Time is running out if you still haven't slid any presents underneath the Christmas tree (for those of you who celebrate the holiday), and you have even less time if you prefer to shop online. But it's not too late to snag a Kindle online, not yet anyway. Amazon is offering free two-day shipping -- a deal normally reserved for Prime members -- to customers who order any Kindle device, including the Kindle Fire, by 8PM PT on December 21 (tomorrow).
Forget all the talk about a down economy and lack of disposable income for a moment. None of that seemed to affect Amazon, the online giant who peddled more Kindle devices this past Black Friday than ever before. Overall Kindle sales jumped four-fold compared to last year, and the popular Kindle Fire tablet remained the best selling product across all of Amazon since its introduction 8 weeks ago, Amazon said.
It’s good policy to take analyst predictions with a big lump of salt, but a new projection from Citi Research jives with the seeming direction of the mobile market. According to the report, Amazon is actively preparing to design a sell an Android phone. However, the report goes on to state that it isn’t expected to arrive until late 2012.
The Kindle Fire is likely to be a hot item this holiday season, but you don’t want to take yours apart just to see how it works. Luckily, iFixit has a Kindle Fire that was destined for such a fate. They report that the Fire is quite easy to take apart, not unlike the very similar BlackBerry PlayBook.
Those with even a passing familiarity with tech news sat up and took notice when Amazon announced a $79 Kindle a few weeks ago. While the e-ink devices are certainly cheaper to make than they once were, iSupplyi has done a breakdown analysis of the device and found that Amazon is losing money on each and every Kindle sold. The total bill of materials? $84.25.
Surfing the web from your desktop rig or laptop is a brilliant way to enjoy scads of free reading material from around the globe. That said, it’s not ideally suited for those of us who prefer to peruse our words on the go. One could argue that sending content to a smartphone or tablet would be the way to go, but for individuals with a freakishly low data cap, or worse, no mobile device to speak of, doing so isn’t a viable option. For owners of an Amazon Kindle, however, there is another option to consider: Send to Kindle--our Browser Extension of the Week.
Amazon's HTML5-based Kindle Cloud Reader lets you read your Kindle books in your Web browser, a neat idea that's hampered by lack of widespread support, including Internet Explorer and Firefox. Well, Amazon is still shunning Internet Explorer (or vice versa), but the Kindle Cloud Reader does now work with Mozilla Firefox, along with existing support for Chrome and Safari (on the iPad and desktop).
Amazon just upped the ante in the eBook reader wars by announcing a new benefit for Kindle owners with an Amazon Prime membership. It's called the "Kindle Owners' Lending Library," which is, well, a lending library for Kindle owners who are currently or plan to become members of Amazon's $79/year Prime service. The online library gives Prime members access to over 5,000 books to borrow for free, including over 100 current and former New York Times Bestsellers.
Amazon has made small tweaks to its Kindle e-book format over the years, but now the retailer has surprised the industry again by announcing a new HTML5 version of the Kindle format called Format 8. This approach leverages a toolset that already has wide support and allows a richer experience -- perfect for magazines and comics.
The idea of Amazon’s Silk browser, for the Kindle Fire is an intriguing one. By caching web assets ahead of time, Amazon hopes to accelerate the browsing experience. But running all user traffic through Amazon’s EC2 cloud has made some privacy-minded people a little uneasy. Now members of Congress are starting to ask questions, and some of them are not totally ridiculous.