According to a report by Calcalist, Amazon may be in the process of buying the smartphone and tablet chip business of Texas Instruments. TI recently announced that it will be shutting down its operations in the smartphone and tablet space, and focus on its core strengths – embedded device platforms.
Amazon is one of the perfect buyers for that business. By having its own chip manufacturing operation, it can have greater control over the chips running its Kindle devices. Given the rumors that it may enter the smartphone space and the fact that its Kindle device sales are growing significantly, this seems like a logical move.
Amazon’s competitors like Barnes & Noble use TI’s chips, so such an acquisition could also help Amazon gain a competitive advantage and make things tough for its rivals.
TI’s chip business could be worth billions of dollars, and Amazon could also be willing to pay a huge premium, given the high strategic value to it. Google, Apple and Samsung are all moving towards an operational model wherein they are trying to increase their control over the components that make their devices.
Groupon’s troubles just keep on piling up. As if it weren’t troubled enough already by a sagging stock price and its failure to turn a profit, today, eBay, the original internet e-commerce giant, started testing an online deals offering, which would compete directly with Groupon’s core offering – daily deals.
The new feature is called eBay Lifestyle Deals, and is being tested out in some urban areas like San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington D.C.
Groupon already has tremendous competition in the space thanks to Google Offers and LivingSocial which is bankrolled by Amazon. While the daily deals space has yet to mature as a market, it is the next natural step for many e-commerce providers, since it is a nice way to improve sales and increase inventory turnover.
eBay already provided product deals, but is now also looking into deals on services, which could be even more lucrative, partnering with deal providers who arrange them with local businesses and merchants.
eBay is also looking to completely revamp its complete website to boost sales and modernize its brand image. It’ll be interesting to see how the daily deals wars play out after the entry of eBay.
Canonical is finally taking some serious steps towards monetization of the Ubuntu platform. Ubuntu is the most popular Linux distro and is widely used by home users looking for an alternative to Windows. It has some serious revenue earning potential. The Firefox browser bundled with Ubuntu integrates Google search, which earns a major chunk of revenue for Canonical. Taking this monetization plan further, Ubuntu now wants to integrate affiliate plans from Amazon. Amazon offers an unmatched affiliate program and this will bolster Canonical’s revenue stream from Ubuntu. Olli Ries, the Director of Technology at Canonical has commented on a postat the Ubuntu Forum, saying,
Another addition is that we will be including Launcher web apps icons to Amazon and the Ubuntu One Music Store by default. We feel that these icons will provide convenient access to these resources for our users and also benefit the project with the generation of affiliate revenue in those cases that these resources are used.
The Ubuntu community is not very happy with this decision from Canonical, as this was announced after the feature freeze. People are already upset with Unity, and are increasingly shifting to a different desktop environment or a different flavor altogether. Canonical dominates Ubuntu and its development, and it has every right to make money from the distro it has worked so hard to create. For those that do not want the icon on their Unity dashboard, you can simply drag and drop it to the trashcan to remove it. However, Ubuntu has a close competitor in Linux Mint, without all the antics. It has to take wise decision to stay in the competition.
After Google Maps made the folly of increasing its pricing, everyone is shying away from using Google Maps for their mapping solutions, and there could not be a better time for other players to launch a competing mapping solution of their own. Amazon took the cue, and has been quick to launch an Amazon Maps API, as part of its Amazon Mobile App SDK offering.
Currently, the Amazon maps API is supported only on the Kindle Fire and the Kindle Fire HD devices. The new devices will also support location-based services through the Android location API, and a mapping service was absolutely necessary to complement those services.
The features on offer are pretty much standard, and include pan and zoom controls with an option for satellite view. The location API will be used to display custom overlays, as customized pin markers. Additionally, the Amazon Maps API also promises an easy migration from Google Maps.
The mapping data in this API is being provided by Nokia, as confirmed by Dr. Sebastian Kurme, a spokesperson for Nokia.
Amazon is licensing the Nokia Location Platform (NLP) for maps and geocoding.
Amazon´s decision to choose the Nokia Location Platform is further proof point that our competence in this space is a key differentiator also for other leading players in the industry to offer great location consumer experiences.
Currently, the public mapping space is dominated by Google at large, with Open Street Maps being its only competitor. Device and platform specific maps are provided by Apple and Nokia as well, but Nokia is clearly emerging as a major enterprise-mapping provider with most of Yahoo maps, Bing maps and now Amazon Maps being powered by its map data.
The Amazon Maps API is in its beta state currently, and requires developers to apply for access through the Amazon Mobile App SDK portal.
Amazon has launched three new Kindles at its event today, and it’s not done. It also launched two new variants of the Kindle Fire, which has been one of the most popular tablets in the last year. The Kindle Fire has been refreshed with better hardware, and Amazon also launched a Kindle Fire HD with a bigger display and even better hardware.
Amazon Kindle Fire
The new, refreshed Kindle Fire comes with a 7 inch display, a faster processor and twice the amount of RAM in the original Kindle Fire. It has also dropped the pricing down to $159. The refreshed Kindle Fire starts shipping from September 14.
Amazon Kindle Fire HD
Here’s the more interesting part. It also launched two new versions of the Kindle Fire HD, with 7 inch and 8.9 inch displays, and some really good hardware under the hood.
The 8.9 inch Kindle Fire HD features a larger display with a resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels, and a display density of 254 ppi. It is powered by a TI OMAP 4470 and includes stereo speakers. It also offers dual band Wi-Fi support for better connectivity and new MIMO technology.
The 16 GB variant of the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 is priced at $299. The 16 GB variant of the Kindle Fire HD 7 (with a 7 inch display) is priced at $199. Amazon will soon reveal the exact difference between the two in terms of hardware specifications.
Besides these three, Amazon also unveiled another variant of the Kindle Fire HD. It announced a Kindle Fire HD (8.9 inch) with 4G LTE bundled in at just $50 per month. This 4G Kindle Fire HD comes with 32 GB of internal storage, and is priced at $499, at par with the entry level iPad. The Kindle Fire HD variants will ship on November 20.
via The Verge
After Nokia’s event yesterday, it’s Amazon’s turn today to try to grab the limelight, and it seems to be succeeding so far. It has unveiled three new Kindles at its event so far.
The Kindle PaperWhite is Amazon’s newest Kindle. It comes with a back-lit PaperWhite display developed by Amazon, which enables users to read books without any external light source and doesn’t cause any strain on the eyes, which is why people prefer reading on Kindles.
The display has a higher resolution and offers 62% more pixels with a density of 212 ppi as well as higher contrast. Despite having a back-lit display, it can still offer around 8 weeks of battery life, which is pretty impressive.
It also comes with the standard list of Kindle features like instant book delivery, Whispersync, Free Amazon cloud storage for your content, access to a huge library of books on Amazon etc.
The Amazon PaperWhite has been priced at $119, and ships on October 1. Amazon also launched a 3G enabled version of the Kindle PaperTouch at $179.
Besides that, it refreshed its Kindle and dropped the price down to $69. This will be the entry-level Kindle targeting low budget users.
via The Verge
Kobo, which has been largely overshadowed by Amazon and Barnes & Noble in the eReader category, has announced a series of new devices targeted primarily at the eReader and tablet markets. It has launched two new eReaders, Kobo Glo and Kobo Mini, and an Android tablet, the Kobo Arc.
The Kobo Mini is a $79 device which comes with a 5 inch E-ink display and 2 GB of internal storage. It also offers Wi-Fi and will compete with the basic Kindle.
The Kobo Glo is a $129 device, and comes with a ComfortLight display which enables night-time reading. It has a 6 inch display, and couples internal storage with a microSD slot.
This is the most interesting device Kobo unveiled. It is a 7 inch tablet which is priced at $199 for 8 GB and $249 for 16 GB. It comes with a 1.5 GHz dual core processor, and is powered by Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, presumably with a customized Kobo UI. It also has 1 GB of RAM and an IPS display with a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels.
However, we expect Amazon to release an upgraded Kindle Fire today, which could pretty easily beat this device, not only in terms of hardware, but also pricing and content.
Let’s just wait and watch.
According to several news sources, Amazon announced that the Kindle Fire is sold out. This couldn’t have happened by accident. Many people are speculating that Amazon will reveal a new model of the Fire at a major press conference scheduled for next Thursday in Santa Monica, California. I’ve seen several suggestions that Amazon’s new Kindle will be bigger — possibly with a 10 inch screen — or that it will have more memory — or that it will have a new processor.
Amazon definitely hit the market at the right time and at the right price when they released the Fire in November of last year. The $199 Android based e-reader and multimedia device captured 22% of the tablet market in 9 months, but will they be able to come back for a repeat performance with a new Fire? I don’t think so, unless they hit a price much lower than Google’s new Nexus 7, which is selling for around $200. Amazon isn’t going to be able to keep selling 7 inch e-readers for $200, if tablets like the Nexus are widely available. Even a Kindle Fire with a 10 inch screen is going to have a difficult time competing unless it hits a very low price
I went to the Amazon Store, to see what was still available, and I saw exactly what’s been reported — there are no new Kindle Fires left. You will only see a message which says:
We’re sorry. There are currently no New listings for Kindle Fire, Full Color 7″ Multi-touch Display, Wi-Fi.
I continue to use my Kindle Fire at home, and I’m almost sorry to see it go like this. However, the newer tablets are going to continue to get better, faster, and hopefully cheaper. Who can complain about that? Well, I’m guessing that Amazon will be complaining, unless they once again pull off a miracle win with a new Kindle Fire — and it ain’t going to be easy.
Amazon Kindle and the Kindle app is one of the best devices/apps to read books. In addition to reading books, Amazon also allows you to upload your personal books and documents to your Kindle library. This feature is missing in Google Books.
However, Amazon Kindle does not support a popular format known as ePub and this means that majority of your books may be unreadable on the Kindle. However, there are ways to actually convert ePub books to Amazon Kindle formats.
One of the easiest ways to read ePub books on your Kindle is to convert the books to a format which Kindle understands (.azw, .mobi, .PDF) and then upload the books to your Kindle library using the “Send to Kindle” app or through your personal Amazon Kindle email address (Read: How to add or send books to Kindle).
In order to convert ePub files to a Kindle recognized format, you can use an excellent software called Calibre. You can read our earlier guide on converting ePub files to Mobi and other formats to learn how you can do the conversion of your books.
Once you have converted your book to the popular format, you can directly use Calibre to send the books to your Kindle device or app or read instructions on how to upload books to Kindle library.
Once you have uploaded your books to the Kindle library, you can then easily send it to any of your registered Kindle devices and read the books on them.
I have used several different book readers including Google Books and iBooks but have found the Amazon Kindle app to be the best software to read books on the go. The Kindle Reader is also one of the best ebook readers you can come across.
However, there may be times when you already have books from other sources which you would want to read on your Kindle app or Amazon Kindle. If you have an Amazon Kindle, you can easily upload books from your computer to your Kindle library by connecting it to your PC.
Also Read: How to Convert ePub Books to Kindle Formats | How to Open and Convert .lit Books
If you are using a Kindle app on Android or iPhone device, you do not have this feature. You can use several other methods though to upload your personal eBooks and documents to Kindle.
One of easiest way to upload your personal documents and books to your Kindle library is to send the books through email to your personal Kindle email address which can be found at this page. To be able to use this service, you will have to register your device for Personal documents and then also add approved email addresses from which you can send documents to your Kindle.
In addition to that, you can also use an app called “Send to Kindle” which will allow you to upload documents directly from your PC or Mac to your Personal Documents in Kindle library, while also allowing you to directly send those books or documents to your registered Kindle device.
While using the “Send to Kindle” app, your documents will be converted to a Kindle specific output which you can then read using the Kindle app or Kindle reader device.