How Much Should Amazon Invest In Its Own Gadgets?

7 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Amazon Partners With Baidu To Launch Its Fire Tablet In China.

Amazon has turned to Baidu, China’s top search company, to power its Amazon Fire tablet in China — the country where Google and its services are not welcome.

“We’ve already sold millions of Fire tablets since launch, and we’re excited to now make it available to customers in China,” said Neil Lindsay, Vice President, Amazon Devices. “With millions of readers already using Kindle e-readers in China, we’re excited to now offer another incredibly affordable option, particularly for customers learning to read English.The Kindle Fire has long been held as the true “reader’s tablet,” but until recently, Samsung and Apple lovers haven’t quite been able to understand the big deal.

With tools and features like Word Wise and Blue Shade, plus a large selection of Chinese and English content, we think readers will love the new Fire tablet.” China is an interesting place to launch a tablet. Here in the West we’re used to the somewhat overpriced iPad, reliable alternatives such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab and then a plethora of low end tablets from on other place than China!

While there are certainly more robust tablets on the market — Samsung’s TabS series and anything Apple makes immediately come to mind — none are built with readers in mind. A spokesperson for Baidu confirmed that the Chinese firm is also providing apps via 91Wireless — the Android app store it bought for $1.9 billion in 2013 — and online video via its iQiyi service, which is China’s second-largest YouTube-like site behind only Alibaba-owned Youku Tudou. Chinese consumers do however love genuine branded goods so Amazon’s Fire Tablet does have a reasonable chance of success, especially with the partnership of Baidu. It also offers warm color filters and the ability to lower the display brightness to an ultra-low level for comfortable nighttime reading—even in a dark room,” Amazon said in an emailed statement. “Customers can also fine-tune the color settings to their personal preference, with the device intelligently adjusting the color filtering so that at any color or brightness, the blue wavelength light is always suppressed.” “Studies have shown that evening exposure to blue light from tablets may suppress our bodies’ production of melatonin,” Amazon said in its press release, “which can prolong the time it takes to fall asleep, delay REM sleep, and reduce the level of alertness the next morning.” Blue Shade is supposed to fix that issue.

The Kindle Fire continues a tradition of ho-hum streaming and gaming applications, but it really delivers on the reading based on a key feature that will be discussed in a moment. The company is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Video-wise, there is nothing on the device that you can’t get anywhere else, often with bigger revolution, despite a still-impressive 1280 x 800 hi-def resolution. While it is hard to know how well Amazon’s newest release will fare, the company has picked a solid partner to help market the device and equip it with the right services for Chinese consumers. (Amazon’s own commerce business in China is well behind Alibaba, JD.com and others, giving it less of a launch platform than it enjoys in the U.S. and other parts of the world.) Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon.

While the tech is not new — it’s based on RSVP speed-reading technology, something Slate‘s Jim Pagels refers to as “life-changing” — this feature is built into the native Kindle app with a few much-needed tweaks that make it a dream to use. And since the vast majority of eBook readers utilize Amazon for most of their eReading content, it truly allows one to boost reading time without taking away from control, relaxation, and comprehension. Suppression of melatonin by light at night results in circadian disruption and has been implicated in sleep disturbances, increased risk for diabetes and obesity, as well as increased risk for more serious diseases, such as breast cancer, if circadian disruption occurs for many consecutive years, such as in nightshift workers. Example: you’re reading along at 300 words per minute, comprehending most things, but you’d like to give your brain a break from the intense focus.

This parks it on the current word, but it also allows you to swipe left to keep reading ahead or right to go back and pick up a few words that you may have missed. It was one most downloaded apps on iOS devices, until Apple told its development team to nix the app. f.lux makes your computer screen look like the room you’re in, all the time. While many reading purists will be understandably standoffish or skeptical about the format, it’s well worth a try because it really does bring everything together into a reading experience that is fast but not at the expense of why you love reading in the first place.

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