99 per month.

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Briefly: Three Wi-Fi on London Underground, EU Amazon Prime update

07/17, 12:32pm

Three prepares to offer subscribers free Wi-Fi in London Underground

British carrier Three is following the lead of other carriers in the country, by offering free Wi-Fi on the London Underground. The Next Web reports the carrier will be working with Virgin Media, the company that set up the original Wi-Fi network for the 2012 Olympic Games, to provide customers free access to the Wi-Fi network in 137 stations without buying a Wi-Fi pass. Three hopes to open up the network to its customers by the end of this month.

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Amazon's mobile ad network comes to iOS

07/17, 11:45am

Reach extending to Fire phone on July 25th

Amazon's Mobile Ads API supports iOS devices as of today, the company has announced. The change means that developers will be able to use banner and interstitial ads from Amazon's network on iPhones and iPads, in addition to the Android and Fire OS devices already supported. Support for the Fire phone is due on July 25th, the same day that product launches.

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Amazon executive confirms Instant Video Android app on the way

07/17, 10:58am

Android Amazon Instant Video app, 4K video mentioned by marketing director

Amazon is said to be preparing to launch an Android app for Amazon Instant Video for non-Kindle Fire tablets. An executive allegedly confirmed the long-awaited app for normal Android devices is "imminent" to a report, a move which would finally bring the video streaming service in line with competitors, such as Netflix, in providing a cross-platform video streaming experience.

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Amazon Kindle Unlimited subscription e-books service leaks in testing

07/16, 2:16pm

Cached pages detail Kindle Unlimited service with over 600,000 books

Amazon is allegedly testing an e-book subscription service the retailer could offer to Kindle customers sometime in the future. Effectively operating in a similar way to Netflix for video or Spotify for music, Kindle Unlimited will apparently provide "unlimited access to over 600,000 titles and thousands of audiobooks" at a cost of $10 per month.

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Apple to pay $450M to settle class action over e-book price fixing

07/16, 1:46pm

Will solve complaints made in 33 states and territories

Apple has agreed to pay $450 million to settle a class-action lawsuit over e-book price fixing, brought against it by states and consumers, according to New York's Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman. The payment will settle allegations made in 33 states and territories, including New York. Schneiderman says that of the total amount, up to $400 million could reach consumers, depending on whether Apple wins its appeal.

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Amazon hires Babak Parviz, former Google Glass, Google X team lead

07/14, 2:12pm

Former researcher previously led Google Glass and Google Contact Lenses teams

What started with a social media message turned into confirmation that Amazon has made a high-profile hire. Babak Parviz, formerly of Google as part of their Google X division, has been hired into an unspecified role with the Internet retailer. Parviz's replacement as the Google Glass lead was announced in May as Ivy Ross.

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Amazon charges penny on book orders to avoid French free delivery ban

07/11, 9:38pm

French free delivery book ban circumvented with extremely-low Amazon delivery cost

Amazon is countering a law in France banning free shipping, by charging customers a single euro cent ($0.01) for orders. The law, put in place by the French government in an attempt to protect smaller bookstores from being squeezed out of the marketplace by the online retailer, is being circumvented by the technicality, with French lawmakers seemingly unable to hamper Amazon's sales efforts.

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Amazon asks FAA for exemption permit for Prime Air drone testing

07/11, 12:46pm

Amazon wants to perform outdoor drone testing in United States

Amazon has asked the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for permission to fly its in-development Prime Air delivery drones. The petition, filed with the FAA on July 9th and published yesterday, asks for an exemption from the FAA Modernization and Reform Act 2012, which currently permits the civilian outdoor flying of model aircraft only for hobbyists and manufacturers.

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FTC files in-app purchase lawsuit against Amazon, seeks refunds

07/10, 1:37pm

Suit files complaints about wanton, and unauthorized, in-app purchases

According to a US Federal Trade Commission report filed today, Amazon has billed parents and other account holders for millions of dollars in unauthorized in-app charges incurred by children. The FTC's lawsuit seeks a court order requiring refunds for consumers for the unauthorized charges, and permanently banning the company from billing parents and other account holders for in-app charges that have been made without their consent.

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Amazon proposes 100-percent e-book sales cut for Hachette authors

07/08, 4:22pm

Latest Amazon tactic in Hachette negotiations directly involves authors

Amazon is allegedly stepping up in its aggressiveness in terms of its negotiations with book publisher Hachette, by leaning on authors affected in the dispute. The retailer has allegedly made a proposal directly to authors and agents in a letter, which would see Hachette authors receive "100 percent of the sales price of every Hachette e-book we sell," instead of the usual lower royalty split between the authors and the publisher.

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Amazon warns FTC it will take battle over in-app purchases to court

07/02, 6:50pm

Letter to the FTC says news of a possible complaint filing is 'deeply disappointing'

Amazon has decided to take a hard line against the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) pressure to change their approach to in-app purchases. In a letter to the commission, the company stated that it would defend its "customer-centric approach" if the FCC pursued a complaint in Federal court. The government agency is considering suing Amazon over what it calls lax practices to prevent any possibility of unauthorized buying of in-app purchases (IAPs), for example by children.

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Amazon accessory seller sues Apple, Amazon after listings removed

07/02, 7:03am

Deleted accessory listings, counterfeit accusations prompt Amazon seller lawsuit

An accessories retailer has filed a lawsuit against Amazon and Apple, over removed product listing requests and lost sales. Filed last week, Hard 2 Find Accessories claims Amazon took down product listings from its site and suspended its seller's account after a request by Apple, a move which is allegedly costing Hard 2 Find more than $180,000 a month in lost revenues.

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UK book publishers allegedly fighting Amazon over new contract terms

06/27, 8:42am

Amazon seeks right to print out-of-stock books in negotiations with publishers

Amazon is allegedly battling publishers in the United Kingdom for more favorable contract terms, including the right to print out-of-stock books. The retailer wants to be able to print more copies of works if publishers are unable to provide sufficient stock, with the proposal one of a number said to be under negotiation between Amazon and independent publishers.

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Briefly: Facebook spreads Slingshot, London Underground Amazon Lockers

06/25, 7:44am

Facebook Slingshot opens up to all users following US-only launch

Facebook has expanded the reach of its recently-launched reciprocal messaging app Slingshot to the rest of the world, following its United States-only launch. The app, available on iOS and Android internationally, will let recipients of images, video, and text-based messages view the contents only after replying another message back at the original sender.

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FAA document grounds Amazon drones before they can take off

06/24, 5:10pm

Public opinion request on model aircraft clarifies recreation, bars all commercial use

Amazon's fleet of drones may not be dropping packages on doorsteps anytime soon if the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) gets it way. In a document asking for public comment on an interpretation on the "special model aircraft" rule, the FAA points out the difference between hobby and business ventures. As the rule applies to the use of drones, Amazon blue-sky drone proposal is left on the pad without being granted permission to take off.

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Amazon, Warner Bros. close to DVD, Blu-ray pricing agreement

06/24, 1:08pm

Preorders for Warner movies become available again on Amazon

Amazon has started to allow preorders of upcoming Warner Bros. DVD and Blu-ray releases on its online store. The two companies are reportedly close to completing negotiations over DVD pricing, a dispute which saw the retailer blocking the early sales of some prominent movies, including The Lego Movie and Transcendence, in an attempt to gain some form of leverage over the media company.

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Code Spaces shuts down after Amazon-hosted customer data obliterated

06/18, 7:19pm

Hosting company returning what data it has, left financially crippled by attack

What started as a denial-of-service-attack (DDOS) has resulted in critical loss of data for code-hosting company Code Spaces yesterday. Code Spaces has decided to throw in the towel when someone deleted the majority of customer data after gaining access to the company's Amazon Web Services (AWS) account. The company, which was left compromised and unable to restore data, made the decision to completely shut down.

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Analysis: Amazon's Fire Phone

06/18, 4:13pm

Did Amazon hit a homerun with the Fire Phone? Or is it another shoehorned Android device?

During a small event in Seattle today, Amazon confirmed the numerous rumors circling the Internet about a smartphone from the company. The Fire Phone was introduced by CEO Jeff Bezos to a crowd of 300, showing off a number of features including a 3D display and Firefly. Electronista writers Mike and Jordan offer some of their opinions on the phone's technology and hardware, the presentation and what effect the Fire Phone may have on future business.

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Amazon builds Firefly quick item, sound search into Fire Phone

06/18, 3:05pm

Dedicated phone button allows for product search, keeps history for future purchases

During the unveiling of Amazon's most recent piece of tech, the Fire Phone, Jeff Bezos introduced a feature called Firefly. The technology will allow phone users to search for items through the camera by holding a button on the phone. The accompanying app will pull up an Amazon listing for a product based on what it sees, rather than relying on just a barcode.

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Amazon reveals Fire Phone with Dynamic Perspective, Firefly

06/18, 1:49pm

Amazon Fire Phone has 4.7-inch display, unlimited photo storage

Amazon's long-rumored smartphone has been unveiled at the retail giant's launch event, and it is called the Fire Phone. The first smartphone from Amazon, the Fire Phone joins the growing stable of hardware including the Kindle, Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HDX, with the mobile device offering a 4.7-inch IPS LCD display with 590 nits of brightness, dynamic image contrast, and a circular polarizer.

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Amazon Appstore heading to BlackBerry in fall operating system update

06/18, 9:31am

Licensing deal brings 240,000 Amazon apps to BlackBerry 10 devices

Owners of BlackBerry smartphones will soon have more apps to choose from, thanks to a licensing arrangement with Amazon. BlackBerry OS version 10.3 will include the Amazon Appstore when it ships in the fall, with the deal giving users more than 240,000 Android apps to use, on top of those already offered through the company's own BlackBerry World store.

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Apple's iBookstore taking advantage of Amazon-Hatchette feud

06/17, 6:36pm

Pre-orders now discounted as titles disappear from Amazon listings

Exactly as predicted by critics, Amazon has begun flexing its muscle as the dominant e-book seller, and is now trying to renegotiate better deals with publishers to help its sagging bottom line. It is currently engaged in a very public fight with Hatchette, and has removed a number of best-sellers from its store as well as delayed or refused orders for other (physical) books. As with Walmart and some other outlets, Apple's iBookstore is now offering discounted pre-orders on the "missing from Amazon" books.

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WSJ: Amazon smartphone will be exclusive to AT&T

06/17, 10:22am

Rumored Amazon smartphone said to ship just on AT&T in United States

Amazon's rumored smartphone could be exclusive to AT&T, according to the Wall Street Journal and other reports. The mobile device, expected to be launched by the retailer tomorrow, will apparently work with just AT&T in the United States, with the claim apparently lending an answer to an earlier rumor about a Prime Data service plan for the phone.

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OSHA investigates accidental death at Amazon warehouse in Pennsylvania

06/13, 1:55pm

Second fatal accident in Amazon warehouses in six-month period

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is investigating the death of an Amazon employee at one of the retailer's warehouses earlier this month. At the same time, OSHA has revealed its findings on another Amazon warehouse employee's death from December, citing violations with a number of companies, but not Amazon itself.

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Amazon launches Prime Music streaming as part of Prime subscription

06/12, 6:29am

Over 1M songs available on Amazon Prime Music at launch

Amazon has launched its long-rumored music streaming service, just one day after reports claiming it would do so this week. Prime Music follows on from Prime Instant Video and the Kindle Lending Library as an extra service included in the $99 annual Prime delivery subscription, giving customers the ability to stream music to multiple devices without any advertising.

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