get link I also wrote Sunday School literature for teens for fourteen years for our Baptist denomination. Everything I am, I owe to God and my parents. Are you an author? Help us improve our Author Pages by updating your bibliography and submitting a new or current image and biography. Learn more at Author Central. Previous page. Kindle Edition. Next page. Unlimited One-Day Delivery and more. There's a problem loading this menu at the moment. Learn more about Amazon Prime. Books By Jackie Ricks. Profiles of Virtue Mar Add to Your Faith Temporarily out of stock.
More Information. Anything else? Provide feedback about this page. Back to top. Get to Know Us. Maybe Amazon is selflessly trying to get lower prices for the benefit of home-media consumers everywhere as its executives have previously argued … or, perhaps, Amazon's very survival as a business requires it to get lower wholesale prices from its vendors. Here's some background: Amazon's feud with the publishers at Hachette has been ongoing for at least three months now.
In early May, Amazon started delaying shipments of Hachette titles for no stated reason — a book that Barnes and Noble shipped within 24 hours would take several weeks to arrive if you ordered it on Amazon. But why? Not until May 27 did Amazon admit, in an announcement posted in its Kindle Forum, that it was having a contract dispute with Hachette over what prices to charge for books. Now it appears Amazon is giving Disney properties the same treatment. Amazon customers can still pre-order these movies in streaming video form; they just can't pre-order a DVD, Blu-Ray or any other physical copy of the movie.
You can also order or pre-order just about any Disney movie at Walmart. So, to recap: Amazon is having contract disputes with various media companies — books from Hachette, movies and videos from Disney. In both instances, Amazon expressed willingness to sell non -physical copies of artistic or literary works — e-copies of books, streaming video access to movies — but is playing hardball where physical media such as paper books or plastic movie discs are concerned. Nobody other than a few highly placed Amazon executives can say for sure.
But here's a possibility: perhaps Amazon is discovering its current business model can't handle physical media. Paradoxically, for all Amazon's size it still isn't a particularly profitable company. The excuse so far has been that the company is re-investing any potential profits to further develop the company. In December , for example, an analyst for International Business Times noted that, despite having been in business for almost 20 years, Amazon still isn't making money — yet investors keep pouring theirs into it:. The company barely ekes out a profit, spends a fortune on expansion and free shipping and is famously opaque about its business operations.
By September , that number fell to 0. And in the latest quarter, ended Sept. The rest of the analysis went on to explain that essentially, Amazon stockholders were investing in the company's potential future earnings as opposed to buying a share of whatever money the company is earning right now. That's not necessarily a bad strategy. Even start-up businesses destined for great success usually operate at a loss at first: if you spend money to start a company, you obviously can't make any profit until after you make back your initial start-up money plus ongoing operating costs.
So, yes, you will operate at a loss for awhile. In Amazon's case, it's already been longer than the time it takes for a typical child to be conceived, born, and raised to full legal adulthood. The shareholders put up the equity, and instead of owning a claim on a steady stream of fat profits, they get a claim on a mighty engine of consumer surplus. Amazon sells things to people at prices that seem impossible because it actually is impossible to make money that way.
What's so impossible about Amazon's business model? All that free shipping, for starters. International Business Times pointed out the especial problems caused by the immensely popular Amazon Prime program:. In business terms, a loss leader is something a company sells at a loss in order to win customers; in this case, Amazon as of the end of was willing to lose money shipping items to Prime customers, presumably in the hope that those customers would buy enough additional Amazon items to make up the difference.
On the other hand: in March , we told you about two then-new lawsuits filed by Amazon Prime members against the company. Two months after those lawsuits first made the news, Amazon started its feud with Hachette, which has since expanded to include Disney. And in both cases, Amazon is offering to sell ethereal copies of digital media, but refusing to sell physical copies. Incidentally, if you're selling e-books or streaming video access, there are no shipping or postage costs involved: your customers use their Internet connections to receive the media they paid for, rather than rely on the post office or FedEx.
But paper books and plastic movie discs can't be delivered through the Internet: you have to actually mail those things and pay postage costs, too. So if, hypothetically, you're a mail-order company who offers free shipping on everything yet can't afford to cover these shipping costs, urging your customers away from physical media in lieu of e-books and streaming videos is a strategy you might want to try.
But it's not known whether this explains any of Amazon's motivations surrounding its Hachette and Disney disputes. Can you update this point? This is incorrect—we have never stopped selling any Hachette titles. This is incorrect. Both Amazon and Hachette would forego all revenue and profit from the sale of every e-book until an agreement is reached. Stephen King Photo via Wikipedia It's almost four months now since Amazon customers first noticed that bookseller Amazon and book publisher Hachette Book Group were involved in what Amazon later admitted was a contract dispute, leaving Hachette's authors stuck in the middle as many of their books are not available for sale on the world's largest online bookseller.
Department of Justice to investigate Amazon for possible monopoly tactics. The writers are part of a group called Authors United , which on Sept.
All event-related inquiries can be sent to our Director of Events, Liz Hottel , at events politics-prose. Be on a cruise when a letter arrives from her. A small thing to do for another human being. Accompanied by his two best school friends, Ron and Hermione, Potter encounters a rich and colourful cast of characters. With Kindle Worlds, you can write new stories based on featured Worlds, engage an audience of readers, and earn royalties. It was introduced in as a single device. Cassidy is one of my most favorite booktubers.
Authors' United main complaint is not the fact that Amazon is trying to renegotiate contracts with Hachette, but the fact that, while these contract disputes are going on, Amazon is harming many Hachette authors by refusing to sell their books:. Russell Grandinetti of Amazon has stated that the company was "forced to take this step because Hachette refused to come to the table. Amazon chose to involve 2, Hachette authors and their books. It could end these sanctions tomorrow while continuing to negotiate.
Amazon is undermining the ability of authors to support their families, pay their mortgages, and provide for their kids' college educations. We'd like to emphasize that most of us are not Hachette authors, and our concern is founded on principle, rather than self-interest. Amazon has repeatedly tried to dismiss us as "rich" bestselling authors who are advocating higher ebook prices—a false and unfair characterization, as most of us are in fact midlist authors struggling to make a living.
And we have not made any statements whatsoever on book pricing. Our point is simple: we believe it is unacceptable for Amazon to impede or block the sale of any books as a negotiating tactic. Amazon has every right to refuse to sell consumer goods in response to a pricing disagreement with a wholesaler. But books are not mere consumer goods. Books cannot be written more cheaply, nor can authors be outsourced to another country. Each book is the unique, quirky creation of a lonely, intense, and often expensive struggle on the part of a single individual, a person whose living depends on his or her book finding readers.
This is the process Amazon endangers when it uses its tremendous power to separate authors from their readership. But is it possible that e-publishing through Amazon is simply the wave of the future? Might old-school publishing houses like Hachette be obsolete, now that technology offers so many new publishing options for aspiring writers? Authors United addressed that concern as well:. There has been much talk on the Internet about how traditional publishers like Hachette are "dinosaurs" defending a moribund business model.
There have been claims that Amazon is leading the way to a new publishing paradigm, one that pays authors higher royalties, allows anyone to publish, and cuts out the elitist gatekeepers. We agree that Amazon has spurred important innovations in publishing, including a self-publishing model that has given many new writers a voice. But what these commentators and Amazon itself may not realize is that traditional publishing houses perform a vital role in our society. Publishers provide venture capital for ideas. They advance money to authors, giving them the time and freedom to write their books.
This system is especially important for nonfiction writers, who often must travel for research. Thousands of times every year, publishers take a chance on unknown authors and advance them money solely on the basis of an idea. By assuming the risk, publishers expect—and receive—a financial return. What will Amazon replace this process with? How, in the Amazon model, will a young author get funding to pursue a promising idea? This discussion is all about e-book pricing.
The terms under which we trade will determine how good the prices are that we can offer consumers. It's almost four months now since Amazon customers first noticed that bookseller Amazon and book publisher Hachette Book Group were involved in what Amazon later admitted was a contract dispute, leaving Hachette's authors stuck in the middle as many of their books are not available for sale on the world's largest online bookseller.
The result is often just an inconvenience but it was more than that for Tyson of Burien, Wash. ConsumerAffairs' culture and lifestyle reporter, Daryl Nelson has written for Don't go to any Target stores for Amazon's Kindle e -book reader, because it has officially been discontinued, and Target Corp has no intentions of bringing it back. Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder said "is phasing out Amazon and Kindle branded products in the spring of After selling the Kindle for two years, the department store giant will still offer "a full assortment of e -readers and supporting accessories including the Nook," explained Snyder, but she didn't provide a detailed reason for the abrupt sales stop.
The tablet has already been taken from Target's website, and soon store shelves will not be housing any new devices either. The fact that Target is soon expanding their Apple products in their stores may provide some insight into the exit of the Kindle. It's also possible that Target simply chose not to renew a contract with Amazon, because they'll have a larger profit share with the Apple folks.
Or, the Target Corp. It's hard to exactly pinpoint the actual reason, as both Amazon and Target failed to respond to the media's request for further explanation. The irony in all of this that the Kindle Fire was Target's best selling tablet on Black Friday in , which leads one to believe the discontinuation isn't attached to poor sales. Also, there are no Amazon stores to showcase the Kindle, which makes Target a logical partner.
Reportedly Amazon will be testing a pop-up store in Seattle, which also may be an answer to why their relationship with Target is coming to an end. Apple is also raising its presence with Target by putting up mini-sub-stores in many of Target's locations, which will probably make most people forget that the Kindle ever lived at Target in the first place. Although Amazon's Kindle Fire is making a name for itself, Apple's iPad is still chief among tablets.
Since its introduction in Apple has sold nearly 55 million iPads. Snyder also added that "Target continually evaluates its product assortment to deliver the best quality prices for our guests. Don't go to any Target stores for Amazon's Kindle e-book reader, because it has officially been discontinued, and Target Corp has no intentions of bringing it back.
After selling the Kindle for two years, the department store giant will still offer "a full assortment of e-readers and supporting accessories including the Nook," explained Snyder, but she didn't p This week, Amazon launched a new product aiming to let people buy and sell home services through the company, the way they already can buy physical retail products — expectant parents could always order a crib on Amazon, but now you can also hire someone to put that crib together for you at least in certain select markets.
Thus far, Home Services is only available in select and for the most part densely populated urban areas, which currently include Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City and of course Seattle, where Amazon is headquartered. Reactions thus far have been mixed. Megan Geuss at Ars Technica tried hiring a contractor through Home Services, but it didn't work out:. I was disappointed to learn that, despite the "Home Services" moniker, I could only get the service if I took my car in to a nearby shop—even then, I couldn't get an appointment until Wednesday. Sorry, but I can replace my own wiper blades, after all.
In my neck of the woods a part of Virginia technically considered an outermost suburb of Washington D. While most attention to the Home Services rollout focused on the customers' perspective, others wondered what effect this would have on the service providers. At the same time, Lumb reminded readers of previous Amazon ventures, such as its Fire smartphone and now-defunct subscription diaper service — which launched to much hoopla yet failed to live up to the hype.
And Ars Technica pointed out another potential problem with Home Services: its pricing model. Amazon plans to make money off of Home Services by taking a cut of each contractor's fee — anywhere from 10 to 20 percent, depending on the type of service. That's likely to work well for one-time hires, but what about recurring services? If you really love your drum teacher, you'll pay her under the table and let her keep the extra 10 percent. Consumers who rushed to buy an Amazon Echo in or may be at risk of having their conversations and commands recorded.
According to a report from the Verge, hackers have recently discovered a vulnerability in the device that can turn it into a live microphone. Researcher Mark Barnes says that the attack is limited because it requires physical access to the device. It's easy to spend money on Amazon. But when children run up huge in-app bills on their parents' accounts, that's another story.
What's an in-app charge? It's a charge for a virtual item -- a "coin," "star" or, perhaps, "acorn" -- that kids buy when playing one of the many games sold ini Amazon's app store for use on the Kindle Fire and other devices. We are seeking refunds for affected parents and a court order to ensure that Amazon gets parents' consent for in-app purchases. The FTC earlier sued Apple, alleging similar problems. Amazon attorney Andrew DeVore said it was "deeply disappointing" that the FTC was proceeding with the action and said the company's actions have been "responsible, customer-focused, and lawful, including prominent notice of in-app purchasing, effective parental controls, real-time notice of every in-app purchase, and world-class customer service.
Consumer groups were quick to jump on Amazon nevertheless.
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Hudson Kingston, legal director of the Center for Digital Democracy , called Amazon's policies "irresponsible and unfair. According to the complaint, thousands of parents complained to Amazon about in-app charges their children incurred without their authorization, amounting to millions of dollars of charges. According to the complaint, even parents who have sought an exception to that policy have faced a refund process that is unclear and confusing, involving statements that do not explain how to seek refunds for in-app charges or suggest consumers cannot get a refund for these charges.
Amazon's DeVore, however, said that Amazon's procedures already meet the requirements of the consent decree that Apple entered into after it was sued by the FTC. The Direct Marketing Association came to Amazon's defense. Instead, the Commission seems focused on using novel legal theories and scarce enforcement resources to go after America's leading tech companies in court," said Rachel Nyswander Thomas, the DMA's vice president for government affairs.
Nothing will discourage future innovation faster than punishing good deeds. It was with great fanfare that Amazon began selling its own brand of diapers last month. But now the Elements line of diapers is being disposed of as unceremoniously as, well, a used diaper. Consumers weren't exactly singing the praises of the new diapers. Some reviews on Amazon's own site panned them for being saggy. As part of its pitch for the diapers, Amazon had said they and other Elements products would be more "transparent" -- meaning that the packaging would include information about the used in making the products, as well as where they're made.
Diaper brands in the past have been hit by accusations that their products gave babies rashes and other maladies. The company will keep its brick-and-mortar experiment close to home, adding more in Seattle where the first location opened, last month, with the next stop likely being Los Angeles.
In the time since the grocer was acquired by Amazon last year, food companies have speculated that Amazon has been behind some of the less well-received changes at Whole Foods, such as asking suppliers for more fees to get their product on the shelves. Amazon's Fire tablet didn't exactly set the world on fire and some of its other gadgets haven't done so well either. So this time around, instead of relying on tech wizardry the giant retailer is hoping a low price will move the merchandise. That would be half the price of Amazon's current Fire HD and a lot less than the price of comparable products from Apple, Samsung, et al.
The device won't have all the bells and whistles of more expensive tablets and will be intended mostly for such simple tasks as streaming video and, of course, shopping on Amazon. Later this week, Apple is expected to release new iPad and iPhone versions, possibly including some lower-priced models that could once again douse Amazon's flames. That would be half the price of Amazon's current Fire HD and a lot less than So maybe you'd like to get paid for driving around, but you can't stand making small talk, which sort of rules out driving for Uber or Lyft.
Ah, but now Amazon will pay you to drive around and deliver packages. The Uber-style package delivery service is called Amazon Flex , and it launched today in Seattle, with plans to roll out shortly in New York, Chicago, and other large cities. Shifts are two, four, or eight hours. Amazon says drivers can work as much or as little as they like. It's not clear from Amazon's announcement whether the pay is hourly or per piece, a detail you might want to be sure you understand before diving in.
Some former Uber and Lyft drivers have become disenchanted and filed suit, claiming they should actually be classified as employees rather than independent contractors. To avoid disappointment, freelancers looking for "gigs" need to think of themselves as businesspeople. You may also be able to take a depreciation deduction for your car. Talk to an accountant to work out a strategy.
Incorporating as an LLC is also a good idea. It provides important liability protection and is very inexpensive. The Uber-style package delivery service is called Amazon Flex, and it launched today in Seattle, with plans to roll out shortly in New York, Chicago, and other large cities. Amazon is showing the door to Apple TV and Google Chromecast, two popular streaming video products that aren't compatible with its Amazon Prime Video service, Bloomberg Business reported.
Way back in December of , Amazon unveiled its concept for Amazon Prime Air — a drone delivery service that would be able to deliver packages to customers in 30 minutes or less. While the service has yet to take off, so to say, Amazon is not sitting back and waiting to take to the skies. With the move, Amazon will be able to take more control over its shipping and business operations while allowing them to deliver packages at an even faster rate.
The lease agreement will last anywhere from five to seven years, according to ATSG. Included in the deal is an option for Amazon to buy up to Word of the deal has moved quickly and investors have begun to respond. With the move, Amazon will be able to take more control ove The same day delivery will be available seven days a week in:.
According to the online retailer, Prime same day delivery now exists in 27 metro areas in the U.
He said the company plans to keep enhancing Amazon's membership service as operational capabilities grow. Among its benefits is unlimited free two-day shipping across all categories. As is usually the case in situations like this, consumers have to consider the usefulness of the membership program. A new study by EffectiveSpend takes a look at how the new Prime rate will affect consumer shopping behavior. When a child uses an app to charge things to Amazon without permission, the liability is Amazon's, not the parents'.
That's the conclusion of a U. Amazon operates an Appstore in which customers can view and download apps to use on Android mobile devices or Kindle Fire tablets. These apps can take many forms. Some include functions that allow users to play games, watch movies, or read books. Some are free while some charge per download. The FTC got involved because it said the evidence showed consumers had difficulty understanding which apps involved charges and which were completely free.
In reality, the court found, they were spending real money. The judge in the case also found that Amazon received complaints from parents about these in-app purchases, claiming they were unauthorized. The court ultimately found Amazon' disclosures about free apps potentially carrying charges were not sufficient.
What remains to be determined is exactly how much in the way of refunds Amazon will be required to provide. Several years ago, Apple found itself in a similar situation over precisely the same practice. Some include functions that allow users to Amazon's plans for drone delivery have gotten a lot of attention, but the big draw in Seattle today is Amazon One -- a Boeing cargo plane that is the first of a planned fleet of Amazon currently has 11 dedicated airplanes moving merchandise around the world, but Amazon One is the first one to be painted in the company's own livery.
The giant airplane is on display today at Seafair, Seattle's annual air show. On Tuesday, Amazon announced that more apartment dwellers are getting access to its delivery lockers for apartment complexes, called the Hub. With the Hub, Amazon places a large metal locker in a common area of an apartment complex.
Amazon strongly believes that supply chains designed to serve the direct-to-consumer business have the power to bring improved customer experiences and global efficiency. If successful, Amazon would topple the current structure that packaged goods makers have with brick-and-mortar retailers and completely change the way that many products are designed, made, packaged, and shipped.
Manufacturers would no longer have to worry about making sure the product stands out on a grocery aisle shelf, since consumers would no longer have to stroll those aisles. Experts have pointed out that online grocery sales have mostly floundered in recent years, but such a drastic move could represent a big change in the way that manufacturers sell their products and consumers shop for their essentials.
So, how likely is it that packaged goods companies will be onboard with the idea? While it might be understandable to think that companies might want to retain the status quo, many might be loath to dismiss Amazon and then miss out on any future success.
What that means for shoppers remains to be seen. Starting June 27th, Amazon Prime members will receive 10 percent off certain sale items, as well as other discounts, at Whole Foods stores across the country. Customers have two ways to activate the new Amazon Prime-related discounts.
Another option is to enter your mobile phone number at checkout to verify your Prime membe Customers will be able to find the second location of Amazon Go in the new Madison Centre office tower. Amazon is giving Prime members a 10 percent discount on some sale items at Whole Foods markets, as well as weekly discounts on popular items. The program kicks off at stores in Florida on Wednesday and will extend to all Whole Foods Market and Whole Foods Market stores nationwide this summer.
Alternatively, sho In addition to the deals from Amazon, Prime members can also find savings on food products at Whole Foods. Kimberly Palmer, NerdWallet's personal finance expert, says Amazon counts on the shopping day to build Prime membership as much as it does to se Today, the second Amazon Go store opened its doors. Seattle residents can now visit the store -- located downtown at 5th and Marion, near the Seattle Central Library -- Monday through Friday from 7AM - 7PM, as Amazon is looking to cater to the office worker crowd. The new store is 1, square feet, which is slightly smaller than the origin The fire is out.
The Kindle Fire, that is. The Fire broke out in the tablet market just nine months ago and already controls 22 percent of the market, with a new spark expected Sept. So, those who parse statements for a living think Bezos is saying that the current model of the Fire is not only sold out but that it will be replaced by whatever is in the company's tinder box. Speculation is that Amazon will introduce seven-inch and inch versions of the Kindle Fire next week, along with perhaps a backlit e-reader and maybe a gaming console or a phone.
Bloomberg reported recently that the Chinese plant that makes iPhones and iPads is already grinding out an Amazon phone that will rival the iPhone and Android phones. Skeptics at the time said it was a cheap knock-off of the iPad but, in fact, it has -- to carry the metaphor just a little longer -- caught fire and may soon be nipping at the iPad's heels.
It's not hard to understand why. In a post on its website published the day after Christmas, Amazon said broke holiday sales records once again. This year, customers across the globe ordered more items on its site than ever before. The e-commerce giant had the same news to report about its holiday sales last year.
Amazon customers will just open their mailbox one day and find samples that Amazon thinks will be enjoyable and thoughtful. Amazon's Kindle Fire turned lots of heads when it debuted less than a year ago. What do you do for an encore? When combined with our enormous content ecosystem, unmatched cross-platform interoperability and standard-setting customer service, we hope people will agree that Kindle Fire HD is the best high-end tablet anywhere, at any price. It includes support for all 10 4G bands, has upgraded audio capability and dual antenna, dual band WiFi.
Amazon says it has improved the battery life, claiming the seven-inch model can go eleven hours between charges.
As the name implies, the new Kindles are easier on the eye. They offer custom HD display with in-plane switching and a screen with less glare and richer color. Amazon would obviously like to repeat the performance of the original Kindle Fire, which the company calls the most successful product launch in its history, citing industry figures showing it captured 22 percent of the U. However, the old Kindle Fire is getting an upgrade along with a price reduction. New versions of the old tablet will include a faster processor, doubled memory capacity and longer battery life.
While Apple introduced the first tablet computer, Amazon pioneered the first e-readers, the forerunner of the tablet. Meanwhile, the competition in the tablet space is heating up. Microsoft is expected to release its new tablet, running on Windows 8, later this year. Apple has scheduled a press event for next week at which is widely believed to be a launch of a new, mini iPad.
There are dozens of other tablets in various price ranges all vying for consumers' attention, all competing to sell a product that didn't even exist three years ago. The third model, the Kindle Fire HD, is The consumer appears to be doing well if earnings from online retailer Amazon are any indication.
An Amazon earnings beat suggests consumers remained confident throughout the fourth quarter of , spending heavily during the New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio did not hold back when it came to venting his frustrations about Amazon canceling its plans to build a second headquarters in Queens. And what they did was confirm people's worst fears about corporate America. When Amazon introduced its new line of Kindle Fire tablets last week, consumers were for the most part delighted at the prices.
But there was a catch that didn't get a lot of attention right away. The 4G version of the 8. But it turns out Amazon could justify those prices because the new devices would display ads that consumers couldn't turn off. The reasoning, according to the company, was that advertisers would subsidize part of the cost for consumers.
With ad revenue, the company is able to basically sell the units for below cost. Apparently this was not discussed at the news conference on Thursday when the new products were introduced.
A number of tech sites quickly jumped on the issue and over the weekend, Amazon responded with an alternative. The new HD tablets will be available sometime in November. It's been just a few days since a U. So far, the new lower price applies only to HarperCollins titles. The conspiracy worked so well that e-books now cost as much or more than paperbacks, the class action claims.
Not everyone thinks the settlement is great news for consumers though. Three years ago a tablet was something your parents wrote in when they went to school. Now, it's synonymous with mobile computing, all but replacing laptop computers. If you are thinking of buying one of these devices, your fellow consumers who have one are giving it a thumbs up. In its first Tablet Satisfaction Survey, J.
Power and Associates finds that tablet owners spend 7. Apparently they enjoy the experience. Overall satisfaction is on a 1,point scale among owners who view three or more hours of video per week on their tablet. That's 45 points higher than among those who do not. In addition, those who spend three or more hours viewing video content are more likely to purchase another tablet from their current manufacturer in the future than are those who do not watch as much video content.
Uma S. Jha, senior director of mobile devices at J. Power and Associates. The study focuses in on consumers who have owned their tablet for less than two years. Satisfaction is measured across five key factors, including performance, ease of operation, styling and design, features and price.
Apple, which was the first to enter the space with the iPad, ranks highest, logging a score of It also gets high scores for performance, ease of operation, styling and design and features. Amazon , which introduced the Kindle Fire a year ago and recently updated the line with three new models, is close behind Apple with a score of The study also found that tablet owners who also have smartphones tend to use their tablets more than their phones.
And why not? The screen is larger and the same apps and features are available, in most cases. While tablets were initially looked at as toys, one-quarter of the respondents in the survey said they use their tablets for business purposes. More than one-third said they plan to buy a new tablet within the next 12 months. Among tablet owners who are highly satisfied -- those rating their device 10 on a point scale -- 90 percent say they are likely to purchase additional consumer electronic devices from the same manufacturer.
Perhaps the most iconic futile gesture of the current epoch is "unfriending" someone whose Facebook comments we find trite, offensive or just plain old boring. Chances are, our former "friends" will neither know nor care. And that about sums up the latest attempt by brick-and-mortar retailers to hit back against Amazon, the Internet giant that is slowly but inexorably eating the lunch of just about every retail segment you can think of.
OK, Amazon's not selling used cars or puppies yet, but just you wait. The latest to take a swing at Amazon is Walmart, which announced today it will stop selling the Amazon Kindle e-readers. Target did the same thing last May. Of course, the Kindle and Kindle Fire continue to sweep the country like, well, wildfire, but never mind that -- Walmart and Target are tired of people looking at stuff in their stores and then buying it online, sometimes while actually standing there flat-footed in the stores.
Retailers call this the "showroom" effect -- shoppers using their stores to look at stuff they then buy online. Last we heard, Best Buy and Staples are still selling the Kindle, not that Amazon is likely to be too concerned. Retailers might want to consider whether eliminating Kindles is a good idea with the holiday shopping season bearing down on them. After all, the devices are popular gifts that could draw purchasers into their stores, where they might then find something else to buy. Who knows -- they might even buy it in the store instead of ordering it from Amazon.
OK, Amazon's not selling used All told, there will be more nearly 20, businesses in all 50 U.
While the new Kindle HD devices won't ship until November 20, you can still buy the original first generation Kindle Fire. But the deal might not be as good as it appears. Now, when you purchase the original Kindle Fire, it no longer comes with a charger that plugs into a wall electrical outlet.
Previously, these chargers were included with the Kindle Fire. But even Amazon concedes that's a less-than-satisfactory answer. Some consumers have noticed. A poster, going by the handle "Old School," complained in an Amazon review. We've had it now for three days, and while it's still the same great product, we were disappointed to find after receiving the device that the Fire comes WITHOUT a wall charger.
Some smartphone chargers may also work with the Kindle Fire. On Tuesday, Amazon announced that it will be raising its minimum wage for U. After months of putting American cities through an elaborate selection process, Amazon has chosen metro New York and metro Washington to share its second corporate headquarters. In the end, the decision seemed to make perfect sense. New York is the financial capital of the world while Washington is the seat of government, which is doing an increasing amount of business with the tech giant. Amazon has launched a program designed to combat the surge in counterfeit products on the site by allowing brands to flag and remove counterfeit listings of their products from the platform on their own.
The price reductions will go into effect Wednesday. Look out, local retailers. Amazon is at it again. Until now, Amazon has mostly been selling big national brands -- basically offering the same thing no matter where you live. This makes it a headache for Best Buy and Walmart but doesn't do too much to upset local specialty shops. But that's all changed. Amazon now owns Vine. Vine is part of Quidsi, which Amason bought in It also operates baby and toy sites but it's Vine.
That's because it not only features organic products and "trusted green solutions" but also "local" products. And what are these quaint little cities where you can buy locally made goods? We were a little insulted to see that our hometown of Washington, D. But maybe because there's already so much of what we make here that nobody would want to buy any more of it.
But that's another story. Perhaps what's likely to be most upsetting to local merchants is that shoppers won't realize that while they're trying to be a "good neighbor," they're really pouring more money into Amazon's coffers, instead of the ones on Main Street. That's because there's no mention of Amazon on the Vine.
Do consumers care? Maybe not, especially when they're getting Amazon's super-efficient one- and two-day delivery while preserving the illusion that they're shopping locally. You'll recall that Amazon has recently begun making nice with local governments -- agreeing to pay sales tax in many cities. This enables it to open warehouses closer to big cities, making one-day and even same-day delivery more feasible, and making it that much harder for local retailers to defend their turf.
More consumers are reading books on tablets and e-readers. At the same time, the number of consumers who read a printed book in the previous 12 months fell from 72 percent to 67 percent. It should come as no surprise that the trend toward e-reading is occurring at a time when more consumers own a tablet or e-reader. The number of people who own either a tablet computer or e-book reading device such as a Kindle or Nook grew from 18 percent in late to 33 percent in late As of November about 25 percent of U.
In the latter part of this year 19 percent of Americans ages 16 and older owned e-book reading devices such as Kindles and Nooks, compared with 10 percent who owned the devices at the same time last year. Thanks to the iPad, tablet ownership has overtaken e-readers in the U. In May of four percent of the population had an e-reader opposed to three percent who owned tablets. By November of this year, 25 percent owned a tablet whole 19 percent had an e-reader. It should also come as no surprise that people who read e-books have more income and more education. A demographic breakdown of consumers shows growth in e-book consumption across the board.
Men and women use them almost equally and the largest age group reporting e-book use is the segment. In the breakdown, all groups showed an increase in e-book use in the last year, suggesting the trend has yet to peak. It was introduced in as a single device. Today there are several versions, including the full color Kindle Fire, which is more of a tablet. Barnes and Noble introduced an e-reader called the Nook in November The original Nook included both Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity.
In April Apple changed the game with the introduction of the iPad tablet computer, which also operated as an e-reader. Since then other manufacturers have produced by e-readers and tablets, making e-books more accessible to consumers. It's the last of five publishers to settle the charges. In addition, the publisher has agreed to lift restrictions on discounting for e-books and will not be allowed to enter into new agreements restricting prices until December The settlement resolves claims filed by the DOJ, numerous state governments, and a class-action suit brought by Hagens Berman on behalf of a nationwide class of consumers.
Earlier, Hachette Book Group Inc. Macmillan was the last of five defendant publishers to settle claims brought by the DOJ. In that case, Apple is the only remaining defendant, with a trial scheduled for June, In the consumer class-action case, Penguin and Apple have not agreed to a settlement. In addition, the publisher has agreed to lift restrictions on discounting for e-books and will not be allowed to enter into new agreem Whole Foods also got high marks. Some of our readers have also expressed how much they like using Amazon like Sarah of Tulsa, Okla.
Most books are available for Kindle and the one click purchasing process is so easy. I have it delivered directly to my iPad and within one minute of deciding that I need to read a book, I am reading it on my iPad. Amazon along with Google and Apple also scored high in categories like outperforming competition, being the most trustworthy and the most respected among consumers. Amazon on Monday launched a new credit card specifically for those who are new to credit or are looking to rebuild their credit.
See something on the Web that you'd like to read later? There's now a feature on some sites that lets you send a Web page to your Kindle, so you can read the article later -- you know, on the beach, in your hammock or, more prosaically, on the train. Unlike a smartphone app, this is not something you can download and use on any site. The button must be installed by the site operator, so it won't be available everywhere, at least not right away. Amazon proudly introduced the button on its Kindle Daily Post , which was quickly peppered by comments from readers asking why, if the button is so great, it doesn't appear on the Kindle blog.
The Send to Kindle Button lets you easily send that content to your Kindle to read later, at your convenience," the company's blog burbled happily. No more hunting around for that website or blog that caught your eye -- just open your Kindle and all the content you sent is right there. Some would say this is sort of like going back in time, back to the days when we clipped -- really clipped, with scissors -- articles out of newspapers and magazines and stuffed them away, planning to read them later.
Most were never found again, of course, but that's another story. Some Kindle addicts were perhaps rather find a way to get digital content they're already paying for without having to pay again to have it "Kindleized. It's true that you can read the paper on your laptop, iPad and even your smartphone, if you have shockingly good vision.
But on the Kindle? The foreboding of increased automation and the impact it will have on jobs has been sitting on the collective shoulders of workers across America for more than a decade. Between , a reported 40, mass layoffs occurred in the U. The latest report from researchers at the University of Oxford estimates that nearly 47 percent of American jobs run the risk of being taken over by computerization by In a sneak preview released Friday, Amazon revealed what will be on sale during its hour Prime Day sales extravaganza. The e-commerce giant said it will be slashing prices on many of its own devices and in-house brands during the event, which is set to kick off Monday.
Those participating in the strike were seeking better working conditions -- namely, less-stringent productivity quotas and the conversion of more temporary workers to full-time Amazon employees. Employees at the Shakopee warehouse alleged that the productivity quotas they are forced to It's kind of a sad sight, actually.
Watch carefully next time you're at the supermarket and chances are you'll find an employee trudging up and down the aisles filling a shopping cart from a list. Is the employee stocking up before heading home after his or her shift? Maybe, but it's more likely they're filling an order that's been placed through the supermarket's web site. But on the fulfillment end, we leave the Information Age behind and revert to an hourly worker pushing a cart around, then loading the stuff onto a truck.
It's this rather down-at-the-heels operation that Amazon is planning to split wide open. Observers expect Amazon to do to the grocery business what it did to the bookstore business.
Namely: decimate it. Think about it for a minute. Amazon's brand of online shopping, combining a huge selection, highly competitive pricing and almost instant gratification, has thrived even among consumers who enjoy roaming the mall in search of cool clothing, household accessories or books. Think what it will do to the chore nearly no one enjoys -- shopping for groceries.
Reports say Amazon is now ready to spring AmazonFresh on a wider universe, starting with Los Angeles and the San Francisco area later this year. If things go well there, at least 20 more cities are said to be on the list in Amazon has been building huge warehouses close to major urban areas over the last few years, after it made a strategic decision to start charging sales tax. The company had previously located its warehouses outside populous states as a tax-avoidance measure.
Moving the warehouses closer to end users in big cities and fielding its own fleet of trucks puts Amazon in a position to challenge not only supermarkets but general retailers of all kinds by combining same-day delivery with the convenience of online ordering through its highly sophisticated network. It's a combination that strikes fear into the hearts not only of supermarket executives.
If you think about it, a book is really not much different from a song, a movie or a newspaper. They're all content embedded in a delivery medium -- paper, vinyl, a CD or a digital file on your hard drive or in the cloud. Copyright law generally allows you to make a copy of, let's say, an album you bought in LP form.
You can legally play the record and capture the content in a new medium -- a CD or your hard drive. To use plainer language, the printed book is sort of a wrapper for the content created by the author. Online giant Amazon already gives you a digital version of any CDs you buy and now it's making a similar offer for its Kindle customers, with a new program called "Kindle Matchbook. Amazon said.
Amazon said that "bundling" print and digital has been one of the most requested features from customers. With Kindle MatchBook, they can keep their favorite book on their shelf, and have a copy in their digital library for reading. To use plainer language, the printed book is sort o Lifehacker also determined that where grocery costs are concerned, Amazon is routinely more expensive than regular grocery stores. Compared to what such stores charge, that candy bar sells for half the price on Amazon— if you buy a dozen at a time.
When selling physical books, Amazon either ties or beats prices at Barnes and Noble, but for ebooks, Amazon offers no across-the-board benefits compared to its competitors: some titles sell for more, some for less, others about the same. The other day, we ordered some memory chips for a computer we were messing with. We placed the order about 10 a. Actually, the chips didn't show up until after 9 p. Amazon has been working towards same-day delivery for quite some time but the company's founder and CEO.
Jeff Bezos, unveiled a potential quantum leap last night in an interview with Charlie Rose on the CBS News show "60 Minutes" -- a small drone that Bezos says will be able to deliver packages up to 8 pounds within half an hour. Now these aren't the drones the U. The prototype that Bezos displayed last night looks sort of a like a mechanical octopus and the prototype was appropriately called an "octocopter" or, more formally a Prime Air Vehicle. Bezos said the octocopters have a range of about 10 miles, which puts them in reach of millions of customers in major urban areas. Of course, those major urban areas also have a lot of other things going on and it's not too hard to imagine an octocopter colliding with a bicyclist or passing pigeon but Bezos said technology is being developed to handle such bothersome issues.
No one has yet mentioned plans for delivering to apartment buildings, which are, after all, pretty common in urban areas. Is the octocopter going to be able to ring the intercom and wait to be buzzed in? Can it tip the doorman? This, after all, is the agency that took decades to decide it would be OK for people to use their wireless devices in flight.
How likely is it the FAA will simply nod and say, "Sure, whatever" when presented with the spector of hordes of flying delivery drones zipping through the atmosphere? Actually, says Amazon, the FAA is already aware of the issue and is beginning to cogitate about it. Safety will be our top priority, and our vehicles will be built with multiple redundancies and designed to commercial aviation standards," Amazon said in a press release. If you fired up a new Kindle Fire over the holidays, you were in good company -- so did millions of others.
A report by the analytics firm Flurry says Kindle Fire activations on Christmas Day were 24 times the average for the first three weeks of December. Apple and Samsung devices both turned in low single-digit gains. Apple was also outpaced in laptop sales, with Google Chromebook sales quadrupling during the first 11 months of the year. What do the Fire and the Chromebook have in common? That's right -- low price. In both cases, the devices are basically gateways to the goods and services their manufacturers are selling.
Amazon sells the books, movies, music and thousands of other products that you can buy and, in some cases, consume through the Fire. Ditto with the Chromebook. It exposes you to all things Google -- ads, a social network, books, movies, music Of course, Apple has iTunes but its mercantile activities pale beside its competitors and it shows in the price of Apple's products. While impressive, its fold increase in Christmas activations was down from fold and fold gains in each of the prior two years. The most likely interpretation of that statistic is that we're willing to cheap out when buying presents but when the gift is for ourselves, we stick with higher-end merchandise.
Amazon, which is currently facing antitrust investigations, is now being accused of changing its algorithms to promote products that would deliver high profit margins. The Wall Street Journal, citing sources familiar with the matter, reported Monday that Amazon tweaked its product-search algorithm late last year to elevate its own products over those from other sellers, despite internal objections to the idea. Amazon lets no grass grow under its customers' feet.
Its one-click shopping eliminates the tedious shopping-cart procedure that most other e-commerce sites cling to and its delivery times continue to shrink towards same-day. But that's not quite fast enough, as Amazon sees it. Next up is "anticipatory shipping" -- newly-patented by Amazon. The patent application was filed in and granted on Dec. Amazon hasn't said much publicly about it but the idea is that its software already has a pretty good idea of your interests, shopping patterns and most recent browsing behavior.
It's not too much of a leap from there to predict what you may be buying in the next day or two. Been staring at that Acer Ultrabook? Amazon wants to start it rolling so that it's as close as possible to -- and maybe even on -- your doorstep when you finally get the nerve to hit the "buy" button. It goes a bit beyond that, actually.