Saturday, September 14, 2013

Kindle News Roundup: Kindle Fire HD 7" on sale again "for limited time" at $159. Photos of new Kindle Fires leaked, with added light on the subject. PowaTag technology's promise and Jeff Bezos' business philosophy

The Kindle Fire HD 7" is back on sale "for a limited time" for $159, or $40 off the normal price, on the 16GB model.

Saw that on the product page last night.  While the Kindle Fire HD 7" tablet 16 GB model is on a special sale, the 32 GB model isn't, still being $229.  The 8.9" model also is not on sale.

The coming Kindle Fire HD - 3rd generation models
BGR's Zach Epstein reported on Sept 11 that BGR had received from "a trusted source" some photos alleged to be of the new Kindle Fire 3rd Generation models to be announced in the next few weeks.  They're said, as noted before, to be lighter and more comfortable to hold, but also more angular.

  The reported specs match those given earlier.

  The images shown by BGR in its photo gallery are fairly dark, and I've lightened up the ones showing the volume rocker and power button now on the back rims and the speakers on the top rim, angled toward the back.  The tablet would not look like this and would be all black, so don't expect this to be the 'look' of it.  I just wanted to make the details more visible.

 The current Kindle Fire HD speakers are on the lower back, where they actually have a a bit more fullness when I prop the tablet up against something which bounces the sound back as they do with 'shells' for acoustic music on stages.  They'd be easier to hear, overall, on the top though, in general, relative to the current ones when nothing is behind them.

When I lightened them up, there are differences in the shades of the top, middle, and bottom portions of the frame specifically aligned with where the parts are joined, with diagonal slants.  It's almost as if it were some kind of mockup.

  Epstein says they made the back details obscure so the unit couldn't be easily traced back to the source due to any unique markings.  So the source may be a 3rd party developer (they sign non-disclosure agreements).

  The main-story's top photo is not in the photo gallery and looks like an ad shot, so it's probably just an illustration for the story to show the expected look of the more angled corners reported.

  The high resolutions promised for the new generation tablets, as mentioned, match the earlier report by BGR, and the quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chipset, clocked at more than 2GHz, plus a reported 2GB of RAM should be a boon if the report is accurate (and BGR has been before, on Kindle hardware predictions).  They say it'll run on top of Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and offer the same variety of internal storage options.

  As reported before, the 7" would have a front-facing camera (for Skype, etc) but no back-facing one, while the 8.9" model would get an 8 megapixel rear camera also.

  The 7" model would have a 1,920 x 1,200-pixel display vs the current 1280 x 800, and the 8.9" model would boast a 2,560 x 1,600-pixel display vs the current 1920 x 1200 (which is already very clear on a not-quite 9-inch tablet).  The basic Kindle Fire non-HD would go from the current IPS display with 1024 x 600, one report said earlier, to 1280 x 800, so -- if true -- the base model would be going to HD.  These are all non-verified and from BGR's source and matched, mostly, by news reports from Taiwan from suppliers of parts.

  We may know soon.

Jeff Bezos' stated goals, attention to customer experience, and an interesting challenger with a new technology for quick purchasing
An article at ninemsn, by Motley Fool Staff features quotes from Amazon's chief over the years.

  Some of it struck me after reading about the new "secret" technology (PowaTag) that involves taking a smartphone/tablet photo of something you want (that someone might be wearing or using) and then being shown where you can buy it that moment).  Forbes has a headline that is an attention-getter (that's the idea): "The Secret Technology That Attracted $76 Million And Could Eat Amazon's Lunch" and it's definitely an interesting idea that will be used.  An iPhone app almost 2 years ago could take a picture of a sign in another language and translate it for you on the spot.  This would entail getting arrangements with online merchants, and already signed-on, according to UK-based POWA founder and CEO Dan Wagner, are 15 companies, including Harper Collins, Electrolux, Hoover and Lavazza.

  'Using PowaTag will sidestep middlemen retailer sites and allow manufacturers to make direct sales. "Normally I’d look at that book and go to Amazon and buy it and they’d get 30% of the retail price," said Wagner. "It's a game-changer for manufacturers."'

  A key factor will be the delivery systems involved and attention to the customer experience, when possibly many varied partner companies would be involved in fulfillment, delivery, and Powa would take care of post-purchase service.

  A detailed article that Forbes links to is at Techcrunch.  The founder sold another company for $500 million and "has developed e-commerce sites for companies like Tesco, Orange, and the Universal Music Group — which could give some clue to where he holds contacts today and who Powa may count as clients in the future."

  Some goals they might consider are ones that Bezos has put front and center, involving trust and consistency. Examples from the statements about the business philosophy that has drive Amazon to the top:
'   . We’ve had three big ideas at Amazon that we’ve stuck with for 18 years, and they’re the reason we’re successful: Put the customer first. Invent.  And be patient.

' What’s not going to change in the next 10 years?’  And I submit to you that that second question is actually the more important... — because you can build a business strategy around the things that are stable in time. … [I]n our retail business, we know that customers want low prices, and I know that’s going to be true 10 years from now.  They want fast delivery;  they want vast selection.

  It’s impossible to imagine a future 10 years from now where a customer comes up and says, ‘Jeff I love Amazon; I just wish the prices were a little higher,’ [or] ‘I love Amazon; I just wish you’d deliver a little more slowly.

  . In the old world, you devoted 30% of your time to building a great service and 70% of your time to shouting about it.  In the new world, that inverts. ’

Current Kindle Models for reference, plus free-ebook search links.
Updated Kindle Fire 2 Basic  7" tablet - $159
Kindle Fire HD 7" 16/32GB - $199/$229
Kindle Fire HD 8.9" 16/32GB - $269/$299
Kindle Fire HD 8.9" 4G 32/64GB - $399/$499
Kindle NoTouch ("Kindle") - $69/$89
Kindle Touch WiFi - $99
Kindle Paperwhite, WiFi - $119/$139
Kindle Paperwhite, WiFi+3G - $179/$199
Kindle Keybd 3G - $139/$159, Free slow web
Kindle DX - $379 $299 (Yes)
Kindle Basic, NoTouch - £69
Kindle Touch WiFi, UK - ~£89 Refurb'd
Kindle Keyboard 3G, UK - £149
  Keybd: w/ Free, slow 3G WEB
Kindle Paperwhite, WiFi
Kindle Paperwhite 3G, UK
Kindle Fire 2, UK
Kindle Fire HD 7" 16/32GB, UK
Canada - Kindlestore, CDN-$
Kindle Basic, NoTouch - $79
Kindle Paperwhite, WiFi - $129
Kindle Paperwhite, 3G - $199
Kindle Fire HD 7" - 214.00
KFire HD 7" $214,  8.9" $284

*OTHER Int'l pages*
Kindle NoTouch Basic - $89
Kindle Keybd 3G - $189
  Keybd: w/ Free, slow 3G WEB
Paperwhite WiFi $139, 3G/Wifi $199
KFire HD 7" $214,  8.9" $284

France Boutique Kindle
Deutschland - Kindle Store
Italia - Kindle Store
Spain - Tienda Kindle
Brazil - Amazon Brazil
China - Amazon China [?]
Japan - Amazon Japan

Check often: Temporarily-free recently published Kindle books
  Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers.  Liked-books under $1
UK-Only: recently published free books, bestsellers, or £5 Max ones
    Also, UK customers should see the UK store's to Return to the HOME PAGE.  Or click on the web browser's BACK button
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  1. I had predicted that this week (it's early Sunday where I am)was a possible announcement window. But there was no event announcement as of Friday -- so I'm dubious.

    Next week on Monday Microsoft is announcing their new Surface 2 tablets/laptops -- so not a great week (although Thursday is possible). After that the calendar gets crowded (Nokia, Dell, Apple #2, etc) -- so who knows.

    Nothing that has been leaked/rumored is all that Earth shattering (IMO). If Amazon wants to make a splash, I'm thinking they'll have to price aggressively.

    1. Edward, apologies for missing your Comment -- I've been fighting a losing battle with my working computer, an HP laptop. I'd never even heard of "the side-by-side configuration is incorrect" as a reason for applications not being able to load. And it's a really tough one to fight as you can't install anything either, to help with fixing it. I've been at DOS command level and not loving that it hasn't helped much. Am now on a several-years old Samsung laptop that, though a bit slower, with a smaller disc and less memory, is a CHAMP! until I can get the laptop fixed (after 2 full days of working with 'sfc scannow' and 'takeown' ...

      The announcement was expected "late September" and that makes sense. I'd prefer they not rush it. I'm also happy with my current tablets except I wish they'd make that Carousel's icons SMALLER and show the Favorites if we don't want to see their Recommendations (an option which is toggable).

      I'm interested in the Surface Pro w/ 8 GB RAM and that beautiful screen for Photoshop.

      Thanks for adding your thoughts!


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