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Amazon's Fire phone 'could whip crown from Apple'

Online retailer Amazon is aiming to "whip the crown from Apple" with the launch of its first ever smartphone, the company's CEO has said.

Jeff Bezos unveiled the heavily-anticipated phone, which measures in at 4.7 inches and will retail for $200 (£120).

"It's time to whip the crown from Apple," he said as he showed off the mobile, which is the latest addition to the retailing giant's Fire-branded line of tablets and streaming devices.

Amazon unveils its first 'Fire' smartphone

Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos unveils the Fire Phone at a news conference in Seattle Credit: REUTERS/Jason Redmond

Amazon has unveiled its first ever smartphone, which comes equipped with a 3D screen and the ability to recognise millions of songs, films and books.

The web retailer's Fire Phone uses four cameras to track the user's head movements and create the perception of 3D, a packed press conference in Seattle heard.

It will also come with a new app called Firefly, which the company said takes in details from the camera and microphone to recognise and identify objects including books, films, TV shows and music, and then search for them on Amazon.


Amazon 'to launch local services marketplace'

Online retail giant Amazon is set to launch a new service helping link people with services such as plumbers and handymen in their area, Reuters reports.

The move is seen as a challenge to popular US sites such as Yelp and Angie's List which help connect people with local services, though there is no indication of whether the company plans a similar service in the UK.

Amazon statement: We pay 'all taxes'

Amazon have responded to a report that the company paid £10 million corporation tax in Britain last year, despite achieving record sales of £4.3 billion.

The company pays all applicable taxes in every jurisdiction that it operates within.

– Amazon

Shoppers have been urged to boycott Amazon after it paid £10 million corporation tax in Britain last year, despite achieving record sales of £4.3 billion.

'It's an outrage Amazon only paid £10m in tax'

The chairwoman of the Commons Influential Public Accounts Committee has said its "an outrage" that the retail giant Amazon paid only £10m in tax in 2013, after reporting record sales of £4.3 billion.

Amazon insists it follows the tax rules in all the countries where it operates. Credit: Katerina Sulova/Czech News Agency/PA

"It is an outrage," chairwoman Margaret Hodge told the Herald Scotland, "Amazon should pay their fair share of tax.

"They are making money out of not paying taxes. I no longer use Amazon."

Amazon insists it follows the tax rules in all the countries where it operates.

Amazon pays £10m UK tax despite record £4.3bn sales

Amazon paid £10 million corporation tax in Britain last year, despite achieving record sales of £4.3 billion.

Amazon accounts filed today showed the company had a tax bill of £10 million in 2013. Credit: Reuters

The US company's UK arm is registered to pay tax in Luxembourg, meaning it can avoid higher rates of tax. reported a 56% rise in profits to £17 million last year on a 13% rise in UK revenues.

Essex University's Professor of Accounting, Prem Sikka, said this may have put the company "under pressure from HMRC to adjust their inter-company agreements."

Amazon said it follows all the tax rules in every country where it operates. HMRC declined comment.


Amazon tie-up lets Twitter users shop with a hashtag

Online retailer Amazon has announced a new partnership that will allow customers to shop via Twitter.

Customers will be able to add products to their Amazon shopping basket through their Twitter account. Credit: PA

With the new system users add the hashtag #AmazonBasket to tweets referencing products they like, then the item is automatically added to their online shopping cart.

Amazon said the tie-up would mean "no more switching apps, typing out passwords or trying to remember items you saw on Twitter".

Amazon takes on supermarkets with grocery service

Amazon has launched an online grocery service called Prime Pantry that lets US members of its Prime loyalty scheme do their food shopping on the website.

Amazon's Prime Pantry lets members of their Prime loyalty scheme do their food shopping on the website. Credit: PA

The service allows members to fill a 45-pound (20kg) box of groceries and have it delivered to them for a flat fee of $5.99 dollars (£3.56) - though fresh food is not available through the service.

The Amazon website says: "Adding your first Prime Pantry item to Cart starts a Prime Pantry box. As you shop, you see that each Pantry item tells you what percentage of a Pantry box it fills based on its size and weight.

"Pantry boxes are large and can hold up to 45 pounds or four cubic feet of household products. As you check items off your list, we continuously track and show you how full your box is."

The service - which is currently only available in the US - is the latest in a line of new services Amazon has recently launched to compete with rivals such as Apple and Google.

Uncontacted Amazon tribe reacts to planes overhead

A series of pictures of a remote, uncontacted tribe in the Amazon basin has been released. The pictures were taken near the Xinane river in Brazil's Acre State, close to its border with Peru.

The tribe was first identified as "uncontacted" in 2011 when satellite pictures revealed this community was living near the border with Peru.

Indians who are considered uncontacted by anthropologists react to a plane flying over their community in the Amazon basin Credit: Reuters

In the latest pictures, taken on March 25, the uncontacted people are seen reacting to a plane flying overhead. As many as five tribal men can be seen raising their weapons in a threatening manner at the plane.

The tribe is based near Xinane river in Brazil's Acre State, near the border with Peru, Credit: Reuters

Amazon testing drones to deliver packages in 30mins

Online retailer Amazon is testing unmanned drones called Octocopters in a bid to deliver packages to customers within 30 minutes.

The drones could deliver packages that weigh up to 2.3kg but the service is not expected to start for at least five years, the company's chief executive Jeff Bezos claimed.

Mr Bezos told CBS television's 60 Minutes programme: "These are effectively drones but there’s no reason that they can’t be used as delivery vehicles...I know this looks like science fiction. It’s not."

"We can carry objects, we think, up to five pounds, which covers 86 per cent of the items that we deliver...These are electric motors, so this is all electric; it’s very green, it’s better than driving trucks around," he added.

The service will be called Prime Air but US aviation officials have not approved use of the drones.

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