Архив метки: Amazon Prime

MetroPCS is now Metro by T-Mobile

It’s been five years since T-Mobile picked up MetroPCS, and now the prepaid service is finally getting a fresh coat of paint. The “PCS” bit is getting the old heave-ho, while the brand’s owners are letting you know who’s boss with the new Metro by T-Mobile brand name.
The new name involves some new plans, along with a couple of perks from key partners. There are two new (pricier) tiers, in addition to the standard ones. The new unlimited plans run $50 and $60 a month, and both include storage via Google One.

That makes the newly rebranded service the first to offer up access to Google’s new storage plan. The cloud deal also offers access to Google Experts, who can help you troubleshoot issues with any Google service.
The $60 a month plan, meanwhile, tosses in Amazon Prime for good measure. That’s not exactly a solid reason to upgrade in and of itself, given that an Amazon Prime plan currently runs $119 a year, but the more premium plan offers 15GB of LTE data for its mobile hotspot versus 5GB.

MetroPCS is now Metro by T-Mobile

Amazon’s Biggest Deal Yet: Discovery Brings 3,000 More Titles To Amazon Instant Video

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Amazon announced a new licensing deal this morning with Discovery Communications, the media company behind cable TV channels including the Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery and the Science and Military Channel. Under the terms of the agreement, which CEO Jeff Bezos calls the company’s “biggest addition yet,” Amazon Prime customers will now have the rights to stream series and specials from those channels, as well as from the company’s 25-year programming library, through Amazon’s video streaming service.

The TV channels include a bunch of popular shows, like Discovery Channel’s “Dirty Jobs,” TLC’s “Say Yes To The Dress” and Animal Planet’s “Whale Wars,” the company announced, as well as other fan faves like “Cake Boss,” “Mythbusters” (super hooray!), “Man Vs. Wild” (so awesome), and “Shark Week.”

The videos will be available at no extra charge to Amazon Prime customers who pay the $79/year for the service, which also includes free two-day shipping and access to the Kindle Lending Library.

Amazon also notes that there are now over 17,000 titles now available for streaming, and more than 120,000 available for rent or purchase through Amazon Instant Video. Last month, when Amazon signed a similar deal with Viacom, the number of streaming titles was brought up to 15,000, so this is a notable boost in content. For what it’s worth, in December, the count was 13,000. If Amazon keeps up this pace, Amazon Instant will look a lot different by the end of 2012.

The company, which has been promoting Prime through free subscription on its Kindle Fire tablet, reportedly has 3-5 million Prime customers, according to a Bloomberg report from February, which was lower than the 10 million analysts had previously thought.

While deals like this one with Discovery, will certainly help flesh out Amazon’s library, that alone will not be enough – Amazon Video’s success is also hinged on the success of its Kindle Fire tablet. According to new figures from IDC, the Fire accounted for 16.8 percent of all tablet shipments in Q4 2011, or some 4.7 million units, making it the largest “Android” vendor. This, despite the fact it was only available in the U.S., makes for a promising start in terms of taking on its Android-based competition. However, the Fire is still a long ways off from competing with Apple’s iPad, which accounted for 15.4 million units, or 54.7% of all Q4 2011 shipments. And that means Amazon Video, too, is a long, long way off from taking on iTunes.

A message about the new addition was posted to Amazon’s homepage this morning. The full text reads:

Dear Customers,

Today we’re announcing our biggest addition yet, bringing nearly 3,000 more titles to Prime Instant Video. We’ve struck a deal with Discovery Networks to bring some of the highest quality, non-fiction, informative and entertaining content about the world to our Amazon Prime customers. Rolling out over the next few weeks are TV shows from Discovery, TLC, Animal Planet, and Science. Prime members, at no additional cost, can now stream more than 17,000 titles.

The new titles include hits such as Deadliest Catch, Mythbusters, Man vs. Wild, Dirty Jobs, Gold Rush: Alaska, and Shark Week, TLC series like Say Yes to the Dress and Cake Boss, as well as content like How It’s Made from Science, and The Jeff Corwin Experience from Animal Planet.

Millions have already joined Amazon Prime…

›Learn more about Amazon Prime

With free two-day shipping on millions of items, access to thousands of Kindle books from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, and instant streaming of thousands of Prime Instant Videos, Prime is an outstanding value and remains only $79 a year.

Watch Prime Instant Videos on your Kindle Fire, Mac, PC, or Roku and select TVs, set-top boxes, and blu-ray players.

If you’re already a Prime member, start watching now. If not, start your one-month free trial today.

Thank you for being a customer.

Jeff Bezos

Founder & CEO
P.S. You can also rent or buy these Discovery titles, plus more than 120,000 new release movies and day-after-broadcast TV shows instantly at our Amazon Instant Video Store, no Prime membership required.


Amazon’s Biggest Deal Yet: Discovery Brings 3,000 More Titles To Amazon Instant Video

PC Hardware Makers Pulling Back On Tablet Manufacturing

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Digitimes, quoting “sources from upstream supply chains,” is stating that PC manufacturers like Dell, Acer, and HP are building fewer tablet products in direct reaction to devices like the iPad, Kindle Fire, and Nook Tablet. Citing an inability to gain traction against devices with rich content to back them up, the manufacturers are looking elsewhere to regain a foothold in the mobile market.

In truth, manufacturers know they won’t get far building vehicles for Android, Google Music notwithstanding. Building and marketing a tablet like the Xoom or the Asus Transformer is a perilous process and is buffeted by the whims of a price-conscious consumer. It doesn’t make economic sense to build and try to sell a few hundred thousand slates that will be considered obsolete in a few months.

It seems that only Samsung, with their Galaxy Tabs, has gained any brand recognition. The rest of the players are, at best, also-rans.

Amazon and, to an extent, Barnes & Noble, have the right idea: they sell the device to sell the content. There is no reason, for example, that the eink versions of the Kindle and Nook shouldn’t be free with Amazon Prime or content subscription services other than to prevent the perception that the devices are cheap. I can understand charging a bit for the color devices like the Tablet and the Fire, but if (to murder a metaphor) Amazon is selling the razor cheap and the blades at a premium, then it makes little sense for folks like HP to sell the arguably superior straight razors they’ve been trying to ship.

The pattern of boom and bust in tablets closely follows the rise and fall of the netbook. The netbook was supposed to save the PC industry – and it did – until people started competing on price. Now the concept of a netbook is laughable in the face of the ultrabook and the more popular tablets and it took far too long for PC manufacturers to realize this. By reacting swiftly to reduced interest in their wares and focusing on consumer experience in higher margin items – namely Windows 8 devices in a laptop form factor, it just makes sense for most of these guys to pull the plug on their misguided slate dreams.


PC Hardware Makers Pulling Back On Tablet Manufacturing