Apple’s eBook appeal is just getting started. Photo: Apple
Apple was found guilty last year of colluding with publishers to raise ebook prices, but now that the antitrust case is being heard by the Second U.S. Court of Appeals, two out of the three appellate judges are starting to see things Apple’s way.
The appeals case kicked off this morning with Deputy Solicitor General Malcolm Stewart attempting to compare Apple to a driver taking a narcotics dealer to a drug pick up. The analogy was supposed to make the point that if Apple knew publishers were conspiring to fix ebook prices, it was just as guilty as them for facilitating the conspiracy. However, Fortune reports that Judge Denis Jacobs laughed off the analogy, pointing out that drug trafficking is one of the few “industries in which the law does not look with favor or new entrants.”
The comment drew a chorus of laughs in the courtroom, but Judge Jacob’s concerns went even further, as the the judge questioned whether the government should have even brought the case to court.
You can watch 4K video on your TV, but not your Retina iMac. Why? Photo: Netflix
Yesterday, Amazon announced that they would begin streaming Amazon Prime movies in 4K Ultra HD, free of charge. This follows an announcement by Netflix in March that they would allow subscribers to stream 4K shows in Ultra HD for a small additional charge every month.
Of course, neither the iPhone, iPad, or the Apple TV support 4K video… but the new iMacs with Retina Display do. Yet despite this, Netflix and Amazon don’t actually stream 4K video to the Retina iMac. The best you can get is plain old 1080p.
Apple TV is in desperate need of an update. Photo: Apple
It’s been over two and a half years since Apple TV was updated, and while Apple’s been happy resting on its laurels, its biggest competitors are passing it by.
Google’s Chromecast is now more popular than Apple TV, reports Parks Associates, which says streaming media players become more popular than ever in the first three quarters of 2014, as 10 percent of U.S. households bought at least one new streaming device.
When it comes to Black Friday shopping online, no one does it bigger than Amazon. Starting today, Amazon’s Black Friday hub will be featuring new deals literally every 10 minutes, which is probably too much for the feeble human brain to handle.
There will be limited-time Lightning Deals, Deals of the Day, and a slew of discounts for everything from 4K TVs to Rubik’s cubes. And of course Amazon Prime customers will be treated like royalty with free shipping and the ability to get deals before everyone else.
Amazon wants an even bigger presence in your living room. Photo: Amazon
Amazon will roll out a new, standalone video streaming service next year that won’t be bundled with a $99 Prime subscription, according to sources familiar with its plans. The retail giant hopes to take on rivals like Netflix and Hulu and undercut their prices in an effort to attract customers.
Amazon Rewards Visa in Passbook. Screenshot: Alex Heath/Cult of Mac
Amazon added Apple Pay support today for its Amazon.com Rewards Visa.
Since Chase, the Amazon rewards card issuer, was an Apple Pay launch partner, some speculated that Amazon intentionally opted out of Apple’s mobile payments system. But Amazon quickly confirmed this week that it was working on adding support for its credit card in the near future. Now it’s followed through.
Have you seen a Fire Phone in the wild yet? Photo: Amazon
During its earnings call yesterday Amazon gave some clues about just how spectacularly its Fire Phone business is tanking — making it seem one of the worst tech ideas since the RMS Titanic shipped without lifeboats.
How bad are we talking? At the end of its disappointing third-quarter the company still has a massive $83 million worth of unsold inventory sitting around.
It’s now taking a $170 million charge “primarily related to Fire phone inventory valuation and supplier commitment costs.”
Even Amazon chief Jeff Bezos can’t sell the world on the Fire Phone. Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web
Nobody would ever call Amazon’s Fire Phone a hit, but even the company’s most loyal shoppers are apparently avoiding the phone like the plague.
A new report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners says that while the Amazon Prime subscription service continues to attract new members, the Fire Phone “has achieved virtually zero market share.”