09 October, 2011

Amazon registers Kindle Fire products under a different company name

Posted: 08 Oct 2011 10:28 PM PDT
Online retail giant Amazon has registered trademarks its new Kindle Fire tablet, as well as related products, under a separate company name called Seesaw LLC.
In September, Amazon debuted is first tablet computer, which runs a heavily modified version of the Android mobile operating system, and will compete directly with other Android tablets as well as the iPad. And although the company has created an e-ink Kindle reader, its primary business is in online retail — not hardware manufacturing.
Fusible, which originally spotted that five Kindle Fire products were registered under Seesaw, suggests that Amazon could be setting up a separate company for its tablet business to give it the proper attention.
While this very well may be the case, I think its far more likely a book-keeping tactic. Amazon isn’t a hardware company, and is actually taking a $10 loss on each device so that it can push its digital products, like ebooks, music, Android apps and more. In this way, the Kindle Fire will still generate money for the company as a whole, even though the device itself isn’t profitable.
However, should this strategy fail, Amazon may not want to simply shut down its tablet business. Instead, it might want to sell it off to recuperate some of those expenses, which would be much easier if you’ve already established which parts of the business are separate from the main retail business.
The Kindle Fire won’t make its public debut until mid-November, so we won’t really have an accurate prediction of its success (or failure) for a while.

Filed under: mobile, VentureBeat

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Posted: 08 Oct 2011 07:22 PM PDT
The Walking DeadJust in time for Halloween, streaming video service Netflix has signed a deal with TV network AMC to bring its highest rated program, zombie show The Walking Dead, to its Watch Instantly subscribers in the U.S. and Canada (sorry Latin America).
The content agreement is one of many Netflix has signed to boost its subscriber rate through a strategy of providing a large collection of content from various providers, which it hopes will keep people from fleeing for a growing number of streaming video service competitors like Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime Instant Video (as well as cable and satellite TV providers).
Starting yesterday, Netflix subscribers will have access to the first season of The Walking Dead. Future seasons will become available just prior to the beginning of the following season’s TV premiere. The deal isn’t exclusive — meaning both Amazon and Hulu are bound to sign similar agreements at some point.
In addition to past seasons of both Breaking Bad and Mad Men, the agreement with AMC Networks will also bring other programming to Netflix, such as shows from IFC, Sundance Channel and WE TV.

Filed under: media, offBeat, VentureBeat

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Posted: 08 Oct 2011 02:32 PM PDT
Steve Jobs, 1955-2011This week, the biggest news was the passing of Steve Jobs. The founder of Apple was just 56, but in his career he cast an incredibly long shadow over the tech industry, and in so doing created one of the world’s great companies.
It seemed as if Silicon Valley, and much of the rest of the tech world, stopped for day to pause and reflect on the complicated but undeniably huge legacy of Jobs.

The week’s most popular stories

iPhone 5, or iPhone 4S? Here’s what we expect to see tomorrow
The day before Apple’s iPhone event on Tuesday October 4, speculation was running high. VentureBeat staffers Devindra Hardawar, Dean Takahashi, Matthew Lynley, Heather Kelly and myself offered our predictions for what Apple would unveil. Who got it right?
Amazon has Palm in its shopping cart. Will it click buy?
Devindra Hardawar scored a big scoop late last week with the report that Amazon has been in talks with HP to purchase its Palm and webOS division. Naturally, many people were interested in this news.
Live at Apple’s iPhone 5/iPhone 4S event
Apple unveiled the iPhone 4S on October 4, but didn’t reveal the iPhone 5 that many observers expected. Dean Takahashi live coverage of the event was a popular story this week, as many readers tuned in to find out what was happening, minute-by-minute.
Can the Kindle Fire disrupt the tablet market? Not so fast
The Kindle Fire may be half the price of the iPad, but economic analysis suggests it might not be as easy to displace the market leader as many have assumed. Mu post about Amazon’s competitiveness versus Apple was one of the week’s most controversial stories, with over 30 commenters weighing in.
iOS 5 available to all iPhone owners Oct. 12
In addition to the iPhone 4S, Apple also announced the ship date for the next iOS operating system. Meghan Kelly covered the news.

Editor’s picks

Screenshot from Assassin's Creed RevelationsAs always, you can see our editors’ picks for some of the most interesting stories VentureBeat has published. Here are some of this week’s highlights.
Our picks for the best video games of the fall season
Dean Takahashi and Matthew Lynley give brief overviews of the 10 video games you won’t want to miss this fall.
Once Facebook launches Timeline, you'll never want to leave
Jolie O’Dell talked to the developer in charge of Facebook’s new Timeline feature, and came away with a detailed picture of how it works — as well as a deep appreciation for what a powerful emotional experience Facebook’s new technology is.
Face it: Steve Ballmer is doing a great job
People like to tear down Steve Ballmer, but if you look at the numbers, Microsoft’s performance since Ballmer became CEO is actually quite impressive. This guest post by frequent contributor Peter Yared challenges the received wisdom about Bill Gates’s successor.
Can a single game reach a billion players?
An increasing number of people are starting to wonder if it’s possible to make a game that reaches a billion people. After all, Zynga is already reaching hundreds of millions, so it’s not inconceivable. Dean Takahashi reports on the latest thinking.
Why more women aren't working in tech (hint: it's not just education)
Another controversial article, this piece by Jolie O’Dell looks at recent research about why the tech field continues to be dominated by white men.

Filed under: VentureBeat

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Posted: 08 Oct 2011 10:37 AM PDT
iphone-4sJust a day after opening up pre-orders, Apple has completely sold through its stock of new iPhone 4S devices for its Oct. 14 U.S. launch day.
Apple debuted the latest model of its iPhone, the iPhone 4S, last week to much anticipation. The new model feature upgrades to the phone’s processor, camera and a new personal voice assistant called Siri.
Orders for the iPhone 4S are now listed with shipping estimates of 1-2 weeks, indicating that the time frame for getting the new phone on launch day have ended.
Apple has already experienced insane demand for the new iPhone, with U.S. wireless carrier AT&T reporting that it had already taken well over 200,000 orders just 12 hours after making the phone eligible on its website, according to Reuters. And although nothing has been officially reported, I would imagine both Verizon and Sprint have similar pre-order numbers — meaning Apple has likely pushed over half a million pre-order agreements for the iPhone 4S devices in a single day.
Some analysts expect that Apple will sell close to 27 million phones in the October-December quarter, according to the report from Reuters.
Apple’s iPhone 4S officially launches Oct. 14 in the United States, Australia, Japan, Canada, France, Germany and the U.K.

Filed under: mobile, VentureBeat

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