Oct. 2, 2013, 5:45 PM
- Reviewers of Amazon's (AMZN) 7" Kindle Fire HDX generally find the tablet to be a big improvement over the 7" Fire HD. But while the reviews are positive, they're not quite glowing.
- The Verge's David Pierce (7.8/10) calls the HDX's high-res display "gorgeous," its X-Ray media information service "insanely powerful," and its Mayday live video customer support service "brilliant." At the same time, the lack of Google Play support is said to make the HDX's functionality "severely limited." In addition to lacking Google's apps/services, there’s "no Netflix, no Candy Crush, few to-do list apps or big-name games."
- Engadget's Brian Heater also takes aim at the lack of Google Play support, as well as the fact users have to pay an extra $15 to get rid of Amazon's ads. On the other hand, the HDX bested every Android tablet it squared off against in a battery life test. CNET (4/5 stars) praises the performance of the HDX's Snapdragon 800 CPU, as do others.
- The Fire HDX's $229 price tag ($244 without ads) is soundly above that of many 7" Android tablets backed by Google apps/services, as Amazon's own site demonstrates. Amazon is offering a revamped Fire HD for $139 ($154 without ads), but its specs don't measure up to the HDX's.
- More Fire HDX reviews
Oct. 1, 2013, 6:45 AM
Sep. 30, 2013, 1:26 PM
- Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG) passed Coca-Cola to take the top two spots in Interbrand's annual ranking of the world's most valuable brands. 2013 marks the first time in the history of the 13-year-old survey Coke wasn't ranked #1. (PR)
- Interbrand estimates Apple's brand value rose 28% Y/Y to $98.3B, and Google's 34% to $93.3B. Four other tech names made the top-10: IBM (#4, +4% to $78.8B), Microsoft (MSFT - #5, +3% to $60B), Samsung (SSNLF.PK, SSNGY.OB - #8, +20% to $39.6B), and Intel (INTC - #9, -5% to $37.3B).
- Though it only came in at #19, Amazon's (AMZN) brand value is estimated to have risen 27% to $23.6B. Likewise, Interbrands thinks EBAY's brand value rose 20% to $13.2B, leading its ranking to rise 8 spots to #28.
Sep. 30, 2013, 10:11 AM
- A Polish paper reports Amazon (AMZN -1.1%) is thinking of building five logistics centers in the neighboring Czech Republic and Poland. Each facility would reportedly take up about 100K sq. meters of space, and cost €50M-€60M ($67.6M-$81.2M) to build.
- The report comes in a year that has seen Amazon contend with a series of German labor disputes, and broader criticism on the continent regarding its labor policies.
Sep. 26, 2013, 6:34 PM
- With Intel (INTC) at risk of missing a year-end target for launching its Web-based pay-TV service thanks to stalled licensing talks, Bloomberg reports the chip giant is "seeking partnerships to jumpstart the project." In particular, a partner "with a base of Internet subscribers or rights to films and television shows."
- AllThingsD reports something similar, while adding "it’s possible the project will be scrapped" if a partner isn't found. Intel is said to be talking with Amazon (AMZN) and Samsung (SSNLF.PK, SSNGY.OB) about a possible deal.
- Bloomberg's sources claim the project has slowed since Brian Krzanich, who is more interested in Intel's mobile chip progress, became CEO.
- Intel has bought startups to strengthen its TV efforts, and has promised novel features such as a cloud DVR service that stores every item of programming for 3 days. But reaching content deals with media giants has reportedly been tough, thanks partly to the objections of pay-TV incumbents such as Time Warner Cable.
Sep. 25, 2013, 2:13 PM
- Google (GOOG -1.2%) is taking its same-day delivery service out of trial mode, and expanding its reach to cover the entire Bay Area (rather than just San Francisco, where Google's trial commenced in March).
- Google is also launching Android/iOS apps for the service, known as Shopping Express. Retail partners include Whole Foods, Target, Staples, American Eagle, and Walgreens. The Web giant promises prices will match those found within stores, and will offer memberships for free until year's end (it's expected to charge afterwards).
- Meanwhile, eBay (EBAY -2%) plans to bring its Now same-day service to Europe, starting with a 2014 London launch. In July, eBay announced plans to bring Now (first launched in Manhattan and SF) to several more U.S. metro areas.
- Like Google, and unlike Amazon (AMZN -0.4%), eBay is looking to provide an infrastructure for local and national retailers, rather than directly handling fulfillment.
- eBay is also launching a retail pickup service for items purchased through its marketplaces. The service, known as Click & Collect, is initially launching in the U.K, and bears a strong resemblance to Amazon's lockers, which were recently ditched by Staples and RadioShack.
- Previous: AmazonFresh a "Trojan horse," 20 more markets expected
Sep. 25, 2013, 7:17 AM| Sep. 25, 2013, 7:17 AM | 1 Comment
Sep. 25, 2013, 1:01 AM
- Amazon (AMZN) has launched two new tablets under the Kindle Fire HDX name - a 7" model and 8.9" model - and has also given the Kindle Fire HD a price cut and slight refresh.
- As rumored, the HDX tablets sport high-res displays - 1920x1200 for the 7" model, 2560x1600 for the 8.9" model - and Qualcomm's (QCOM) quad-core Snapdragon 800 CPU. Amazon also claims the displays offer perfect color accuracy and the ability to optimize pixels based on the amount of available light.
- Other features include Dolby (DLB) audio, improved battery life, thinner/lighter form factors, and a 24/7 live video customer support service called Mayday.
- The Wi-Fi-only 16GB 7" HDX goes for $229 (same as the new Nexus 7), and a comparable 8.9" HDX for $379. Higher-capacity and 4G models are also offered.
- Amazon has also given the Fire HD a refresh, making it thinner and adding a faster CPU. More importantly, an 8GB model is now available for just $139, and a 16GB model for $169. The 16GB Fire HD sold for $199 when Amazon launched it a year ago. The standard 8GB Kindle Fire (now discontinued) sold for $159.
- All of the tablets run on an updated version of Amazon's custom take on Android. The update adds a slew of enterprise-friendly management and security features.
- The 7" HDX begins shipping on Oct. 15, and the 8.9" model on Nov. 7. On one hand, Amazon has put some clear effort into making its latest hardware stand out. On the other, tablet competition remains intense, and Amazon can't offer the the popular Google apps (Play, Maps, YouTube, Now, etc.) that come bundled with Google-approved Android devices.
- Also: Amazon is adding offline viewing support to Prime Instant Video, a feature that (for now) gives it some ability to differentiate from Netflix (NFLX). Prime subs can download certain movies and shows for free to watch within 30 days.
- Initial offline partners include NBC, Viacom, Sony, CBS, and Warner Bros.
Sep. 24, 2013, 1:48 PM| Sep. 24, 2013, 1:48 PM | Comment!
Sep. 23, 2013, 8:20 AM
Sep. 19, 2013, 2:15 PM
- comScore estimates U.S. e-commerce sales (exc. travel) rose 12% Y/Y to $26.1B. That's down from Q2's 16% and Q1's 13%.
- RBC's Mark Mahaney views the data as "neutral to negative" for Amazon (AMZN +0.1%) and eBay (EBAY -0.7%), but also largely in-line with his forecast for 15% full-year growth.
- On the other hand, comScore estimates U.S. online travel sales growth rose to 11% in August from Q2's 9% and the highest growth rate seen since Jan. '12. Mahaney views this as a positive for Priceline (PCLN -0.4%), Expedia (EXPE -1%), and TripAdvisor (TRIP +0.1%), and now thinks his 7% full-year growth forecast could be conservative. Others are already forecasting 8%-10% growth.
- Priceline shares topped $1,000 for the first time yesterday, and are currently trading a little below that level.
- Previous: ChannelAdvisor's August same-store sales data
Sep. 19, 2013, 9:17 AM| Sep. 19, 2013, 9:17 AM | 1 Comment
Sep. 19, 2013, 8:02 AM
- Staples (SPLS) and RadioShack (RSH) plan to end their participation in the Amazon Lockers program, according to Bloomberg.
- The retail strategy of storing items ordered by Amazon (AMZN) customers was considered a bit of a Hail Mary by most analysts, even with the companies claiming increased store traffic would add incremental sales.
- The end game: Back to the drawing board for Staples and RadioShack.
Sep. 19, 2013, 7:35 AM
- A labor strike in Germany against Amazon (AMZN) threatens to disrupt production if the company doesn't reach a settlement.
- Hundreds of workers say they will stay away from their posts for three days to protest Amazon's refusal to accept collective bargaining.
- Last year, the company rang up sales of $8.7B in the nation and employed close to 9K people.
Sep. 18, 2013, 6:55 PM
- Among the principles the Republican-led House Judiciary Committee thinks should guide the creation of a national online sales tax law: Internet companies shouldn't face "new or discriminatory taxes not faced in the offline world;" online and offline retailers should be "on equal footing;" laws should be simple and compliance costs low; businesses should have the right to protest unfair treatment, and state governments "should be encouraged to compete with one another to keep tax rates low ."
- EBAY, which hosts many merchants collecting little or no sales tax and has opposed national sales tax law efforts, says it's "very encouraged" by the principles. A trade group pushing for a national law calls the principles a "great first step."
- Though the Senate signed off on an online sales tax bill in May, the bill has been mired in the House since then.
- Amazon (AMZN), which collects tax from a large and growing portion of U.S. customers, has backed the bill. Other e-commerce-related names that stand to be directly or indirectly affected by the passage of a law: OSTK, NILE, ECOM, SALE.
Sep. 18, 2013, 11:20 AM
- DirecTV (DTV -1.1%) and Dish Network (DISH +1.1%) are more at risk than cable operators (TWC, CHTR, CVC) from a new generation of consumers unwilling to pay premium prices for TV packages, according to analysts.
- Pay-TV providers aren't the only group keeping an eye on the so-called "cord nevers" as broadcasters (DIS, CMCSA, FOXA, CBS, SBGI, BLC, NXST) weigh how long the current TV content model can stay locked in place.
- The bundling approach to cable/satellite packages helps broadcasters reap lucrative content deals.
- The outlook: "The revolution will take a long time," notes one grounded industry insider, but Internet TV (SNE, NFLX, AMZN) players could try to accelerate the shake-up through innovation.
Amazon.com Inc is an online retailer. The Company sells its products through the website which provides services, such as advertising services and co-branded credit card agreements. It also offers electronic devices like Kindle e-readers and Fire tablets.
Other News & PR