Amazon announces its magical 3D screen smartphone that just happens to be good at helping you buy stuff from Amazon
As expected, when Amazon held its private press event in Seattle today, it was to pull the curtain back from its first smartphone, the Fire Phone. With successes in the Kindle Fire tablet and Fire TV, Amazon’s new phone doesn’t have the highest resolution or the fastest processor, but it does have some really neat features— it will carry over the Mayday button from the Kindle Fire, it has four front-facing cameras to watch for head position so it can deliver glasses-free 3D without having to hold your head at one perfect angle, and it just wouldn’t be an Amazon phone if it didn’t offer a bevy of built-in features that will make purchasing everything you could possibly imagine via Amazon way too easy.
Launching today, Amazon is getting into the streaming music thing with Amazon Prime Music. The service is free for Amazon Prime members, and if you don’t have Amazon Prime, you can try it and Prime Music for a free 30 day trial. Right now, Prime Music has about 1 million tracks available compared to Spotify’s 20 million, but it won’t take Amazon long at all to catch up.
Google has had a shopping service for a while, but it’s not even in the same league as Amazon. Amazon has super speedy shipping for one, and that’s an arena Google is trying to make its mark in. It’s been providing same day delivery for parts of California for a little while, just testing the waters. But it recently expanded to overnight delivery for most of California, including the really hard to reach spots in northern California and the eastern regions. And combining that with Google’s self-driving car technology, it could very well be possible that one day, Google could offer its own courier service via autonomous car pods.
It’s no secret that Amazon has had plans brewing to launch their own smartphone, and even if one hadn’t heard those rumors, the success of the Amazon Kindle line and more recently Amazon Fire TV would be enough to suspect more hardware was inevitable. So after months of rumor and speculation, the above image is supposedly what Amazon’s phone will look like. Other crazy rumors is that the phone has six cameras for gesture recognition and it could come with the launch of some kind of Amazon Prime data service.
In an announcement sure to thrill absolutely no one, current Amazon subscribers will be able to start watching Exclusive HBO content may 21st on Amazon Video on Demand (aka Amazon Prime). What’s really notable about this, though, is that HBO has pretty much put up a giant middle finger to every GoT fan out there, insisting on holding onto content that’s less than three years old in order to “generate new subscribers.”
This screams to me like a band-aid solution to the hemorrhaging that’s occurring in the cable/satellite world as more and more people go online and are cutting the bills. Oh, HBO, will you never learn?
Earlier this week, Amazon announced the Amazon Dash, which is basically a little silver remote-like device that buys groceries for you from Amazon’s new grocery service, Amazon Fresh. It only works with Fresh, and right now you can only use it if you buy an Amazon Fresh membership of $300 and you get the wand free. Only if you live in an area served by Amazon Fresh. Still though, a cool idea.
Jumping into a market already populated with products like Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast as well as game consoles like the Xbox One and PS4, Amazon announced yesterday the Amazon Fire TV, a set top streaming box with game controller. The $99 box (controller sold separately) streams movies, TV shows and Android games and apps through your TV like the other guys, but it also an X-ray that auto-populates your Kindle with IMDB info on what you’re watching as well as where on Amazon you can find different products in movies etc.
While it’s not official, it looks likely that Amazon will be branching out its Android hardware offerings with this uninspiring OnLive-like gaming controller. The controller would connect to an Amazon game box, probably some kind of teeny thing like a Chromecast stick or an Apple TV.
As if using flying robot drones to deliver your packages wasn’t crazy enough, Amazon’s next amazing, mind blowing trick of online retail will use fancy algorithms to predict items you’re going to buy in the near future before you know you’re going to buy them, having your future items already packaged and stocked at your closest Amazon warehouse, so that when you do inevitably click “buy”, your book or dildo or toilet paper or whatever ready to ship instantly. Magic.
First it was flying drone delivery, now Amazon is ready to launch a chain of wholesale stores in the US called Pantry that would kind of compete with the likes of Sam’s, Costco and BJ’s, but kinda different. If you’re a member of Amazon Prime, you’re already a Pantry member. From there, you can buy groceries and household items in bulk or buy a bunch of stuff from Amazon, as much as will fit in uniform sized boxes and pick it up locally.
Unbeknownst to anyone ahead of time, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos pulled out the serious shit this weekend on 60 Minutes when in an interview with Charlie Rose, he unveiled “Amazon Prime Air”, a just-so-crazy-it-might-work plan to deliver packages within 30 minutes by aerial drone. Everyone can go home now, Amazon just won.
Starting November 24th, Amazon is going to be hitting you with dozens and dozens of lightning deals straight through Black Friday weekend. Many of these will be deep discounts that only last for about 10 minutes, so if you’ve got the grit and the quick trigger finger, you might be able to snag some pretty nice stuff for cheap.
Some of the highlights include TVs like a Seiki 32-inch 720p TV for $99, a 55-inch Vizio TV for $688, and a 65-inch 1080p Samsung TV for $999; last-gen consoles and games like a PS3 250GB with The Last of Us and Batman Arkham Origins for $199, an Xbox 360 250GB with Halo 4 and Tomb Raider for $189.99, and titles like Call of Duty: Ghosts, Arkham Origins, FIFA 14, Madden 25, Battlefield 4 all at big discounts. Amazon will also be offering up to 90 percent off apps from its Android app store and countless other deals including an HTC One smartphone for just $0.01 with a two-year contract.
When Apple launched Apple TV, it was met with a lot of “meh”, and some wondered why it wasn’t killed by poor sales. And the answer to that is that Apple knew the next big fight for media gadget attention would be the living room. Now you’ve got Apple TV, Roku, the Xbox One and PS4 both being sold with media streaming and downloading in the forefront, Steam Box, and earlier this week, Amazon announced it was jumping into the game with its own video box. Watch and download all of your favorite movies, music and TV shows straight to your television.
When Amazon first introduced the Kindle Fire, its low price attracted a lot of attention. But for the price, you got a mediocre standard def tablet with a weird custom Android interface. With the Kindle Fire HDX, it’s got a better screen, processor and interface. And it’s even got a built in help button that will get you connected to a live Amazon help representative in seconds, 24 hours a day. Because that’s how they roll.