Wednesday in CE: Amazon Prime Now, AmazonFresh Merger Long Overdue
Last year, Amazon decided they wanted to dominate the grocery market as well, acquiring Whole Foods for a cool $13.7 billion. This helped bolster their Amazon Prime Now program, an option for consumers to get almost anything to their house in as little as two hours, including groceries. However, this was sort of a conflict of interest with their other program, AmazonFresh, a $14.99 monthly membership that delivered groceries to your house.
The overlap was confusing, but Amazon has put an end to that hoping to merge the two into one unified business model. The combination is on the back of Amazon cutting several hundred jobs as they begin to fine-tune their business model for a few of their expanding programs.
It will also complement their new model of accepting Amazon Prime credit cards, offering 5% back at the nationwide grocery store.
It will be interesting to see how Amazon decides to charge for the use of this new program, as Prime Now offers case-by-case fees for delivery but AmazonFresh is a monthly subscription.
The biggest problem, with any electronic, is wondering how to power it. Lithium-ion batteries depend on cobalt, a by-product of ore and coal mining, and it seems like everyone wants a piece of that pie.
The tech giant is negotiating with miners to buy thousands of metric tons of cobalt annually for a period of five years or more, Bloomberg is reporting, citing people who claim to have knowledge of the discussions. It’s still possible, however, that Apple’s discussions will fall apart.
This may be a power move to block car manufacturers looking to get a bigger share of the cobalt supply, but it could also be Apple making sure they have enough for in case the demand gets too out of control and hurts their business model.
The Best of the Rest of the Net
- Qualcomm defied Broadcom’s demand not to raise its takeover bid for NXP on Tuesday by increasing that offer by about 16 percent. Now Broadcom has retaliated.
- Blade’s ambitious PC game streaming platform finally launches in the US today.
- In an effort to keep pace with the wildly successful Apple Pay, Google has launched its own new mobile payment app.