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Aug. 17, 2013, 5:41 PM
- In a June Information Week survey covering enterprise app use (excludes software such as Windows, Office, and databases), 24% of respondents named Microsoft (MSFT) their "most strategic " app supplier, up from 19% in April '12.
- Though its Windows sales have fallen, Microsoft has been seeing solid billings growth for enterprise app offerings such as Dynamics, Exchange, Lync, and SharePoint.
- Salesforce (CRM) rose to 10% from 6%. The company posted 25% Y/Y billings growth in FQ1, and is reporting FQ2 results on Aug. 29.
- On the other hand, Oracle (ORCL), which is coming off two quarters of license revenue misses and is reportedly dealing with salesforce turmoil, fell to 23% from 30%. Archrival SAP fell slightly to 15% from 16%.
- The cloud migration continues: 46% of respondents said their companies are using cloud/SaaS apps, up from a prior 38%. Not surprisingly, companies are more comfortable moving CRM and HR apps to the cloud (Salesforce and WDAY have led the way) than moving ERP apps (SAP's stronghold in the on-premise world).
- Also, 60% said their firms are using or considering a cloud app platform such as Salesforce's Heroku and Force.com vs. a prior 52%, and 48% said the same for cloud infrastructure platforms such as AWS (AMZN) vs. a prior 41%. Windows Azure competes in both realms.
- Interestingly, in spite of the rapid growth SAP has seen for Hana, only 13% of respondents said their firms are using an in-memory database. Another 37% are considering, and 50% are unlikely to consider it.
Aug. 15, 2013, 10:50 AM
- Online sales in Europe are forecast by research firm Mintel to double to €188B in five years, a forecast that bodes well for Amazon (AMZN -1.9%).
- Mintel says Amazon has grew its online market share by 60 bps in 2012 to 9.8% and should see more gains despite negative publicity in the U.K. and Germany.
- If current e-commerce trends were to hold, in 8 years Amazon will overtake German firm Schwarz to be the biggest retailer on the continent.
Aug. 14, 2013, 8:01 AM
- Speculation on a plan by Amazon (AMZN) to bring AmazonFresh to the New York City area increases with a report a development partner of the company purchased a 964K square foot facility across the Hudson River in New Jersey.
- Also, AllThingsD notes the company has also posted help wanted advertisements for a New Jersey facility.
- If Amazon does bring grocery delivery to the Big Apple, it will run up against competition from PeaPod and FreshDirect.
Aug. 13, 2013, 6:54 PM
- ChannelAdvisor (ECOM) clients saw a 24.9% Y/Y increase in Amazon (AMZN) same-store sales, down from 30.6% in June and representing the lowest growth rate recorded over the last 12 months (though still above total e-commerce growth). Merchants have been upset over recent fee hikes.
- On the other hand, EBAY same-store sales growth rose to 20.4% from 17.7% in June and 16% in May. Auctions -23.3% vs. June's -17.2%, but fixed-price (now a majority of sales) +20.3% vs. +18.9% and Motors +26.6% vs. +27.8%. ChannelAdvisor thinks eBay's new search engine (Cassini) is helping out. Are recent fee changes also helping?
- Google's (GOOG) numbers were a mixed bag. Same-store sales tied to search ads grew only 0.6% Y/Y, down from June's 5.1%. But comparison shopping (inc. Google Shopping) rose 12.9% vs. June's 10%.
- Also, ChannelAdvisor predicts search ad prices (CPCs) will rise thanks to the launch of Enhanced Campaigns, as "advertisers are no longer able to bid lower for the lower converting mobile ads."
- ChannelAdvisor shares rose another 7.5% today, and are now up 52% since the company posted a Q2 beat last Wednesday (previous).
Aug. 13, 2013, 11:13 AM
- BlackBerry (BBRY +9%) is now up 27% since Reuters first reported the company is thinking of going private. The company's enterprise value (excludes $3.1B in cash/investments) has grown to $3B.
- While Prem Watsa reportedly talks to both P-E firms and "industry players" about a deal, the NY Post reports BlackBerry would prefer to be acquired by a "Google-like" buyer rather than a P-E firm. One source speculates Amazon (AMZN - believed to be interested back in 2011, and possibly able to leverage BlackBerry's NOCs to bolster AWS) could be an option.
- AllThingsD reports Silver Lake "has no interest in working with Watsa or BlackBerry" on a bid.
- Another upgrade has come in: Scotia Capital has lifted shares to Outperform.
- More on BlackBerry
Aug. 11, 2013, 6:15 PM
- In a cover story on Jeff Bezos and Amazon (AMZN), FastCompany's J.J. McCorvey observes the company's new AmazonFresh grocery service (offered via its $299/year Prime Fresh free shipping plan) is a "Trojan horse" meant to give Amazon's broader same-day delivery efforts needed scale.
- Amazon is also hoping its same-day infrastructure (replete with Amazon trucks) will increase its appeal to 3rd-party sellers (now responsible for 40% of unit sales) by lowering delivery times. Merchants already cite access to Prime as a reason for outsourcing fulfillment to Amazon (and giving a ~20% cut).
- EBAY could prove a formidable same-day rival. Instead of building its own soup-to-nuts infrastructure, eBay is relying on dozens of offline retailers (inc. major national chains) to help handle fulfillment. Google is also dipping its toes into same-day.
- Currently available in L.A. and Seattle, AmazonFresh is expected to expand to 20 more markets, including some international ones. SunTrust recently predicted an NYC launch will happen in 2014.
- Also mentioned by McCorvey: Amazon is now able to ship items less than 2.5 hours after an order is placed; and wants to further lower than number; Prime now covers 15M+ items (up from 1M in '05); and Amazon is still "evaluating" how to use Kiva's robots.
Aug. 9, 2013, 4:28 PM
- Amazon (AMZN) has cut the price of the 7" Kindle Fire HD by $40 to $159. Prices for the non-HD Fire ($159) and 8.9" Fire HD ($269) are unchanged. Last month, Amazon temporarily cut the 7" Fire HD's price to $169.
- The discount comes amidst reports Amazon will refresh its Kindle lineup this fall with higher-res models. Thus, the e-commerce giant could be trying to clear inventory ahead of a launch. The recent arrival of a refreshed Nexus 7 might also factor into Amazon's thinking.
- Amazon, whose tablet shipments have been heavily skewed towards Q4, failed to make IDC's Q2 top-5 tablet OEM list (based on shipments, rather than end-user sales).
- Meanwhile, TechCrunch has responded to Amazon console rumors by reporting Amazon could be building a living room box featuring a quad-core Qualcomm (QCOM) MPQ8064 CPU (a set-top/smart TV-focused version of the APQ8064). The site also reports hearing Amazon has approached game developers about creating titles for its hardware.
- One very plausible scenario: Amazon's rumored console and set-top projects are one and the same.
Aug. 9, 2013, 10:28 AM
- Sources tell Game Informer Amazon (AMZN +0.3%) is working on an Android game console, replete with a dedicated game controller, and plans to launch it later this year, "most likely by Black Friday."
- Amazon will reportedly leverage "titles already available on its platform." Presumably the site is talking about the Appstore for Android.
- VentureBeat says it has previously heard rumors of an Amazon console, and say the company has been hiring numerous game developers. However, the site adds a couple of its sources "weren’t sure if Amazon was serious about the project."
- Crowdfunded startup Ouya recently launched a $99 Android console to mixed reviews, and the WSJ has reported Google is working on its own Android console. Apple has added game controller support to iOS 7, which could open the door to console-like home gaming (perhaps via Apple TV). Meanwhile, Nvidia has launched its Shield handheld Android console.
- Developer support for controller-based Android gaming remains an issue. But the recent surge in hardware activity could change the situation quickly.
- Previous: Amazon set-top report
Aug. 6, 2013, 10:22 AM
- Amazon Art allows consumers to browse and buy 40K+ "works of fine art" from 150+ galleries and dealers. Galleries in the U.S., U.K., Canada, and The Netherlands are on board. (PR)
- In addition to traditional artwork, less costly items such as prints and photos are sold. The site leverages Amazon's (AMZN -0.4%) standard browsing/search/payment tools.
- Initial offerings range from a $4.85M Norman Rockwell painting (comes with free shipping) to a $10 screenprint ($5 shipping).
- No details on Amazon's commission rates are provided in the PR, but The Art Newspaper reported in June Amazon was looking to undercut rivals such as Artspace.
Aug. 6, 2013, 4:25 AM
- U.S. cloud-computing companies could miss out on $21.5-35B of revenues over the next three years because of concerns about how U.S. authorities such as the National Security Agency have been accessing the firms' user data.
- The estimate comes from the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation think tank.
- Companies that could be affected include Amazon (AMZN), Google (GOOG) and Microsoft (MSFT).
- There's increasing evidence that non-U.S. firms have been canceling orders and limiting their use of U.S. cloud service providers. In a membership survey by the Cloud Security Alliance, 10% of non-U.S. respondents said they had ended a project with a U.S. cloud company, while over half said they would be less likely to use one.
Aug. 5, 2013, 6:19 PM
- Amazon's (AMZN) opposition to unions, in particular, hasn't gone over well with continental politicians and labor groups.
- A figure at trade union Uni Global: "In Germany, the idea that warehouse workers are going to be getting opposition from an employer when it comes to the right to organize, that’s virtually unheard-of."
- Amazon argues unions will hurt the speed at which the company can embrace new technologies (such as Kiva's robots) and fulfillment processes.
- The complaints come amidst strikes by a portion of Amazon's German warehouse workers.
- Previous: Amazon set to hire 5K more U.S. fulfillment workers
Aug. 5, 2013, 1:41 PM
- A collapse of the bundled channel model would seemingly leave program providers such as Viacom (VIAB), Discovery Communications (DISCA), Scripps Networks (SNI), and AMC Networks (AMCX) out in the wild as fees could rise and fall more abruptly as hit shows come and go.
- Disney's (DIS) claims nothing could knock ESPN off its high horse (and high carriage fees) - but with NBC (CMCSA), 21st Century Fox (FOXA), and CBS (CBS) needing high-profile sports events on their schedule, the cost of future licensing deals could soar.
- Don't forget about Netflix (NFLX). Along with +30M subscribers in the U.S., even old-school cable stalwart Dolan admits he is a fan of the streaming service. Disruption in the cable/satellite market could lead to some cord-cutting and extra subscriptions for Netflix and Amazon (AMZN) Prime.
Aug. 2, 2013, 10:50 AM
- The DOJ wants Apple (AAPL +0.3%) to terminate its existing deals with five top book publishers, and to "refrain for five years from entering new e-book distribution contracts which would restrain Apple from competing on price."
- It also wants Apple to be "prohibited from again serving as a conduit of information among the conspiring publishers," and from entering into content deals that are likely to raise competitor content prices.
- In a positive for Amazon (AMZN -0.3%) and Barnes & Noble (BKS -0.1%), the DOJ also proposes Apple allow e-book rivals to "provide links from their e-book apps to their e-bookstores" for two years. Such a requirement would give Amazon and B&N a way to sell e-books on iDevices without giving Apple a 30% cut. Amazon has been trying to avoid paying Apple via its Kindle Web apps, but that's an imperfect workaround at best.
- Previous: U.S. district judge declares Apple guilty of e-book price-fixing.
Aug. 1, 2013, 4:12 PM
- Amazon (AMZN +1.4%) is launching Collections, a Pinterest-like site that allows users to save and share images of items for sale on Amazon's site, and view the image collections of other users.
- Amazon naturally hopes Collections will help users discover items they weren't previously aware of, and proceed to add them to their shopping carts. Pinterest has become a big source of referral traffic for many e-commerce sites, including Amazon. However, Amazon and Pinterest have had their differences over affiliate traffic.
Jul. 31, 2013, 9:42 AM
- Amazon (AMZN +0.5%) says it will produce pilots for five kid shows developed in-house at Amazon Studios.
- The company will stream the shows in the U.K. to determine customer feedback.
- By developing shows at Amazon Studios the company could potentially save huge amounts on content acquisition costs, although until a title becomes a rating hit some skepticism will abound.
Jul. 30, 2013, 12:09 PM
- BGR follows up on its July 9 scoop about new Kindle Fire (AMZN -0.1%) models sporting higher-resolution displays by reporting next-gen 7" and 8.9" Fire HD models will use Qualcomm's (QCOM +1%) top-of-the-line Snapdragon 800 CPU (quad-core, reportedly clocked at 2GHz.).
- Texas Instruments, which has thus far been Amazon's app processor supplier, announced last fall it's exiting the mobile app processor market.
- The 8.9" Fire HD will reportedly have an 8MP rear camera; the 7" model will be camera-free.
- The entry-level Kindle Fire will ship with 8GB-32GB of storage; the HD models will have 16GB-64GB.
- Amazon is reportedly aiming for a fall launch.
- The updated Fires will arrive with Barnes & Noble gradually exiting the tablet market, and reports indicating a retina iPad Mini won't launch until 2014. However, Amazon will have to compete with a new Nexus 7 (receiving good reviews) and Samsung's refreshed Galaxy Tab/Note lineup.
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.
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