Amazon today announced a nice little update for its Kindle iOS app, bringing the title to version 3.7. The update includes a handful of bug fixes and improvements, but the biggest change has to be the new VoiceOver support.
Tapping iOS’ Accessibility features, Amazon has made it much easier for blind and visually impaired users to navigate their way around the Kindle app through the use of VoiceOver. More details and full change log after the fold… Read More
As Apple released its $329 iPad mini last year to compete with the growing crop of inexpensive seven-inchers, sales overtook that of the full-size model faster than Apple had envisioned. And because of it, the existing Android tablet vendors competing on the low to mid-end have been undoubtedly feeling lots of heat.
Amazon, which first legitimized the category with launch of the $199 Kindle Fire in September 2011, is reportedly about to up the ante with a $99 Kindle Fire version, a potentially disruptive move which will boost sales and popularize smaller, inexpensive tablets, but also put pressure on Apple and other tablet vendors to slash prices of their warez.
UPDATE: Amazon shoots down the rumor, says a $99 Kindle Fire is “not happening”… Read More
In addition to refreshing its Cloud Player software with a brand new iPad interface and other features, online retailer Amazon last night pushed an update to its Kindle client for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.
Hopefully you haven’t had a chance to hit the Update button yet, because Kindle version 3.6.1 for iOS has a nasty bug which will delete your entire book library on your device. Of course, all your purchases are still safely available in the Amazon cloud.
The company has acknowledged as much in the app’s release notes on iTunes. “There is a known issue with this update,” the note reads. “If you are an existing Kindle for iOS user, we recommend you do not install the update at this time”. There, you have been warned. The company issued a statement confirming that it’s come up with a fix and a new version is underway.
UPDATE: Kindle version 3.6.2 has just gone live on the App Store, fixing the account deregistering glitch… Read More
Amazon’s Kindle iOS app has been updated with three useful additions. First up, now you can pick between four color choices to highlight passages of text. Second, Amazon says that the brightness setting will now be saved across device sleeps. And last but not the least, the app now supports something Amazon refers to as Book End Actions, which is basically “sharing the accomplishment with friends on Facebook and Twitter”.Read More
New research shows number one tablet maker Apple shipped more iPads while also losing market share during the 2012 holiday fourth quarter. The company shipped nearly 23 million tablets during the period, a dramatic increase from the same time in 2011, when 15.1 million Apple tablets shipped.
At the same time, Apple’s overall share of the tablet market fell for the second quarter in a row, slipping to 43.6 percent from 46.4 percent during the third quarter of last year – and down from 51.7 percent a year ago, according to IDC.
Apple ended the year with 48.1 percent year-over-year growth while number two tablet rival Samsung saw its growth more than double. A combination of Android and Windows-based tablet sales helped push the South Korean firm’s share of the tablet market to 15.1 percent, up from 7.3 percent in 2011… Read More
Are consumers loosing trust that Apple will keep personal information private? That’s the implication from new rankings showing the iPhone maker fell out of the top 20 most-trusted firms in 2012.
The firm fell to number 21 after being among the top 20 companies viewed as protecting customer data. Mozilla, the maker of open-source web browser Firefox claimed the number 20 spot, according to privacy watcher Ponemon Institute.
Consumer credit firm American Express again took the number one position in the 2012 privacy rankings. Computer maker Hewlett-Packard and Amazon, creator of the Kindle, ranked number two and three. Amazon improved its ranking, rising to third place in 2012, up from the fifth spot in 2011. Although Apple had ranked as high as number 8 in 2009, confidence in the firm’s privacy stance has been shaken over the past year…
Apple will open an iBookstore in Japan during 2013 with a handful of local publishers supplying their electronic books. Unlike Apple, rival tech giants began selling e-books in the Asian nation last year. However, multiple reports disagree on the timing. One local report suggests as early as January, while another tech news site calls that “far too optimistic”. Although the iBookstore has been in Japan since 2010, it has offered only public-domain titles due to reluctance by Japanese publishers, who feared e-books would cut into sales of traditionally printed books… Read More
Before PC demand dwindled, software giant Microsoft was happy with licensing its Windows software to computer makers. Now that we are taking the first steps into the post-PC era, the Redmond firm still wants its profit. But how do you charge a $50 per-tablet royalty fee when the device itself costs $199?
Enter the $499 Surface, says one independent analyst. While Google’s Nexus 7 and Amazon’s Kindle Fire both sell for $199, the Surface carries the much higher price tag because Microsoft stubbornly refuses to give up the 30 percent profit margin it’s accustomed to receiving for Windows and Office software licenses… Read More
Since its debut last year, the Kindle Fire has garnered quite a bit of attention in the tablet space. Despite Amazon’s reluctance to release actual sales numbers, there’s no doubt that the slate has made at least a small dent in Apple’s majority marketshare.
And now it looks like Amazon is ready to take on Apple and others in the smartphone space as well. A new report today adds to previous rumors that the online retailer is working on a handset, claiming it’s already in production, and set for launch next year… Read More
It looks like another win by Amazon against so-called “agency” pricing model employed by Apple’s iBookstore and other digital bookstores. Following the lead of a US court, the European Union (EU) Thursday announced that the iPhone maker along with four publishers will relent after all.
Specifically, Apple and publishers reportedly have agreed to lower e-book prices on competing stores, including the Kindle store operated by Seattle-based Amazon. Apple, along with Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Hachette, and Macmillan, signed the agreement because it wanted to avoid fines that could have topped an astounding $15 billion.
As part of the settlement, Apple’s so-called “most-favored nation” clause – that barred publishers from offering lower prices on competing stores – gets suspended for five years… Read More
When it comes to China, much of the conversation centers on smartphones and tablets. Amazon is attempting to change that picture, opening a Kindle store to compete against home-grown e-book companies. One problem: there isn’t a Chinese-language Kindle available, yet.
So, Amazon, which competes against Apple, is offering iOS e-reading applications, as well as versions for Android devices. Although Chinese regulators approved the Kindle Touch and Kindle Fire in June, Amazon is still working on content deals with Chinese publishers.
Apparently, the aim of the store is to establish the Amazon Kindle brand name. Local e-commerce giant China Dangdang has offered ebooks since 2011, building a library of 100,000 titles, reports say… Read More
After updating its Kindle e-reading app for the iPhone and iPad last month with the X-Ray for Textbooks feature, the online retailer Amazon today refreshed the software, having added the useful X-Ray for Books capability. Basically the “bones of the book”, as Amazon puts it, X-Ray for Books helps you learn more about notable characters, places and phrases with nice descriptions from Shelfari.com and Wikipedia. In addition to this feature, the new Kindle app also boasts Manga image rendering improvements, per iTunes release notes. The new Kindle app is still a free universal binary and it looks great on all iOS form factors, including the iPad mini… Read More
The people with the smile on the box had no reason to smile when their company, the online retail giant Amazon, yesterday posted third-quarter results today, reporting its first loss in nine years. Even as revenue increased by 27 percent annually, Amazon lost $274 million during the third quarter on net sales of $13.8 billion, up from $10.9 billion a year earlier.
In the year-ago quarter, Amazon reported a net profit of $63 million. Total operating expenses increased from $10.8 billion to $13.8 billion. Amazon attributed the loss to its investment in online deal site LivingSocial.
It’s also understandable that a low-margin, high-volume nature of Amazon’s content and books businesses affects earnings. The company is also vulnerable to exchange rates, online shopping growth and fluctuations in consumer spending. And in announcing its first-ever loss, Amazon even took jabs at Apple’s iPad in – wait for it – the official press release… Read More
Amazon refreshed its Kindle lineup last month ahead of Apple’s September 12 iPhone 5 announcement. One of the easily overlooked software features the online retailer also brought out: X-Ray for Books, Textbooks and Movies. In a nutshell, the X-Ray feature intelligently retrieves additional information when you tap an on-screen object, like a movie character, book passages, glossary and what not, also pulling related data from Wikipedia and YouTube to enhance your e-reading experience.
Likewise, X-Ray for Movies lets you learn more about the movie’s cast and characters by just tapping the screen, which produces relevant content by cinema site IMDb. In today’s update to its free Kindle app, Amazon is bringing X-Ray for Textbooks to iPhones, iPads and iPods… Read More
If you bought Walter Isaacson’s official Steve Jobs biography, titles from the New York Times bestseller list or other iBooks from Apple (or e-books from other retailers) between April 1, 2010 and May 21, 2012, you may be eligible for your share of the $65 million settlement in the e-book price fixing scandal. Amazon and Apple started emailing customers that the settlement has been reached between the State Attorneys General and book publishers Hachette, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster.
Though Apple has not been sued in this case, the company is “assisting in providing this notice as a service to its customers”. Companies will compensate eligible customers from $0.30 to $1.32 per e-book as the named publishers already paid $69 million into a settlement fund… Read More
Online retailer Amazon is considering an acquisition of Texas Instruments, a maker of mobile processors used in a variety of tablets and smartphones. The rumor arrives just as Texas Instruments confirmed it’s been struggling to upend its main rivals Nvidia and Qualcomm for orders.
According to Reuters, citing a report by Israeli financial newspaper Calcalist (which last December broke news of Apple’s acquisition of Anobit), Amazon is “in advanced talks” to buy Texas Instruments for an undisclosed sum… Read More
For some time, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has been cagey when it comes to discussing hard numbers surrounding the Internet retailer’s Kindle. But apparently, Bezos is a bit more open when not talking to U.S. reporters. Speaking to the BBC Thursday, Bezos said his company sell’s “the hardware at cost, so it is break-even on the hardware.”
The answer shouldn’t be too much a of a surprise. As All Things Digital notes, selling items cheaply in hopes of consumers snapping up humungous numbers of your widgets is a rather common retail practice. Apple has successfully bucked this trend, hauling in huge profit margins for its devices… Read More
Amazon’s $199 Kindle and low-price retailer Walmart would appear to be a match made in discount heaven, right? Then how do you explain today’s news that Walmart is kicking Amazon to the curb? In a statement, Walmart only says the decision is part of its “overall merchandising strategy.”
“Recently, Walmart Stores, Inc. made a business decision to not carry current Amazon products beyond our purchase commitments and existing inventory,” the Bentonville, Ark. firm told store managers Wednesday. In the memo reported by Reuters, Walmart officials said the stores will continue to offer “a broad assortment of tablets, eReaders and accessories at a variety of great price points.” Read More
We love the new Kindle lineup of e-readers and tablets, especially the brand new Kindle with Paperdisplay and the super-charged Kindle Fire HD. At last week’s unveiling, the CEO Jeff Bezos underscored that Amazon wants to make money when people use their devices.
That’s why all Kindle devices display ads on the lock screen (don’t worry, you can opt-out for fifteen bucks). And just like Google, Amazon is selling hardware below cost, hoping to recoup losses through content sales on Amazon.com. The only problem with this strategy: Amazon’s profitability doesn’t even close to Apple’s…. Read More
“Apple still rules the tablet world,” writes Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets. Indeed, the expected release of a 7.85-inch ‘iPad mini‘ will expand the the company’s customer base, “potentially even surpassing sales of the regular-sized iPad.” In short, Apple investors should relax… Read More