🎁 'Tis the season to support public service journalism Donate Now

Amazon takes on Apple in price more than features

Molly Wood Sep 7, 2012

Amazon takes on Apple in price more than features

Molly Wood Sep 7, 2012

Amazon has added new weapons to its arsenal as it tries to take on Apple in the tablet computer war. Several new versions of its Kindle Fire tablet were announced yesterday as the company gears up for holiday shopping season. And while none of them really measure up to the iPad in terms of overall performance, they’re pretty cheap. $159 for one of the new Kindle Fire models.

“For Amazon, it says that it doesn’t want to gouge people on the price for these hardware products, because for them it’s all about selling people the services and the content. They’re trying to make money on that content rather than the hardware, ” said David Carnoy from CNET, who was at the announcement.

We’ve said it before: the Kindle or Kindle Fire is really a shopping cart. Amazon makes money when you go to their store to fill it up.


This is my last day hosting the show. I’m moving on to host Wits, a new comedy and variety program from APM. You can learn about it at mpr.org/wits.

I want to thank you for listening as we built Marketplace Tech Report into a smart, interesting, sometimes strange program. The show will live on — Adriene Hill sits in next week, then David Brancaccio.

Before we go, the staff is here and we’ve picked some of our favorite moments from previous shows.

Producer Larissa Anderson?

Larissa Anderson: All right, so I picked an interview that we did back in February with Dr. Jules Poukens, and this was as doctor who had 3D-printed a jaw and implanted it into a woman who had a severely infected jaw. And what was most wild about the interview was when you asked him about having done this successfully what kind of impact this would have. Here’s what he said.

Jules Poukens: I think this is a great potential for also for implants when you want to reconstruct or change your face or the formity of your face, because you can print those kind of implants, and they keep the shape you designed.

Moe: Wait, so, if you want cosmetically to have a different appearance, print different faces insert them onto our faces?

Poukens: Yeah, I think so.

Face printing. Coming soon.

I’ll go next. Verizon is trying to move customers off unlimited data plans and into more expensive capped plans.

The company said it’s not because it needs money to build networks and not because the network was too crowded. So I followed up with spokesperson Karen Smith.

Karen Smith: We made a decision to change our pricing model, and what we’ve done is we’ve allowed people to share data among a number of devices regardless of how many people are on the plan, it’s a device model. And we’re charging on the megabytes of data that they use.

Moe: Okay. Why?

Smith: People have changed the usage of how they’re using their devices. They’re moving to using more data, and to ensure the speed and reliability and the access to the network, people are paying for the amount of data that they use.

Still the best question in journalism: why?

Producer-engineer Marc Sanchez?

Marc Sanchez: Well, we do a fair share of shows about social networks whether it’s Facebook or Twitter or trends, and one of my favorite moments was when comedian Rob Delaney was asked to talk about Instagram. He was instagramming his life.

Moe: He was picking the instagrammiest Instagram photos he could.

Sanchez: The Instagrammiest instagrammy instagrammest photos and he had what I thought was the perfect description of Instagram.

Rob Delaney: It’s almost as if a thousand little Wes Andersons in their little tailored outfits are tickling you on an old carousel.

And that’s it. For more information go to websites on the computers.

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.