Google's Chromecast is officially still a U.S. only product, but Amazon has now started to offer international shipping of the little $35 dongle for the first time. With shipping and import fees, the Chromecast still comes in less expensive than those often ridiculous eBay prices for anyone outside the U.S.
Ever since Amazon launched the Kindle Fire line of tablets, rumors of swirled about them making Kindle phones using the same embedded Android base and store-front centric interface. Now those rumors are back, and they've brought with them new rumors of an Apple TV (or ChromeCast)-style TV dongle to help get stuff off the Kindle platform and onto big screen TVs. Hacker News:
Not to be outdone by Apple dropping newly updated iMacs in a press release this morning, Amazon has just done the same with their Kindle Fire line of tablets. The best front-end to the Amazon storefront you can get, the Kindle Fire is one of the few really good, really mainstream-friendly alternatives to the iPad on the market. You can only buy it in a handful of countries, which is unfortunate but a byproduct of their business model which requires digital content be available to subsidize the upfront cost.
Over the weekend - while everyone here at iMore worked feverishly to prepare for tomorrow's iPhone event - some noise surfaced about Amazon working on a phone, and one they could give away for free. Amazon has since denied the rumor, which is interesting from the "no comment on no comment" company, but the idea itself is worth some exploration...
Ben Bajarin of Tech.pinions talks to Rene about Amazon, Apple, Google, and Samsung, their differences and similarities not only in business models but in philosophies, and their relative positions both in North America and internationally.
Apple is often spoken and written about as if it was the most secretive, most controlling technology company on earth. Yet Amazon, who is even more controlling and more secretive manages to mostly escape attention for those very things. Anyone who's ever worked with them, most recently app developers, can attest to the control. David Streitfeld and Christine Haughney of the New York Times wax poetically about the secrecy:
In what seems a lifetime after the U.S. launch, Amazon UK has finally opened up their digital game and software download store for Mac and Windows. This finally means that UK based Amazon customers can purchase software in digital form, instead of waiting in at home to receive your package from the courier. While the selection of Mac downloads is much slimmer than for Windows, but there is still a good selection on offer.
Apple makes more money than any other company save those with oligopoly control of limited fossil fuel resources, yet they're perpetually punished by Wall Street and called doomed by financial-not-really-analysts. Amazon has seldom made a dime on paper and yet they're the darling of Wall Street and can do no wrong with market makers. Yet both are among the most successful companies in recent history. Why the difference? Benedict Evens on Twitter:
Following the likes of Google and Facebook, Amazon has announced "Login with Amazon," their own login service for apps, games and websites. Working in much the same way as competing services, Login with Amazon will allow developers to offer their users the chance to login to their products using an Amazon account