Amazon takes on Square and PayPal Here with $10 smartphone cardreader & lower fees

Small businesses looking to take occasional card payments without paying monthly fees now have a third option as Amazon has launched Local Register to compete with Square and PayPal Here – as we predicted last month over on 9to5Mac. The $10 card-reader is currently only compatible with the Samsung Galaxy S3, S4 and S5, along with the Kindle Fire HD and HDX tablets, but more devices are expected to be added.

Amazon is undercutting both competitor services with a flat fee of 2.5 percent per transaction (vs 2.7 percent for PayPal Here and 2.75 percent for Square). Not enough? Amazon is sweetening the deal with a special introductory rate of 1.75 percent until the end of 2015, and will also credit the $10 cost of the cardreader in full against transaction fees …  Read more

Amazon’s back to school sale takes $20 or more off select Chromebooks and Chromeboxes

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Chromebooks are already making waves with educators and school districts and of course retailers are no exception. Amazon is currently running a back to school promotion that knocks $20 or more off the regular asking price of select Chromebooks. This brings some device’s like the Acer C720P Chromebook to an all time low. Other machines like the HP Chromebook 11, which features an Exynos 5 processor, 2GB of RAM and an 11.6-inch 1,366 x 768 display are available for $200.

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Watch out Amazon: Google partners with Barnes & Noble in same-day book delivery service

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There will be some nervous faces in Amazon’s headquarters as Google today partners with rival booksellers Barnes & Noble to extend the Google Shopping Express service to books, reveals the New York Times.

Starting on Thursday, book buyers in Manhattan, West Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area will be able to get same-day deliveries from local Barnes & Noble stores through Google Shopping Express, Google’s fledgling online shopping and delivery service …

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Amazon is giving away over $100 worth of Android apps for free

From 9to5Toys.com:

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Amazon has just kicked off a 2-day Android App sale that includes 30 different apps for free. These “essential” apps cover a range of categories including games, utilities, travel, finance, fitness and more. This sale is a great way to pad your app library without spending a dime.

Before you get started, make sure you have the Amazon Appstore for Android installed on your smartphone or tablet.

Here’s our top picks:

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Amazon Fire Phone teardown analysis reveals how dynamic perspective killed the phone

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The reason Amazon’s Fire Phone has failed to impress is that it spent so much on the “gimmick” of dynamic perspective that it only had enough cash left to build an otherwise mediocre phone – the conclusion of a component analysis of a teardown of the phone.

Dynamic perspective allows the phone to detect and respond to head movements when viewing the phone’s display, but has been widely seen by reviewers as a novelty or gimmick.

Following iFixit’s earlier teardown of the Fire Phone, re/code has been given sight of a component costing following a separate teardown by research form IHS. This reveals that the total component cost of the Fire Phone is around $205 – more expensive even than Apple’s flagship iPhone 5S. The cost of the dynamic perspective technology left little room for anything but mid-range specs in the rest of the handset, says IHS …  Read more

iFixit teardown gives us our first look inside the Amazon Fire Phone, rates it low on repairability

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iFixit has added to the poor reception given to Amazon’s first ever smartphone, the Fire Phone, by rating it 3/10 for repairability. Even Amazon didn’t seem to have great confidence in the technology, its first ad focusing instead on the free 1-year Amazon Prime subscription you get with the phone.

Despite external, non-proprietary screws and no adhesive holding the casing together, iFixit found that simply removing the battery proved challenging, requiring a mix of heating and prying. After that, says the company, things only got worse …  Read more