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Amazon’s iOS video app gets free first episodes, plus HBO shows, in bid to attract new users

Amazon is giving TV-loving iPhone and iPad users a new incentive to try its Instant Video app. The company released an update today that allows iOS users to view the first episode of many shows for free, with interstitial ads. That means people interested in trying a show out before buying it can get a taste of what they would… Read More

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GeekWire Radio: What it’s like to use Amazon’s Fire Phone

Amazon’s Fire Phone is definitely different than what’s out there. But is it better? That’s our main topic in the news segment of this week’s GeekWire radio show, including my initial thoughts after spending some hands-on time with the upcoming device from Jeff Bezos & Co. We delve into the implications of features including dynamic perspective… Read More

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What Jeff Bezos wrote on this Amazon customer’s iPhone

For its Fire Phone unveiling this past week, Amazon brought in some of its most faithful customers from around the country, selected via an online submission process. As it turns out, they didn’t just attend the launch event — they also got some face time with Jeff Bezos afterward, leading to one funny encounter involving an Amazon customer’s iPhone. Here’s… Read More

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Fire phone developers could get $15,000 in Amazon Coins to draw users to their apps

Amazon is offering Android developers up to $15,000 in Amazon Coins digital currency to attract more apps to the Amazon Appstore for its upcoming Fire smartphone, which the company announced earlier this week. Of course, there are a few catches before developers can get their hands on all that digital cash. Amazon is offering 500,000 coins… Read More

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Amazon relents on JK Rowling’s new book, promising speedier shipments of The Silkworm

After previously warning of delays of 1 to 2 months for JK Rowling’s new book, “The Silkworm,” Amazon is now describing the hardcover title as “in stock” with a delay of only 1-2 days for processing. And the Kindle version of the book, which was initially unavailable when the book debuted this week, can now be downloaded by Amazon customers…. Read More

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Amazon’s Fire phone is a “multi-year, multi-decade” business, Kindle exec says

Amazon’s Fire Phone won’t be a repeat of the Facebook phone, or heaven forbid, the Microsoft Kin. At least, that’s what Amazon Kindle VP Ian Freed implied following the announcement today that the e-commerce giant was going head-to-head with smartphones from Apple, Samsung and many others. “We are completely 100 percent dedicated,” he said, during an interview with GeekWire…. Read More

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Hands-on with Amazon’s Fire Phone: 3D, battery life and other first impressions

GeekWire’s Tricia Duryee and I just emerged from some hands-on time with Amazon’s new Fire Phone, and an interview with Ian Freed, the Amazon executive who led the project — a 4-year initiative inside the company. Here are some of our impressions and key takeaways from both sessions … Dynamic Perspective/Gestures: This is shaping up as the signature… Read More

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Missing from the Amazon Fire phone: A special voice or data plan from AT&T

Ahead of Amazon’s big phone unveiling today, reports had suggested that the smartphone could come with a special wireless plan called “Prime Data.” But any mention of a special rate plan was completely absent from today’s presentation in Seattle. Amazon boss Jeff Bezos described in detail how someone could navigate through services on the phone using… Read More

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Shares of Amazon jump nearly 3% after unveiling of new Fire Phone

Wall Street seems to like the Fire Phone, the Amazon.com smartphone that was announced today at an event in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood. Shares of Amazon.com jumped nearly $10 in trading this afternoon following the announcement of the device, which will begin shipping on July 25. The stock increased nearly three percent to $334, giving the… Read More

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Amazon Fire Phone starts at $199, ships July 25

Amazon’s Fire Phone will start at a cost of $199 for a 32GB model with a two-year AT&T service agreement, available for pre-order starting today and shipping July 25. People who buy the phone will get 12 months of Amazon Prime for free, and existing Amazon Prime customers who buy Fire Phone will be comped a… Read More

Vinod Khosla

Vinod Khosla: Engineers should ‘optimize for change’ in today’s market

SAN FRANCISCO–Engineers today should build systems that are designed to weather a changing technological landscape, tech industry legend Vinod Khosla told an audience at today’s GigaOM Structure conference in San Francisco. “I think we have to re-engineer engineering itself to optimize for change,” he said. To do that, engineers have to set aside their usual… Read More

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Amazon CTO: Cloud isn’t a winner-take-all market

SAN FRANCISCO–The way Amazon CTO Werner Vogels sees it, there isn’t going to be one winner in the cloud space as Microsoft, Amazon, Google and others duke it out to attract new customers to their different cloud platforms. “We’ve always said that this is too good a business,” he said. “This is not a winner take all market.”… Read More

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Apple capitalizes on Amazon’s contract dispute with sale on Hachette pre-orders

Apple is currently featuring a limited-time sale on pre-orders for 26 upcoming e-books, including J.K. Rowling’s “The Silkworm” (her second book written under the pen name Robert Galbraith), four new books from James Patterson and Amanda Palmer’s “The Art of Asking.” People can pick up those books through the iBookstore for $9.99 each, and get… Read More

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IMDb updates mobile apps, tops 100 million downloads

Amazon subsidiary IMDb, known for its giant compilation of Hollywood data, refreshed its apps for iOS and Android today, and announced that users on those mobile platforms have downloaded the company’s apps more than 100 million times. iPhone and iPad users now get access to “Times,” a new feature that gives users the ability to browse showtimes and purchase… Read More

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No cross-town love from T-Mobile’s John Legere, who predicts the Amazon phone will fail on AT&T

T-Mobile’s John Legere still must be bitter from having to move his press conference to accommodate Amazon’s big unveiling, which was coincidentally planned for the same day in Seattle. It also doesn’t help that new leaks this morning say that the Amazon’s first smartphone will use AT&T as its exclusive wireless carrier (and not T-Mobile). Either way, Legere… Read More

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AT&T will be exclusive carrier for Amazon phone, WSJ says

Amazon’s first smartphone, slated to be unveiled Wednesday in Seattle, will use AT&T as its exclusive wireless carrier, according to a report this morning in the Wall Street Journal, citing anonymous people briefed on the plans. Depending on how Amazon’s new device is received, the move could be a boon for AT&T. However, going with one carrier out… Read More

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Apple settles e-book antitrust suit

Apple has reached a settlement in an antitrust lawsuit brought by state Attorneys General and consumers over e-book price fixing, according to a filing with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Steve W. Berman, an attorney for Hagens Berman, which represented the plaintiffs, filed a letter with Judge Denise Cote saying that… Read More

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Mayday button could broaden appeal of Amazon smartphone

The rumored 3D interface for Amazon’s expected smartphone may get the buzz later this week. But there is another potential killer feature for those tech-averse consumers. Eight months ago, Amazon launched the Kindle Fire HDX, and with it, the “Mayday” button, which allows users to connect to a live chat advisor who can help with whatever… Read More

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Amazon sets the stage for device launch by bragging it now has 240,000 apps

Amazon’s PR machine has officially kicked into high gear as the company begins building interest ahead of its Wednesday press conference. This morning’s press release from the Seattle retail giant announced that its Appstore now has more than 240,000 apps and games, or triple the selection over the past year. The milestone itself is not particularly noteworthy, but app… Read More

Apoorva Mehta

Instacart’s $44M funding round raises the stakes in grocery delivery

Grocery delivery service Instacart has raised a $44 million from investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Y Combinator President Sam Altman and Box CEO Aaron Levie — saying it will use the capital to fuel geographic expansion, improve its technology and customer experience, and experiment with new delivery models. It’s a big boost for the San Francisco-based company company, led by… Read More

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Amazon launches Prime Music streaming service: Here’s how it stacks up

  Amazon launched its free Prime Music streaming service today for people who subscribe to its $99/year Amazon Prime service, jumping into the highly competitive subscription music market following a slew of rumors about the company’s plans. The move puts Amazon in direct competition with several major tech companies, as well as big players in the music streaming space,… Read More