Fortune has come out with its annual list of the world’s most admired companies and it looks like big tech companies are once again the envy of the world. The survey, which asked corporate execs to name the companies that they admire the most, placed Apple, Amazon and Google in the top 3 spots while companies such as Samsung (No. 21), Microsoft (No. 24) and Facebook (No.38) also found spots on the list. More →
If you can’t beat them, join them. At least that’s what Amazon is hoping its brick-and-mortar competition will say as it extends an olive branch to retailers that could be beneficial for everyone involved. The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon is currently in talks with several popular brands, such as Ralph Lauren and J. Crew, along with ten major retailers to start showing listings of their merchandise on Amazon.com. According to the Journal, “Amazon wouldn’t sell the goods directly; the listings would be links to the retailers’ own sites.” More →
Apple is getting ready to launch a major refresh of its Apple TV set-top box in April but it looks like Amazon is going to steal some of Apple’s thunder with a set-top box of its own. Re/code reports that Amazon will unveil its own homemade set-top box in March that will be powered by a forked version of Google’s Android operating system that’s similar to the one used for Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets. Re/code says that most of the details it’s heard about the set-top box are widely expected and that it hasn’t been able to confirm whether the box will also double as a gaming hub. Amazon has also been rumored to be creating an Android-based gaming console although that seems like it will release much later in the year if it ever happens.
Despite ruling two giant empires when it comes to personal data they can collect and analyze, Apple and Amazon are not willing to share that data with advertisers that are interested in pitching their products to the millions of customers who own iOS devices, or who purchase goods from Amazon. Both companies have their own ad platforms, however. “One person familiar with the situation exec said Apple’s refusal to share data makes it the best-looking girl at the party, forced to wear a bag over her head,” Ad Age writes. More →
People may love Amazon Prime, but Amazon shouldn’t take that love for granted anytime soon. The Wall Street Journal points us to a new survey conducted by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners showing that while most Amazon Prime customers plan on renewing their subscriptions right now, that number would drop significantly if it meant paying between $99 and $119 versus the $79 annual membership they pay today. According to CIRP’s survey, 40% of Prime customers said they would “definitely” not renew their subscriptions if Amazon hiked the price all the way up to $119 while less than half said they would “probably” or “definitely” renew their subscriptions if Amazon raised prices up to $99. More →
Remember how we asked ourselves a little bit earlier how Apple, Google and Microsoft all make money? Well, we’re about to ask the same thing about Amazon and the answer is incredibly obvious: Amazon makes money by getting you to buy as much stuff through Amazon at all hours of the day for any conceivable reason. More →
Amazon is looking to make a major push into the video game scene with its latest acquisition. According to TechCrunch, Amazon has picked up Double Helix Games, the studio behind the Xbox One reboot of Killer Instinct. Although several of their recent releases had been movie adaptations, Killer Instinct looked to be the beginning of a major turn for the studio. Strider, the next project from Double Helix (also an anticipated remake of a classic arcade game) is still a few weeks from launch, but preview coverage has been almost unanimously positive. More →
Have U.S. Internet users’ worst fears just been realized? A new report from iScan Online programmer David Raphael claims to confirm that Verizon, which you might recall helped lead the charge against net neutrality regulations, has begun limiting the bandwidth utilized by certain websites for its FiOS Internet subscribers. In a blog post on Wednesday, Raphael shared a troubling account of issues that his company had been experiencing with service slowdowns. After digging into the problem he finally contacted Verizon customer support, which seemingly confirmed that the ISP is throttling bandwidth used by some cloud service providers including Amazon AWS, which supports huge services including Netflix and countless others. As BGR has learned, however, this is in fact not the case. More →
If you’re already dreading the Amazon Prime price increase and you want to vent your frustration — but maybe also accomplish something productive in the process — we’ve got the social media campaign for you. Eric Neuman over at Simple Actually was tired of waiting for Instant Video streaming to come to his Android devices, so he told Amazon he wanted a discount on his Prime membership as he wasn’t receiving the same service as other users who pay the same amount he does. Amazon’s response? More →
Amazon has been not-so-secretly trying to put brick-and-mortar stores out of business but now it looks like the company is planning to launch a charm offensive against its brick-and-mortar rivals. Unnamed sources tell The Wall Street Journal that Amazon “plans to offer brick-and-mortar retailers a checkout system that uses Kindle tablets as soon as this summer” that might involve giving the stores “Kindle tablets and credit-card readers” to use free of charge. More →
Amazon reported a disappointing holiday quarter on Thursday. Revenue was up 20% at $25.59 billion but analysts were expecting just over $26 billion in sales. Making matters worse, the company’s net income of $239 million missed estimates by a landslide. How is Amazon planning to bolster earnings in the future? According to comments made by chief financial officer Tom Szkutak during the company’s Q4 earnings call, it may raise the price of Amazon Prime membership by between $20 and $40 per year, bringing the total annual cost of the service to as much as $119. Szkutak cited the rising cost of fuel and transportation for the increase, as well as the high frequency of orders from Prime members.
After the Ouya became one of Kickstarter’s biggest success stories, other companies started scrambling to put together their own Android-based consoles. There was GameStick, GamePop, M.O.J.O. and even a rumored console from Amazon that never saw the light of day. According to VG247, that could soon change as “multiple sources” have told the site that an Amazon video game console will launch in 2014 for under $300. The sources also say that the hardware team behind the Kindle is designing the console, and the team has already begun demoing iOS and Android games. The device will be more than just a game console — much like the Xbox One, Amazon reportedly wants its set-top box to serve as a focal point for the entertainment center. Although the other Android consoles failed to attract a wide audience, Amazon has one of the largest storefronts in the world. If anyone can bring a device like this to the mass market, it’s probably Amazon.
Amazon rarely gives the media the time of day when news sites come knocking and asking for a comment, but a recent report suggesting Amazon is hard at work building a cable-killing pay TV service must have scared all the right people. The company’s public relations broke its silence on Tuesday evening when it flat-out denied The Wall Street Journal’s earlier report that the company is currently holding licensing talks with several major broadcasters related to an upcoming pay TV service that would rival traditional cable. More →