Amazon.com Stories July 23, 2015

Xiaomi partners with Uber to deliver smartphones “within minutes” to Singapore, Malaysia buyers

While Amazon is experimenting with shipping products by drone and offering two-hour deliveries, Xiaomi is taking a novel approach to delivering its own wares in Singapore and Malaysia. In partnership with Uber, the company will now let customers order their brand new Mi Note smartphone, and have it delivered within a few minutes.

Xiaomi’s chief, Hugo Barra announced the partnership on his Facebook page just a short while ago.

“Ordering a Mi Note follows the exact same process as calling for an Uber — you simply open the Uber app, use the slider at the bottom to select “Xiaomi” (which shows Xiaomi-orange colored Uber cars on the map equipped to deliver the new smartphone), and hit request. Payment will be charged directly to the credit card tied to your Uber account and a Mi Note will be delivered to you within a few minutes.”

It’s hard to think of anything more convenient than being able to place an order for a smartphone with a few taps of your finger, and have it land on your doorstep in the same hour.

Amazon.com Stories November 27, 2014

From 9to5Toys.com where we are rounding up all the best Black Friday deals we have two huge headliners on the almost never discounted Nest product line (that Google picked up along with iPod-father Tony Fadell earlier this year):

nest-thermostat-2nd-gen

The Nest Learning Thermostat (2nd generation) for $199 shipped. That’s $50 below list and the best price we’ve ever seen.

You can find it at Amazon, Best Buy, Lowes and Abt for $199 for a limited time.

  • The Nest Learning Thermostat remembers what temperatures you like, turns itself down when you’re away and can be controlled from your smartphone, tablet or laptop
  • Auto-Schedule creates a personalized schedule for your home by remembering when you adjust the temperature
  • Auto-Away automatically turns Nest thermostat down when there’s nobody home so you don’t waste energy heating or cooling an empty house
  • Remote control Nest thermostat over Wi-Fi from your smartphone, tablet or laptop
  • Energy History shows you how much energy you’ve used and what affects your energy use most

dropcam-wifi-hd

The Dropcam Wireless HD Video Monitoring Camera can be found for $99.99 with free shipping. That’s $50 below list and the lowest price we have ever seen on this cloud-based camera/recording system.

Available for $$99 ($50 off) at Amazon and Best Buy.

With a 107° degree field of view and 4x zoom, Dropcam keeps you connected with people, places and pets in sharp 720p HD video.

  • 60 Second Setup – Use your computer to find your Wi-Fi network, live stream in under a minute.
  • High Quality Video – Get into the details with 720p high-definition video.
  • Fast and easy setup – online and securely streaming 720p HD video in 60 seconds.
  • Field of View – 107 degrees diagonal, plus Night Vision and Zoom, means you don’t miss a thing.
  • Cloud Video Recording (CVR) – Review footage and make clips with optional secure offsite recording.
  • Stay connected with Two-Way Talk, Intelligent Alerts, Scheduling and Mobile & Web apps.

Head over to 9to5Toys for the Best Black Friday deals on the web. A little more background on Nest: expand full story

Amazon.com Stories September 9, 2014

amazoninstantvideo

Amazon seems to have finally accepted that access to Amazon Instant Video still isn’t going to make anyone want to buy a Fire Phone. As of today, Amazon Prime members in the U.S. can watch Instant Video on any Android device using the updated Amazon app.

Prime members in the US can stream unlimited Prime Instant Video from inside the Amazon app using the Prime Instant Video player, including HBO shows The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire, Six Feet Under, and The Wire …

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Amazon.com Stories August 22, 2014

Chromecast becomes even more of a no-brainer in the UK as price slashed to just £18

There was very little reason for any self-respecting gadgeteer not to pick up a Chromecast stick at the full price of £30, but there’s even less excuse now that three online retailers – Amazon, Tesco and Currys – have discounted it to just £18.

Amazon is offering it with free delivery too. There’s no indication that this is a permanent price-cut (it’s still sitting at £30 on the Google Play site), so if you’ve been considering one, now would be the time to buy – especially with three free months of Google Play Music All Access thrown in.

Chromecast recently celebrated its first birthday, Google reporting that it had been used to cast content 400 million times in its first year. The capabilities of the devices have grown steadily, with Google last month adding mirroring from almost any Android device.

Via thenextweb. Image credit: softpedia.com

Amazon.com Stories August 13, 2014

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 …  expand full story

Amazon.com Stories August 7, 2014

Google-Shopping-Express-1.0-for-iOS-Teaser-001

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.com Stories July 17, 2014

Amazon shares its first ad for the Fire Phone

Amazon’s Fire Phone is officially set to be released on July 25th, but the company has just shared the first ad for the device. Instead of focusing on the device’s unique features like the Firefly button or Dynamic Perspective, the ad focuses entirely on the fact that the phone comes with a free year of Amazon Prime.

Amazon.com Stories July 10, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-07-10 at 9.52.03 AM

Amazon is now a part of the Federal Trade Commission’s investigations into technology corporations with mobile application marketplaces unlawfully billing parents for in-app-purchases. Both Apple and Google have been tangled in the allegations with Apple settling earlier this year and Apple telling the FTC to investigate Google. The FTC today announced it is filing a complaint against Amazon, saying that children have been able to buy goods and extras within apps without the consent of parents. The full release from the FTC can be found below:

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Amazon.com Stories July 7, 2014

shop

Re/code piece on Google’s Shopping Express service says that the company is investing $500M to expand the service beyond San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York City and roll it out nationally.

The service lets shoppers buy things from local retail stores through Google, which then delivers them to consumers from the physical retail store on the same or next day.

A source familiar with the company’s plans says senior Google execs have set aside as much as $500 million to expand the service nationwide …

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Amazon.com Stories May 29, 2014

amazon-sign-box

With Apple having just acquired Beats Electronics, Amazon is apparently preparing to launch its own streaming music service. According to a new report out of BuzzFeed, Amazon has just signed deals with two of the three major labels. Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group have both signed on, while Universal Music is still pondering the deal.

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Amazon.com Stories March 14, 2014

amazon

Rumors that Amazon’s set-top TV box will double as a games console have been lent weight by photos of a Bluetooth controller claimed to have been discovered in an overseas regulatory filing by Zatznotfunny.

The wireless Bluetooth controller features a gaggle of controls, including both shoulder buttons and triggers, in addition to media playback transport controls. And we give Amazon credit for using Android-esque icons for home, menu, and back …  expand full story

Amazon.com Stories February 21, 2014

roku

Streaming TV is heating-up. Amazon looks set to launch its TV box in March, we’re expecting Apple to announce a new Apple TV box in April, and Google is reputed to be not far behind with a Nexus-branded box.

So-called cord-cutting – people who give up their cable TV subscriptions in favor of streaming content over the web – is growing in popularity. Mobile TV viewing on tablets is increasingly common.

All of which makes me wonder whether we’re witnessing the beginning of the end of live TV … ?  expand full story

Amazon-Instant-Video

Image: digitaltrends.com

Amazon’s TV box, which the company is believed to have been working on for around a year, is to be launched next month, according to unnamed content distribution sources cited by re/code. It had originally been expected to be launched in time for last year’s holiday sales.

People I’ve talked to who are partnering with Amazon believe the company is aiming for a March rollout […]

Sources tell me Amazon’s box will be powered by Google’s Android operating system, which is also not a surprise — Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets use a “forked” version of Android …  expand full story

Amazon.com Stories December 26, 2013

Screenshot 2013-12-26 09.04.16

Amazon has never been a company to provide specific sales numbers, but their just-issued press release shows us that Android, Kindle and Chromebooks dominated their holiday shopping season. Surprisingly, or perhaps not surprising at all is the Chromecast, which is the best seller in the Computers and Accessories category outselling the company’s own Kindle Fire lineup as well as Apple TV and the Roku 3 Streaming Media player.

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Amazon.com Stories December 15, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-12-15 at 12.13.44 PM

Amazon is pulling out all the stops to get a Kindle Fire HDX into your hands this holiday season with a brand new payment plan. Amazon unveiled the new plan (as discovered by PC Mag) in the past 24 hours that will allow customers to split the payments across a total of 270 days from the initial date of purchase.

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Amazon.com Stories December 2, 2013

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos shocked Charlie Rose on Cyber Monday Eve (great timing for the PR-savvy retail giant) by showing him the future of delivery services – autonomous drones that will pick up and deliver wares from fulfillment centers. From which we can conclude that Charlie Rose doesn’t read 9to5Google, where the concept is old news.

We mentioned way back in February that Google was already working on drone delivery services:

Along with Glass, Google will have an opportunity to demonstrate other upcoming and Google X projects like driverless cars and mini-drone delivery systems at its stores.

We reference it again when the company launched the trial of its ‘Google Shopping Express’ same-day delivery service to Bay Area residents:

Google, in the long run, plans to use self-driving cars and flying drones as means of delivery.

And again:

9to5Google also heard this service was coming, and we have some more somewhat wild information on the program. Google, in the long run, plans to use self-driving cars and flying drones as means of delivery. We also heard Google’s delivery project came from the Google X incubator headed by cofounder Sergey Brin.

Clearly there are a lot of hurdles to jump on the way to this vision (privacy, theft, accidents, visual pollution, etc, etc). but it’s equally clear that these two Silicon Valley heavy-weights are prepping to battle in the skies above.

Google might have gotten there first, but Amazon definitely wins the PR battle so far: a short concept video for a service which doesn’t yet exist, and which even optimistically it doesn’t expect to launch for a couple of years, got everyone talking about them. Including Charlie Rose. Video below …

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Screen Shot 2013-12-02 at 7.39.44 AM

Note: Strangely, Best Buy still offers the best deal on the Kindle Fire 7 HD with it starting at $99.99

Hello Amazon and two very good, no “unprecedented” deals on two of the internet most popular Kindle Fire tablets. Announced late last night, Amazon is taking $50 off the Kindle Fire HDX 7″, down from to $179 and the Kindle Fire HD 16GB now $119. The full deal is listed below along with links to where you should be whipping out your credit cards. If you’re in the Amazon ecosystem like myself, these are some pretty good deals and while its possible Amazon will discount again before Christmas day, why wait?

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Amazon.com Stories November 24, 2013

From 9to5Toys.com:

moto-x-kitkat-verizon-att-sprint-penny-sale-01

Future Moto X buyers take note as Amazon just dropped the price on both AT&T and Sprint variants to match the existing $0.01 price on Verizon. The deal lacks Moto Maker customization, but that’s a small “price” to pay for the opportunity to be among the first non-Nexus Android owners to have KitKat.

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Amazon.com Stories November 18, 2013

kindlefireos

Amazon’s recently released new line of Kindle Fire hardware and 3.0 Fire OS software is certainly making inroads thanks in no small part to Mayday. Well, Amazon isn’t wasting any time making improvements as they introduce Fire OS 3.1 this morning which includes Goodreads integration, “Second Screen” technology which lets you “fling movies and tv shows from your tablet to your TV” and enterprise-ready features.

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Amazon.com Stories October 15, 2013

Amazon has long been said to be working on a smartphone carrying its brand, and it looks like it HTC could be its hardware partner.

That’s according to a report from the Financial Times, which cites people familiar with the project in saying that three different smartphones are currently in development with one being “at an advanced stage of development.”

“We have been very focused on building our own brand, but we have also been very open to co-branding and collaborating with carriers and other technology brands,” HTC chief of marketing Ben Ho told the Financial Times, but declined to comment on any specific relationship with Amazon.

Shipping a phone with both the HTC and Amazon logos would mean more than just branding for the phone, as Amazon would be able to take over much of the Android operating system experience as it has done with the Kindle Fire tablets. HTC partnered with Facebook earlier this year for the not-so-popular-now HTC First featuring Facebook Home, but borrowing software features from the Kindle Fire like Mayday, an Amazon support service for users, could prove valuable to both HTC and Amazon and be very appealing to new users in a saturated smartphone market. expand full story

Amazon.com Stories October 3, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-10-03 at 1.58.20 PM

This morning  we reported that Amazon had trademarked FireTube, and the trademark could serve as a name for the company’s long-rumored TV product. Now, the WSJ follows up by claiming said device is on Amazon’s roadmap for the holiday season. Here are some of the details on the device:

  • Will compete with the Roku and Apple TV
  • Will stream Amazon Prime content
  • Will run third-party media apps and gaming content
  • Amazon is working on a dedicated remote for the device, but it could also be controlled via smartphone/tablet apps

Of course, the device could be shelved at the last minute, but given the uptake in reports about an Amazon TV device, today’s trademark discovery, and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s want to expand his company’s hardware portfolio, it seems likely that the device truly is in the imminent Amazon product pipeline.

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Amazon.com Stories August 27, 2013

Amazon launches new API to let Android devs sell Amazon.com products as in-app purchases

Amazon announced today that it’s introducing a new “Mobile Associates API” for Android and Kindle Fire devices allowing developers to offer Amazon.com goods as in-app purchases and earn a percentage of sales in the process. Developers will earn up to 6% off purchases made through their apps and all sales will go through Amazon’s secure 1-Click purchasing and Amazon Prime shipping.

Amazon described a few of the possibilities for developers:

Until today, if developers wanted to create additional revenue channels for their apps they could use a “freemium” model with digital in-app purchasing or subscriptions, or by using mobile ads… App and game developers as well as existing Amazon Associates can create new and compelling user experiences within apps and games in three ways: selling a single item from within an app or game, showcasing a category of goods, or bundling the purchase of physical goods with the purchase of digital goods (for example, the customer receives a digital version of a board game when they buy the physical one). Animoca, Fismos, Days of Wonder and Spring2Partners are already integrating these experiences within their popular apps and games.

You can learn more about the new API on the Amazon developers blog.

Amazon.com Stories August 20, 2013

robocop

Google Glass is generating a lot of interesting ideas lately. A couple of new ones that caught my eye are an app from Mutualink designed to assist emergency services personnel, and a Glass version of Amazon’s Price Check app.

Mutualink’s app, spotted on TechCrunch, is designed to enable emergency responders to get access to key documents on-scene. Examples they give are a firefighter being able to see layout plans before entering a burning building, a police officer being able to tap into live CCTV feeds from the surrounding area and medical personnel being able to access medical records and transmit video footage back to a hospital for review by specialists …  expand full story

Amazon.com Stories March 11, 2013

Google is taking on Amazon Prime with a shopping service later this year. You know this. TechCrunch is filling in some of the blanks today with more details like pricing (free for Googlers, $4.99 for beta testers, and a final target a little below Amazon’s) and some more beta stores like BabysRUs, Targét, and Nob Hill Foods. Also, don’t tell anyone about it because it’s a total secret! Google HR e-mail below:

Hi,

As you may have seen, there was a leak last night about Google Shopping Express, including several very specific product details. Our PR team is working to quiet this down, but we need your help — please don’t add fuel to the fire by discussing or even confirming Google Shopping Express. If you are contacted by a member of the press, please follow normal procedures and refer them to press@google.com.

But wait, you asked me to ship to my home to help you test … so what about spouses and roommates? We trust your judgement. If your roommate writes a tech blog or works for a company in this space, please don’t ship it home. But if you feel it’s safe, then by all means, we still really need your help dogfooding this.

Get free same day delivery with Google Shopping Express

After weeks of testing, we’re now excited to open Google Shopping Express to every Googler in the bay area including temps, vendors and contractors.

Save yourself a trip to the store and stock up at places like Target, Nob Hill Foods, Babies “R” Us and more. Googlers who sign up early for a free membership will receive free same day delivery for one year! Non-members pay $4.99 per delivery per store.

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Amazon.com Stories January 4, 2013

Amazon Instant Video apps add seasons of popular shows from A&E, HISTORY, and Lifetime

Following the launch of A+E Network’s dedicated iPad apps for A&E, History Channel, and Lifetime last month, Amazon announced in a press release today that it also licensed content for its Amazon Instant Video service. It sounds like Amazon is only getting access to old seasons of popular shows from the network, but any additional content will surely be welcomed by Android users taking advantage of the service through the Amazon Instant Video app on Google TV, Kindle Fire, or elsewhere.

Amazon.com, Inc. today announced a content licensing agreement with A+E Networks to add prior seasons of popular series from A&E, bio, HISTORY and Lifetime to the Prime Instant Video service…The deal with A+E Networks will bring Prime customers more TV episodes from some of their highest rated television programming including Pawn Stars, Storage Wars and Dance Moms, which are also available for purchase through Amazon Instant Video.

Amazon.com Stories November 26, 2012

Kindle Fire set record sales for Amazon on Black Friday

After reducing prices for the big shopping event known as “Black Friday,” Amazon said this morning that its Kindle Fire saw a record amount of sales of up to three times the previous record set. Amazon offered the base Kindle Fire at only £99, creating for an “incredible reaction” on Amazon.co.uk. The United States store surely saw similar numbers.

“In response to strong customer demand we included Kindle Fire in Black Friday deals week, dropping the price to just £99, and the reaction has been incredible. Customers purchased more than three times as many Kindle devices on Black Friday than on any other day in its history on Amazon.co.uk, and our previous record was impressive,” said Jorrit Van der Meulen, Vice President, Kindle EU.  “This fantastic Kindle Fire offer runs until midnight, Monday 26th November, so customers still have time to snap up a Kindle Fire in time for Christmas.”

The full press release is below:

Amazon.com Stories November 16, 2012

Recent update to Acer C7 Chromebook enhances battery life to 4 hours

Since introducing the new Acer C7 Chromebook, Google updated its blog post on the Official Google Blog to note that a recent update to the device “enhances battery life to 4 hours.” This follows reviews of the device that mostly focused on the not-so impressive 3.5 hours of battery life Google originally announced.

Update 11/15: The latest update for the Acer C7 Chromebook enhances battery life to 4 hours. You should get this update when you open your computer for the first time. Thanks to auto-updates, you already have a better computer than the one you bought.

Amazon.com Stories October 8, 2012

Google TV update allows content purchasing from Google Play

The Google TV team pushed out an update today that lets folks buy and rent movies, music and TV shows from Google Play for their Google TV devices.

According to the Google TV blog:

Starting today more of the Google Play experience will come to your Google TV. Google Play Movies, TV shows, and Music will be rolling out to your Google TV over the next few weeks. You’ll be able to buy or rent content directly through the Google Play Store on Google TV, and purchases you’ve made on other devices will also be automatically available on Google TV. Google Play titles will also be discoverable through our TV & Movies app, which brings recommendations for shows and movies available on live TV and apps like Netflix, Amazon, and now Google Play.

Oh, and by the way, this update also allows developers to enable Google Play features like auto-updates, subscription billing, smart app updates, etc. Purchases made on other devices will be automatically available on Google TV, too.

So, the Google TV team is a little behind with this update, but better late than never…right? The update will begin rolling out tonight and extend over the coming weeks.

Amazon.com Stories October 5, 2012

Amazon Appstore for Android offers free copy of Alphabet Car app

The Alphabet Car app is free today on the Amazon Appstore for Android as one of the online retailer’s Daily Deal specials. The word game normally goes for $2.99, and it has a 4-star rating or higher on both Amazon and Google Play. Folks can even receive a complimentary $1 Amazon MP3 Credit with this download. One claim per Amazon account, however, until Dec. 31.

Check it out: Amazon | Alphabet Car by Animoca

Amazon.com Stories September 6, 2012

Amazon Kindle Event Liveblog

Update: Here’s the full presentation video:

 

That’s it folks!

3:00: The ‘big kahuna’ is a $499 LTE 32GB version of the 8.9 inch Kindle HD.  That’s exactly where Apple starts.

2:45 Bezos says Amazon wants to make money when people use its products. If someone puts it in a desk drawer, Amazon deserves nothing.

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A lot of social media ties to games. Cloud streaming etc.

2:30 Devices called the Kindle SD and HD 7 and 8.9 inch respectively.

Parental controls for more multiple children.Kindle FreeTime: You can set different time limits for different kinds of content for your kids. Books? Unlimited. Games and TV? Limited.

“Sometimes you invent for customers. Sometimes you invent for yourself.” Bezos has four kids. He knows about negotiation over screens.

2:20 First time I’ve seen Amazon bring out speeds and feeds.  Touting TI OMAP processor over Tegra 3 (as in Nexus 7) in floating point.  Lots faster. Means wicked fast page turning. MIMO dual antenna radios help get content faster.”41% faster than iPad, even faster than Nexus 7.”

2:15: Kindle Fire: “In less than a year, Kindle Fire is 22 percent of tablet sales in the US.” #1 best selling device on Amazon.com

$159 is the new price of th 7-inch version including longer battery life and more RAM and better performance.

New 8.9″ version 1920×1200

The 8.9-inch Kindle has Dolby Digital Plus – the first tablet to have this. Dual speakers vs. singular speaker on iPad.

“Customers are smart. Last year, there were more than two dozen Android tablets launched into the marketplace, and nobody bought ‘em. Why? Because they’re gadgets, and people don’t want gadgets anymore. They want services that improve over time. They want services that improve every day, every week, and every month.”

2:00 Keeping the $79 Kindle with new Black plastic. Adding more fonts and faster pageturns and knocking off $10: $69

Via Verge

1:45: Kindle Paperwhite: 8week battery life, 7.7ozs/ 9mm thick. Patented backlighting. High Re screen – 212ppi. Don’t call it Retina.

1:42: Lights go down. Commercial from the game last night plays

1:40 So the first 10 minutes are over an nothing to show for it. only 110 more!

1:30 here we go…

1:20 BREAKING:

1) Amazon CEO will be present. 2) there will be demos. 3) amazon has prepared.

1:18: Mobile Nations peeped Amazon Board member and former Apple/Palm/HP hardware design guru Jon “Ruby” Rubinstein. He’s here to “learn”

1:15: 2 hours eh? This is going to be a helluva show.

1:00: I just want to say for the record that a Streaming TV product makes more sense than a Phone for Amazon.  That is all.

Show starts at 1:30PM ET folks.

e

Amazon.com Stories August 16, 2012

Google Play Movies go live in Germany

 

Our friends in Germany reported that the local Google Play Store is now showing movies for both purchase and renting. This already surpasses Amazon’s reach and makes a bit of headway in matching Apple’s iTunes Store reach. Usually the Play Store follows rentals in YouTube. German users: Ja or nein?

Amazon.com Stories May 17, 2012

Samsung’s Galaxy S3 made its way to Amazon today with a number of listings for the device at $799 and others at $829 after being unveiled earlier this month. The device was slated for an international rollout towards the end of May, and the listings on Amazon are set to ship June 1. However, at least one seller noted an expected arrival date of “on/after 4th June 2012”.

The Galaxy S3 packs a 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED display, 8-megapixel camera (1.9MP front camera), and quad-core 1.4Ghz processor. Following the launch, we got some early benchmarks of Samsung’s new flagship Galaxy device—as well as a few hands-on impressions from around the Web.

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Amazon.com Stories March 28, 2012

Amazon is rolling out a big 6.3 update for the Kindle Fire right about now with the following updates: expand full story

Amazon.com Stories February 10, 2012

We heard about this before: AllThingsD’s John Paczkowski reported (via Pacific Crest analyst Chad Bartley) that Amazon will launch a 9-inch version of the Kindle Fire by mid year. Amazon will play off the wide success of its 7-inch version. With the introduction of a 9-inch Kindle Fire by mid year, analyst Bartley is raising his sales estimate f0r the Kindle Fire from 12.7 million to 14.9 million units shipped in 2012. Bartley reported:

We are raising our 2012 sales forecasts to 14.9 million from 12.7 million,” he wrote. “But we believe there is an upward bias, particularly from the new 7- and 9-inch models, which we expect to launch in mid-2012.”

We heard rumors in late 2011 that Amazon was to launch a 10.1-inch version to compete with the iPad. At any rate, we expect Amazon to announce a larger version at some point.

 

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Amazon.com Stories February 8, 2012

In a bid to give Netflix a run for its money, online retailer Amazon announced on Wednesday a new initiative that will keep owners of its Kindle Fire tablet happy with an expanded selection of Hollywood movies that can be streamed to the device.

“Over the next several months” Amazon Prime subscribers will be able to enjoy thousands of television episodes from MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, TV Land, Spike, VH1, BET, CMT, and Logo thanks to a new licensing agreement with the entertainment conglomerate Viacom. This includes past seasons of popular shows such as “Jersey Shore,” “Chappelle’s Show,” “Hot in Cleveland,” “Yo Gabba Gabba,” “iCarly,” and more.

In addition to the Fire tablet, Prime subscribers can stream video to Google TV, Roku boxes, other certified devices, and of course the web. The Viacom deal will bring the total number of Prime Instant Videos to more than 15,000, still paling in comparison to over a hundred thousand titles available for rent over at Netflix. With that said, Amazon’s bolstering of its video content library could be an indication of an Amazon-branded set-top box, especially if it unbundle Prime Instant Videos from the Prime subscription and offer it as a standalone service.

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Amazon.com Stories November 15, 2011

I’m just crossing 48 hours with the Kindle Fire and have a few quick observations that I think need to be brought to the surface on this great little device.

  1. It isn’t an iPad competitor any more than a Mercedes SUV is a competitor to a Toyota Prius.  A 7-inch tablet is an entirely different use case than a 10-incher.  At $199, it is more likely to take away iPod touch customers rather than iPad customers from Apple.  But mostly, Kindle people will be people who wouldn’t have considered an Apple tablet previously.
  2. The Fire isn’t a speed demon.  A few minutes navigating with the Fire is all it takes to realize that there are hiccups.  To me, it feels more sluggish than a Galaxy Tab 7 from last year, especially on CPU intensive stuff.  Amazon has done nice things with the interface and they should be congratulated on their virtual keyboard (it is one of the best I’ve used), but make no mistake, inside of this case is bargain basement components.
  3. If you are new to Amazon’s ecosystem, there isn’t a lot of content in there.  Getting some will be expensive.  In my family, my wife has the Prime account and our music in the Amazon Cloud is tied there as well.  That means any audio and video has to be purchased or brought over manually.
  4. The Kindle quickly became a Hulu Plus and Netflix player in our house – which the Barnes and Noble Nook can do just as well.  Or any Android tablet.
  5. The Silk browser wasn’t impressive.  It is slow, (probably more a processor thing here than a software thing).  I had more success with the Dolphin browser. expand full story

Amazon.com Stories November 14, 2011

Mashable reports that some Google Marketplace apps are installable on Kindle’s new Fire tablet. A user simply needs to head to the device settings pane and enable the “Allow Installation of Applications From Unknown Sources” option. Then, the user needs to install GetJar.com. The Kindle Fire won’t appear in the GetJar options for app downloading, so the user just needs to select another Android 2.3 tablet. Not all apps will install, and Mashable uses the example of the Nook app. Quite the irony.

We’re playing with Google Maps right now (below).  FYI Launcher apps don’t seem to work. It appears that the Kindle is about to be opened up bigtime for hacking in the next 24 hours…. expand full story

As promised, Hulu Plus just hit the Amazon Appstore.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be able to be downloaded for any devices (including my Galaxy Tab 7) besides the Kindle Fire (check Android market for full compatibility list).  Strangely, even after “Whistper-synching” it over to the Kindle Fire, it hasn’t shown up.

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Amazon.com Stories October 20, 2011

From 9to5toys.com:

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Woot! via Amazon has the 32GB Motorola XOOM Android Tablet for $339.99.  That’s 32% off and the lowest price we could find for this refurbished item.

Andy Rubin told the audience at AllThingsD in Asia that the XOOM would be the first tablet to be upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich later this year. expand full story

Amazon.com Stories September 23, 2011

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The season is almost over, but Amazon’s Appstore has MLB ’11 for free today only.  If you want to catch the home stretch of the season, make sure to get in on this deal.  Only the devices belo will be able to stream video… expand full story

Amazon.com Stories June 29, 2011

Amazon Affiliate members in California got a rude awakening this morning when they received and email from Amazon telling them that all Affiliate programs would be terminated by September 30th.  This is in reaction to a proposed CA law that would tax Amazon purchases because Affiliate Account holders (workers) live and work in the State.

The whole thing is up for debate but we found the last sentence in the letter (whole thing pasted below the fold):

We are also working on alternative ways to help California residents monetize their websites and we will be sure to contact you when these become available.

We noted yesterday that Amazon was getting their own ad network, which would go head to head with Google and others. expand full story

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