Amazon tops Apple in Tablet satisfaction survey for first time
JD Power's Yr 2014 Vol 2 Study of U.S. Tablet Satisfaction had Amazon coming from way behind (in past years) to beat Apple out for the first time in the now popular tablet market.
The simple headline in their press release was "Amazon Ranks Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Tablet Devices"
"The study, now in its third year, measures customer satisfaction with tablets across five factors (in order of importance): performance (28%); ease of operation (22%); features (22%); styling and design (17%); and cost (11%). Satisfaction is calculated on a 1,000-point scale."
From what I remember, Amazon, newer to the game, placed 5th or so in the past. Apple led the field the first two years of this ongoing study. The study may be of interest to some who are wondering whether or not to jump on the Holiday pricing Amazon has had in varying degrees the last couple of weeks.
The mantra has always been "Isn't Apple the best?" As ever, if you have an Apple iPhone and love your iOS apps, it makes more sense to stick with Apple.
Otherwise, you may want to try Amazon's now famous 30-day Full Refund "No Risk" policy on Kindles. The return policy:
' You can return any Kindle e-reader, Fire tablet or Amazon Fire TV devices or accessories you purchased directly from Amazon.com for a full refund within 30 days of the day you received it as long as it's in new condition and the return is in accordance with our return policy. '(Within 60 days, it's an 80% refund, which I didn't know -- and I just noticed they mention buying from even an "Amazon kiosk" in a store -- so I guess store kiosks are now definitely a plan...
One recommendation: I've long recommended (in the Reference column here), that the 32GB storage-space model be the minimum level chosen, even if it's somewhat more costly, because the more attractive or fun apps are heavily graphics-oriented or complex and take up a large amount of storage space and even will need temporary file space during the running of them. The 16GB-option guarantees you'll be spending too much time figuring out which apps to swap in and out of the 'Cloud' (Amazon server space for your apps, books, videos, music) to be able to use what you want at a given time. But if the budget doesn't allow that, then at least you CAN swap out one app to be able to enjoy another one.
Currently (Sunday the 14th), the middle-sized, faster-processor Kindle Fire HDX 7" 32 GB model is $199, a $40 discount, and featured on their pages when I went there tonight to check on pricing.
Amazon starts 4K Ultra HD streaming of video, at no added cost to Prime members
Prime members - US, with the new 4K TV sets will be able to view some movie and TV show videos at the new resolution standard at no added cost. Here's Forbe's story, with details on which videos already include this.
Amazon institutes "Make an Offer" (similar to EBay's) on 3rd Party Marketplace products, mainly Collectibles and Fine Art
Now, if a 3rd party seller wants to use the new Make an Offer feature, you can make an offer and bargain with that store, in private -- it's not an auction. Apparently, some vendors have wanted this flexibility, when unsure of pricing attractiveness etc.
' Amazon spokesperson Erik Fairleigh said Make an Offer, which is in pilot testing, is open now to all sellers across Sports and Entertainment Collectibles, Collectible Coins and Fine Art. To enable the feature, sellers can use the bulk template or 1-by-1 to update their items to display the "Make an Offer" tool.And the minimum price for eligibility to use this feature is $100. I imagine this pilot testing is for more general use of the feature later on, if successful. In fact, InvestCorrectly writes that
. . .
Offers expire after 72 hours, and Fairleigh said sellers' ratings are not impacted in any way if they don't respond to offers. With each offer, the clock resets at 72 hours. And there's no limit to the number of offers and counteroffers.
. . .
However, the transaction is not complete until the customer checks out. '
' While the feature is only available for 150,000 items; now, Amazon’s announcement expressed a desire to expand the program in 2015. What this will mean for eBay and the future of online shopping will be interesting to watch. 'You can see what's available currently at Amazon's Make an Offer page
Google Play removes recent Amazon app for Android
Note that Amazon's app (with new mobile-appstore-access) was uploaded by Amazon to Google September 9 and was apparetly fine at the time, but Google updated its policies on September 25 and as of that date, Amazon's app was breaking policy and was removed by GooglePlay and Amazon, which seems fair enough to me. Amazon then replaced it with the plain Amazon Shopping app, that has no built-in appstore.
Amazon now has a new Kindle App for Android out, v4.8, a couple of days ago.
' What's New
• Use X-Ray for Books and Textbooks to look up places, characters and terms
• Receive push notifications from Kindle - customize your experience in Settings
• Improved library search
• Make flashcard sets to review textbook material
• Control audiobook playback while reading the Kindle book
• Several experience improvements and bug fixes
About app permissions
• http://amazon.com/fb/kindleforum '
If you've never installed the Android app before,
• go to Amazon's Kindle for Android app page
• Select "Download now"
• Follow the instructions to download the app to your device
• After installing the Kindle reading app, you'll need to register it to your Amazon account.
Kindle reading-app Updates - Where?
. Kindle for Android Phone update page at Amazon appstore
. Kindle for Android Tablet update page at Amazon appstore
. or, if Google play was the original source anyway, Android Updates from Google play.
New follow-up Exclusive "Single" by Patricia Cornwell
I tweeted about this when it came out and forgot about blogging it but think some of her readers might be interested in this further investigation of the Jack the Ripper case.
A new game that costs but is highly rated
Saw this a few weeks ago when it was new.
For a game that costs $6.99, Tales from Deep Space gets unusually high ratings, at 4.7 stars currently.
However, it's "played [exclusively for now] on 2013 and newer Fire tablets.
Co-op: Play as E and CASI either solo or co-op on two Fire tablets over wi-fi. Multiplayer co-op available exclusively on Kindle Fire HDX and all 2014 Fire tablets."
For "all ages" but most likely for the younger set.
What is "The Amazon ECHO" ?
I've been following this closely, as it's in a sort of paid pilot testing -- and the 'paid' part is working for Amazon, it seems, because those who've received it tend to be raving about how much fun it is and some would pay more. Since it's offered for some time on a "By invite" only, to those expressing interest in it, it's not likely to be ready for Christmas release, as shipments seem to have eased.
I want to do a write-up Monday night on the reception of this unit by actual users with some very funny postings, but until then here are links, from this blog's Reference column, that you can explore:
Amazon Echo - $99 for Prime
Echo-tests video + discussions Thread 1, Thread 2
ZDNet actually got one. ZDNet review: "A Perfect 10"
Remaining Holiday Deals
In the meantime, here is a repeat of the holiday and some regular deals, from a blog entry last week, while we're still in the now long holiday season.
DISCOUNTS ON ACCESSORIES Amazon's current pages (some, ongoing) on accessories for Kindle e-Reader and Kindle Fire
1. Up to 50% (higher discount than usual) on cases for Kindle eReaders
2. Up to 50% on cases for Kindle Fire (Gen 2) and Kindle Fire HD tablets but NOT HDX tablets
3. Accessories for all Kindles, with some discounted.
For larger discounts, there are the ongoing pages:
Goldbox and Lightning Deals which sometimes include bigger one-day sales and
Other warehouse deals - more gift oriented
Your Amazon coupons
And since it's still that time of the year, Amazon (and every other store) is having seasonal sale after sale.
12 Days of You Know What -- is now 7 remaining days :-)
For UK and Canada:
UK - Today's Deals
Seasonal Discounts and Sales - UK
Warehouse Deals - UK
Recently-built Kindle Outlet Store - US
A few months ago, Amazon put together a Kindle Outlet Store to feature their certified refurbished Kindle devices at a somewhat lower cost.
That's it, from my accumulated notes ...
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