Even though there was a lot of hype around the Amazon Fire Phone, customers just aren’t buying it, at least not yet. In a survey, R.W. Baird analyst Colin Sebastian notes “muted demand” among potential smartphone buyers, especially ahead of the next iPhone launch that is reported to take place in the middle of next month. Of the 1,000 people who participated in the survey, only 5% of respondents said they would buy a Fire Phone, compared to 43.8% for an iPhone, 32.6% for Android phones (including Samsung, HTC, Nexus and others), 6.8% for a BlackBerry, and 5.3% for a Windows Phone. More →
Amazon’s recently launched Fire phone isn’t exactly jumping off of store shelves, but the handset’s placement on the Amazon.com best-selling smartphone charts over the past month suggest that at least a few people have purchased the novel new handset.
Amazon tried to woo potential smartphone buyers by developing features that no other smartphone has, such as a nifty glasses-free 3D effect and touchless tilt gesture controls. The bad news is that these aren’t really features that will sell phones. The good news is that if you did happen to purchase a Fire phone, we’ve come across a quick collection of guides that will teach you everything you need to know about how to use the handset’s unique new features. More →
I’m not normally one to weep over obsolete business models. I can’t bring myself to fret too much about the Internet strangling the life out of print newspapers, video rental stores or CD shops, largely because I’ve found that what’s replaced them (online journalism, Netflix and iTunes) offers much better value than the old way of doing things. And when the Internet eventually kills off cable TV, I will positively do a dance of joy in the streets. That said, there is one slowly dying business that I’ll confess that I sorely miss: Bookstores. More →
If for some reason Amazon’s vast selection of products from every imaginable category wasn’t quite cutting it for you, we have some good news — on Monday, Amazon opened a 3D printing store on its website, offering customizable goods to its customers for the very first time. Amazon notes that more than 200 items are already available in the new store, including earrings, bobblehead figures, phone cases and cookie cutters. More →
I honestly feel like I’m in a scene from Billy Madison.
Amazon has finally released a smartphone, and since Amazon PR won’t talk to us ever since I leaked the Amazon Kindle 2 like six years ago, I had to go buy one today in order to play with it. The radio silence also might have something to do with all of our incredible reporting detailing every single angle and feature of the phone prior to release, but… anyway.
Amazon has spent so much money on the Fire phone, it’s incredibly incredible how downright horrible it is. The project was almost forced to release years ago, and I just can’t comprehend what device we would be talking about if that had actually happened. More →
No one was overwhelming impressive by Amazon’s lackluster streaming music offering, Prime Music, when it launched out of nowhere early last month, but the company isn’t giving up on it yet. Amazon announced on Wednesday that Prime Music has added hundreds of thousands of new tracks to the service along with hundreds of new professionally curated Prime Playlists. More →
When Amazon first announced the price increase from $79 to $99 for Prime memberships, everyone was up in arms. Looking back at the reaction of Amazon customers following the announcement, you might have thought we’d be in the middle of a worldwide boycott of Amazon Prime about now, but it appears that the fallout was much less eventful than many had predicted. On Wednesday, CIRP released a report which shows that even after the price increase, 95% of U.S. Prime members still indicate that they will either “probably” or “definitely” renew their membership when it runs out. More →
Amazon officially announced its eBook and audiobook subscription service Kindle Unlimited on Friday after an accidental leak revealed the details of the service less than 24 hours earlier. Subscribers will have access to over 600,000 eBooks and thousands of Audible audiobooks on Kindles as well as iOS, Android and other devices for $9.99 a month. More →
Smartphone makers choose to advertise their devices in different ways. Some focus on a phone’s main features, others take hits at competitors, and some choose a different path. Amazon is such an example, with the company’s first Fire Phone ad being more about one of Amazon’s core products rather than the device itself. More →
Amazon completely changed shopping as we know it. The company has single-handedly put countless brick and mortar rivals out of business by undercutting their prices and by offering almost anything consumers might need under one virtual roof. Add fast shipping and a smooth shopping experience into the mix, and you’ve got a recipe for success.
But even though low prices played a huge role in making Amazon the retail giant it is now, the company doesn’t always offer the lowest prices around — and now there’s a simple tool that tells you when that’s the case. More →
Amazon is about to change the way we acquire books once again. According to Gigaom, members of the Kindle Boards discovered a page on Tuesday which appears to reveal an upcoming eBook subscription service called “Kindle Unlimited” which would allow subscribers to access over 600,000 titles and thousands of audiobooks “on any device” for $9.99 a month. Although the test pages have since been removed, you can still find them on Google Cache. More →
Apple recently acknowledged its in-app purchases issues that allowed children to purchase content without requiring verification and settled the FTC case agreeing to refund some $32 million in fraudulent in-app charges. But Amazon doesn’t want to go down without a fight, GigaOm reports, as the same Commission is investigating its own in-app purchase problems related to the Amazon Appstore that’s available on Android devices. More →
The French government has successfully passed an “anti-Amazon” law that prevents booksellers, mainly Amazon, from offering 5% discounts on books and free shipping, The Wall Street Journal reports. The law, meant to protect local bookstores from the giant retail store, isn’t necessarily scaring Amazon, which has already found a clever way of trolling the government — it’s now chargin €0.01 for shipping in the region. More →