Best Buy, Amazon.com see MacBook Air stockouts ahead of imminent refresh

By on June 27, 2011 at 8:01 AM.

Best Buy, Amazon.com see MacBook Air stockouts ahead of imminent refresh

It looks like we may finally see Apple unveil its mid-2011 MacBook Air models some time this week. Best Buy has stopped shipping all MacBook Air notebooks as of this past weekend. The online retailer is still taking orders, however, which indicates that Apple will likely not adjust pricing when it issues its refreshed models. Of note, unless Apple introduced an entirely new model at a much lower price point, this puts earlier rumored sales targets of 8 million units well out of reach. Several sellers on the Amazon.com website are showing low inventory or stockouts as well, further supporting the notion that Apple has stopped refreshing distributor inventory as it prepares to begin shipping updated MacBook Air models. Apple’s mid-2011 MacBook Airs are expected to feature Intel’s new Sandy Bridge processors and Thunderbolt I/O ports, among other changes. More →

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HP TouchPad now available for pre-order

By on June 20, 2011 at 10:05 PM.

HP TouchPad now available for pre-order

Right on schedule, Hewlett-Packard’s first webOS-powered tablet is now available for pre-order. The HP TouchPad becomes available on July 1st but those who want to ensure they get their supersized webOS fix as soon as possible can pre-order the device through a number of different retailers. Best Buy and Amazon, among others, have the TouchPad available for pre-order at $499 for the 16GB model and $599 for the 32GB model, as expected. BGR took a hands-on look at the TouchPad when it was first unveiled back in February, and we were impressed. WebOS translates very well to a large form device, and the interoperability with HP’s upcoming Pre 3 smartphone is fantastic, though we still have no word on when HP might launch the Pre 3. More →

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ASUS Eee Pad Slider appears on German Amazon site

By on June 9, 2011 at 7:45 AM.

ASUS Eee Pad Slider appears on German Amazon site

More than 100 tablets were unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show this past January, but only a few of them really caught our attention. Among those select few were the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer — a tablet that saw high demand at launch, though it may now be waning — and the ASUS Eee Pad Slider. When the slider was announced back in January, ASUS said it would launch in May and we expected it to cost between $499 and $799. While exact pricing remains a mystery, May has come and gone, and the month was decidedly Slider-less. A launch in some regions may be fast approaching, however, as Amazon’s German website now displays the Eee Pad Slider alongside an option to be emailed once the slate becomes available. ASUS already covered most of the specs when the convertible tablet was announced, though Amazon.de does indicate that it will sport a new 1.2GHz dual-core Tegra 2 processor, known previously as the Tegra 2 3D. More →

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Amazon intros ad-supported Kindle 3G for $164

By on May 25, 2011 at 10:44 PM.

Amazon intros ad-supported Kindle 3G for $164

Amazon on Monday revealed a new discounted version of its popular Kindle eBook reader. Amazon’s announcement came on the same day Barnes & Noble announced its all-new NOOK eReader. When asked during a Q&A session after Monday’s press conference if Barnes & Noble would ever consider releasing an ad-supported NOOK, CEO William Lynch laughed and said it was highly unlikely — but Amazon seems to be having some success with the ad-supported model. Joining the company’s $114 ad-supported Wi-Fi Kindle is the new $164 Kindle 3G, which gives consumers the option of saving $25 and dealing with advertisements. The device is otherwise identical to the standard Kindle 3G, which features a Pearl E Ink display, a full QWERTY keypad and free 3G connectivity. Hit the break for the full press release. More →

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Samsung DROID Charge on sale for $199 from Amazon

By on May 20, 2011 at 4:30 AM.

Samsung DROID Charge on sale for $199 from Amazon

As much as we like Verizon Wireless’ second 4G LTE-enabled smartphone offering, $300 is a tough pill to swallow — even for the fastest smartphone we’ve ever reviewed. While the improved battery life and slimmer build probably do warrant a $50 premium over the HTC ThunderBolt, Verizon’s other 4G smartphone, its $250 asking price is a bit steep to begin with. As usual, however, AmazonWireless has swooped in with a sale price and undercut Verizon’s asking price by a cool $100. The new lower price of $199 is in line with what one might expect to pay for a smartphone on contract, and the DROID Charge is well worth it thanks to a 1GHz processor, a gorgeous Super AMOLED Plus display, an 8-megapixel camera and, of course, blazing fast 4G LTE speeds. Amazon’s $199 price tag for the DROID Charge is only available for a limited time, though no end date has been specified for the sale. More →

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Amazon CEO says ‘stay tuned’ for Amazon tablet

By on May 13, 2011 at 11:30 AM.

Amazon CEO says ‘stay tuned’ for Amazon tablet

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in an interview earlier this week to “stay tuned” for news on the company’s plans to release its own tablet. Bezos wouldn’t come out and confirm the tablet, but he took particular care in clarifying that such a device would not replace its popular line of dedicated Kindle eBook readers. “We will always be very mindful that we will want a dedicated reading device,” Bezos continued. “In terms of any other product introductions, I shouldn’t answer.” It doesn’t take Nostradamus to see where Amazon is headed with all of its recent product and service launches, of course. An Amazon-controlled Android app store, a new streaming movie and TV show service, Cloud Drive, Cloud Player, the Amazon music store, Kindle… it all adds up to a self-contained ecosystem that will allow Amazon to issue a complete package when it finally does release its first tablet. More →

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Amazon tablet enters production, report claims

By on May 3, 2011 at 11:36 AM.

Amazon tablet enters production, report claims

According to a new report from industry watcher DigiTimes on Tuesday, Amazon has placed orders with manufacturers to build its first tablet PC. The report claims Taiwan-based Quanta Computer has received orders for between 700,000 and 800,000 tablets from Amazon, and the finished devices should begin shipping in the second half of this year. Earlier rumors suggested an Amazon tablet would launch this summer, so the timing of this new report further supports those claims. Amazon has built several successful devices with tablet-like form factors — it’s Kindle eBook reader is the best-selling product of all time on Amazon.com — but this would be the company’s first device to venture beyond eBooks. Amazon’s tablet, which is said to be based on the Android platform, will like showcase several Amazon products and services such as the Amazon Appstore, Amazon’s digital music store and the company’s new Cloud Drive digital music locker service. More →

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Amazon responds to Apple's 'baseless' app store lawsuit

By on April 26, 2011 at 3:43 PM.

Amazon responds to Apple's 'baseless' app store lawsuit

Amazon on Monday issued its response in court to a lawsuit filed last month by Apple alleging that Amazon’s use of the term “Appstore” infringes on Apple’s “App Store” trademark. Apple’s suit looks to bar Amazon from using the term alongside its new Amazon Appstore for Android. In its response, Amazon called Apple’s claims baseless and insisted that “app store” is a generic term. Amazon even cited Apple’s recent quarterly earnings call, where Steve Jobs himself uses the term to describe Google’s Android Marketplace. “So there will be at least four app stores on Android, which customers must search among to find the app they want and developers will need to work with to distribute their apps and get paid,” Jobs said while criticizing Android on the call. “This is going to be a mess for both users and developers. Contrast this with Apple’s integrated App Store, which offers users the easiest-to-use largest app store in the world, preloaded on every iPhone.” Amazon has also filed a countersuit in which it has asked the court to dismiss Apple’s claim, order Apple to reimburse Amazon for attorney’s fees, and decree that Amazon’s use of the term “Appstore” does not infringe on Apple’s trademarks. More →

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Amazon to launch 'Kindle Library Lending' feature

By on April 20, 2011 at 12:21 PM.

Amazon to launch 'Kindle Library Lending' feature

On Wednesday, Amazon announced that its Kindle customers will soon be able to borrow eBooks from more than 11,000 U.S. libraries. Amazon’s Kindle Library Lending project will allow users to check out eBooks from local libraries and then read them on the Kindle or any device that has Amazon’s free eReader software installed. Unlike traditional libraries, which don’t allow borrowers to write in books, they can take notes and highlight as much as they like. “We’re doing a little something extra here,” said Jay Marine, director of Amazon Kindle. “Normally, making margin notes in library books is a big no-no. But we’re extending our Whispersync technology so that you can highlight and add margin notes to Kindle books you check out from your local library. Your notes will not show up when the next patron checks out the book. But if you check out the book again, or subsequently buy it, your notes will be there just as you left them, perfectly Whispersynced.” Amazon is working with OverDrive on its Kindle Library Lending program, which it says will launch later this year. Hit the jump for the full release. More →

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Amazon intros ad-subsidized 'Kindle with Special Offers' for $114

By on April 13, 2011 at 1:28 AM.

Amazon intros ad-subsidized 'Kindle with Special Offers' for $114

Amazon has announced that its customers can now purchase an ad-subsidized version of its Kindle. The “Kindle with Special Offers” eReader will retail for $114 and comes with sponsored screen savers and advertisements on the bottom of the screen. Buick, Procter & Gamble, Visa, and Amazon.com Reward Visa Card (Chase) will be the first companies to offer sponsored screen savers, and Kindle users can use a free “AdMash” Kindle application to choose what ads are displayed. Initial deals include:

  • $10 for $20 Amazon.com Gift Card
  • $6 for 6 Audible Books (normally $68)
  • $1 for an album in the Amazon MP3 Store (choose from over 1 million albums)
  • $10 for $30 of products in the Amazon Denim Shop or Amazon Swim Shop
  • Free $100 Amazon.com Gift Card when you get an Amazon Rewards Visa Card (normally $30)
  • Buy one of 30 Kindle bestsellers with your Visa card and get $10 Amazon.com credit
  • 50% off Roku Streaming Player (normally $99)

We’d probably splurge and buy the ad-free Kindle, which costs just $25 more, and think this deal would probably be more attractive if it was in the sub-$100 range. The “Kindle with Special Offers” device will ship in the U.S. and customers can pre-order the device now. Hit the jump for the full release. More →

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Motorola’s Wi-Fi XOOM coming to U.S. March 27th, $599

By on March 16, 2011 at 9:31 AM.

Motorola’s Wi-Fi XOOM coming to U.S. March 27th, $599

In a press release just moments ago, Motorola Mobility announced the release of the its Wi-Fi only XOOM tablet in the United States. Available beginning March 27th for $599, the 32GB device will be available at Amazon.com, Best Buy, Costco, RadioShack, select Sam’s Club locations, Staples and Walmart. The XOOM was the first tablet to launch with Google’s Honeycomb operating system (Android 3.0) back in February. The price tag, which has been a point of contention amongst technology pundits and analysts, mirrors that of Apple’s 32GB Wi-Fi iPad. The full press release is after the break. More →

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Angry Birds Rio for Android to launch as Amazon exclusive

By on March 14, 2011 at 9:39 PM.

Angry Birds Rio for Android to launch as Amazon exclusive

Rovio, the developer behind the wildly successful Angry Birds franchise, announced on Monday that its forthcoming Android title Angry Birds Rio for Android will launch exclusively in the Amazon Appstore. Amazon announced in January that its app store, which will rival Google’s own Android Market on the Android platform, was open for developer submissions. The exclusive deal with Rovio marks Amazon’s first major coup in the space, as the title is expected to be a wildly popular game for Android. “The Android platform has seen phenomenal growth, and it’s great that new avenues for app distribution are opening up,” said Rovio CEO Mikael Hed in a statement. “The openness of the Android platform works for the benefit of consumers and developers alike. It has been delightful to team up with Amazon to bring the Angry Birds franchise to this great new application marketplace.” Rovio also announced that ad-free versions of Angry Birds and Angry Birds Seasons will be available for the first time on the Android platform exclusively through the Amazon Appstore. Hit the break for the full press release. More →

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Amazon prices Motorola DROID BIONIC at $149.99, too

By on January 31, 2011 at 7:17 PM.

Amazon prices Motorola DROID BIONIC at $149.99, too

It looks like Amazon plans to be aggressive when pricing several upcoming handsets that will combine to form a new wave of next-generation Android phones. Last week, we reported that the Motorola ATRIX 4G and the Samsung Infuse 4G, both due to launch soon from AT&T, would be available for $149.99 from the popular online discount retail right out of the gate. Today, enthusiast blog Droid Life reports that Amazon will be offering the same pricing on Verizon Wireless’ upcoming next-generation smartphone, the Motorola DROID BIONIC. A screen shot of the DROID BIONIC’s product page shows the $149.99 contract price alongside a $599.99 full retail price. They page has since been pulled from Amazon’s website, but expect it to show up again soon. More →

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