Even some people who relish having the latest cutting-edge gadgets have had a hard time giving up their large collections of old-school paper books. Amazon is aiming to fix that, however, by unleashing its new MatchBook service that offers cheap digital copies of physical books that users have bought through Amazon in the past. There are a couple of caveats here: First, you can only get the eBook discounts on new books that you’ve bought through Amazon and not used books. And second, not every book you’ve ever bought through Amazon will be available at first, although with 70,000 books enrolled so far Amazon is certainly offering an impressive library. The company’s full press release follows below. More →
Chestnuts might not be roasting on an open Firetube this Christmas. Citing unnamed sources, The Verge reports that Amazon has decided to postpone releasing its so-called FireTube set-top box that the company is developing to be a rival to Apple TV and Google’s Chromecast as a way to deliver video content from the web to users’ television sets. Although Amazon had originally hoped to get the device out to the market in time for holiday shopping, The Verge’s sources now say that the company is considering delaying it until 2014. Major tech companies have been trying to chip away at the traditional television model recently by giving consumers more options for watching their favorite programs through their Internet connections instead of through pay television channels, so it certainly makes sense for Amazon to enter the market for set-top boxes at some point.
The elusive Amazon smartphone made a rare appearance in the news on Tuesday when the Financial Times reported that Amazon had partnered with HTC to build the “Kindle Phone.” Bloomberg continued to piece the puzzle together on Wednesday with a report that cited unnamed sources and claimed that Amazon has “been in talks since at least June to develop handsets for sale to users of the Amazon Prime service.” These sources backed up Tuesday’s report that stated Amazon has not yet decided when or if it will release the handsets, although it’s becoming more and more clear that both companies have invested a good deal of time developing these phones.
Amazon has been exceedingly tight-lipped about its upcoming entry into the smartphone market. Rumors surrounding the “Kindle Phone” have been circulating for years, but a Financial Times report might be the most reliable claim yet that an Amazon smartphone is on the way. According to the report, “Amazon is working with HTC to develop a range of smartphones as the e-commerce company steps up efforts to compete with Apple and Google.” One of the sources FT was in touch with claims that the Amazon and HTC are developing three devices, and at least one is “at an advanced stage of development.” Another source says the release timetable is constantly evolving. Amazon has remained adamant on its stance that it will not enter the smartphone fray this year. HTC also declined to comment on the FT report, but HTC CMO Ben Ho said that his company is “always exploring new opportunities.”
Amazon announced the ‘Login and Pay with Amazon’ service on Tuesday, which will allow online shoppers to use their Amazon account information to quickly complete a transaction with any participating merchants without having to repeatedly type in credit card numbers and shipping addresses. Of course, a company called PayPal has already addressed this issue with its own payment service, but with 215 million active users, Amazon believes it claim a significant stake in the market. More →
European antipathy towards American technology giants has been at a slow boil for a couple of years and Amazon is facing growing backlash this winter as a result. Germany’s powerful trade union Verdi is now threatening to strike during the crucial shopping season unless Amazon raises wages. Der Spiegel gets an ominous quote from a Verdi representative: “If I were Amazon I would not rely on being able to make all deliveries to customers on time before Christmas.” More →
Forget the battle for smartphone supremacy: The war for consumers’ living rooms is where the action is. 9to5Google notes that Amazon has filed a trademark application for something called “Firetube” that it suspects will be a device lets users stream content from their computers to their television sets. Furthermore, unnamed sources tell The Wall Street Journal that Amazon is preparing to launch its own TV set-top box this holiday season that will “serve as a delivery vehicle for Amazon’s existing streaming video service.” More →
Rumors of an upcoming Amazon smartphone have been swirling for well over a year now. BGR has independently confirmed with several sources that the company indeed has a team of engineers and programmers working on a smartphone project, but none have been able to provide many details beyond what had already been reported. Now, TechCrunch claims to have confirmed several details posted by an anonymous Hacker News forum poster that may shed light on the smartphones Amazon is cooking up behind closed doors. More →
Jeff Bezos is officially done messing around in the tablet wars. Amazon announced on Wednesday that it’s releasing two new tablets this fall, the Kindle Fire HDX and a new Kindle Fire HD that will sell starting at just $139. It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, of course, since BGR exclusively revealed just about everything there was to know about these new tablets in a series of reports. The Kindle Fire HDX, which will be the company’s new flagship tablet, will come in 7-inch and 8.9-inch models and will feature a quad-core Snapdragon 800 2.2GHz processor, a display that with a resolution of 339 pixels per inch for the 8.9-inch model and 323 pixels per inch for the 7-inch model, and up to 11 hours of battery life for mixed use. The 7-inch Kindle Fire HDX will start shipping on October 18th and will cost $229 while the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HDX will start shipping on November 7th and will cost $379. More →
There really isn’t much mystery remaining as Amazon prepares to unveil its second-generation Kindle Fire HD tablets and its third-generation Kindle Fire slate in the coming weeks. First we published exclusive details about Amazon’s entire 2013 tablet lineup and then we followed up by revealing all of the key specs for the upcoming new Kindle Fire HD tablets as well as the new entry-level Kindle Fire. Amazon’s new high-definition slates are shaping up to be two of the most impressive tablets in the world when they debut, and anticipation is certainly building. Now, BGR has obtained exclusive photos of the unannounced next-generation Kindle Fire HD that Amazon is preparing to unveil as soon as later this month, giving the world its first-ever look at Amazon’s new hardware for 2013. More →
The best things in life are free and they apparently don’t include an Amazon smartphone. In a followup to a report from last week, Jessica Lessin and Amir Efrati talked with an Amazon spokesperson who flatly denied that the company had plans to release a free “Kindle Phone” and said that the company will not be releasing any kind of smartphone by the end of the year. Rumors of an Amazon phone have been around for a long time now but the company has never shown any definitive indication that it plans to expand its consumer electronics business beyond its Kindle eReaders and tablets.
Amazon’s smartphone has been in the works for quite some time, but very little information has appeared so far other than a string of rumors and reported acquisitions of Windows Phone executives. Now, on the eve of the latest iPhone, Jessica Lessin reports that the Amazon phone might be free. There is no word yet on what Amazon would require from consumers in order to make their free phone a reality, but Lessin suggests the online retailer might require Amazon smartphone owners to subscribe to Amazon Prime. Lessin’s source also stated that ”Amazon wants the device to be free whether or not people sign up for a new wireless plan at the same time.” Amazon might be in talks with wireless carriers that would have an interest in offering the phone, although Amazon will likely make the device available on its website. This is still completely up in the air, but it could be a huge boost for the “Kindle Phone” if Amazon can pull it off.
A report Thursday night from Bloomberg stated that Amazon has been testing Globalstar’s wireless satellite network in order to determine if it could build a wireless service of its own. This could be a pivotal moment for the company. Amazon’s video viewing audience has been growing at an amazing pace: it hit 38 million unique views in July, while the amount of time consumers spend watching Amazon videos has doubled in just six months. Amazon’s Kindle and Kindle Fire ranges have turned out to be substantial successes — they have basically killed off Barnes & Noble’s eBook and tablet product lines and are on their way to becoming the absolute eBook hegemon in North America with at least three new devices en route, according to exclusive BGR reports. More →