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Weekly Highlights: Amazon's First Phone, iPhone 6 Unlikely To Charge Wirelessly And More

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Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) reigned supreme this week after unveiling its long-awaited smartphone.

Officially known as the Fire Phone, the handset promises to deliver a plethora of unique features not offered by any of its competitors.

On a less positive note, Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) encountered a 15-minute outage this week.

Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) next iPhone may not charge wirelessly.

Nintendo (OTC: NTDOY) and Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) inspired more than 30,000 consumers to wait in line to play the first Super Smash Bros. demo.

And DreamWorks Animation (NASDAQ: DWA) endured another box office disappointment.

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this slideshow.

Posted-In: Amazon dreamworks animation Fire Phone Global Equities ResearchNews Rumors Success Stories Tech Best of Benzinga

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    Amazon Introduced Its First Phone

    Amazon Introduced Its First Phone

    Hoping to one-up the competition with unique features, Amazon unveiled its first smartphone this week.

    Officially known as the Fire Phone (which is a big improvement over the rumored 'Kindle Fone'), Amazon's handset offers six different cameras -- the most of any cellular device.

    Amazon also created a 3D-esque feature called Dynamic Perspective, which could make the images appear to be more immersive and more dimensional as the user moves the phone around.

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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    Some Analysts Loved It…

    Some Analysts Loved It…

    Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry had a ton of praise for the Fire Phone.

    "[Amazon CEO] Jeff Bezos and Lab126 out of Amazon have created the first device that literally challenges your imagination, something that only Steve Jobs could do and Apple cannot do anymore," Chowdhry told Benzinga.

    Chowdhry also praised Amazon's Firefly app. He said that it is five steps ahead of Siri and referred to it as a "digital personalized instant encyclopedia."

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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    …Others Had Concerns.

    …Others Had Concerns.

    Not everyone was impressed by the Fire Phone.

    "I think Amazon is focusing a lot on the transition to their software, and they'll probably take a profit loss on the hardware," IBISWorld industry research analyst Sarah Kahn told Benzinga.

    Ian Fogg, Director of Mobile & Telecoms at IHS Technology (NYSE: IHS), worries that Firefly won't live up to expectations.

    "…While it recognizes 100 million objects, there are a lot of objects in the world," Fogg told Benzinga. "That's quite a small percentage of the amount of objects in the world."

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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    Amazon's Biggest Hurdle Could Be Its Competitors

    Amazon's Biggest Hurdle Could Be Its Competitors

    In 2007, Amazon could have stunned the world with its six-camera smartphone.

    Today, the company will be forced to compete against the likes of Apple and Samsung, both of which have a very large (and very loyal) fan base.

    "I think that Apple has a very high retention rate," IBISWorld industry research analyst Sarah Kahn told Benzinga. "People who use the iPhone are happy with it and tend to buy the next one."

    Kahn said that iPhone users "rarely" switch to Android.

    Meanwhile, she said that Android "grew a lot by getting new smartphone users -- meaning people who didn't have a smartphone before and are buying their first smartphone."

    If Amazon can find enough first-time buyers, the Fire Phone might be a success.

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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    Facebook's 15-Minute Outage Prevented Status Updates

    Facebook's 15-Minute Outage Prevented Status Updates

    Facebook users endured massive heartache this week when the service went down.

    The 15-minute outage did not entirely prevent users from visiting Facebook, but they couldn't post status updates (or anything else, it seems) during the problematic period.

    Now that the issue seems to be resolved, users are free to post whatever they want -- including a note about how awful it was that they couldn't post anything for 15 minutes.

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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    Nintendo Won Big With Best Buy

    Nintendo Won Big With Best Buy

    Nintendo may be in danger of relinquishing its status as the leading game player, but the company gained strong fan support during its Smash-Fest event with Best Buy.

    Smash-Fest attracted more than 30,000 gamers, all of which were eager for the first chance to play Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.

    Nintendo surprised attendees with a mobile kiosk featuring the Nintendo 3DS version of the game.

    Overall, the event seems to have been a big success.

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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    iPhone 6 Unlikely To Charge Wirelessly

    iPhone 6 Unlikely To Charge Wirelessly

    Apple's annual iPhone upgrade might go another year without wireless charging.

    Starbucks has made a big push into this area, announcing that the company will install charging stations at every company-owned location.

    But that may not be enough to make Apple take action.

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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    DreamWorks Endured Another Box Office Disappointment

    DreamWorks Endured Another Box Office Disappointment

    As one of the world's largest animation studios, investors might expect DreamWorks Animation to produce one hit after another.

    But this studio has endured a large number of box office disappointments, as well as a few flops.

    How To Train Your Dragon 2 earned nearly $50 million during its first weekend, which was a few million more than its predecessor. In comparison to the hype, however, $50 million didn't seem like much of a success story.

    "They've pumped up this Dragons franchise, and it was the same business that Wreck-It Ralph did," Sterne Agee analyst Vasily Karasyov told Benzinga. "No one goes around saying that Wreck-It Ralph is this beloved franchise. It's a film that worked okay. But you're not sitting on the edge of your seat in anticipation of Wreck-It Ralph 2."

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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