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Jeff Bezos

eBook Sales at Amazon Up 70% in 2012

Amazon chief Jeff Bezos revealed today that eBooks is now a multi-billion dollar category for the company and was up approximately 70 percent from last year. “In contrast, our physical book sales experienced the lowest December growth rate in our 17 years as a book seller, up just 5 percent,” he stated.

Amazon reported its earnings today revealing that the company’s net sales increased 27 percent to $61.09 billion in 2012, compared with $48.08 billion in 2011. In the fourth quarter the company’s net sales increased 22 percent to $21.27 billion in the fourth quarter, as compared to $17.43 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Here is more from the press release: “For the second year in a row, Amazon’s tablet was the most popular item for customers – Kindle Fire HD continued its run as the #1 best-selling, most gifted, and most wished for product across the millions of items available on Amazon worldwide. At year-end, Kindle Fire HD, Kindle Fire, Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle held the top four spots on the Amazon worldwide best seller charts since launch.”

Amazon’s Net Sales Up 27% In Q3

Amazon’s net sales increased 27 percent from $10.88 billion to $13.81 billion in the third quarter of 2012, according to an earnings report released by the company today.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos commented on the news stating, “Our approach is to work hard to charge less. Sell devices near breakeven and you can pack a lot of sophisticated hardware into a very low price point. And our approach is working – the $199 Kindle Fire HD is the #1 bestselling product across Amazon worldwide.”

During the quarter, Amazon released a new line of Kindle devices, and expanded the Kindle Store to Japan. The company did not break out revenues from the Kindle store or for Kindle devices, though the company did report that worldwide media sales grew 11 percent to $4.60 billion. The company also reported that worldwide electronics and other general merchandise sales grew 36 percent to $8.56 billion.

7-Inch Kindle Fire HD Arrives Today

The first model from Amazon’s new family of Kindle Fire tablets arrives today. The $199 16GB model of the 7-inch Kindle Fire HD was passed out to reviewers, not all of whom liked the tablet, last week. And today it’s in the hands of regular consumers. The new device comes with a 1280 x 800 high definition display with a polarizing filter and anti-glare technology, as well as Dolby audio and dual-driver stereo speakers, and dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi which is designed for 40 percent faster downloads and streaming.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled the new Kindle at a press conference in Los Angeles earlier this month. At the event, he also unveiled the $249 32 GB Kindle HD, a new edition of the tablet with a 7-inch screen, which ships October 25th. The $299 16GB edition has a 8.9-inch screen and ships November 20th. This device has 1900 x 1200 resolution screen with 254 pixels per inch.

A $499 edition of the 8.9-inch HD device will feature 4G with a $50-a-year data plan and 32 GB of storage. This device is available for preorders and is expected to ship on November 20th.

 

Amazon Shows Off Kindle Fire HD

Today Amazon showed off a $159 edition of the Kindle Fire tablet at a press conference in Santa Monica. It has two times more RAM and is 40 percent faster than the original.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos also unveiled the $199 16 GB Kindle HD, a new edition of the tablet with a 7″ inch screen. The $299 edition has a 8.9″ screen. These screens have 1900 x 1200 resolution with 254 pixels per inch. They also include a front facing HD camera.

A $499 edition of the 8.9″ HD device will feature 4G with a $50-a-year data plan and 32 GB of storage.

It includes dual stereo speakers and Doby Digital Plus audio engine built into the device. Other companies aren’t “giving WiFi the attention it deserves,” he explained. They added the 5GHz wifi band (the same band as the iPad) and two antennas on the tablet (one more than the iPad), improving strength of the WiFi on the device.

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Kindle Fire Sells Out

Amazon put out a rather odd press release this morning announcing that the company’s Kindle Fire tablet has sold out. The announcement suggests that rather than reissuing the devices that the company will be coming out with a new one.

They didn’t say exactly what this would be, but Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder/CEO stated: “This has been a big year for digital products on Amazon—all of the top 10 sellers on Amazon.com since Kindle Fire launched just less than a year ago are digital products. Kindle Fire is sold out, but we have an exciting roadmap ahead—we will continue to offer our customers the best hardware, the best prices, the best customer service, the best cross-platform interoperability, and the best content ecosystem.”

Rumors have been circulating all summer that Amazon is coming out with a number of new Kindle Fire devices in different sizes. In the announcement, Amazon also said that the Kindle Fire has captured 22% of tablet sales in the U.S.

Amazon To Pay Tuition For Employees

Amazon quietly unveiled its new Amazon Career Choice Program on the splash page of its website today.

In a letter addressed to customers, Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos introduced the program which is designed to expand the career choices available to Amazon employees. Aimed at fulfillment center employees and seasonal employees who have come in through CamperForce, employees who have worked with Amazon for three years or more qualify to have 95 percent of their tuition paid in courses for careers including, “aircraft mechanics, computer-aided design, machine tool technologies, medical lab technologies, nursing, and many other fields.”

In the letter, Bezos writes: “The program is unusual. Unlike traditional tuition reimbursement programs, we exclusively fund education only in areas that are well-paying and in high demand according to sources like the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and we fund those areas regardless of whether those skills are relevant to a career at Amazon.”

‘Cubes’ Takes a Behind-the-Scenes Tour of Audible

In this episode of “Cubes,” we take a behind-the-scenes tour of Audible.com. The Amazon-owned audiobook company is headquartered in the heart of Newark, NJ and its office has played host to Jeff Bezos and George R.R. Martin, among other literary luminaries, as well as a ton of top-flight voice actors who narrate Audible’s books in state-of-the-art studios.

For more videos, check out Mediabistro.tv, and be sure to follow us on Twitter: @mediabistroTV

Google Engineer Who Disses Google+ Looks Up To Jeff Bezos

Steve Yegge, the Google engineer who accidentally made public post on Google+ calling Google+ an afterthought, is now making headlines for using Google+ to praise Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos for his intelligence.

Though his post was not public, Gizmodo reported Yegge’s experience of meeting Bezos: “Bezos is so goddamned smart that you have to turn it into a game for him or he’ll be bored and annoyed with you…He will outsmart you. Knowing everything about your subject is only a first-line defense for you. It’s like armor that he’ll eat through in the first few minutes. He is going to have at least one deep insight about the subject, right there on the spot, and it’s going to make you look like a complete buffoon.” (Wonder what Bezos thought of Yegge’s little Google+ is an afterthought comment).

Gizmodo agreed with Yegge’s post and went so far as to compare Bezos to Superman nemesis Lex Luthor. Here is more from the blog: “…when I watched Bezos unveil the Kindle Fire, I felt what Yegge felt. He looked like he was enjoying himself, but he also had the aplomb of a man who didn’t have to try very hard at anything. He didn’t need fancy graphics or heaps of data, because he knew just how good his thing was, and how smartly it’d been made.”

Amazon Sales Up 51% & Kindle Store Counts 950,000 eBooks

Amazon revealed today that net sales for the second quarter of 2011 rose 51 percent–reaching $9.91 billion for the quarter.

CEO Jeff Bezos remained coy about Kindle eBook sales, however. According to the release, “sales growth of Kindle devices accelerated” compared to last quarter and the $139 ad-supported Kindle 3G is now the most popular model of the eReader.

Here’s more from the release: “The U.S. Kindle Store now has more than 950,000 books, including New Releases and 110 of 111 New York Times Bestsellers. Over 800,000 of these books are $9.99 or less, including 65 New York Times Bestsellers. Millions of free, out-of-copyright, pre-1923 books are also available to read on Kindle.”

Jeff Bezos Makes MediaGuardian 100 List

Amazon chief Jeff Bezos made The Guardian’s MediaGuardian 100 list for the first time ever this year. Coming in at No. 12, the Amazon chief joins Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey, Larry Page and Steve Jobs, as one of the “most powerful people in television, radio, newspapers, magazines, digital media, media business, advertising, marketing and PR.”

In the past Bezos never made the list, because he was considered more of a retailer than a media mogul. The growth of the Kindle helped tipped the scales.

The Guardian explains how he made the list: “…with the success of the Kindle on both sides of the Atlantic, the purchase of LoveFilm and the launch of its cloud-based music service, Amazon is now indisputably one of the heavyweight digital content providers. ‘Amazon is the biggest media seller in the UK,’ said one of our panellists. ‘Just look at the difficulties being endured by high street retailers such as HMV and Waterstones. Amazon is going to be the last man standing.’”