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- Friday, September 30, 2011

All roads lead to Amazon

The Kindle Fire won't be a threat to the iPad anytime soon. The iPad can fill in for a laptop in some cases, whereas the Fire is heavily slanted toward media consumption. It doesn't have cameras and there's no 3G. And while you can use the Fire comfortably with one hand, the small screen makes it less useful for content creation.

According to Amazon's CEO, Jeff Bezos, the Fire is not so much a tablet as a service. It uses a custom Android build with an interface that's basically a gateway to Amazon's huge content library. Although it supports Android apps, they are accessed through the Amazon Appstore. The built-in Silk browser claims to deliver Web pages faster using Amazon's EC2 cloud service to optimize online content. It also monitors consumer behavior so that it can predict which pages you'll go next and preload them. Obviously, Amazon will learn a lot about its customers, too.    

Apple's iTunes, with its equally compelling content, should be safe enough, but smaller digital content retailers should be afraid. There's usually room for just two big players in most industries and Amazon is booking a front-row seat.  

Vincent Chang
Vincent Chang
Senior Writer

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Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQAMZN) is a US-based multinational electronic commerce company. Headquartered in SeattleWashington, it is often called the world's largest online retailer.[3] Amazon has websites and delivery for the following countries: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Austria, Japan, and China. Launches in Netherlands, Sweden, and India may follow.[4] It also provides international shipping to certain countries for some of its products.
Jeff Bezos founded Amazon.com, Inc. in 1994 and the site went online in 1995.[5] It is named after the Amazon River, one of the largest rivers in the world.[5] Amazon.com started as an online bookstore, but soon diversified, selling DVDsCDsMP3 downloads, computer softwarevideo games,electronics, apparel, furniture, food, and toys.
Amazon was founded in 1995,[6] spurred by what Bezos called "regret minimization framework", his effort to fend off regret for not staking a claim in the Internet gold rush.[7] Company lore says Bezos wrote the business plan while he and his wife drove from New York to Seattle,[8] although that account is disputed. Bezos flew from New York to Texas, where he picked up a car from a family member, and then drove from Texas to Seattle.
The company began as an online bookstore;[9] while the largest brick-and-mortar bookstores and mail-order catalogs for books might offer 200,000 titles, an online bookstore could offer more. Bezos wanted a name for his company that began with "A" so that it would appear first in lists, like in phone books.[5] He began looking through the dictionary and settled on "Amazon" because it was a place that was "exotic and different" and the river he considered the biggest in the world, like he hoped his company would be.[5] Since 2000, Amazon's logotype is an arrow leading from A to Z, representing customer satisfaction (as it forms a smile); a goal was to have every product in the alphabet.[10]

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