• Fri, Sep. 23, 9:47 AM
    • Cited features (voice-activated home functions, appliance control) similar to Amazon's (AMZN +0.3%) Alexa-powered Echo.
    • Facial recognition capabilities also claimed. Apple (AAPL -0.3%) has previously acquired facial-expression technology companies Emotient (January 2016) and Faceshift (November 2015).
    • Nothing is confirmed or finalized, however, with the project reportedly having just moved on from the research and development lab to prototype testing.
    • Nonetheless, a development this way would signal entry into an entirely new hardware category for the company and bring it in line to compete with products already offered by Amazon (Echo) and those in the works at Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL) [Google Home].
    | Fri, Sep. 23, 9:47 AM | 44 Comments
  • Fri, Sep. 23, 2:48 AM
    • Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) shares closed past the $800 mark for the first time on Thursday, more than doubling its stock price in just 17 months.
    • That gives Amazon a market cap of over $380B, trailing only Apple, Alphabet and Microsoft as the fourth most valuable company in the U.S.
    • Several analysts have upgraded the stock, including Argus, Evercore and Mizuho Securities. Price targets vary from $855 to well over $1000 per share.
    | Fri, Sep. 23, 2:48 AM | 12 Comments
  • Thu, Sep. 22, 11:40 AM
    • Rolling out in the UK, Germany, Spain, France, Italy and across the continent.
    • The marketplace launched in the U.S. last October with Amazon (AMZN +1.8%) now reporting handcrafted product volume across all 50 states and more than 80 other countries has increased 5x to 500K items.
    • Director at Amazon, Steve Johnson: "When we introduce a new business at Amazon we think long-term and globally. Since launch, we’ve received feedback from customers and artisans around the world that they want a Handmade at Amazon store in their local marketplace. With our focus on genuine handcrafted products, the Handmade at Amazon store has been a big hit with artisans and customers in the U.S. and we’re encouraged by the strong growth of sales and customer traffic. Amazon has become a one-stop shop for holiday gifting, and this year customers will see hundreds of thousands more handmade items, with thousands eligible for Prime two-day shipping."
    • The move comes a day after handmade marketplace competitor Etsy (ETSY -1%) was trading 10%+ above Tuesday's close and Shutterfly's move lower on the introduction of Amazon Prints.
    • Amazon additionally expanded Echo into the UK and Germany earlier this month.
    • Handmade at Amazon
    | Thu, Sep. 22, 11:40 AM | 1 Comment
  • Wed, Sep. 21, 3:04 PM
    • With Amazon (AMZN +0.9%) introducing a new portal for photo printing services, Shutterfly (SFLY -11.4%) shares are feeling the heat.
    • Photo prints and custom photo book products are now available to Prime Photos and Amazon Drive members. Calendar and stationary offerings are also noted to be coming soon.
    • Shutterfly is trading at a 685K volume level over a 263K average on the news.
    | Wed, Sep. 21, 3:04 PM | 19 Comments
  • Tue, Sep. 20, 1:29 PM
    • A day after Google (GOOG, GOOGLacquired
    • Though no formal announcement has been made, TechCrunch reports's co-founder and CEO is now employed by Amazon (AMZN +0.4%).
    • With Google, Facebook (FB -0.1%) (Messenger bots), Microsoft (Genee), others and now Amazon seemingly making moves in the natural-language and bot-software arenas, it appears a field to attract increased attention going forward.
    | Tue, Sep. 20, 1:29 PM | 8 Comments
  • Mon, Sep. 19, 11:04 AM
    • Thalmic Labs specializes in developing wearable technology that translates muscle electrical activity to control of various devices (see Myo armband).
    • Intel Capital (INTC -0.5%) and Amazon's Alexa Fund (AMZN -0.6%), along with other investors, participated in the fund.
    • Thalmic Labs was founded in 2012 and with this raise, counts total funding of $135.61M.
    • With Amazon focused on its Alexa and Echo products of late and Intel fresh off Nervana and Movidius acquisitions, the investment in gesture-control signals the possibility for some unique future integrations.
    | Mon, Sep. 19, 11:04 AM | 2 Comments
  • Mon, Sep. 19, 4:58 AM
    • Oracle's (NASDAQ:ORCL) Larry Ellison fired a shot across Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) bow Sunday evening, declaring that with the release of Oracle's second generation IaaS data centers, "Amazon's lead is over."
    • The Seattle-based company is currently considered the leader in cloud computing.
    • Earlier this year, Morgan Stanley estimated Amazon Web Services generated $7.9B in sales in 2015, nearly 8x as much as Microsoft's Azure, the second largest IaaS player.
    | Mon, Sep. 19, 4:58 AM | 36 Comments
  • Fri, Sep. 16, 10:38 AM
    • Mark Mahaney at RBC Capital Markets restates an Outperform rating and raises his price target to $1,000 from $840 (current price $776.44). He cites "flywheels" momentum and Alexa's potential to become the company's "fourth pillar".
    • Ken Sena at Evercore ISI reissues a Buy rating and increases his target to $1,015, up from $930, while highlighting logistics innovation (aircraft, truck trailers, route and mapping technology assets) and automation technology initiatives (estimates 10%-25% per unit expense reduction).
    • Amazon (AMZN +1.1%) is trading up over 8% on the last three months and nearly 50% higher on the year.
    | Fri, Sep. 16, 10:38 AM | 33 Comments
  • Fri, Sep. 16, 8:37 AM
    • "Alexa, How Fast Do Flywheels Spin," is the title of analyst Mark Mahaney's report in which the Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) bull hikes his price target to $1,000, with possible upside to $1,300. (via Notable Calls)
    • The stock closed at $769.69 last night.
    • The company's fundaments have never been stronger in our view, says Mahaney.
    • Shares +0.15% premarket
    | Fri, Sep. 16, 8:37 AM | 58 Comments
  • Thu, Sep. 15, 11:04 AM
    • Estimated to generate 1M megawatt hours of wind energy per year.
    • "Amazon Wind Farm Texas" marks the company's (AMZN +0.6%) largest renewable energy initiative to date. Wind and solar farms intended to supply power to AWS data centers in Virginia, Indiana, Ohio and North Carolina have previously been detailed (combined 2.6M MWh generated per year with new facility).
    • The project is In collaboration with Lincoln Clean Energy (Amazon will purchase 90% of energy produced at farm) and is set to open in 2017.
    • Facebook yesterday introduced plans for its latest data center to be constructed in Los Lunas, New Mexico.
    • Press release
    | Thu, Sep. 15, 11:04 AM | 16 Comments
  • Wed, Sep. 14, 9:12 AM
    • As previously surmised, Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) Alexa-powered Echo is now available in the UK (and Germany). Pre-orders for the just announced second generation of the Echo Dot are also launching in both countries.
    • This marks the first time Echo devices are officially available external the U.S. market.
    • Shipments will commence in upcoming weeks.
    • UK press release
    • Germany press release
    | Wed, Sep. 14, 9:12 AM | 13 Comments
  • Tue, Sep. 13, 11:39 AM
    • Amazon (AMZN -1.4%) is offering Prime members free access to the short-form digital audio service (Amazon owns Audible).
    • The company also announced today it's integrating further "skills" from Food Network and GE Appliances with its Alexa technology and plans Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football and Bloomberg integrations by the end of September.
    • Amazon notes the present count of 3,000 skills represents a three-fold increase over the past three months.
    | Tue, Sep. 13, 11:39 AM | 8 Comments
  • Tue, Sep. 13, 10:09 AM
    • ICANN has been U.S.-based since 1998 and is overseen by the U.S. Commerce Department.
    • Facebook (FB -1%), Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL), Amazon (AMZN -1.1%), Twitter (TWTR -1%) and others are petitioning Congress to not block transition of the organization to a more global structure set to occur on October 1.
    • Excerpt from group letter: "A global, interoperable and stable Internet is essential for our economic and national security, and we remain committed to completing the nearly twenty year transition to the multi stakeholder model that will best serve U.S. interests."
    • U.S. Senator Ted Cruz heads opposition to the proposal and is set to hold a congressional hearing relating to it tomorrow.
    | Tue, Sep. 13, 10:09 AM | 40 Comments
  • Mon, Sep. 12, 1:59 AM
    • Music streamers may get several new service choices in the coming months, sources told the NYT.
    • Pandora (NYSE:P) could announce plans this week to expand its $5/month platform, and is expected to launch a $10/month on-demand service by Christmas, which would compete with Spotify (Private:MUSIC) and Apple Music (NASDAQ:AAPL).
    • Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is also expected to reveal a platform with a large catalog of music for $10/month, or about half that amount for Echo customers.
    | Mon, Sep. 12, 1:59 AM | 32 Comments
  • Fri, Sep. 9, 4:13 PM
    • Following recent buzz Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is working on opening physical bookstores, it is now being said an increased number of storefronts in U.S. malls could be in the works. The company already counts a few pop-up locations throughout the country.
    • Separate from the bookstores, these retail locations are intended to showcase hardware offerings (Echo, Fire devices, Kindle etc.).
    • An expansion in this direction would fit with a strategy of merging physical locations with Amazon's digital properties and potentially mirror retail strategies similar to those of other hardware device makers (Apple Store, Microsoft Store and others).
    | Fri, Sep. 9, 4:13 PM | 45 Comments
  • Fri, Sep. 9, 9:36 AM
    • Sports of interest said to include those with a wide global appeal (soccer, tennis, golf, rugby, auto racing), though those more popular in the U.S. are also in the mix.
    • Sports content is notoriously challenging to secure due to cost (ESPN pays $2B for NFL rights per year) and contract lock-ups. However, should Amazon (AMZN -0.5%) move in this direction, it could distinguish its video offerings markedly from competitors Netflix and others, along with posing new competition to conventional distribution methods.
    | Fri, Sep. 9, 9:36 AM | 27 Comments