The iPad is still by far the most widely used tablet for surfing the Web in North America, but it can no longer claim to lord over 90% of all North American tablet traffic. Via AppleInsider, the latest numbers from mobile advertising firm Chitika show that the iPad accounted for roughly 79% of all mobile traffic in the last week of December, a dominant share that was nonetheless a seven percentage point drop from the previous week. More →
Amazon’s (AMZN) first Kindle Fire took the holidays by storm last year. Following a white-hot debut, Amazon’s slate had reportedly taken 14% of the global tablet market in the fourth quarter of 2011 despite being available for only six weeks in the quarter. This holiday season was a different story though, as new entry-level tablets from Google (GOOG), Barnes & Noble (BKS) and Apple (AAPL) gave consumers a number of attractive options they didn’t have last year. More →
Have an old Kindle Fire lying around? Don’t trade it in just yet because with a little bit of tinkering, you can turn it into what amounts to a Google (GOOG) Nexus 7. XDA-Developers user “Hashcode” has written up instructions on how to install Android 4.2.1 on an original Kindle Fire with almost every feature intact. If you can live without the microphone (sound still works), deep sleep mode, Swype keyboard, multi-user profiles and USB camera support, then you’re good to go. All of the major tablet features including hardware-accelerated HD video for YouTube and Netflix (NFLX) work smoothly, and Liliputing’s hands-on video suggests the transformation works really well for browsing and games. The only downside is the battery life is not very good. True, you won’t get the Nexus 7′s higher-resolution display or sleeker design either, but it’s still a handy way to repurpose an old tablet. More →
Amazon (AMZN) has reportedly contracted Foxconn to build its long-rumored “Kindle smartphone” according to the Taiwan Economic News. The news corroborates Digitimes’ report late last month that Foxconn will have the smartphones ready for a mid-2013 launch. The site claims Amazon has ordered 5 million smartphones with each unit said to cost between $100 to $200. Finally, the report states Foxconn will be working with touch panel makers J Touch and Young Fast Optoelectronics to receive supply parts for Amazon’s smartphones. J Touch Corp. recently revealed a 5-inch “WhiteMagic” touchscreen display that promises brighter images and longer battery life. An Amazon smartphone would presumably run on Android, as is the case with the Kindle Fire tablets.
Amazon’s (AMZN) Appstore is on fire. While the marketplace may not boost as many apps as Google’s (GOOG) Play Store, it has seen substantial growth in the past year. In fact, the company announced on Thursday that its Appstore has seen downloads increase more than 500% since last year. Amazon also revealed that the number of developers utilizing in-app purchasing doubled in the third quarter and that 23 of the top 25 grossing apps now incorporate the technology. 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 →
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) 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.
A new study conducted by Pew Research showed that half of all adults in the United States now own either a smartphone or tablet computer, the Associated Press reports. The research firm believes its findings have “major implications for how news will be consumed and paid for” in the future, with nearly 20% of mobile news respondents revealing that they paid for an online subscription within the last year. About half of the tablet news readers said they now spend more time consuming news, while nearly a third of readers claimed that they are also receiving news from sources they didn’t use before. More →
If anyone’s going to pose a real challenge to Apple (AAPL) in the tablet space, it looks as though it will have to be Amazon (AMZN). J.D. Power has released its latest tablet customer satisfaction study and has found that Amazon’s Kindle Fire is the only tablet within striking distance of Apple’s iPad, although it notes that the Kindle Fire’s only advantage over the iPad is its low price while the iPad holds the edge for performance, ease of operation, features, style and design. More →
Following Amazon’s (AMZN) announcement of its new Kindle Fire tablets, it was revealed that all models would display advertisements on their lock screens. The feature, known as “Special Offers,” was previously reserved for select Kindle models sold at lower price points. The retail giant does not plan to offer ad-free versions of its new Kindle Fire tablets, which left many people outraged. There is no need to fret, however, as Amazon reportedly confirmed to an Engadget reader that an option to remove the ads “will be announced soon” — although users may be forced to pay a little extra to remove ads from the tablet.
UPDATE: An Amazon spokesperson confirmed to CNET that “there will be no way to buy out of the Special Offers ads.”
UPDATE 2: Amazon seems to have had a change of heart and has now confirmed that users will have the ability to opt-out of Special Offers ads for $15. More →
Amazon (AMZN) decided not to discuss it at Thursday’s press event, but all three of Amazon’s new Kindle Fires — the new 7-inch tablet, 7-inch HD tablet and 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD — will come with “Special Offers” a.k.a. advertisements on their lock screens, The Verge reports. Previously reserved only for select Kindle eReader models and removable for a $30 fee, the promotions and ads on the new Fire tablets will be unavoidable for the time being. Amazon has historically used Special Offer devices to subsidize its Kindle devices and the new Fires will no different. While the “Special Offers” could upset some users, there’s no denying that Amazon’s $299 price point for the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD could make it worthwhile for users to deal with the ads. The Kindle Paperwhite eReader will be ad-supported as well according to Amazon.
Online retail giant Amazon (AMZN) is widely expected to unveil a number of new Kindle devices at its big press event next week, including a sequel to its Kindle Fire tablet. Although previous rumors had suggested that Amazon planned to launch a larger 8.9 or 10-inch version of the Kindle Fire, CNET is reporting that the company will instead announce an upgraded 7-inch tablet and a slightly revamped version of the original Fire. The high-end 7-inch model will feature various hardware improvements such as a faster processor, physical volume controls, an HDMI port and (finally!) the addition of a camera. More →