Ordering something from Amazon (AMZN) couldn’t be easier, however many people are unaware of the journey a package must go through before reaching a customer’s doorstep. The world’s largest online retailer has 80 giant warehouses strategically located around the globe that are ready to fulfill an order at a second’s notice. These warehouses are massive, with a singe building taking up 1.2 million-square-feet and containing miles of conveyor belts. The logistics of running a single warehouse are mind-boggling, even before you add in the fact that Amazon doesn’t use any robots. For a retailer that stocks everything from clothing and toothpaste to books and giant TVs, one of the biggest tasks is making sure to always have enough of the right product. More →
Amazon (AMZN) on Tuesday announced that sales of its popular line of eReaders and tablets doubled over Black Friday and Cyber Monday. While the online retail giant was quick to announce its latest milestone, it failed to give actual sales figures yet again. Instead, Amazon said that this past weekend was its best ever for the Kindle family and Cyber Monday was the single best day for Kindle sales worldwide. The newest Kindles have remained on the top four spots on the company’s bestseller list since launching nearly three months ago. Amazon notes that nine out of the top 10 best-selling products listed on its site worldwide have been Kindles, Kindle accessories and digital content. More →
Google (GOOG) on Thursday announced the launch of a YouTube app for Nintendo’s (NTDOY) Wii U gaming console. The app doesn’t let you watch videos with the GamePad, however it does allow users to search for content and also displays video details. Amazon (AMZN) earlier this week also announced the availability of its Instant Video streaming app for Wii U, giving users access to more than 140,000 movies and TV episodes to purchase or rent and more than 30,000 movies and TV episodes to stream for Prime customers. In addition to searching for content and displaying information, Amazon’s app also allows users to watch videos on the GamePad’s 6.2-inch display. The YouTube and Amazon Instant Video apps are both available immediately for free.
It’s rare to hear businesses bemoan any lack of tax payments, but bookstores in the United Kingdom are so fed up with Amazon (AMZN) that they’re willing to break the trend. The Guardian reports that the U.K.’s Booksellers Association has launched a new campaign that appeals to Britons’ civic pride to wean them away from Amazon by attacking the online retailer’s alleged tax dodging practices. As part of this campaign, independent bookstores are hanging large red posters in their windows that read “Can pay, do pay! We pay our taxes” and “Your money, your bookshop, your community, we pay our taxes.” Amazon and Google (GOOG) have been at the center of a corporate tax dodging controversy in the United Kingdom this month, as Reuters recently reported that Amazon paid the U.K. government just 11% in tax on foreign profits last year, or “less than half the average corporate income tax rate in its major markets.”
Following the guidance of its CEO Jeff Bezos, Amazon (AMZN) has successfully transformed from the an online retailer to a high-end technology company. Amazon has been on a roll lately and as a result has seen its revenue jump 31% over the past year. With a slew of affordable eReaders and tablets, the retail giant is slowly changing the industry, a move that has not gone unnoticed. Bezos on Friday was named Fortune’s 2012 Businessperson of the Year, edging out the likes of Apple’s (AAPL) Tim Cook and Google’s (GOOG) Larry Page. More →
Amazon (AMZN) on Thursday began shipping the Kindle Fire HD 8.9″, the larger version of its popular Kindle Fire tablet line. The Kindle Fire HD 8.9″, which sells for $299, features an 8.9-inch display with a resolution of 1920×1200 pixels, a TI OMAP 4470 processor and a front-facing HD camera, and it measures in at just 8.8 millimeters thin and weighs 20 ounces. Amazon says that it will start shipping the LTE-capable version of the tablet, which sells for $499, sometime next week. Anyone who hasn’t pre-ordered the new tablet will have to grab it at Best Buy (BBY) quickly, however, as AllThingsD notes that the device is already backordered to December 3rd. The company’s full press release is posted below. More →
Lawmakers in the United Kingdom are peeved that major tech companies Google (GOOG) and Amazon (AMZN) are paying a relative pittance in taxes despite racking up annual sales worth billions of dollars. As Reuters reports, the U.K.’s “Public Accounts Committee (PAC), which is charged with monitoring government financial affairs, has invited the companies to give evidence amid mounting public and political concern about tax avoidance by big international companies.” More →
Amazon’s (AMZN) Prime service has been a huge draw for the retailer, and it looks as though it will soon announce a new subscription model to take on the likes of Netflix (NFLX) and Hulu+. Previously priced at $79 per year, Hacking Netflix reports that Amazon will be moving to a monthly subscription plan that allows customers to pay $7.99 each month for Amazon Prime service, which affords free two-day express shipping on all eligible items, free movie and TV show streaming from Amazon’s Prime library, free Kindle book borrowing and other perks. While paying $7.99 each month ups the annual cost of Prime service to $95.88, customers who pay for 12 months of service up front will reportedly receive a 20% discount, dropping the annual cost to $76.70 — less than a year of Prime service at the old yearly rate. The monthly subscription option had been removed from Amazon’s website at the time of this writing.
Earlier this week, Amazon (AMZN) updated its homepage to include an advertisement attacking Apple’s iPad mini and promoting its own line of Kindle Fire tablets. As it turns out though, the advertisement isn’t accurate. As first spotted by Business Insider, Amazon flaunts the Kindle Fire HD’s dual stereo speakers and claims the iPad mini only includes a mono speaker when it in fact has stereo speakers as well. Early reviews of the iPad mini have praised not only the tablet’s speakers but the device as a whole, excluding the low resolution display of course. This isn’t the first time a company has run an advertisement that includes fake information that could mislead consumers, of course, so Amazon’s fact-challenged advertisement shouldn’t be all that surprising.
UPDATE: AppleInsider reports that Amazon has now pulled the ad.
Amazon (AMZN) clearly isn’t sweating the iPad mini. Per AllThingsD, Amazon says that the iPad mini’s launch day “was the $199 Kindle Fire HD’s biggest day of sales since launch” and that sales of the device tripled week over week. Of course, since Amazon never releases sales figures for the Kindle Fire it’s impossible to tell how well its tablet is selling relative to Apple’s (AAPL) devices. All the same, it’s not hard to imagine that some potential iPad mini customers were spooked by its $329 price tag and instead opted for the $199 Kindle Fire HD.
Amazon (AMZN) certainly can’t compete with Apple (AAPL) in terms of profitability — Apple earned $8.2 billion last quarter while Amazon posted a $275 million loss — but the retailer can go toe-to-toe with Apple when it comes to tiny tablets. As picked up by AllThingsD, Amazon has updated its homepage with an ad that takes aim directly at Apple’s new iPad mini. According to Amazon’s chart, the Kindle Fire HD tablet tops Apple’s new iPad when it comes to display resolution, pixel density, the ability to watch high-definition movies, sound quality and Wi-Fi speed. In the end, Amazon says the Kindle Fire gives users “much more for much less;” the Kindle Fire HD costs $199 while Apple’s iPad mini starts at $329.
We’ve gotten hints of the terror that is the current European consumer market from AMD (AMD), Intel (INTC) and other tech companies, but it took Apple (AAPL) and Amazon (AMZN) to really spell out how bad things really are. Amazon delivered a muted third-quarter report and guided Q4 sales more than $1 billion below Wall Street’s consensus. North American sales growth was a decent 33%, but international sales growth dropped to 20% from the 44% pace a year earlier. More →
Amazon (AMZN) says that it’s been selling a whole lot of Kindle Fire HD tablets, but it’s not saying exactly how many. Reuters reports that Amazon now claims the Kindle Fire HD has been “the best-selling product on the company’s website since the gadget went on sale” last month, although the company is not releasing any sales figures. Boasting about Kindle Fire sales without giving any numbers has become a time-honored tradition at Amazon, as the company this past summer said that the original Kindle Fire was its best-selling product without mentioning how many units it sold.