Amazon on Thursday updated its official Kindle app for iOS less than 24 hours before Apple’s new iPad launches. The Kindle 3.0 update adds a number of improvements, including a new eBook library design, cloud view and support for the new iPad’s Retina Display. The new library design facilitates easy access to a user’s books no matter where they are stored, with a new grid view and two tabs labeled “Device” and “Cloud” much like the layout on Amazon’s Kindle Fire. The update is available now for free in the App Store. More →
Amazon’s popular Kindle Fire is seen as having a huge impact on eReader shipments in the first quarter of 2012. The 7-inch Android tablet burst onto the scene in November and with less than seven weeks of availability in the fourth quarter, it managed to secure Amazon 14% of the global tablet market according to IHS iSupply. Demand for the Kindle Fire has remained strong in the first quarter — the slate is still Amazon’s best-selling electronics device for the 16th week running — and according to DigiTimes Research, eReader shipments will take a huge hit this quarter as a result. A seasonal decline from the holiday quarter to the first quarter is always anticipated, but DigiTimes’s research arm sees global eBook reader shipments dropping from 9 million units in the December quarter to just 2 million this quarter, a 78% decline. DigiTimes Research still projects solid eReader shipment growth in the coming years, however, as sales into channels jump from an estimated 22.82 million units in 2011 to more than 60 million units by 2015. More →
Amazon is reportedly preparing to launch a new 6-inch color E Ink eReader as soon as next month, followed by a 10-inch Kindle Fire tablet some time in the second quarter this year. E Ink Holdings has received initial orders for Amazon’s a 6-inch color eReader according to DigiTimes, a device that would be Amazon’s first eBook reader to feature a color E Ink display. The retail giant is reportedly looking to have more than 3 million color eReaders built each month, and shipments are scheduled to begin in March. In a separate report, DigiTimes reaffirms recent rumors that a 10-inch Kindle Fire will begin shipping in the second quarter this year. The report states that Foxconn has been awarded the manufacturing contract for Amazon’s 10-inch Fire while Wintron will begin ODM production of a Nook Tablet for Barnes & Noble around the same time. It is unclear if the Barnes & Noble tablet mentioned in the report is a new model or the current tablet. More →
Amazon is reportedly preparing to launch a follow up to the company’s wildly successful Kindle Fire. The specs have not yet been finalized, however Amazon is expected to deliver samples to manufacturers by March, according to the China Times. The publication states that a 10-inch OEM device from Foxconn could be the final product. The report comes just after Pacific Crest analyst Chad Bartley claimed that Amazon plans to release an updated 7-inch tablet and a brand new 9-inch slate in mid-2012. BGR exclusively reported last May that Amazon was working on a 10-inch tablet, although a later report would suggest that Amazon was focusing on launching a new 8.9-inch device first. The next-generation Kindle Fire is expected to launch by the end of the second quarter. More →
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 →