Amazon

Tech news from around the web:

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion has become the centre of bid speculation. The Wall Street Journal reports that Microsoft and Nokia had, in recent months, considered the idea of making a joint bid for RIM, people familiar with the matter told the newspaper. Meanwhile, Reuters says that online retailer Amazon had hired an investment bank in the summer to review a potential merger, but did not make a formal offer. Read more

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Amazon is to release an over-the-air software update to its latest tablet computer, the Kindle Fire, The New York Times reports. News of the uprgade comes as complaints about the tablet’s features and usability are on the rise. Among the complaints, the NYT reports, are:

  • There is no external volume control.
  • The off switch is easy to hit by accident.
  • Web pages take a long time to load.
  • There is no privacy on the device.
  • The touch screen is frequently hesitant.

 Read more

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Google’s Chrome web browser overtook Mozilla Firefox in terms of global usage for the first time in November, research company StatCounter reports. Chrome’s browser market share hit 25.69% in November, beating Firefox’s 25.23% share with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer continuing to dominate, holding a 40.63% share. Read more

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Apple has said in a statement that it has found a few bugs that are affecting the battery life of its latest iPhone devices running iOS 5, AllThingsD reports. Apple has said it will issue a software update in a few weeks.

Amazon is launching a book lending service for Kindle and Kindle Fire owners who are also subscribers of Amazon Prime, ReadWriteWeb reports.  Read more

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YouTube has launched Merch Store, a feature where YouTube’s music partners will be able to sell artist merchandise, digital downloads, concert tickets and other experiences to fans and visitors, TechCrunch reports. The online video sharing site has also announced partnerships with a number of companies to launch the service: Topspin is being used to help in sales of merchandise, while Songkick will be involved in concert tickets and iTunes and Amazon will look after transactions for music downloads. Read more

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Research by Barclays has found that the Amazon’s Kindle E-readers will outsell the full-colour Kindle Fire in 2012, PaidContent reports. Barclays estimates that Amazon will sell 15.3m Kindle Fire tablets and 23.5m Kindle e-readers next year. Read more

amazon kindle fireAmazon entered the tablet battle this week, unveiling the Kindle Fire, a $199 tablet that will run on Google’s Android operating system.

While news of Amazon’s tablet was long-rumoured, the unexpected price point caused quite a stir with some commentators. Others saw the Fire as a game changing device for media consumption. Read more

Richard Waters

Could there be a lawsuit over the Fire in Amazon’s future?

This was what Brad Smith, Microsoft’s general counsel, had to say when I caught up with him shortly after the launch of the device on Wednesday: “We have yet to see an Android device in the market that does not infringe on our patents.” Read more

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Amazon is in discussions with book publishers about a Netflix-style service for digital books, in which customers would pay an annual fee to access a library of content, the Wall Street Journal reports. Amazon would offer book publishers a fee for participating in the service, sources told the WSJ. Read more

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Amazon.com is testing an in-store pick-up service in a partnership with 7-Eleven, according to Geekwire. A delivery locker, currently being tested in Seattle, would allow customers to pick up their packages at the stores.

Chicago-based National Louis University will offer a Groupon for nearly 60% off tuition for its entry-level graduate teaching course, Mashable says. The deal, set to go live on Tuesday and will be open to up to 25 buyers, will discount the cost of the course from $2,232 to $950. Read more