Overview

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Amazon.com strives to be Earth's most customer-centric company where people can find and discover virtually anything they want to buy online. By giving customers more of what they want - low prices, vast selection, and convenience - Amazon.com continues to grow and evolve as a world-class e-commerce platform.

Founded by Jeff Bezos, the Amazon.com website started in 1995 as a place to buy books because of the unique customer experience the Web could offer book lovers. Bezos believed that only the Internet could offer customers the convenience of browsing a selection of millions of book titles in a single sitting. During the first 30 days of business, Amazon.com fulfilled orders for customers in 50 states and 45 countries - all shipped from his Seattle-area garage.

It is by design that technological innovation drives the growth of Amazon.com to offer customers more types of products, more conveniently, and at even lower prices. Among its many technological innovations for customers, Amazon.com offers a personalized shopping experience for each customer, book discovery through "Search Inside The Book", convenient checkout using "1-Click® Shopping", and several community features like Wish Lists (www.amazon.com/wishlist) that help customers discover new products and make informed buying decisions.

Amazon.com operates retail websites and offers platforms that enable third parties to sell products on our websites. Our retail websites include: www.amazon.com, www.amazon.co.uk, www.amazon.de, www.amazon.co.jp, www.amazon.fr, www.amazon.ca, www.amazon.cn, www.amazon.it, www.amazon.es, www.amazon.com.br, and www.amazon.in.  We also provide platforms for third-party retailers, marketing and promotional services, and web services for developers. In addition, we operate other websites, including www.a9.com and www.alexa.com that enable search and navigation and www.imdb.com, a comprehensive movie database.

In 2000, Amazon.com began to offer its best-of-breed e-commerce platform to other retailers and to individual sellers. Today, more than two million small businesses, world-class retail brands and individual sellers increase their sales and reach new customers by leveraging the power of the Amazon.com e-commerce platform. Through programs such as Selling on Amazon, Fulfillment by Amazon, Amazon Webstore, Checkout by Amazon, Product Ads and Advantage, sellers of all shapes and sizes offer their selection to Amazon.com customers by using various components of the e-commerce platform.

Launched in 2006, Amazon Web Services (AWS) began exposing key infrastructure services to businesses in the form of web services -- now widely known as cloud computing. The ultimate benefit of cloud computing, and AWS, is the ability to leverage a new business model and turn capital infrastructure expenses into variable costs. Businesses no longer need to plan and procure servers and other IT resources weeks or months in advance. Using AWS, businesses can take advantage of Amazon's expertise and economies of scale to access resources when their business needs them, delivering results faster and at a lower cost. Today, Amazon Web Services provides a highly reliable, scalable, low-cost infrastructure platform in the cloud that powers hundreds of thousands of enterprise, government and startup customers businesses in 190 countries around the world. AWS offers over 30 different services, including Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS). AWS services are available to customers from data center locations in the U.S., Brazil, Europe, Japan, Singapore and Australia.

In 2007, Amazon introduced the first Kindle, the revolutionary portable reader that wirelessly downloads books, magazines, newspapers, blogs and personal documents to a crisp, high-resolution electronic ink display that looks and reads like real paper.  Kindle Paperwhite is the most-advanced e-reader ever constructed with 62% more pixels and 25% increased contrast, a patented built-in front light for reading in all lighting conditions, extra-long battery life, and a thin and light design. The new latest generation Kindle, the lightest and smallest Kindle, now features new, improved fonts and faster page turns. In 2011, Amazon introduced the first Kindle Fire tablet, combining 15 years of innovation into a fully-integrated, end-to-end service for customers. Kindle Fire quickly became the most successful product launch in the history of Amazon.com, earning over 10,000 5-star customer reviews, remaining the #1 best-selling product across the millions of items available on Amazon since its introduction. A year later, Amazon introduced Kindle Fire HD, which features a stunning custom high-definition display, exclusive Dolby audio with dual stereo speakers, high-end, laptop-grade Wi-Fi with dual-band support, dual-antennas and MIMO for faster streaming and downloads, enough storage for HD content, and the latest generation processor and graphics engine—and it is available in two display sizes—7” and 8.9”. The large-screen Kindle Fire HD is also available with 4G wireless, and comes with a groundbreaking $49.99 introductory 4G LTE data package. The all-new Kindle Fire features a 20% faster processor, 40% faster performance, twice the memory, and longer battery life. Amazon has also been introducing a series of free “Buy Once, Read Everywhere” Kindle apps which let customers read their Kindle books on all of the most popular devices and platforms, including Android, iPad, iPhone, PC, Mac, BlackBerry, Windows Phone and most recently, web browsers with Kindle Cloud Reader.

Amazon's evolution from Web site to e-commerce partner to development platform is driven by the spirit of innovation that is part of the company's DNA. The world's brightest technology minds come to Amazon.com to research and develop technology that improves the lives of shoppers, sellers and developers around the world.

Overview
Updated: June 2013
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