Amazon is reportedly preparing to launch an updated 7-inch Kindle Fire alongside a brand new 9-inch tablet this summer. Pacific Crest analyst Chad Bartley on Thursday raised his full-year Kindle Fire shipment forecast to 14.9 million units, up from his earlier estimate of 12.7 million. “We believe there is an upward bias, particularly from the new 7- and 9-inch models, which we expect to launch in mid-2012,” Bartley wrote in a note to clients. BGR exclusively reported last May that Amazon was working on two tablet models, the 7-inch “Coyote” that ended up launching at the Kindle Fire last November, and the quad-core 10-inch “Hollywood.” A later report would suggest that Amazon tweaked its tablet roadmap, however, pushing the release of its 10-inch model back in order to first launch a new 8.9-inch tablet. Bartley also lowered his shipment estimates on Amazon’s E Ink Kindle eReaders from 28.6 million units to 24 million units.
With great power comes great responsibility — and a flurry of advertising campaigns that target your wares. Samsung tried to make its name a verb in a recent round of anti-Apple ads where senseless iPhone owners got “Samsunged,” and the South Korea-based vendor’s campaign culminated with a $10 million extravaganza that aired during the Super Bowl. Amazon is next up to the plate, and the company’s recent commercial takes aim at Apple’s iPad. A woman sunbathing and reading a book on her Kindle is approached by a passing iPad owner who is intrigued by the fact that she can read in the sunlight. When the man mentions the Kindle’s inability to play movies, she points to a cabana where her two children are sitting, each with a Kindle Fire tablet. As a final jab, the woman points out that her three Kindles — one $79 eReader and two $199 tablets — are still cheaper than a single iPad. Amazon’s full commercial can be viewed below. More →
Amazon is preparing to open a retail store in Seattle within the next few months, according to a report from Good eReader. Amazon is apparently looking to open a small boutique rather than a large shop in an effort to test the market. The store would feature the Amazon Exclusive book line and the company’s popular eReaders and tablets most prominently according to the rumor. Amazon’s headquarters is located in Seattle, which is known as being fairly tech savvy and may be the perfect location to gauge interest in such an endeavor. The company has reportedly already contracted the design through a shell company and it is expected that the first location will open ahead of the holiday season this year. More →
Pew Research conducted a pre-holiday survey among people age 16 and older between November 16th and December 21st, and two additional surveys of adults age 18 and older in January. The data found that during the holiday gift giving season, sales of tablets and eBook readers nearly doubled from 10% to 19%. In the same time frame, the number of Americans owning at least one of these devices jumped from 18% to 29%. More than 33% of those living in households earning more than $75,000 a year own a tablet, with almost a third of those with college educations or higher owning the device. The eReader data revealed that more woman own the devices than men and those with both a high level of education and income showed the highest percentage of ownership. More →
Amazon’s new web-based Kindle Store for the iPad reportedly helps the online retailer dodge Apple’s fee that it would otherwise pay through a native Amazon Kindle Store iOS application. Amazon’s subscription program typically charges retailers 30% of all generated revenues, which has caused retailers like Amazon to create new ways for customers to purchase goods without having to pay a fee. The Financial Times also recently pulled its application to avoid the same subscription charges, and we would not be surprised if other magazines, newspapers or retail app developers follow suit. It’s unclear if Apple will tweak its terms in an effort to hold on to subscription providers. More →
Amazon announced on Thursday that the 2011 holiday season was the best ever for sales of its Kindle devices. While the online retailer didn’t specifically say just how many devices were sold by model, it did say Amazon customers purchased “millions of Kindle Fires and millions of Kindle eReaders” and more than 1 million devices per week during the month of December. The company also noted that its #1 and #4 best-selling eBooks released this year were published by independent authors through its Kindle Direct Publishing platform. “We are grateful to our customers worldwide for making this the best holiday ever for Kindle,” Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos said. “And in a huge milestone for independent publishing, we’d also like to congratulate Darcie Chan, the author of ‘The Mill River Recluse,’ and Chris Culver, the author of ‘The Abbey,’ for writing two of the best-selling Kindle books of the year.” The Kindle Fire was the most popular device followed by the Kindle Touch and the Kindle. Amazon also said that gifting of Kindle eBooks jumped 175%, between Black Friday and Christmas Day, compared to last year. Amazon’s full press release follows after the break.
M-Edge Accessories has filed a lawsuit against Amazon with a federal court in Maryland that accuses the online retailer of bullying it into coughing up higher commissions in exchange for better placement on Amazon’s website. M-Edge Accessories isn’t just filing a suit for extortion according to The Wall Street Journal, however — the accessory maker is also accusing Amazon of patent infringement, false advertising, creating unfair competition and hampering M-Edge’s customer relations. Amazon reportedly played some pretty dirty games with M-Edge in order to secure a larger percentage of commissions. M-Edge said it initially signed a deal with Amazon that would provide the retailer with a 15% commission on all goods sold. Amazon allegedly came back two months later and demanded a larger 32% commission. When M-Edge declined, an executive told M-Edge that Amazon would “de-list,” “play” with, or bury the accessory maker’s products so that “no one will be able to find you.” M-Edge eventually signed a new contract with Amazon, but it had to pay $6.5 million in commissions in order to do so. Even still, Amazon allegedly left its products off of the “Amazon Approved Accessory Maker” list. M-Edge is also suing Amazon for patent infringement and is arguing that it holds a patent for a Kindle case with a built-in reading light. More →
Amazon updated its Kindle application for iOS devices on Wednesday with support for PDF files as well as newspaper and magazine subscriptions. A Kindle user can now email a file to his or her Send-to-Kindle address and then access it from within the application, and the app will open Adobe PDF files sent to a computer through iTunes, from Safari or directly from an email account. Amazon also added support for viewing more than 400 newspaper and magazine subscriptions inside the application. The UI for reading periodicals was completely redesigned for the iPad, and it allows users to read newspapers, magazines and print replica text books the way they were meant to be read. The iPhone and iPod touch app also features a redesigned library for quick access to the Newsstand, Kindle Books and Docs. Ars Technica noticed however, that The New York Times currently limits its subscriptions to hardware Kindle devices only, which means anyone who pays for a subscription to that newspaper may have trouble loading it on an iOS device. The update is live now and is available for free from the iTunes App Store. More →
Amazon’s Kindle line was expected to be a popular option for holiday shoppers and the retailer confirmed as much on Thursday. Straying from its normally tight-lipped stance with regard to sharing sales volumes, Amazon announced that its Kindle Fire tablet and Kindle eReaders have sold more than 1 million combined units for three consecutive weeks. ”Kindle Fire is the most successful product we’ve ever launched – it’s the bestselling product across all of Amazon for 11 straight weeks, we’ve already sold millions of units, and we’re building millions more to meet the high demand,” VP of Amazon’s Kindle business Dave Limp said in a statement. “In fact, demand is accelerating – Kindle Fire sales increased week over week for each of the past three weeks. People are buying Kindle Fire because it’s a simple, fully-integrated service that makes it easy to do the things they love – watch movies, read books and magazines, listen to music, download apps, play games, and surf the web.” Limp added that the Kindle family of eBook readers are close behind Kindle Fire on the Amazon.com bestseller list. The company’s full press release follows below. More →
Amazon’s Kindle Fire is a smash hit, with fourth-quarter sales that may exceed even the most lofty estimates reported ahead of the tablet’s recent launch. In just over six weeks of availability this quarter, analysts at Goldman Sachs estimate that Amazon will sell as many as 6 million Kindle Fire tablets. Add to that another 8 million Kindle-branded eBook readers the firm sees Amazon selling between October and the end of this year, and the retailer looks to be in store for a huge holiday quarter. ”While the Kindle Fire certainly doesn’t have the breadth of functionality of the iPad (no camera or microphone, shorter battery life and less memory), it does a few things very well, which just happen to be the few actions that users utilize the tablet form factor most often for, in our view,” Goldman’s report stated. BGR reviewed the Kindle Fire last month and we viewed it as an excellent and affordable option for many consumers looking to consume the wide range of digital content now available from Amazon. More →
Strong demand for Amazon’s new Kindle Fire tablet and the continued popularity of Kindle eReaders lead to the retail giant’s best-ever Black Friday for the Kindle family of products. Amazon on Monday announced that sales of Kindle devices on Black Friday quadrupled last year’s sales, setting a new record. The company neglected to report sales figures, however it did say it sold millions of new Kindle eReaders and Kindle Fire tablets combined before the Black Friday shopping weekend began. ”Even before the busy holiday shopping weekend, we’d already sold millions of the new Kindle family and Kindle Fire was the bestselling product across all of Amazon.com,” said Amazon VP Dave Limp in a statement. “Black Friday was the best ever for the Kindle family – customers purchased 4X as many Kindle devices as they did last Black Friday – and last year was a great year. In addition, we’re seeing a lot of customers buying multiple Kindles – one for themselves and others as gifts – we expect this trend to continue on Cyber Monday and through the holiday shopping season.” Amazon also noted that the Kindle Fire tablet, which BGR reviewed earlier this month, has now been Amazon’s best-selling product for eight weeks running. The company’s full press release follows below. More →
Amazon’s follow up to the Kindle Fire tablet may feature an 8.9-inch touchscreen display rather than the 10-inch panel we have been expecting. BGR exclusively reported back in May that Amazon was working on two tablets, the 7-inch Kindle Fire we’ll see launch on November 15th and a quad-core 10-inch tablet that hasn’t been announced. According to a new report from DigiTimes, Amazon has introduced a third tablet into its roadmap and it is now scheduled to launch ahead of the 10-inch model, or even in place of the large-form slate. The site’s sources claim Chunghwa Picture Tubes and LG Display, Amazon’s display suppliers, have already begun to prepare for production of the 8.9-inch panels. More →
Just ahead of the release of Amazon’s highly anticipated Kindle Fire tablet, the company has added a new perk for Amazon Prime subscribers that could be the icing on the cake for future Fire owners. Beginning immediately, all Kindle eBook readers and the Kindle Fire tablet will have access to what Amazon has dubbed Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, a stash of thousands of books that may be “borrowed” indefinitely for free. Users may borrow one title per month, and the list of available books currently includes more than 100 current and former New York Times Bestsellers. “Owning a Kindle just got even better. Today, we’re introducing a new Prime benefit built for Kindle: The Kindle Owners’ Lending Library,” said Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement. “Prime Members now have exclusive access to a huge library of books to read on any Kindle device at no additional cost and with no due dates.” BGR went hands-on with the Kindle Fire during Amazon’s press conference, and we can definitely see the retail giant making a dent in the tablet market quickly with this $199 offering, which launches on November 15th. The plethora of value-added services available on the device for Prime members will only improve the slate’s odds in a crowded market currently dominated by Apple. Some analysts believe Amazon could sell as many as 5 million tablets during the fourth quarter alone. Amazon’s Lending Library press release follows below. More →