Archive for the ‘Amazon Financials’ Category

Amazon’s Q1 financials: Phase 2 crushes expectations!

April 29, 2016

Amazon’s Q1 financials: Phase 2 crushes expectations!

I used to always be able to correct people when they would say that Amazon did something just because they were all about profits…since the e-tailer never used to make any. 😉

Well, that’s changed. 🙂

Amazon’s latest financial report was a huge improvement.

Here’s the

press release

and here is where you can listen to the

webcast

after doing a free sign-in. By the way, I always put “independent” for my organization.

As has usually been the case, Amazon’s sales are up a nearly incomprehensible amount for a company which is already this big…in this case, 28% to $29.1 billion dollars (comparing 2016 Q1 to 2015 Q1).

Sure, that’s impressive…but investors have been waiting for years for profits.

That’s clearly established now (it had already started).

Let me quote this in a short excerpt:

“Net income was $513 million in the first quarter, or $1.07 per diluted share, compared with net loss of $57 million, or $0.12 per diluted share, in first quarter 2015. “

That’s right…from a $57 million loss to a $513 million dollar gain!

I always say that I’m not good at predicting how investors will react, but I’d be surprised if we don’t see a rise in Amazon’s stock price over the next  couple of days at least.

A lot of things were improved…and I think this is particularly interesting when it’s not necessarily the trend. Apple didn’t have a good report, for example.

I was happy to have them mentioning things I care about as a customer: Prime; the Echo family; Fire tablets; and even a Kindle EBR** (E-Book Reader). That doesn’t always happen.

Some elements of note:

  • More than twice as many Fire tablets were sold  compared to Q1 2015. Certainly, the lowest priced one is part of that, so that doesn’t mean necessarily twice the revenue…but that’s still a lot of growth for one of Amazon’s hardware lines
  • They talked a lot about how effective Prime is, how much they are investing in it…and there was a question that they declined to answer about maybe a new category of benefit for Prime. One possibility to me is gaming…there’s a lot free now, but giving Prime members access (even short-lived) to the more console type games would be big
  • With all of what they’ve done, including the raise in Prime membership fees, Amazon was number 1 in customer satisfaction and in corporate reputation

Now,  I’m just focusing on what we as retail customers see…Amazon Web Services is another big driver of success, as well as third-party sales, and other elements that make Amazon what I call  the “Infrastructure of the Internet”.

As you can see in this

CNN Money graph

at time of writing, Amazon was up nearly 70 points, more than 10% in after hours trading. It will be interesting to see what happens for the rest of the week and beyond.

I’m not concerned that Amazon is going to get complacent soon, incidentally. I think they are reveling in the impact of their innovation and risk-taking.

What do you think? Feel free to tell me and my readers by commenting on this post.

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :)

** People who have tried the new Oasis seem to be impressed with the experience. I’m quite disappointed that Amazon as not given people an option to buy it without animal leather being part of the deal. While that’s the case (and I have confirmed with Amazon that it is the case), I, and other people who don’t use leather for philosophical reasons, won’t be purchasing it (I also don’t link to it). I’m sure Amazon will eventually offer us the offer of non-animal leather (or less satisfactorily, without a battery-embedded cover, which would give us less battery life than the Voyage)

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

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Jeff Bezos’ 2016 letter to shareowners

April 7, 2016

Jeff Bezos’ 2016 letter to shareowners

Every year, Amazon CEO (Chief Executive Officer) Jeff Bezos writes a letter to shareowners of the company. It’s available through the SEC (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission)…here is this year’s:

https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1018724/000119312516530910/d168744dex991.htm

These letters tend to be well-written, high levels thoughts, more on the philosophy and culture of Amazon, rather than specific numbers on production.

This year is no exception. 🙂

A lot of it is about how Amazon will inevitably face risks.

I find that refreshing, and I think it’s a wise thing to do.

I’m a former actor, and there is a theatrical tradition that can surprise outsiders if they observe it.

You’ve all heard of people saying, “Break a leg,” which is a way to wish someone a good performance.

It’s really partially about not “jinxing” it. 🙂

Similarly, there is usually a night during preparations for a play, the night when the set is first up, where the actors walk around the stage…and talk about bad things that might happen.

“Somebody could fall stepping from that set piece to that one.”

“That tower could tip over and fall on someone.”

“The curtain’s probably going to catch that wheel when that wall gets pushed out.”

Now, that might just sound negative, but it has a practical purpose.

When the actors are doing that, the stage crew is also there.  The crew doesn’t talk…they just listen.

This is done soon enough so that changes can be made.

That doesn’t mean that everything every actor says results in a change. The stage crew may know that what the actor says is not going to happen…that it’s already been anticipated and remedied.

By the way, that reminds me of something many people seem to…misunderstand.

That’s “Murphy’s Law”.

Many people can quote that: “If anything can go wrong, it will.”

They use that as an excuse…to say there was nothing that could have been done.

As I recall, though, there actually was a Murphy. My recollection is that Murphy worked at the White Sands missile testing base, but I’m not going to look it up first. 🙂 I’ll probably look it up afterwards, but I like my recollection.

As  I remember it, the actual “law” is, “If anything can go wrong, it will…so fix it now.”

It’s the second part people don’t seem to know. 🙂

The point is, if there is a one percent chance something will go wrong, you can’t just ignore it because there is such a small chance…you need to get as  close as you can to a zero percent chance, since if that one percent event can happen, you have to act as though it will happen.

So, I like that Jeff Bezos recognizes that there are risks to success.

I would say this was my favorite line this year:

“I believe we are the best place in the world to fail (we have plenty of practice!), and failure and invention are inseparable twins.”

There aren’t any real clear indicators of Amazon’s plans, and Bezos doesn’t even mention the Amazon Echo (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) or new models of Kindles/or Fires…even though we expect new Kindles to be announced next week.

I recommend you read the letter…and compare it to the 1997 letter, which, as usual, is included.

Feel free to let me and my readers know what you think by commenting on this post.

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

*When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

 

 

Amazon’s 4th quarter financials: wow, these are good!

January 29, 2016

Amazon’s 4th quarter financials: wow, these are good!

Blue Origin isn’t Jeff Bezos’ only company blasting through the stratosphere! 😉

Amazon has their fourth quarter 2015 (covering the holiday season)

press release

out, and you can download slides and listen to today’s conference call about it here:

http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?p=irol-eventDetails&c=97664&eventID=5215069

To listen to the Webex, you’ll need to do a free registration, including a company. You can just put “independent” for the company, if you want.

There are so many positives overall, as well as on the consumer side!

I’ll quote this one for the overall:

“Net income was $596 million, or $1.25 per diluted share, compared with net loss of $241 million, or $0.52 per diluted share, in 2014.”

As to other stats…well, if you want to read some good news, check the press release. 😉

Just some of the consumer side points:

  • Fire TV remains the #1 best-selling streaming media player in the U.S [that means more than Apple TV, more than Chromecast]
  • The $50 Fire tablet has been the #1 best-selling, most gifted, and most wished-for product across all items available on Amazon.comsince its introduction 19 weeks ago
  • In 2015, worldwide paid Prime memberships increased 51% — 47% in the U.S. and even faster outside the U.S.
  • In the fourth quarter, Prime Music streaming hours more than tripled in the U.S. compared with fourth quarter 2014

Not mentioned? Kindle EBRs (E-Book Readers) and e-books.

I’m not worried about that, though. We have to admit it’s a small part of Amazon’s business (even if it did launch their now mighty devices portion).

During the Q&A portion, people asked about AWS (Amazon Web Service) growth slowing (they explained that pretty well, I thought), and how shipping has gotten a bit more expensive for Amazon…but generally, I think the investors who asked questions on the call sounded reasonably pleased.

Greatly increased profits, greatly increased sales, market dominance…so, naturally, the stock dropped after the news. 🙂

No, seriously…it is down:

Financial Times article by Leslie Hook

However, that was after it went up today:

chart at Money.CNN

Investors were disappointed because, while it was great, it wasn’t as great as they expected.

It feels a little bit like a C student coming home with straight As and the parents saying, “You couldn’t have gotten A+s? Go to your room!” 😉

As a consumer, I’m happy with what I see. Low cost devices worked for Amazon…that’s where I think they should be.

What do you think? I have some financial savvy readers…fill me in on insights I’m missing. 🙂 Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

Bonus recommendation:

Autumn Angels (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) by Arthur Byron Cover

This isn’t for everyone, but if you are a geek, you may really like this Nebula nominated novel. There are so many allusions to characters (in addition to fascinating original ones). Regular readers know I’m a big Doc Savage fan, and “The Lawyer” here is based on Ham Brooks. This is one of those unspoilable books…it’s not about the plot. 🙂 I’m mentioning now because it is available through

Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Amazon’ subser (subscription service). If the concept of wildly disparate geeky characters being together in the same novel sounds intriguing to you, give it a shot. 🙂

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

Amazon’s Q3 financials: sales up 23%, net income up more than half a billion dollars

October 22, 2015

Amazon’s Q3 financials: sales up 23%, net income up more than half a billion dollars

I’m getting ready to listen to Amazon’s 3rd quarter Webcast, but the

press release

is out.

Let me quote one line from the press release, then I’ll link you to the Webcast, and I’ll add to this post after the cast (the Q&A is often the best part).

“Net income was $79 million in the third quarter, or $0.17 per diluted share, compared with net loss of $437 million, or $0.95 per diluted share, in third quarter 2014.”

Here’s the link if you want to listen to the webcast live at 2:00 PM Pacific:

http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?p=irol-eventDetails&c=97664&eventID=5206611

More to come…

Update: okay, I’ve heard the webcast (including the Question and Answer period).

I’m not an investor, but to me, it felt like, “What’s not to like?” 😉

We’ll see how the stock reacts, and I wouldn’t say I’m great at predicting that, but I would guess we’ll have a positive (or at least, not negative) reaction.

The Q&A was tellingly very little about consumer products. That’s been a change over time: the focus was on AWS (Amazon Web Services), Prime, and globalization (especially India).

New product launches were mentioned, including the new tablets, EBRs (E-Book Readers), and the Amazon Echo (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) by the Amazon folks, but callers didn’t ask about them.

I felt like they had good and encouraging things to say for me as a consumer. They mentioned that they will continue to invest and innovate. They sounded excited about The Man in High Castle original Amazon programming, available to Prime members (and based on a book by Philip K. Dick). That’s what I want them to do: see making customers happy as key to making the whole rest of the company work.

As someone quite interested in how robots are beginning to share the planet (and beyond) with us, I was excited to hear that they had doubled the number of Kiva robots (they own the company) in their fulfillment centers…up to 30,000! That’s about the population of Juneau, Alaska, I think. 😉 They indicated that was going to expand, which I think is a good thing.

I’ll be interested in my readers analysis of this…they are often insightful, and that benefits me and my readers. If you have something to say about this, feel free to do so by commenting on this post.

Oh, pre-update update: the stock is soaring, hitting new highs and up 10% on this news! See

CNN Money post by David Goldman

When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

Amazon’s 2015 Q1: Amazon Phase 2 has begun?

July 24, 2015

Amazon’s 2015 Q1: Amazon Phase 2 has begun?

Amazon just celebrated two decades (although you could choose a different “birthdate” if you wanted to do that) with a very successful first (in terms of sales) “Prime Day”.

The company has famously been perceived as being forward-looking…more about the long term than the short term.

One thing that has meant is that they haven’t been making big (or often, any) profits. Investors have been betting that, eventually, profits would happen.

Well, that day is here.

Early today, they did a webcast with their results for the first financial quarter of 2015.

You can listen to a recording of the webcast, and see the slides from the presentation here:

Q2 2015 Amazon.com Inc Earnings Conference Call

Update: here’s the

Seeking Alpha transcipt

If you’d prefer, you can also read the

press release

They headline the press release with sales up 20%, but increasing sales is not a surprise for Amazon.

This is the real story,  in my opinion:

“Net income was $92 million in the second quarter, or $0.19 per diluted share, compared with net loss of $126 million, or $0.27 per diluted share, in second quarter 2014.”

Look at that one again. The net income changed from a loss of $126 million to a gain of $92 million.

From what I can see (and I’m not a financial expert), there wasn’t anything particularly anomalistic. It doesn’t look to me like they couldn’t continue this for any obvious reason.

In terms of what specifically worked well…most of it. 😉 If you listen to the Q&A part of the webcast (always the most interesting part…you can jump there with a dropdown at the bottom of the screen), you hear that the investors aren’t that concerned with what we buy as customers. It’s more about efficiency, web services, fulfillment centers, and so on.

The press releases is a bit different and calls out items that are part of front-facing relationship with Amazon.

The third generation of the

All-New Kindle Paperwhite, 6″ High-Resolution Display (300 ppi) with Built-in Light, Wi-Fi – Includes Special Offers (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

is mentioned.

A big star, though?

Amazon Echo (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

There are four bullet points related to the Echo and Alexa…which aren’t exactly the same thing. They talk about the Echo device, but they separately mention the Alexa Voice Service. Here’s the big point on that:

  • Amazon opened the Alexa Voice Service to third-party hardware makers, giving them the tools to integrate Alexa into internet-connected devices.

Hypothetically, that means that we could get the Alexa service on other tablets, phones, and other devices.

That, along with the “Alexa Skills Kit” for developers, will, I think, mean that Alexa may become as important to people as answering machines were. You won’t want a home or to stay in a hotel that doesn’t have one (although you may have a portable version on your phone).

Lots of other items get shout-outs…and the

Amazon Fire Phone (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

was mentioned during Q&A. Yes, the questioner was basically asking if it was dead and should be swept under the rug, but Amazon sidestepped that a little. I noticed that quite a few people bought them on Prime Day. It is my daily use phone, but it isn’t my favorite phone I’ve ever owned (that would be a Samsung). I’ve been trying to think about how they could give it a unique way to connect to the Echo sales. One possibility might be to do some kind of free tethering. I don’t know how that would work, but if the Echo could connect to the internet through the Fire Phone without the tethering plans you might need on other phones, that would make a difference.

The investors appear to be reacting positively.

Is there a conflict between happy investors and happy customers? After all, investors want a company to make money…and that money comes from the customers, who presumably want to hold on to it.

However…I think that many people have the mistaken idea that people never want to spend money.

I like giving money to people who I think deserve it. I want to reward them…that feels good.  🙂 In fact, I don’t like to feel like I’m taking advantage of somebody. If I got a great deal, but thought it would damage the company…maybe even make them go out of business, I wouldn’t want it.

Yes, there were some complaints about Prime Day on social media. Certainly, there are people who unhappy with Amazon…and it’s possible that percentage will grow.

There are also, though many people who are happy with Amazon.

This doesn’t mean that everything is smooth sailing ahead for Amazon forever. 🙂 That said, I think Amazon may now think they are going in the right direction (and it may be a direction they’ve planned for decades).

What do you think? As a customer, are you concerned that Amazon may raise prices to increase profitability? Or, do you think that you being happy is one of their assets? They didn’t call out Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) in the press release…what do you think that means? Is it possible this has been part of  plan all along…are is that just part of the Amazon mythology? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

Amazon’s 2015 Q1: the investors like it!

April 25, 2015

Amazon’s 2015 Q1: the investors like it!

I’m used to Amazon announcing their financials, making massive sales, losing money overall, and the investors being mad.

Sales?

Worldwide revenues grew fifteen percent…that’s a massive amount for a company this big and this dominant. Paid unit growth grew faster (20%), which means that their growth of revenue grew more slowly than their growth of units. That doesn’t necessarily mean they were discounting more, it could mean that they were selling more units of the inexpensive stuff.

Massive sales, though? Check.

Profit?

Well, they muddied the waters a bit by breaking out their Web Services (which did really well), but contrary to when people tell you that Amazon is just trying to make a profit off its customers when they do things (which, by the way, is what they should be doing, right?), they aren’t. 🙂

Investors?

They loved this report!

According to

CNN.Money

the stock is up a remarkable 18.52% over the past five days.

Again, this is not a start-up.

Investors are starting to believe that Amazon can make the business pay off, especially the web services thing.

The consumer part of it, you and me, is certainly the public face of Amazon for most people, but they no longer live and die by it.

For those investors who are into the gadgets, I suspect that the Amazon Echo (not yet released to the public) is seen as a possible hit.

According to this

Boston Business Journal article by David Harris

Amazon is doing a lot of hiring for people to work on

the Echo

and has a whole floor dedicated to it already (in Cambridge).

Now, I should be clear: the Echo wasn’t mentioned in the call. You can read a transcript here:

Seeking Alpha

and listen to the call here

http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?p=irol-eventDetails&c=97664&eventID=5189997…click or tap “Click here for webcast”, then log-in

In fact, the words “Kindle” and “Fire” don’t appear at all in the transcript…but “Prime” does 46 times.

That is a shift…a considerable shift from past financial calls.

“Media” appears seven times…”books” appears once, but it doesn’t mean the kind Amazon sells, and it was a caller, not Amazon that used it.

“Video”, interestingly, appears thirteen times.

My guess is that that is part of what investors liked: Amazon was not positioning itself in this call as a retailer, as an organization that sells things.

It provides services, both to business (like AWS…Amazon Web Services) and consumers (Prime).

The Echo is about that, too…it’s not just that it is a device, it’s that it may become how some people connect to the internet (particularly when spending money at home).

I’m not worried about that focus. As consumers, we get some advantage if Amazon doesn’t really need to make money on the e-books and other items it sells. That means they can have lower prices (although the Big 5 publishers have some control over that for many books, Amazon can increasingly control it for books they publish or which are independently published but use Amazon’s platform).

I’ve said it before: Amazon’s most valuable product is happy customers (outside of its business to business work, and even then, it matters).

They need to keep us happy as consumers, so we’ll trust Amazon…or at least, want to purchase things through them (not necessarily from them).

That’s good for us. 🙂

What do you think? Has Amazon actually started shifting what it does, or is it just positioning itself differently? Do you have any concerns that they’ll decrease their focus on books? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

Amazon’s sales growth slows, stock up

January 30, 2015

Amazon’s sales growth slows, stock up

Well, this latest financial report wasn’t “Amazon’s unusual business as usual”. 🙂

Amazon is famous for making lots of sales and little profit (or even taking a loss).

It’s been a model they’ve largely had from the beginning…grow the business over time, and don’t worry about short term returns.

As CEO (Chief Executive Officer) Jeff Bezos said years ago, “Market share will never be cheaper than it is now.” That’s from memory, but it should be close.

However…

That was then, this is now…and how much more market share does Amazon need, since marketshare is presumably now much more expensive than it was?

Amazon’s sales growth slowed…but profit increased.

That’s what investors have been waiting to hear.

The stock went up about 2.5% yesterday, which is a considerable reversal of direction (it’s down over 1% for the year so far):

Money.CNN.com graph

Media sales slowed, but it’s important to note that this relative increase in profit doesn’t necessarily mean that Amazon is raising prices on e-books and other consumer goods.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) continues to grow as part of the business…that’s bolstering the bottom line and doesn’t impact what we readers pay.

The slowing in media growth appears to have more to do with video game consoles being released in the previous, comparative period.

I also wonder how

Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

figures into media sales. Do the subscription fees count as media, or are they in some other category? My sense is that individual book sales are to some extent being cannibalized by borrows through KU…and it may take a bit to sort out which numbers mean what. It could be that a book is more likely to be read than it was before, but it might not show up in the accounting.

Another important (and interesting) statistic on

the call…you can replay yesterday’s webcast here

transcript from Seeking Alpha…free account required

was that paid Prime memberships increased 53% worldwide last year.

53%!

So, if there had been (and I’m just making this up) 100 million Prime members in 2013, there were 153 million at the end of 2014.

I keep emphasizing that a lot of things Amazon does are designed to get people to become and to stay Prime members, because Prime members not only buy more items (they do), they also buy higher margin physical items (“diapers and windshield wipers”, as I like to say).

As a former brick-and-mortar bookstore manager, I can tell you…consumers focus on the individual transaction, businesses focus on the population of transactions.

In other words, you might wonder how you got such a good deal on something from Amazon…how could they do that without losing money? The answer is, they can lose money on one sale, if it inspires other profit-making sales.

The one thing to which Amazon has to pay super close attention, the one thing they can’t let slip, is their relationship with their customers.

I think in the future, increasingly, we’ll see Amazon sell customers to business.

No, not directly…but Amazon can make its money in the retail sector by getting businesses to pay them for access to their customers.

Not your private information, nothing nefarious like that.

I mean that third party sellers, for example, give Amazon a part of each sale so they can appear on appear on the Amazon website.

As Amazon can increasingly provide happy, trusting (again, not misplaced trust…this isn’t about tricking customers or treating them as a commodity) customers to other businesses, Amazon can turn a profit by charging those businesses, not the customers.

How does Amazon do that?

By following their three tenets: Service, Selection, and Price.

That’s why their public fight with the publisher Hachette was a mistake.

Customers saw it as Amazon preventing them from buying something, or at least, making it difficult to buy something.

Amazon can’t have that. They should drop a product before they are seen as blocking people.

At this point, no big business that needs customers to buy through the internet is going to skip Amazon.

Amazon can make that even more true in the future.

That’s why products like the Amazon Echo are key.

Amazon is becoming the retail infrastructure…I’ve called that their “golden path”.

If Amazon is the way people shop, everything goes through them…and they make money by charging the businesses for access to their customers, not by charging customers more.

Let me explain this a bit more.

One of the things I train at work is time management, and in particular, how it relates to your use of technology.

I tell people that I often hear people talk about the number of “clicks” when discussing how efficient a workflow is.

Clicks don’t matter.

I can come to someone who is using ten clicks to accomplish a task, and show them how to do it in three.

If I go back a month later, the odds are good that they are using ten clicks again.

What do they say if you ask them why?

“It’s how I know how to do it.”

It’s not clicks that matter…it’s decision points.

That’s what takes a long time when you are using a computer…the human being deciding something, choosing which action to take.

Suppose you have a sale you make which sometimes requires printing a receipt and sometimes doesn’t. We’ll say…oh, if the transaction is over $10,000 a receipt has to be printed.

You could have two buttons: one with printing the form, one without.

Alternatively, you could have a single button for that sale, and then choose to print within the next window.

Which is more efficient?

The single button.

Why? When you do have to print, it’s an extra click, right?

It’s because that button is never wrong. You can click (or tap) it when you need a receipt, and when you don’t.

You don’t have to take time deciding which kind of sale it is.

Within the workflow, you will have been exposed to the amount of the sale enough that when you come to that “extra” print click, you won’t really need to think about it.

When you watch the Superbowl this Sunday, think about this: how much of the game is actually playing time, from snap to down?

If it’s typical, it will be something like eleven minutes.

That’s right…eleven minutes for the entire game.

The rest of the time is commercials, play review, Katy Perry…but a  big chunk of the field time is spent in making decisions.

I’ve said to my geeky friends (and I’m a proud geek) that football is the most intellectual of the big sports.

Name another sport where they pause every few seconds to decide what they are going to do. 😉

When people are Monday morning quarterbacking, they never say, “We should have been bigger than them.” It’s always about, “They shouldn’t have gone for it on fourth down,” that sort of thing.

I’ll entertain arguments for baseball, since there are a lot of decisions made there as well (lineups, who is pitching, should they have thrown to second), but I think football is  defensible as the most “thinking” big sport.

What Amazon wants to do is eliminate decision making when you go to purchase something…it shouldn’t be, “Should I shop for this at Amazon?” That should be a given.

Customers will appreciate that efficiency…provided that they trust Amazon and like them.

The Echo, Amazon’s yet-to-be-generally-released “ambient computing” product may become people’s main way to interact with the internet at home. It’s not going to be that right away, but it will take part of that traffic.

Part of it is enough for Amazon to profit, if they can monetize it with the businesses.

Here’s a use case: movie ticket sales.

You could get your phone, open up the phone (hopefully, you have it password protected, or in some other way, identity specific), get to Fandango, look up the movie times, choose to buy it, complete the transaction, and so on.

In the future, with the Echo, it could go like this:

Customer: “Alexa, get me two tickets for the new Avengers movie for this morning.”

Echo: “Done. Just show your phone when you get to the theatre for the 10:30 show.”

Behind the scenes, the Echo would:

  • Know where you are and where you live
  • Know which theatre you like to visit
  • Look up the movie times
  • Know if you qualify for any discounts, and if you prefer to pay more for 3D or digital, or if you need accessibility  accommodations
  • Purchase the tickets for you using your designated payment method (Amazon, of course)
  • Send the “tickets” to your phone
  • Remind you when it was time to leave (based on current traffic, and with a knowledge of how early you like to get there), and provide directions for you if needed

Even if that went through Fandango, Amazon could charge Fandango for that having happened.

Alternatively, Amazon could hypothetically set up a deal with theatres directly, getting a cut for having sold the tickets for them…cutting Fandango out of the picture.

Amazon has the computing power to do that sort of thing…other companies buy computing power from Amazon (that’s the AWS thing), not the other way around.

Oh, and I also figure in the future, you wouldn’t even need to show your phone to anybody. You get there, your phone realizes you are at the theatre, communicates to the theatre itself, which lets you into the building seamlessly. You need your phone (or a wearable…or maybe it can be done through facial recognition or other biometric) to get into the specific theatre showing your movie at your time. The theatre would happily pay for that, too, since it would be cheaper than having a ticket taker (as long as people liked the system well enough that it didn’t impact sales).

That’s being the retail infrastructure.

As the Echo learns you, it would also be able to volunteer things later.

“There’s a new Avengers movie coming out…would you like me to get you tickets?”

Naturally, you could turn off those sorts of notifications…maybe even have to opt in to get them.

But would you?

The Echo is also a “hive mind”…it connects everybody through the web.

It might notify you (maybe only if you ask it for “What’s happening?” or say, “Alexa, I’m bored.”) that a movie was playing which people who went to The Avengers’ last movie had ranked with a very positive RottenTomatoes score (and RottenTomatoes would pay for that…or again, Amazon could eventually buy RottenTomatoes or cut them out of the process by fulfilling that role).

At this point, I would guess that nothing makes you default to Amazon more than being a Prime member. Your shipping is commonly free and fast for physical items, and you have music and video with a good selection. They could still get something better going for e-books…the KOLL (Kindle Owners’ Lending Library) doesn’t really cut it as a reason to have Prime. I think we could see some deal with Kindle Unlimited and Prime this year…

So, bottom line: Amazon’s bottom line was better. 🙂 Prime is the key for the retail part, and AWS (Amazon Web Services) is an important part of the infrastructure part (as may be Kiva robots for fulfillment).

Amazon just needs to keep their eye on one thing.

Happy, trusting customers are their number one product.

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

The Amazon universe expands

December 11, 2014

The Amazon universe expands

What happens at Amazon affects us Kindleers.

I’ve said in the past that I was more confident that my e-books from Amazon would be available to my descendants in a couple of generations than my p-books (paperbooks).

As for the latter, it simply isn’t terribly logical to expect my now adult kid and my now adult kid’s hypothetical future kids to dedicate a room in the house to a floor to ceiling library as we have.

Ownership is becoming far less important than access. That may have some positive impacts, especially environmentally. If you don’t have all that “stuff” to store, you can live in a much smaller space. A smaller space can have a smaller footprint in more ways than one.

I was confident that my e-book library would be around 100 years from now. It wouldn’t surprise me if Amazon lasted that long, but if they don’t, I expect that there would be some sort of migration of the library…either to another company or to the customers.

I still am confident in Amazon, but recent moves make their future much harder to calculate.

 As was made abundantly clear at the last Amazon financials call, the

Amazon Fire Phone (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

cost them a lot of money this year…and didn’t generate a lot.

I was apparently one of the very few people to buy one for $199, locked to AT&T. They’ve really changed that (both the price and the lock), but the launch was bad enough for Amazon to suggest that maybe they would choose the chances they took more carefully…

NOT!

😉

In the weeks since, they’ve announced all sorts of speculative ventures.

There are so many that I’m just going to do them as bullet points:

[Aside: I’m in the San Francisco Bay Area, and yes, the power went out while I was writing this. 🙂 We are expecting a very large storm…no, we don’t get snow, but we get a lot of rain and flooding, and power outages are pretty common. Our dogs have never seen a storm like the one that’s been predicted: hopefully, they’ll be okay with it]

  • The Amazon Echo: while this could be seen as a Fire Phone like risk, I think it has a huge potential upside. I can’t buy one from Amazon right now: I do think they are keeping them out of the hands of tech writers until the device has matured. It’s learning every day. I said on the Amazon forums that it’s like a child right now, and you wouldn’t send a child out for a job interview (which is sort of what a review by a tech writer is, for a gadget)…you’d probably wait until they’d at least graduated high school. 😉 This could be a market defining device, and allow Amazon to be the way that most people interact with the internet at home. Controlling that, and monetizing it on the business to business side, could be an incredible opportunity. People are making the mistake of judging what it can be by what it is. Right now, it has to be plugged into the wall, for example. No reason why a mobile item (wearable, perhaps?) running off the base station couldn’t exist in the future…it already does, a bit, with the apps and remotes. I like the way they are introducing it, frustrating as it is to a small group of potential customers. They aren’t approaching the Echo like the Fire Phone: they are getting a lot of user feedback before going wide. Also, they aren’t going to be entering a mature market…they are going to be defining one. And if it fails? Hey, it would just a Bluetooth speaker 😉
  • Amazon travel services: sure, why not? I’d book through Amazon as an Amazon customer. They’ve made paying for things easy, and they already know everything about me. 🙂 That’s one of the big pots o’ glue for Amazon: customers consider it low risk and convenient. Would you book Amazon travel if you weren’t an Amazon customer? That’s a hypothetical, of course…is anyone not an Amazon customer? 😉
  • Amazon bike messengers delivery service. My guess is that they are bringing something they’ve been using in China into the USA. Get your goods in an hour? Possible. That goes along with the drone delivery they’ve mentioned…but it will face a lot fewer regulatory hurdles. Combine that with Kiva robots to get the right thing to the bike messengers’…um, bikes, and this could really “roll” (by the way, I’m glad I’m not writing in China, where apparently, the government has recently started to crack down on puns, on the basis that they are confusing…sometimes, confusion is the only path to true clarity)
  • Amazon Elements: Amazon branded products…and there are those diapers and windshield wipers I keep talking about! Well, diapers anyway…yep, Amazon brand diapers. At this point, you need to be a Prime member to buy them…and they are talking about how “transparent” the new Elements line will be. You’ll know where they were made and how. I have to say, though, “transparent diapers” doesn’t really sound like a good idea 😉
  • Consumer Services: this one makes sense to me. If I want a gardener, I’d rather go through Amazon then hunt on the internet, or join yet another group to get their recommendation
  • Bargaining on products: one of Amazon’s failures in the past was an auction site, but this could work. Basically, some sellers of certain types of items (like collectibles) put up a price, but say they are willing to negotiate. Consumers make offers
  • Gaming (social and competitive): Amazon spent nearly a billion dollars on Twitch, a social videogame site, and they just bought GoodGame, a sort of talent agency for competitive gamers. Gaming is a giant market, but my intuition here is that Amazon is more interested in controlling how that market develops than being really passionate about it for its own sake. I could be wrong, though: Amazon does make some games now

Those are just some of their consumer facing investments lately. They are paying tons more to license content, and there is a lot more happening away from the consumers.

If investors thought the big A would slow down after the Fire Phone, they need to start sweating again. Oh, and rumor has it that a Fire Phone 2 is on the way…

Jeff Bezos seems to think some people are too blinded by the present to see the future. I think it’s worth noting, though, that if you time crossing the street based on what the traffic will be five years from now, you might get run over. 😉 I do have a great deal of confidence in Amazon: it’s just that it’s getting so much harder to define what Amazon is.

What do you think? Should Amazon have just stuck to selling books? Were you one of the many people who thought that the Kindle was a bad idea for Amazon, since hardware wasn’t their area? When is investing too much for them? When do they need to show a profit for the investors…if ever? Are you more or less confident in Amazon’s future than you were a year ago? Feel free to let me and my readers know what you think by commenting on this post.

Bonus deal: Amazon has started their “12 Days of Deals in Kindle Books” at the

Kindle Daily Deal (at AmazonSmile…benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

page. Today, that includes one from the “100 Books to Read in a Lifetime” and one (really two) from the “Best Books of 2014” for $2.99 each.

The 100 Books title is The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. I’ve been interested in that one since I first heard about it on the radio years back. However, the publisher has made the decision to block text-to-speech access, so I won’t buy it**. It seems a bit ironic to me to put that on a list of “100 Books to Read” when one significant way to read the book is being actively blocked.

The other books are the Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children books by Ransom Riggs: Hollow City came out this year.

 Join over a thousand readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.

** A Kindle with text-to-speech can read any text downloaded to it…unless that access is blocked by the publisher inserting code into the file to prevent it. That’s why you can have the device read personal documents to you (I’ve done that). I believe that this sort of access blocking disproportionately disadvantages the disabled, although I also believe it is legal (provided that there is at least one accessible version of each e-book available, however, that one can require a certification of disability). For that reason, I don’t deliberately link to books which block TTS access here (although it may happen accidentally, particularly if the access is blocked after I’ve linked it). I do believe this is a personal decision, and there  are legitimate arguments for purchasing those books. 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

Amazon’s Q3 financials: net sales up 20%, operating loss half a billion higher

October 24, 2014

Amazon’s Q3 financials: net sales up 20%, operating loss half a billion higher

I think you know the basic story by now.

Amazon is selling more…a lot more.

Amazon is losing more…a lot, lot, lot more.

However…they gained more in sales than they lost in, well, losses.

You can see numbers in this

press release

and you can listen to the webcast here:

http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?p=irol-eventDetails&c=97664&eventID=5171470

Compared to the same quarter last year:

“Net sales increased 20% to $20.58 billion in the third quarter, compared with $17.09 billion in third quarter 2013.”

“Operating loss was $544 million in the third quarter, compared with operating loss of $25 million in third quarter 2013.”

So, net sales were up $3.49 billion, while the operating loss was $.519 billion.

Looking at this, it looks good…but it’s scary to see losses more than twenty times higher.

Looking through the slides, it just looks bad…the “loss” slides are so dramatic!

During the question and answer session, Amazon sounded…resigned to what was happening. The investors asking the questions sounded…concerned. They were looking for something to explain the slide, but to me, not expecting to find it.

The lack of media sales growth seemed to be a particular concern. Amazon was suggesting that a shift from purchasing to renting (textbooks), for example, was a contributing factor. Give me an argument for why that is going to reverse going forward?

I’m listening to the Q&A as I write this, and sometimes, the Amazon representative just seems to trail off when answering a question.

Amazon is undeniably investing a lot of money…launching hardware, licensing content, creating their own content. Is that going to slow down, though? Is it becoming the expected thing for Amazon, and if they stop doing it, will that take some of the shine off the company for the average consumer?

I want to be clear, I’m not especially concerned about Amazon from this report…it’s kind of more of the same, even if the losses are up so much.

They are smart, and I think very focused. I expect Amazon to be around twenty years from now, certainly.

I have more concern with them losing customer goodwill…that’s what they need to have to continue to succeed.

In terms of the highlights in the press release, this stood out to me:

“Amazon Fire TV is now the best-selling streaming box on Amazon for the U.S., U.K., and Germany”

The

Amazon Fire TV (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

is a good device: I use mine every day.

The

Kindle Voyage (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

looks to be a hit (they are having to restrict buying) and I think the new

7th generation entry level Kindle: “Mindle Touch” (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

will also do well.

The

Amazon Fire Phone (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

?

Not so much.

I have one, and I see them advertising them a lot…but it may be a couple of years before we know if it will really get a solid slice of the market.

Amazon mentioned they had $83 million in Fire Phone inventory on hand…that’s not where they want to be. They are giving them away right now (with a plan)…and it sounds like people still aren’t going for it.

The Fire tablets, though, appear to be solid sellers.

All of this is only a small part of Amazon’s business (web services and fulfillment for others are two significant segments)…but a very large part of the public perception of the company.

They did confirm what I’ve been saying…content can be sold at a loss if it makes people Prime members, because Prime members buy what I call “diapers and windshield wipers”…the higher margin physical goods.

Update:

Lots of stories on this, generally negative towards Amazon (with a few exceptions). Here’s a search at Seeking Alpha:

http://seekingalpha.com/search/?q=amazon&avoid_symbol=&sort=date%3Ad&cx=018269914407235029540%3Acdhc2yeo2ko&cof=FORID%3A11%3BNB%3A1&goto_search_tab=

Notably, Seeking Alpha also has a transcript of the call…so you don’t need to listen to it to get the literal content (although the emotional content from hearing it is still interesting:

http://seekingalpha.com/article/2592525-amazon-com-amzn-q3-2014-results-earnings-call-transcript?all=true&find=amazon

What do you think of this financial report, and of Amazon’s future in general? Will the stock tank (temporarily) based on these figures? Does Amazon need to change something significant, or is this all according to plan? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

 Join hundreds of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

Amazon’s Q2 Financials: net loss 18 times larger than last year

July 26, 2014

Amazon’s Q2 Financials: net loss 18 times larger than last year

Customers can be happy about all of the money Amazon is investing to make their lives better. They are spending money on more content at no more cost (for example, hundreds of thousands of more songs for Prime Music), they continue to update devices, they are introducing new devices which lets us do things more of the same way in more places (which is easier).

Investors may not feel the same way about it, though.

Let’s take a stand-out figure, according to this

press release

“Net loss was $126 million in the second quarter, or $0.27 per diluted share, compared with net loss of $7 million, or $0.02 per diluted share, in second quarter 2013.”

That’s a big proportional difference: as I mentioned in the subject of this post, it’s eighteen times larger.

However, a loss of $126 million just isn’t that much for a company the size of Amazon.

The big thing, of course, is that we have to believe that this is an extraordinary circumstance and not a trend.

After, all if the losses continued to grow at the same rate, they would lose two BILLION, two-hundred and sixty-eight million dollars in the second quarter of 2015…and then you’d be talking real money. 😉

Of course, that’s not likely.

Amazon just introduced a whole new hardware line for them with the

Amazon Fire Phone (at AmazonSmile)

Mine arrived yesterday (I’ll make some comments about it at the end of this post).

That’s a very big investment. It’s not just development: I’ve seen full page ads in magazines, for example, and that’s not a cheap thing to do.

Starting up a new service like

Kindle Unlimited

also has significant costs.

So, what did investors think about this?

This

CNN Money graph

shows a drop of 9.65% today…which comes with the smell of fear.

Now, that may bounce back, but my intuition is that investors are actually becoming even less secure with Amazon right now.

What does that mean for customers?

I suspect we may go into a “building” year where there aren’t any more radical product launches (that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t get a new Kindle Fire or Paperwhite…but that they won’t launch any more hardware lines).

They need to show that some of these risks are going to pay off. They need to show a record of success for Kindle Unlimited with an indicator of continued success.

They need the Fire Phone to be accepted and to be in a position for growth (the AT&T exclusivity is likely to only be for a year).

Amazon Web Services (AWS) needs to show it is a solid income stream going forward.

None of this concerns me for the viability of Amazon long-term…but we may see them painting the boats rather than launching new ones for a little while.

You can listen to the webcast of the conference call here:

http://edge.media-server.com/m/p/drh3z532/lan/en

Often the Q&A (Questions and Answers) portion is the best part…there is an index and you can jump right to that, if you want, but I didn’t hear any bombshells in it this time.

I’m actually listening to it right now on my Fire Phone.

I need to use it more until I can give you a real report on it (I’ll use it more over the weekend).

Let’s start out with a few things:

It works. 🙂

It sounds fine as a phone, I set up my e-mail, texting, and calendars. I was able to import everything pretty painlessly from my Samsung Galaxy S4 (which I hate to give up). I was already on AT&T, and they have a wireless transfer app that moves things between the two phones.

I did have one weird thing. Since I’d ordered the phone on one phone number on the account (which was eligible for an upgrade), but wanted it to work on another phone line, I had to call AT&T. The rep there was great, by the way! Surprisingly good.

The negative was that I needed the number on the SIM card on the new phone…and I could not get it to come out of the phone! I actually ended up calling Mayday on my

Kindle Fire HDX (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

It was kind of funny, because I had the AT&T rep on speaker phone, and that person could hear the Mayday person.

However, try as I might, I couldn’t get the SIM out. Fortunately, I found the number on one edge of the box for the phone…but I still haven’t gotten th SIM card out.

As to the “dy-per” (what I call Dynamic Perspective)…so far, it’s cool, but I wouldn’t feel like I need it. When I’m looking at the sleep screen, I can tilt the phone to see more of the scene. That’s a little hard to describe…it’s like when you were a kid, and you put your face right up to the mirror and were surprised that you could see things “in the mirror” that weren’t directly in front of it…suggesting it was actually showing you another world. Oh, was that just me? 😉

The Carousel, though, looks really busy. I have to check on how to maybe eliminate some of the data.

For example, if I swipe over to the messaging icon, the most recent messages show below that icon. Same thing with e-mail, the Help menu, Settings…it’s sort of like “customers also buy” on the Kindle Fire HDX…but there is a lot of text.

I haven’t seen it react to where I’m looking, yet, outside of dyper..and I’d really like to be able to scroll my book by looking! I may have to Mayday that (the Help search is unimpressive).

Flicking left and right does bring up some useful things…but it’s so far hard to predict when it will work or what it will show. I think that will come in time (I haven’t used it for a total of two hours of actual interaction time yet). There are people who still don’t right-click…you have to use it to get used to it. 😉

While you would think that this would integrate super well with Amazon’s stuff, I haven’t found Prime Music yet…despite looking for it for a few minutes. I can find my other music, but not Prime.

The other big feature that make the phone a stand-out is Firefly, the “real world recognition” functionality.

I pointed it at a superhero sticker today…it thought it was looking at a thermos with that superhero.

I pointed it at a can of Dust-Off which I had bought from Amazon: it first linked me to an inhalant abuse website that was on the can, then I repointed it at the SKU (the zebra stribe Stock Unit number) and it got it then.

It also got a toner cartridge package…again, by pointing it at the SKU.

I think at this point, the features are ahead of the functionality: I suspect there will be some killer apps for both Firefly and dyper, but casual use of the phone at this stage may not reveal their power.

What do you think? Do you have specific questions about the Fire Phone? Will Amazon raise consumer prices to make lower losses for investors? Feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.

Join hundreds of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.


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