Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Morning Brief: Amazon begins shipping Kindle Fires (supposedly); Newsweek makes management changes

It is pretty clear that Amazon just doesn't get the concept of building demand as November 15th has arrived and some customers have received their new Kindle Fires while other customers find that Amazon has yet to even ship their tablets let alone guarantee their arrival on launch day. The result is a missed marketing opportunity.

Meanwhile, developers are announcing that their apps will be ready for the launch.

Trulia.com, a real estate website, yesterday announced that their Android app has been optimized for the Kindle Fire.

"Kindle Fire will be a winner, and Trulia Mobile immediately knew we wanted to be part of this exciting new mobile platform," said Steven Yarger, Trulia's Mobile Product Manager in the company's app announcement. "Kindle Fire brings a tablet to market that marries rich content and industry-leading features with an affordable price point -- a combination that is sure to be a hit with consumers."

Trulia has been available in both Apple's App Store and the Android Market for quite a while now.

Another company that has had a presence in the Apple App Store for a while but is just getting around to Android is eFax, the cloud-based fax service (I used to be an eFax customer a decade ago).

The new Android version of eFax lets customers create and send faxes, view and search their faxes, use cover sheets, etc.

"People that were once bound to their offices now do business on the move,"said Mike Pugh, vice president, marketing of j2 Communications. "Activities that were once limited to business hours are now done around the clock. The new eFax Android app -- along with our iPhone(R) and iPad(R) apps -- lets people close deals, place orders, get paid, and perform other common fax activities anywhere, any time."

While the app can be found in the Android Market, I did not see a version of eFax on Amazon.com at this time.

The media world was buzzing yesterday by the rapid fire news of executives leaving Newsweek.

Ray Chelstowski, who was publisher of Newsweek and The Daily Beast, was the first to go, followed soon after by the executive editor, Edward Felsenthal, and then the managing editor, Tom Weber. Chelstowski had come over from Entertainment Weekly.

“These changes position The Newsweek Daily Beast Co. for continued rapid growth as a global, multi-platform news organization,” Rob Gregory, the venture’s president, said in a statement that I'm sure the outgoing executives really appreciated.

Into Newsweek returns Mark Miller, a former Newsweek bureau chief who will now serve as editorial operations director.

Also coming to Newsweek to handle ad sales will be Eric Danetz (pictured at right) who comes over to the struggling news weekly from CBS Interactive – though why he'd want to make such a move is, well, interesting.

Newsweek was sold to stereo equipment magnate Sidney Harman last year by The Washington Post Company for $1. Harman did in April of this year.

Apple continues to deal with battery issues with its iPhones following the recent update to its mobile operating system.

Isolating the problems, and identifying whether it really is a problem, may prove difficult. One issue is simply that many customers don't manage their apps very well. Whether customers are experiencing poorer battery performance due to data leakage – the constant pinging some apps do to check for updates – or whether it is truly something inherent in iOS 5 is something Apple engineers will be investigating.

Most likely another iOS update can be expected before Christmas.