Amazon Bows New Fire Tablet Enabling Picture-in-Picture Streaming

Millennials love to multitask. So, Amazon Oct. 7 introduced updated Fire HD tablets that includes a kids’ model and affords users picture-in-picture functionality to stream Netflix while browsing the Web.

Notable to Fire HD 10 tablet ($149.99) features picture-in-picture functionality enabling users to stream videos from Prime Video, Twitch, Netflix, Lionsgate-owned Starz, and more, while also browsing the Internet, checking email, reviewing their calendar, or visiting Facebook.

The kids tablet features a childproof case, parental controls and retails for $199.99.

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The devices include a 10.1” widescreen Full HD 1080p display (1920 x 1200) with more than 2 million pixels (224 ppi) for bright, vivid image quality; a new octa-core 2.0 GHz processor and 2 GB RAM; stronger battery and storage starting at 32GB or 64GB, and support for up to 512 GB of expandable storage via microSD.

Fire tablets also include Alexa voice-controlled software, front and rear facing cameras, free unlimited cloud storage for all Amazon content and photos taken with Fire tablets.

FreeTime is free on every Fire tablet—or subscribe to Amazon FreeTime Unlimited to access over 20,000 titles, starting at just $2.99 per month.

“We’ve made our best tablet even better with a faster processor, longer battery life, and faster charging,” Kevin Keith, VP, Amazon Devices, said in a statement. “The all-new Fire HD 10 has everything you need for entertainment with plenty of storage for your favorite videos, games, music, and books at home or on the go—and still under $150.”

Amazon also announced a new Kindle Kids Edition comes with these kid friendly featuring “Achievement Badges” where kids can earn badges like Book Worm and Over Achiever when they make progress towards pre-defined goals.

Enhanced browsing and search, kids can locate titles without the exact spelling. And with smart recommendations, kids can find books related to the genres, authors, and characters they love.

Kids are automatically provided short and simple definitions above difficult words, so they can keep reading with fewer interruptions.

If kids come across a difficult word, they can select the word to look up the definition via the built-in Kindle dictionary.

Words looked up in dictionaries are automatically added to Vocabulary Builder and turned into flashcards for future review and learning.

Devices include a unique set of lock screen wallpapers, specifically designed for kids.

“Kindle Kids Edition makes reading fun with achievement badges to help motivate readers to complete the next chapter, plus features like Word Wise and Vocabulary Builder are designed to help early readers build their reading and comprehension skills,” Kurt Beidler, director of kids and family, said. “With unlimited access to over a thousand new and popular books in FreeTime Unlimited, kids can easily find books to match their interests and can bring a library of books with them wherever they go—all on a single, lightweight device.”

 

Why Amazon Should Buy Barnes & Noble

When Amazon launched in 1994, founder Jeff Bezos envisioned his online bookseller competing against local stores and national chains such as Barnes Noble.

And for four years Amazon did just that: Sell books over the Internet more cheaply than anyone else – including Barnes & Noble, which remains one of the last-standing brick-and-mortar book (and packaged media) retailers.

Now Barnes & Noble is in financial trouble. It generated an operating loss of $26.7 million in the most-recent fiscal period. Revenue dipped 2% to $753.2 million.

The Nook segment – B&N’s attempt to compete with Amazon through a branded tablet device and digital (movies, TV shows, music) content – posted a $1.5 million operating loss. Revenue dropped nearly 17% to $21.7 million from $25.9 million last year.

The company hasn’t turned a fiscal profit in nearly two years. It is in litigation with its former CEO over inappropriate workplace behavior allegations and facing a make-or-break winter holiday period – at a time when sales should be booming.

As the retailer looks at “strategic” alternatives, including selling the company – Amazon, by comparison, is minting money.

Having long ago expanded beyond pulp fiction selling merchandise of every variety, in addition to Web services and retail grocery (Whole Foods), the company just posted its best-ever Cyber Monday, with customers ordering more than 180 million items through the five-day Thanksgiving weekend period.

Amazon ended the recent fiscal period with $56 billion in sales and profit approaching $3 billion.

Bezos is one of the richest, if not the wealthiest person on Earth. In 2013, he bought money-losing The Washington Post for $250 million – part vanity play and part attempt to support democracy.

Earlier this year the company became Mercedes-Benz’ largest single customer for the Sprinter van – a fleet order many speculate the company will use for local deliveries.

Acquiring Barnes & Noble would give Amazon 633 retail/distribution locations – many in prime mall locations.

The Amazon/Barnes & Noble store would have lots of cost synergies, including ramping up branded Amazon Go cashier-less convenience concept, showcasing the Amazon connected home (Kindle, Fire TV, Echo Dot, Ring doorbell, banking, etc.) – and selling books.