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.
Decision effectively upholds existing law
The US Supreme Court has declined to hear a legal challenge against New York's sales-tax law for online purchases, according to a Reuters report. Retailers Amazon and Overstock had asked the court to determine if the tax regulations violate the Constitution, however the decision effectively upholds the New York Court of Appeals' March ruling that sided with the state.
Amazon discounts Kindle Fire HD, HDX for Cyber Monday
Amazon has dropped the price of two new Kindle Fire tablets, as part of its Cyber Monday deals. The 16GB model of the Kindle Fire HD has been reduced from $169 to $119 in the United States, while the seven-inch Kindle Fire HDX 16GB, normally priced at $229, is now at $179 until the end of Monday. Other variants, such as those without Special Offers or other sizes of the Kindle Fire HDX, also receive the $50 discount.
Amazon to deliver packages by drone
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos on Sunday revealed a new service that could soon deliver Amazon orders directly to customers' doorsteps by unmanned aircraft. Bezos revealed Prime Air Sunday night on CBS' 60 minutes, telling CBS Anchor Charlie Rose that the company has been working on the technology in its Seattle headquarters for months. The service isn't set to roll out for some time, but it could mark a revolution in the online retail market, as Amazon could bypass the current package delivery system entirely, delivering goods to customers in as little as half an hour.
Amazon taps Ive-esque voice actor to rib iPad Air
Online retailer Amazon has joined Microsoft and Nokia in making ads poking fun at Apple's iPad Air in order to boost their own tablet offerings. CNet on Sunday noted the release of a new ad for the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 that lightly mocks Apple's marketing terminology and compares Apple's offering to Amazon's. The ad even makes use of a voice actor with a British accent reminiscent of Apple's Jony Ive.
Mega releases cloud storage app for iOS, iPad version due in future
Mega, the cloud storage service operated by Kim Dotcom, has launched an official iOS app. The free download allows users to browse their account, preview and stream specific documents and files, and to send links to files and folders to other people. Support for the iPad as well as photo synchronization are touted as future upgrades.
Amazon brings video streaming service to Japan
Amazon has now opened up the Japanese version of its Instant Video streaming service, it was revealed today. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the new service features more than 26,000 imported movie and television offerings. Rentals for the service start at 100 yen (about $0.98).
New Kindle may be on the way with lighter design
Amazon may release a new version of its Kindle Paperwhite e-reader as early as the second quarter of next year, according to a new report. TechCrunch reported on Sunday that the online retail giant is prepping a new Kindle Paperwhite for release early next year, one with a number of hardware improvements and design changes. The new device could sport an e-ink screen with a resolution of 300ppi, providing visuals nearly 50 percent denser than the current model.
Proposal could make use of 260 expected ticket office closures
Amazon is in discussions with Transport for London (TfL) to turn ticket offices for the London Underground system into delivery drop-off points, according to a report. Details of the talks surfaced after London mayor Boris Johnson revealed plans to make the Underground operate 24 hours per day by 2015, while also closing the majority of ticket offices in the network.
Google adds Designed for Tablets section to Play Store
The Google Play Store has been updated to showcase apps "Designed for tablets," something Google announced it would do last month. Tablet users will see the tablet-aimed apps as the default view in Google Play, according to an Android Developers Google+ post, with apps that do not meet specific criteria to be "Designed for tablets" to be marked as "Designed for phones" instead.
Newest Amazon e-reader gets Goodreads compatibility
Amazon has added Goodreads compatibility to its Kindle Paperwhite e-reader device. The feature addition will allow Paperwhite owners to rate books and share quoted passages directly to the Goodreads community. Users will also be able to import both print and digital books bought from Amazon into their Goodreads accounts.
Streaming to TV and second-screen functionality added in Fire OS update
Amazon has released the latest version of its Android implementation, Kindle Fire OS 3.1. The free update for Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire HDX tablets adds a number of updates, with the integration of Goodreads adding book rating and quote sharing through the community, friend update feeds, and the option to import both print and digital books bought from Amazon into the Goodreads account.
Local site prices Amazon US Kindle Fire HD under Australian retailers
Amazon has made a large push in Australia for its Kindle tablet line. The retailer has launched its Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire HDX tablets in the country, coming shortly after the Kindle Paperwhite became available in stores, and is accompanied by a regional version of the Kindle Store, with Kindle Direct Publishing also opening up in the territory.
Amazon listing confirms 4.5-inch display, Android KitKat upgrade in future
The Moto G could be shipping to customers the day after its expected launch on November 13th. A sales page for the phone on Amazon UK shows the device, under the previous name of the Motorola DVX, as being "due to be released on November 14th," as well as seemingly confirming a number of rumored specifications.
Customers in New York, Los Angeles can receive orders on a Sunday
Amazon will start offering deliveries of orders to customers on Sunday, thanks to an unusual deal with the US Postal Service. Customers in metropolitan areas will be able to place orders on a Friday for arrival on the Sunday, and is the latest move by the online retailer to provide more delivery options for its customers.
Does the new quad-core Amazon offering impress or disappoint?
Amazon has been a participant in the tablet wars for the better part of three years. Where competitors aim their devices at consumption, creation, or some other aspect of mobile computing use, Amazon is unapologetic for offering its tablets at a very low price for what you get, with the express intent of driving media sales. Amazon's latest offering, the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9-inch version hit our desks a few days ago, and we've been hauling the device along in our day-to-day travels.
Booksellers receive percentage for first two years
Amazon has launched a new program that aims to bring independent bookstores into the Kindle ecosystem. The online retailer promises to share 10 percent of e-book revenue for purchases made on Kindle devices sold through participating bookstores. A retailer's first order of Kindle readers or tablets is also covered by a buy-back guarantee, enabling any unsold devices to be repurchased by Amazon without penalty for up to six months.
Selected Kindle books to be sold cheaply before being officially released
Not content with just launching its Kindle MatchBook program in the United States, Amazon is now offering two more e-book services to its customers. Kindle Countdown Deals will offer Kindle titles at a discounted rate for a limited time, while Kindle First will let customers read specific titles before they are released for general purchase.
Customers can nominate charity to receive Amazon donation
Amazon has launched a program that will allow customers to donate money to charity using Amazon orders. AmazonSmile lets customers name a charity of their choice that will receive 0.5 percent of the price of their total Amazon purchase as a monetary donation, with the retailer advising that there is no cap on the amount that can be donated.
Compliments existing iOS client
Amazon has released a native Cloud Player app for the Mac. The software lets people both play and buy music from the Amazon MP3 Store. It can also automatically import music from iTunes or CDs, though, and be used to export libraries to other music players. Any music stored in Cloud Drive is accessible on other platforms with a Cloud Player app, including Windows, iOS, Android, Roku, Sonos, Samsung TVs, and the web.
Free, cheap e-books provided to compliment physical book purchases
Amazon has launched its program that provides digital versions of books they already own in physical form, which can be read on a Kindle device or the Kindle app. Kindle MatchBook will provide Amazon customers in the US with Kindle titles that match books bought from the retailer in the past, with the Kindle copies being provided either at no charge or priced between $0.99 and $2.99 each.