Is the retail giant's rewards program profitable? Probably not. Is it a vital part of the company's future? Almost certainly.
FORTUNE – Launched in 2005, Amazon Prime aimed to get customers to spend more. For $79 a year, members got free two-day delivery on an unlimited number of items. Amazon sweetened the pot from there. Last year, it introduced Prime Instant Videos, an unlimited movie and TV streaming service similar to MOREJP Mangalindan, Writer - Feb 21, 2012 3:02 PM ET
Bank of America's brokerage division picks winners and losers for the year ahead
The tablet market is "still in its infancy," writes Merrill Lynch's Scott Craig in a note to clients Wednesday, with "years of solid growth ahead."
But that growth is not evenly distributed, and in his report Craig and his colleagues single out seven winners and seven losers.
The winners: (I quote)
Amazon (AMZN): We expect strong sales of the Kindle Fire (4-5mn MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 14, 2011 10:05 AM ET
No, but the steady flow of rumors about a new iPad just around the corner aren't helping
Remember what happened to iPhone 4 sales last summer? They hit a wall in mid-July, according to Apple CEO Tim Cook, when "speculation" that Apple was about to release a new iPhone, "hit extreme highs."
Now we're in the middle of what's shaping up as Apple's (AAPL) biggest holiday season ever, and the same thing MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 12, 2011 8:10 AM ET
Apple seems to be controlling inventory, not reacting to a slow-down in sales
Apple's (AAPL) stock price fell sharply last week after some confused reports out of China and Taiwan regarding the company's communications with its supply chain. The first report was that Apple had cut back orders 10% to 15% on parts for the iPad 2 and the iPhone 4S because, according to Taipei-based DigiTimes, "sales of the iPhone 4S MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 17, 2011 10:30 AM ET
The consensus: No Apple iPad killer, but for the price it's not bad
It's inevitable that reviewers will compare Amazon's (AMZN) Kindle fire with Apple's (AAPL) iPad. This works in Amazon's favor in terms of price ($199 vs. $499 and up). This works against Amazon in terms of features, functions, apps, speed, screen size, responsiveness, etc.
Marco.org's Marco Arment: "I expected the Kindle Fire to be good for books, great for magazines and MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 14, 2011 8:16 AM ET
The valuation gap grows wider as traders bet heavily on Jeff Bezos' new tablet
It's hard to say which makes less sense to me: The fact that Amazon (AMZN) is trading at a price that's 114.6 times its earnings over the past 12 months or that Apple (AAPL) is trading at a P/E of 13.9.
We've been watching this disparity grow since last June. That's when Jeff Forsberg sent us his Apple MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 14, 2011 7:32 AM ET
The tablet most likely to succeed against the iPad gets its first hands-on tests this week
Toward the end of a report entitled "Why the Amazon Kindle Fire could be hot this holiday season," which generated the widely-reproduced charts at right, Retrevo's Andrew Eisner adds this caveat:
"As popular as the Kindle Fire appears in this study, whether it lives up to expectations on things like battery life, performance, image quality, etc, MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 13, 2011 8:20 AM ET
Pent-up demand for the new Kindle is even stronger than for the iPad 2
In a note to clients issued Thursday, RBC's Mike Abramsky shares the results of a ChangeWave survey of 2,600 early adopter types. Two key findings:
5% of those surveyed said they had pre-ordered or were very likely to buy Amazon's (AMZN) new Kindle Fire, exceeding the 4% who said they were very likely to buy the original iPad MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 9, 2011 8:38 AM ET
I love my Kindle. And, I've been waiting for a long time to be able to borrow rather than buy books. But, Amazon's latest push is part of a larger trend that raises a red flag.
FORTUNE -- There's a lot to like about the Kindle ecosystem. Jeff Bezos and Amazon have made sure of that, from one of the largest digital book selections around to a cross-platform syncing feature that MOREJP Mangalindan, Writer - Nov 4, 2011 12:21 PM ET
Analysts and pundits expected a single competitor to Apple's iPad. Instead, they got a quartet of new devices ranging in price and functionality.
FORTUNE – It's official: Amazon didn't just have one new Kindle in the works, but four -- nearly one for every user scenario. The widely anticipated iPad competitor ended up being a quartet: the Kindle Fire, sporting a color screen and multimedia functionality; two flavors of the Kindle Touch, MOREJP Mangalindan, Writer - Sep 28, 2011 2:48 PM ET
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