Sept. 6 - In a bid to fight off competition in the growing tablet and e-reader markets, Amazon.com unveiled several new upgraded Kindle devices as CEO Jeff Bezos made it clear he intends to make money from media content consumers purchase for the device, not the device itself. Jeanne Yurman reports.
Amazon threw the latest punch in a brawl for market share in the tablet industry, announcing tech upgrades to its Kindle Fire Thursday. At 8.9 inches a revised Kindle Fire is bigger and now available in HD, with a front facing camera and Dolby sound pumped through two speakers rather than one. And it works off WiFi or 4G. Sascha Segan of PC Magazine: SOUNDBITE: SASCHA SEGAN, MOBILE ANALYST, PC MAGAZINE (ENGLISH) SAYING: "This is what Amazon needed to do to stay relevant and to stay ahead. Amazon is going up against two major competitors here: they have the Nexus 7 from Google on one side and the potential mini iPad next month on the other side." Yet despite the catchy new features CEO Jeff Bezos made clear Amazon's responding to a trend in consumer demand for services. SOUNDBITE: JEFF BEZOS, CEO, AMAZON.COM (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We want to make money when people use our devices not when they buy our devices." Amazon is drawing on what analysts refer to as its ecosystem--a growing web of offerings which ties things like its retail, music and video libraries and app store all into one with the device. James McQuivey of Forrester Research: SOUNDBITE: JAMES MCQUIVEY, ANALYST, FORRESTER RESEARCH (ENGLISH) SAYING: "They can also treat retail experience as a kind of service. And they can essentially plug in any kind of product that you might ever want related to what you watch or what you just played or what you just read. I mean they've really shortcutted the model. You no longer have to watch a TV show, see a commercial, remember that brand, show up in the store and buy that thing. You can go right from watching it to owning it." Apple still reigns supreme in the tablet market with nearly 65 percent of all U.S. shipments this year. But analysts say the Kindle HD may help Amazon to soak up more market share especially given price points brutal to many rivals. And they expect Microsoft will have to back down on pricing for its tablets due out this fall. Jeanne Yurman, Reuters.