Five front-facing cameras shown in leaked photographs of Amazon smartphone
Photographs of what is believed to be Amazon's first smartphone have surfaced. Encased in what appears to be a protective casing to prevent the external appearance from being leaked, the images of an alleged prototype device seem to suggest that the smartphone will have a 3D interface powered by multiple front-facing camera sensors.
BlackBerry will update iOS, Android BBM apps over Heartbleed security flaw
BlackBerry has added itself to the list of companies working to fix issues caused by the 'Heartbleed' OpenSSL security flaw. Senior vice president Scott Totzke told Reuters that, though the majority of BlackBerry products are unaffected, by not using OpenSSL, it will still need to issue updates to Secure Work Space corporate e-mail and the BlackBerry Messenger clients for iOS and Android.
Wall Street Journal sources believe Amazon phone will ship by end of September
Amazon is preparing to release its long-rumored smartphone in the second half of this year, claims sources of the Wall Street Journal. The retailer has allegedly demonstrated the device to developers in Seattle and San Francisco, with an official announcement planned for the end of June, and for the smartphone to ship by the end of September.
Deal gives Amazon exclusive control of DC online distribution
Amazon today announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire digital comics vendor ComiXology for an undisclosed sum. ComiXology developed and distributes the engine used by most major comic book publishers in the United States, including Marvel and DC Comics for their privately-branded digital services.
Likely replacing former Chomp CTO
Benoit Dupin -- formerly the VP of Amazon's A9 Search Technology Group -- has left the company to take a job with Apple. The executive's profile disappeared from the Amazon A9 site earlier this week, and his LinkedIn profile now positions him as a "director" at Apple. More uncertain is what Dupin's new responsibilities are, but a source says that he's working with the search technology team behind Maps, the iTunes Store, and the App Store.
Amazon Instant Video updated for iOS 7
Amazon's video streaming service app for iOS, Amazon Instant Video, has been updated to version 2.5. Powered by Prime Instant Video, users can stream over 40,000 movies and TV episodes, including Amazon's original content. Purchased and rented content can be downloaded for offline viewing from the library, and content can be viewed on Apple TV using AirPlay. In its latest update, the app is optimized for iOS 7, featuring a revised overall look. Also included are bug fixes and stability improvements. Amazon Instant Video for iOS is available for iPad and iPhone, and can be downloaded from iTunes.
Amazon announces Dash barcode scanner, expands e-commerce versatility
Amazon has announced the release of a new LED barcode scanner, entitled Dash. Offering the ability to scan household objects and groceries, the aim of Dash is to facilitate replenishing stock within one's home by scanning existing products to order replacements. Users can scan or verbally dictate what is desired to be purchased, with Dash featuring a simplistic setup and sturdy design. Those interested can sign up through Amazon for a free Dash gadget, currently by invitation only.
Amazon finally releases streamer for video, audio, gaming
An Amazon-branded set-top box like a Roku or Apple TV has really been inevitable for some time. Yesterday, Amazon formally introduced the Amazon Fire TV box, an HDMI peripheral for a so-equipped television. The media streaming market is very crowded. Solutions like Roku and Apple TV dominate the landscape, with the new Google Chromecast device coming in with a bit less independent functionality than its competitors. How does the Amazon Fire TV hold up to its competitors in the living room, rather than a media event floor?
eBay, Amazon, HP, Oracle near bottom of major corporations
In terms of datacenters, Apple has scored the top position on a new Greenpeace list of the most environmentally-friendly high-tech businesses. The company is the only one with a 100 percent figure on Greenpeace's "clean energy index," since its datacenters are completely free of any dependence on coal, nuclear power, or natural gas. It also has an "A" score under categories of Energy Transparency, Commitment & Siting Policy, and Deployment & Accuracy. It achieved a B in terms of Energy Efficiency & Mitigation.
Fire TV set-top box offers voice search by microphone in remote control
Amazon has launched its new streaming media player, the Fire TV, at its New York media event today. Part of the retailer's push into the streaming video marketplace and building upon the success of its Kindle tablets, the Amazon Fire TV is a small set-top box that allows users access to TV shows and movies watch video from Amazon's Instant Video, as well as other services.
BT prepares sports channels for use on Chromecast
BT Sport will soon be available to watch on Chromecast in the UK. The sports channel, currently available as a paid service on Sky but free to BT Broadband customers, will appear on the streaming device in the future, reports the Financial Times. There is no mention of exactly when it will be rolling out to the Chromecast, though it seems to be likely BT will continue restricting access to anyone using their Internet service.
Recent Amazon Studios pilots graduate to full series, recording in 4K
Amazon is adding to its collection of exclusive content, by revealing which shows from its most recent Amazon Studios pilots roster will be made into full seasons. At the same time as announcing the six shows that will be heading to Prime Instant Video, the retailer also confirmed existing original show and previous graduate from the Pilots system Alpha House will be returning for another season.
New York media event may be Amazon streaming media device unveiling
Amazon could be preparing to reveal its rumored set-top box next week, after the retailer sent invitations to the media for a special event. The gathering, set to take place in New York on April 2, is said by the company to introduce "an update on our video business" with Peter Larsen, Vice President in charge of Amazon Kindle, and is thought to involve some sort of hardware launch.
Math for calculating credit unknown
Amazon has started issuing credit to Kindle e-book buyers as a part of the legal settlements agreed to by publishers Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and Penguin, according to notices being sent to out to customers. The money is being deposited into shoppers' Amazon accounts, and is typically just a few dollars, depending on how many qualifying Kindle titles a person bought between April 1st 2010 and May 21st 2012. "We will automatically apply your available credit to your next purchase of a Kindle book or print book sold by Amazon.com, regardless of publisher," the company says. The credit is valid until March 31st of next year.
Amazon smartphone will use six cameras for gesture control
Amazon is still working on a smartphone, and will launch it within the next three to six months, claims an analyst. Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities believes the online retailer will include six cameras, reiterating previous rumors, with the main and front cameras for standard photography and video purposes being accompanied by four more for gesture control.
Will leverage Prime Video, rumored to offer game and music streaming also
A new report from the Wall Street Journal claims that Amazon is in the process of demonstrating to partners and developers a nearly-complete set-top box device designed to leverage the company's Prime streaming services and compete directly against Apple TV and Roku. The device is thought to be debuting sometime next month, and may also offer game streaming.
Chromecast-like dongle from Amazon could offer high-end gaming
Amazon's rumored media streaming device may have more in common with the Google Chromecast than previously thought, according to a report. The retailer is said to be making the media player in the form of a dongle that can plug directly into a television's HDMI port, with one rumor claiming that it would have the ability to stream high quality games from a server, instead of relying on modified mobile titles for gaming.
Controller similar to OnLive controller, sports Android control buttons
An Amazon-branded game controller with Android buttons has popped up in Brazilian regulatory documents. The controller resembles the OnLive controller, and has a pair of offset Analog sticks, a directional pad, a pair of triggers, two shoulder buttons, a diamond-oriented ABXY button configuration, as well as the standard back, home, and menu buttons common to Android devices.
Price rise of Amazon Prime in United States follows changes in UK, Germany
Amazon is raising the price of its Prime subscription in the United States in April. The existing $79 annual rate, which provides access to free two-day shipping, Prime Instant Video, and the Kindle Owner's Lending Library, will increase on April 17th to $99 per year, and comes after similar recent price changes to Amazon Prime in areas of Europe.
Fixed $30M licensing pot a sticking point for music executives in Amazon negotiations
More rumors for fabled Amazon services have surfaced, with three different outlets claiming to provide more information about the Prime music service and its long-rumored streaming device. The latest claim for the music service, thought to be offered as part of the Prime delivery subscription, sees the company limiting the number of plays of a track, as a means to increase its MP3 sales.
Second-generation Kindle Paperwhite features reach first generation
Amazon has updated the software for the first generation of the Kindle Paperwhite, bringing it in line with features already available to the newer model. The free update, available both as a wireless download or a manual transfer over USB, introduces the Goodreads community rating and note sharing scheme to the e-reader, among other new additions to the device.
Apple still most successful individual tablet maker
Android ruled global tablet marketshare in 2013, accounting for 62 percent of devices by shipments, according to somewhat questionable data from research firm Gartner. That represents a significant upset, since in 2012 the iPad was in firm control with a 52.8 percent share. Apple, however, continued to do best among individual tablet makers in sales, with a 36 percent share and claimed sales over 70.4 million units -- an increase from a figure just under 61.5 million in 2012.
Claimed discussions with labels stalled over music licensing discount request
Amazon Prime subscribers may receive another benefit in the future, if a rumor is found to be true. It is claimed that the online retailer is looking to expand the Prime bonuses from the current Kindle Lending Library and Prime Instant Video offerings to include music streaming, with Amazon said to be in negotiations with the larger music labels to make the service a reality.
High-tech companies control top three spots
For the seventh year in a row, Apple has taken the top spot on Fortune's "World's Most Admired Companies" list. The ranking is based on a survey of corporate executives and directors, as well as industry analysts; all three groups were asked to evaluate companies based on factors like innovation, social responsibility, and people management. Apple took home an overall score of 7.94, beating out Amazon, which achieved 7.09. Google in turn dropped to third place.
Claims verdict was a 'radical departure from modern antitrust law'
Apple has filed an official appeal with the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, seeking to overturn District Court Judge Denise Cote's verdict in July, which found Apple in violation of antitrust laws through its handling of e-book deals. "The district court's ruling that Apple, in the very act of launching the iPad, inventing the iBooks Store, and entering the e-books market, violated the Sherman Act is a radical departure from modern antitrust law and policy. If allowed to stand, the ruling will stifle innovation, chill competition, and harm consumers," the company claims in its appellate opening brief.
Steep price increase comes with renamed Lovefilm service
Amazon is readying a price hike for its Prime service in Germany before the end of the month. On February 26, users will see a rate increase that comes after the company renamed its streaming video service Lovefilm to Amazon Prime Instant Video in order to pair it with existing Prime subscriptions.
Prime expanded in UK with Lovefilm rebranding, price hike
Amazon is re-branding its Lovefilm video-streaming service in the United Kingdom to Amazon Prime Instant Video, at the same time as combining it with the existing Prime delivery subscription and Kindle Lending Library. The move, which will see customers able to use both services for one payment, brings Amazon UK in line with what is offered to users in the United States.
Virtual currency appear in Amazon Appstore for non-Kindle tablets
Amazon is expanding the usefulness of its home-grown virtual currency, by allowing it to be used on all Android devices, not just the Kindle Fire tablet range, the retailer has revealed. Amazon Coins, introduced in May last year, can be used to buy apps from the Amazon Appstore to use on non-Amazon Android tablets and smartphones, as well as for any in-app purchases.
Lenovo score drops
Amazon has shot to the top of Rescuecom's latest annual Computer Reliability Report, according to a press release. The company achieved a score of 7,590, vastly outdoing Samsung, which came in second with 768. Rescuecom determines reliability rankings by comparing computer and tablet vendors' marketshares with the numbers of repair calls its Level 3 technicians handle.
IP, 75 staff acquired by Amazon in game studio purchase
Amazon has acquired a game studio, in what is believed to be an attempt to bolster its gaming division. The retailer will absorb approximately 75 staff and all intellectual property of Double Helix Games, the team behind the Xbox One-exclusive Killer Instinct, with it becoming the second studio under its control alongside Amazon Game Studios.
Profit on the year comes in at $274 million
Amazon today announced financial results for its fourth quarter. Net sales from the e-commerce giant increased 20 percent to $25.59 billion in the fourth quarter, compared with $21.27 billion in fourth quarter 2012. Net income increased to $239 million in the fourth quarter, or $0.51 per share, compared with $97 million, or $0.21 per share in the year-ago quarter.
Systems consisting of Kindle Fire tablet, card reader could head to stores this summer
A pair of reports claim that Amazon is moving further into the payments market, from two different directions. One plan involves offering retail stores a point-of-sale system using Kindle tablets, while another involves the creation of a system for person-to-person payments, in a similar service to that currently offered by payment processing competitor PayPal.
iPad shipments still on rise
Following up on its release of smartphone data, IDC has published numbers on tablet shipments and marketshare for the fourth quarter of 2013. Apple's iPad saw shipments grow from 22.9 million to 26 million year-over-year, but lost marketshare, sliding from 38.2 percent to 33.8. This appears to have primarily benefited Samsung, which grew its share from 13 percent to 18.8, based on a unit increase from 7.8 million to 14.5 million.
Report claims Amazon demonstrated device to game publishers
Amazon is still looking to sell an Android-based set-top box, a report has claimed. Continuing on from earlier rumors, the device is said to operate as a game console, as well as offering access to various Amazon-owned streaming services such as Prime Instant Video and LoveFilm, with the hardware itself expected to be offered sometime later this year for below $300.
Project said to be in early stages
Amazon is reportedly working on a new video service that will mimic traditional cable and broadcast models by focusing on live streaming programming, unnamed sources have told The Wall Street Journal. The project is said to be in early stages, though the sources claim the company has already reached out to at least three major content owners to begin discussions for potential licensing deals.
Amazon leads pack
For the first time, Apple has fallen behind Samsung, Microsoft, and Sony in an annual Forrester Research survey of customer satisfaction. The firm polled 7,500 Americans, asking them how enjoyable it was to do business with a company, how easy it was, and how effective the company was at meeting needs. Amazon led the consumer electronics category, picking up a score of 91 for its Kindle devices.
Company aims for longer stay, monitor's eventual removal
The Second US Circuit Court of Appeals has granted Apple an "administrative stay," temporarily relieving it of scrutiny by antitrust monitor Michael Bromwich, Reuters reports. The stay is short-term only, and in fact Apple is pursuing a longer stay while it also seeks to suspend Bromwich entirely. A three-judge panel is due to hear a motion for the longer stay as soon as possible. The Department of Justice has until January 24 to file opposition; it didn't, however, oppose the administrative stay.
Anticipatory shipping patent directs products to customers mid-delivery
Amazon may start shipping items to customers before an order is completed in the future, if a recently-granted patent is anything to go by. The patent by the retailer for a "Method and system for anticipatory package shipping" was granted on Christmas Eve, with the proposed system potentially lowering the delivery times for customer orders.
Kindle Fire HD for $109 and more
Right now at Amazon, save $30 on the Kindle Fire HD Tablet with coupon code 'MAYDAY30' which lowers the price from $139 down to $109 with free US shipping. This tablet features 8GB of storage space, 1280x800 resolution, a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, built-in Wi-Fi, and a rechargeable battery that lasts for up to 10 hours on single charge. This tablet is backed by a one-year limited warranty on parts and labor from Amazon.
iPhone only smartphone with increased activity
Apple devices remained firmly in control of North American web traffic through Christmas, but the iPad lost some ground to devices from Amazon, Microsoft, and Samsung, according to new Chitika analytics. The data was collected from "tens of millions" of devices between December 20th and the 29th, and used to gauge the growth or decline of various brands. Apple's iPhone was the only smartphone to gain share, advancing 1.8 percent to 54.3 percent of the market.
Amazon adds 1M new Prime members in third week of December
Amazon has wrapped up what it is calling its "best ever" holiday, and the online retailer has added an additional one million subscribers to its Amazon Prime service in a short span of time. A press release from the retailer pointed out that Amazon Prime gained another million subscribers – at $79 per year each – in just the third week of December. On the whole, the 2013 holiday shopping season produced solid results for Amazon, with more than 36.8 million items ordered worldwide on Cyber Monday, and enough items shipped with Prime this holiday to deliver at least one gift to every household in America.
Motorola adds Bamboo backing option to MotoMaker
Motorola has finally made a wooden backing available for the Moto X. Users of MotoMaker can choose to have a Bamboo coating on the rear of the smartphone, at a cost of $100 and an extra week on the delivery time according to TechnoBuffalo. Bamboo is currently the only option in the "Natural" category on the site, with previously-spotted options for Ebony, Rosewood, and Teak yet to be added to the backing list.
Filming in 4K resolution could lead to 4K Amazon Instant Video streaming
Amazon Studios will be shooting all of its 2014 original programming in 4K-resolution, including all pilots and series, for Amazon Instant Video and LoveFilm. The switch to recording in the higher 3840x2160 resolution will allow for the retailer's streaming services to offer content that caters to owners of Ultra HD televisions, a group that has been struggling to find media for the high-resolution format.
Amazon selling Kindle Fire HDX on nine-month plan
Amazon is allowing customers to pick up its Kindle Fire HDX and Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 on an interest-free payment plan, it was revealed on Sunday. AllThingsD noted on Sunday that the online retailer is now offering the option to pay for one of its new tablets in four installments, with a number of protections in place for Amazon should a customer not manage to pay off the device in full. The move is the latest in a series of offerings by Amazon to increase the attractiveness of its low-cost tablet, including offering customers the ability to try the devices out for free for 30 days.
Report claims Pantry launch in 2014 with 2,000-item inventory
Amazon could be going after customers that buy groceries from warehouse clubs and wholesale retailers, according to a report. The online retailer is apparently planning to launch Pantry, a service that will offer the same packaged grocery items typically found in Costco and Sam's Club, such as cleaning supplies and canned goods.
Apple's new iPads topping all in tablet sales
The tablet market is performing strongly this holiday season, and Apple's iPad Air and iPad mini are leading the pack among all contenders. This according to a new report from market analysis firm Canaccord Genuity, which saw the two newest iPads outpacing entries from Samsung, Amazon, and Google throughout November and the first half of December. The findings are in keeping with previous analyses of the tablet market, which showed Apple in the lead but Samsung and others increasing share.
Same-day fresh produce delivery from Amazon costs $299 per year
Amazon has expanded its five-year-old grocery delivery service to San Francisco. Previously only available in Seattle and Los Angeles, AmazonFresh provides groceries and other fresh produce to customers with either same or next-day delivery, as the online retailer continues to expand its range of services and delivery options.
Amazon updates Cloud Drive Photos for iOS with video support
The Amazon Cloud Drive Photos app for iOS has received an update, bringing support for videos. Appearing on iOS months after Android, TechCrunch reports that the app allows for videos up to 2GB or 20 minutes in length to be uploaded, with the Cloud Photos Auto-Save also updated to allow existing videos on an iPhone or iPad to be automatically uploaded to the service. Other tweaks include a "large upload mode" that disables the iOS lock screen to let uploads finish, and an indicator in the Settings screen showing the usage of Cloud Drive by media.
Timely app allows logged hours to be scheduled in advance
New time-tracking app Timely has been launched this week on iTunes. Aiming to minimize the effort involved with logging one's work for invoicing, Timely allows users to schedule and plan work while simultaneously logging the hours. Its layout is like a calendar, though simplified to not display time stamps.
Amazon offers free storage for Note 3, S4, G2
Amazon is offering customers 50GB of free online storage when they purchase an on-contract Android smartphone through its marketplace. The storage is handled through Amazon's Cloud Drive service, which lets users store photos, files, music, and more. Amazon has more than 100 smartphones eligible for the offer, all listed on its site.