I got an Amazon Fire TV today. It’s finally started shipping in the UK. (Amazon.com, Amazon UK) I have to say, my first experience with the device isn’t very positive. After plugging it in, I saw a screen asking me to choose my language, then I saw this: The progress bar moved, slowly, for about […]
One thing that has kept me from buying more ebooks is the inability to share them with my partner. In the US, you can share Kindle ebooks, on a one-off basis, but it’s not a simple process. Here in the UK, there is no such feature. I noticed a new feature listed on Amazon’s Kindle […]
I couple of months ago, I cracked my Kindle Paperwhite’s screen. I tossed it on my bed, one day, and it landed on my iPhone, making a nasty crack with spidery lines extending a few inches. It wasn’t broken, but there was no way I could read on that device; it was too distracting. So, […]
Amazon has announced a new Kindle, the Kindle Voyage (odd name…) that is due to ship in November. (Amazon.com, Amazon UK) A bit smaller than the Kindle Paperwhite, this device boasts a higher screen resolution (300 ppi compared to 212 pip for the Paperwhite), and an adaptive light, so the screen light will vary according […]
Amazon’s Fire TV is now available in the UK. This Apple TV competitor offers streaming of content from Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Spotify and others. About the same size as an Apple TV, the main interest for me is the ability to stream Amazon Prime Instant Video, which is included as part of the Amazon […]
If you’re a Kindle user, you know that you can manage your Kindle library on your Amazon account page. There’s a link that says Manage Your Kindle: This takes you to a page where you can see your content and your devices, and alter some settings related to your Kindle account page. From the Your […]
“Amazon’s Fire Phone was launched in July, after many teaser videos and an expansive unveiling by chief executive Jeff Bezos, who showed off features like its 3D-effect maps and multiple front-facing cameras.
But since then, how many Amazon Fire Phones have actually been sold? How many are in use?”
After a lot of math, Charles Arthur of The Guardian concludes, based on web usage, that about 35,000 Amazon Fire phones have been sold. That’s not much. Amazon doesn’t release sales data for its hardware devices, so we don’t even know how many Kindles they sell.
I kind of liked the idea of the Fire Phone when I saw the first video, but seeing reviews shows me that it’s more gadget than useful device. And such a narrowly-branded phone – being tied to Amazon, just one carrier (AT&T), and it can’t access the broader Android app store – makes it a tough sell. Amazon fans might be interested, but other than that, what’s the point?
All this shows that it’s going to be very hard to unseat the two dominant players in the smartphone sector: Apple and Google (via Android). Platform is just as important as hardware manufacturer; perhaps if the Fire phone were a more standard Android fork, where people could use apps they’d already bought on another Android phone, it would be more enticing.
“To break Amazon’s lock on ebooks, publishers could insist that DRM-free EPUB become the format of choice, eliminating the connection between reading on a Kindle and purchasing from Amazon”
Glenn Fleishman, writing at TidBITS, gives a clear explanation of the current kerfuffle around Amazon and Hachette regarding ebook pricing.
I have to say, it’s because of the superiority of the Kindle that I buy all my ebooks from Amazon. Reading on an iPad is only good indoors, but I can read on a Kindle anywhere. If I could buy ebooks without DRM and use them on my Kindle or iPad as I choose – which I do now, using the Kindle app on my Apple devices – I would certainly not be wedded to Amazon for my ebook purchases.
This happened to music, in large part through EU regulators looking at the lack of interoperability of digital music files. I wonder why they haven’t done the same for ebooks.