When Google unveiled the Nexus 4, Nexus 10 and a refreshed Nexus 7 in October, the moment was arguably the crescendo of a change in the Android ecosystem that had been building ever since Amazon’s Kindle Fire first braved the marketplace in 2011. Along with a widely expanded Amazon lineup that includes multiple Kindle Fire HD models and a price-cut tweak to the original Fire, two of the largest players in the mobile world now have top-to-bottom device businesses built around selling at break-even prices and recouping their money through content. That might sound good on the surface, but it’s a bad omen for competitors that genuinely can’t respond in kind — and it could erode some of the values of diversity and innovation that we’re supposed to hold dear as technology fans.
Editorial: Amazon and Google are undermining mobile pricing, and that may hurt everyone originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 03 Nov 2012 13:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Google gave the broadest of targets when it said Google Play carrier billing would reach Verizon in the “coming weeks” — those last two words are often hints from companies that we shouldn’t hold our breath. Call us surprised, then, when Google quietly takes the option live two weeks later. At least one Droid-Life reader has discovered that it’s now possible to load as many as $25 in purchases per month on an existing Big Red smartphone bill and pay through just the one channel. The move puts all four major US carriers on the same page, and gives Verizon subscribers an incentive to splurge on apps and movies for that new Droid RAZR HD… so long as they remember to deal with the financial fallout afterwards.
Google Play carrier billing goes live for impulse buyers on Verizon originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 3! 1 Oct 20 12 14:04:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Amazon is using its heavily trafficked front page to trash the iPad mini.
As you can see below, Amazon does a head to head comparison with the Kindle Fire HD and the iPad mini. The Kindle Fire HD comes out on top.
A few things about this ad. Amazon says it can play HD movies. In his review of the Kindle Fire HD, David Pogue said, “Incidentally, despite the name ‘HD,’ the screen can’t actually show you movies in hi-def. It may have the requisite number of pixels, but most of them are dedicated to black letterbox bars; the screen is the wrong shape for movies. And you can’t enlarge the playback to fill the screen, as you can on an iPad.”
And Walt Mossberg in his review said, “The Fire HD isn’t as polished, fluid or versatile as the iPad.”
The reason for that is iOS, Apple’s mobile software which is vastly superior to Amazon’s tablet software.
The real question for people looking at buying a tablet is whether or not it’s worth paying an extra $130 for an iPad mini which has better software and a bigger library of apps. Also, we should get official reviews of the iPad mini this week, which will give us better independent comparisons.
Amazon has another chest-thumping, but detail free, proclamation about Kindle sales.
With Amazon, though, we really have no idea what that statement means. It doesn’t provide any details on Kindle unit sales. For all we know, the company sold 200 Kindle Fire HDs on Wednesday.
If you’re wondering if the iPad Mini had an effect on its competitors, it did. Just not the one you were thinking. The Kindle Fire HD actually had its biggest day of sales since its launch, the day after the iPad Mini was announced.
In a statement sent to AllThingsD, Amazon said:
“Wednesday was the $199 Kindle Fire HD’s biggest day of sales since launch and up 3x week over week”
The $199 Kindle Fire HD is the 16GB Wi-Fi version with special offers. Seems like instead of killing the Kindle Fire HD and Nexus 7, the iPad Mini actually legitimized them. Or maybe people were waiting to see what Apple would do with the iPad Mini before they made their decision on buying a smaller tablet (with a lot choosing the cheaper option).
In the bigger picture, we’re not sure exactly what it means since Amazon doesn’t release sales figures but it sure can’t be a bad thing for Amazon. [AllThingsD]
If you were banking on hacking a new Kindle Fire to take advantage of cheap hardware without Amazon’s modded Android OS, you perhaps better think again. Developers over at XDA are speculating that they expect the new range of Fires to be too sophisticated to hack.
In particular, a forum post provides evidence which suggests that the new devices will come with more sophisticated protection, including locked bootloaders and “high security” features offered by Texas Instrument processors.
Of course, with Amazon really pushing its device-as-service concept hard, the news likely won’t ruffle the majority of Fire-user feathers. But for those who were cheekily hoping to grab a Fire HD and mod it from the off, there may well be something to grumble about. [XDA via Engadget]
Users can watch a pretty extensive collection of movie trailers in HD and with the new display, it’s never looked better.
The app is available for free right here.
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Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
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