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 →
Amazon reported third-quarter earnings on Tuesday, noting net sales increased 44% from the same quarter last year to $10.88 billion. That figure is on a par with Wall Street’s revenue expectations of $10.93 billion. Amazon reported EPS of $0.14, which missed the Street’s estimates of $0.24 per share. Net income fell 73% quarter-over-quarter, however. Amazon reported net income of $63 million during the third quarter, down from $231 million in the second quarter. The online retailer said September 28th was its biggest day ever for Kindle sales, including during the previous peak holiday season. “In the three weeks since launch, orders for electronic ink Kindles are double the previous launch,” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said. “And based on what we’re seeing with Kindle Fire pre-orders, we’re increasing capacity and building millions more than we’d already planned.” Looking forward to the fourth quarter, Amazon expects net sales to fall between $16.45 billion and $18.65 billion, 27-44% growth over the fourth quarter of last year. The company also confirmed better than expected demand for its Kindle Fire tablet, noting that it is building “millions more” tablets than it had initially orders. Shares of Amazon stock fell more than 14% in after-hours trading. Read on for the full press release from Amazon.
The Kindle Fire hasn’t even hit the market yet but the tablet’s successor is already reported to be set for a launch in the second half of next year. Reportedly, Foxconn has secured orders for the device and is working to get the tablet out of the door and onto store shelves during that time period, DigiTimes said on Wednesday. Quanta Computer is building the current generation Kindle Fire, although Amazon is largely believed to already have a second-generation quad-core “Hollywood” tablet in the pipeline. Early speculation has suggested the Hollywood tablet will have a 10-inch display and BGR exclusively reported in May that it will be powered by NVIDIA’s quad-core Tegra 3 chipset. Foxconn has not yet confirmed it received the orders from Amazon, but the report matches up with several rumors that suggested the tablet would ship later than initially expected. More →
Android tablet vendors should follow Amazon’s lead and introduce lower-priced devices with Amazon content or exit the market altogether, one analyst recently suggested. Nomura International technology securities analyst Richard Windsor believes Amazon will dominate the cheap end of the tablet market with its new Kindle Fire, while Apple’s iPad will continue to own the high-end. Other tablet makers with iPad-like prices are still “living in denial,” Windsor said. “The main effect of the potential sea change triggered by Amazon could be a change in roadmap to cheaper products or possible tie-ups with Amazon,” Windsor argued in a recent research note. “With the advent of the Amazon Kindle Fire, many of the other tablet makers are in a bit of a quandary as they are left with expensive tablets without a comprehensive content offering.” Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) will be detailed on Tuesday, October 11th during a press conference in San Diego and Windsor also believes the new OS may help tablet makers compete better with the iPad. BGR will reporting live from the event. More →
Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet is sure to be a hit according to purported internal figures leaked by CultofAndroid. A screenshot of Amazon’s availability look-up and SKU aggregator (ALASKA) reveals that there were already more than 254,000 pre-orders for the tablet at the time of the leak. To achieve that pre-order figure, Amazon must have averaged 50,000 unit orders per day, or more than 2,000 units ordered each hour. For comparison, Apple sold 300,000 iPad tablets on its first day of availability, which also included pre-orders and sales to partners and retail channels. CultofAndroid said Amazon has also received more than 20,000 pre-orders for its Kindle Touch and more than 12,000 pre-orders for the Kindle Touch 3G. While at least one analyst has argued Amazon’s Kindle Fire will “hardly be an iPad killer,” it appears Amazon’s strategy to price the device far below the iPad will help it compete quite well. Hit the break for a larger image. More →