tech planet

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Amazon may soon enter Brazil's e-commerce market

Amazon may soon enter Brazil's e-commerce market

Brazil's Saraiva, is trying to sell its online business, a move that could pave the way for Amazon's debut in Latin America's fastest growing e-commerce market.

SAO PAULO: Brazil's biggest bookstore chain, Saraiva, is trying to sell its online business, a move that could pave the way for Amazon's debut in Latin America's fastest growing e-commerce market, industry sources said.
Saraiva is widely seen as one of the main hurdles facing Amazon, the online retailer, as it prepares to set up shop in Brazil, a challenging market of 200 million people known for its tax and logistic complexities.
The Sao Paulo-based bookseller wants to sell its e-commerce platform and focus on its chain of over 100 stores and publishing businesses, where margins are higher, three industry executives told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
"Saraiva is trying to sell its online operations. They have offered it to some retailers," said one of the sources.
"Why would this be interesting for Amazon? Amazon's main challenge will initially be overcoming the obstacle of the publishing companies. By buying Saraiva it shortens that distance dramatically," the same source said.
Amazon spokesman Craig Berman declined to comment, as did a spokeswoman for Saraiva.
A second source said Saraiva has been preparing to spin off its online retail business for some time to focus on its publishing operations and bookstores, where it also sells CDs and DVDs.
"Their assets in terms of relationships with publishers and distributors could be important for Amazon," the source said.
Amazon is laying the ground to land in Brazil, a $12 billion e-commerce market where still low internet penetration and a swelling middle class should provide sustainable business growth for years to come.
Reuters reported in June that the Seattle-based company was planning to open a digital bookstore in Brazil and start selling its Kindle e-reader by the end of 2012. An online approach would allow Amazon to avoid logistics hazards that could jeopardise a full-scale retail operation.
Saraiva has Brazil's biggest ebook catalog with 12,000 titles in Portuguese, yielding around $250,000 a month in revenue. Though ebooks account for just a fraction of Saraiva's internet business -- it also offers DVDs, electronics and other consumer goods online -- the company says digital book sales are starting to grow at a faster pace.
One person familiar with Amazon's strategy for Brazil told Reuters that Saraiva approached the US retailer in the past, but dismissed media reports of ongoing talks as market speculation. The source said Amazon is sticking to its original plan of focusing on organic growth in foreign markets.

Doors open
Even if Amazon doesn't end up buying Saraiva's online business, the dismembering of Brazil's biggest bookstore could help by weakening its top local competitor.
Earlier this year Saraiva was reportedly pressuring Brazilian publishers not to sign-up with Amazon in an attempt to protect its market leadership, which helped it pull in 731 million reais ($362 million) in net revenue in the first half of 2012.
Saraiva relies heavily on its network of 102 stores across Brazil. Products sold online account for just one-third of the company's retail business and shrank 6.4 percent in the second quarter of 2012 compared to the same period a year earlier.
"Saraiva's online business is not generating the necessary profits," said a third executive familiar with the company's management. "They recently decided to scale down their e-commerce sales in order to maintain profits. And that means the business is not interesting."
Saraiva is looking to unload its online business because of small margins and aggressive price competition from bigger e-commerce players such as B2W, which controls Brazil's top platforms, Submarino and
Earlier this month, Saraiva signaled it was open to entertaining offers following media reports that it was in talks with Amazon.
The company "is always attentive and willing to evaluate business opportunities of any other nature that arise and that may be of interest to its shareholders," Saraiva said in a securities filing.
Some analysts question the potential value of a Saraiva deal for Amazon, arguing that the US company's strong branding would allow it to grow organically and rapidly seize a big chunk of the Brazilian market.
"The process of integrating Saraiva's operations could pose risks for Amazon. It would be better for them to start from scratch," said Caue de Campos Pinheiro, a retail analyst with SLW Corretora in Sao Paulo.
Others, however, say an acquisition would help Amazon safely navigate the Brazilian market, where a mix of steep taxes and poor infrastructure make it a difficult place to do business.
"They would have a head start," said Jordan Rohan, an analyst with Stifel Nicolaus in New York. "And they would have access to a management team with local knowledge."

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Upcoming ?Windows 8 gadgets

What is Windows to go ?
Windows 8 Enterprise edition supports a mode called Windows To Go, which puts the whole OS on a pen drive, including your apps and settings. This pen drive can boot on any computer that is runningWindows 7 or 8 and you are going to get the same settings and apps that you were using on your machine.

Many manufacturers will be launching USB pen drives with this version of Windows.
What is Windows RT?
PCs and notebooks run on processors that are built by Intel or AMD - and regular Windows 8 runs on this architecture. Most tablets, on the other hand, use processors that are based on architecture created by ARM. These chips are less powerful and are designed for portability and battery efficiency.
To cater to devices running ARM-based chips, MS is launching a stripped-down version of its OS called Windows RT. This version will not be capable of running regular software like Photoshop CS, PC games, etc. Instead, all apps for RT will be made specifically for the Modern UI. On the plus side, Windows RT devices will ship with a touch-optimized Microsoft Office2013.
Do you need Windows 8?
Right now, most users don't need to upgrade to Windows 8. But if you're buying a new laptop or desktop, then sure, go for it.
Of course, if you use a touchscreen PC running Windows, then definitely upgrade to Win 8.
Also, if you are currently considering a new notebook PC, it might make sense to wait a few months till new models with touchscreens make their way to the market.
Touted as the flagship device for Windows 8, this hybrid tablet/PC has been designed by Microsoft. Surface sports a sleek, modern industrial design, with a hinge at the back that pops out to prop the tablet on a table. It can also be paired with a cover that doubles up as a keyboard with touch buttons.
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Dell XPS One 27
This all-in-one computer from Dell comes with a touchscreen, which makes it a perfect companion to Windows 8. The XPS One 27 is not the only Windows 8 all-in-one , but is one of the first. Dell has gone all out to equip it with the best-inclass components, making it a very powerful computer despite its sleek and slim design.
27-inch touchscreen (2560x1440 pixels) | Intel Core i7 quad-core processor | Up to 16GB RAM | Up to 2TB HDD | Nvidia GeForce GT 640M graphics | DVD-RW or Blu-Ray drive | Wi-Fi , BlueTooth | 6xUSB3.0, Ethernet ports, multi-format card reader

Asus Taichi
The Asus Taichi convertible notebook-tablet hybrid comes with not one but two screens, with one on top of the lid. So when the lid is closed, it is a tablet - and when it is open, Taichi is a laptop. The best part is that a user can use the two screens separately. This means your son can watch a movie on the touchscreen while you work on the office presentation on the primary screen.

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Acer Iconia 510
Acer Iconia 510 is primarily a tablet, but it runs on full-fledged Windows 8. It also comes with a dock to make it usable as a notebook. And given that it runs on the low-powered Atom processor, you can expect better battery life.
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Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13
The IdeaPad Yoga 13 is a power-packed ultrabook, but that's before you flip back its screen a full 360 degrees and convert it into a tablet with its multitouch screen. Lenovo has also included its Motion Control technology with which users can gesture at the webcam to flip pages, rewind/forward music, adjust sound volume, etc. Also, when flipped 270 degrees, the base turns into a pretty nifty stand for the tablet.
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