Amazon Unbox generates resounding yawns; analyst: ‘too little too early’

“ may have beaten Apple to the punch in introducing its online video download store last week. But the reaction from many about Amazon’s new Unbox service was a resounding yawn,” Paul R. La Monica reports for CNNMoney.

“Jefferies analyst Youssef Squali proclaimed in a report that Amazon Unbox was ‘Too Little Too Early.’ Caris & Co. analyst Tim Boyd echoed that sentiment, titling his report about the new service, ‘Amazon Unbox: A Little Too Far Ahead Of Its Time,'” La Monica reports. “Citigroup analyst Tony Wible said that Amazon Unbox was “not really out of the box.” And in perhaps the most scathing review, Pali Research analyst Richard Greenfield issued a report about Amazon’s service with this snarky headline: ‘Maybe the Studios Do Not Want Legal Internet Downloading to be Successful Right Now?'”

La Monica reports, “The main criticisms of Unbox were that Amazon was only offering a limited amount of movies, they could not be burned to a DVD and that the price to own or rent a download was not much better than purchasing or renting a DVD.”

“The nascent movie download business may get a huge shot in the arm Tuesday. That’s when Apple (Charts) is widely expected to launch its own online movie service on its popular iTunes store. The company is holding a press event in San Francisco on Tuesday and the invite to reporters showed the Apple logo in spotlights and featured the following message: ‘It’s Showtime,'” La Monica reports.

“Analysts said that the fact that Apple is holding a big event, as opposed to just putting out a press release, probably means that it is something else up its sleeve, namely a hardware announcement that could make movie downloading a much more attractive option for consumers. ‘My guess is that the announcement has something to do with hardware as well, something to make the TV more accessible to digital media obtained from the Internet,’ said Phil Leigh, senior analyst with Inside Digital Media, an independent research firm,” La Monica reports. “Leigh said Apple may announce new versions of the video iPod and/or its Mac mini computer that can connect with television sets so that movies transferred to the iPod can be viewed on a TV.”

Full article here.
Unfortunately for Amazon, the reviews keep pouring in. Luckily for Amazon, everyone will forget about Unbox tomorrow.

Related articles:
CNET Alpha Blog: absolutely do not try Amazon Unbox – September 09, 2006
Analyst: ‘Amazon Unbox – Well that didn’t work at all’ – September 09, 2006
Analysts: Amazon’s ‘Unbox’ to be ‘Unsuccessful’ vs. Apple – September 08, 2006
Cringely: Apple, Amazon, and what Steve Jobs has up his sleeve for next Tuesday – September 08, 2006 launches ‘Amazon Unbox’ DVD-quality video download service with TV shows and movies – September 07, 2006


  1. I guess this could be expected. Amazon et. al. are trying to enter a race that Apple has a huge lead in. The mistakes that are being made would have been ok a few years ago; but not any more
    And considering that Amazon’s un-whatever has only been out a few days, the negative press is overwhelming.

  2. Geeees, I hope there is something good tomorrow to meet all the crap that has been flying around for the past week. What if this announcement is just like the last one……

    Dear God make it be gooooooodddddd!

  3. ” “The movie studios can’t afford to give Apple a better deal than Amazon or others offering movie downloads. It’s not in their self-interest to have Apple become too powerful,” he said.”

    Apple can have the same deal from the studios. But I think Apple is rejecting those deals because they are too restrictive. And that’s why Apple will only have Disney movies, whose management gets it (that’s why Jobs sold Pixar to them and sits on their board).

  4. It’s pretty obvious what’s going on here. Amazon wants to be another Microsoft-style “me-too” product to Apple’s video service. Apple’s video will have more consumer-friendly use and pricing terms with its more limited initial offering of downloadable movies. If it works and makes some money for Disney, the other studios will change the terms. Amazon will be first in line to modify its software and pricing when the majority of studios it has under contract come around.

  5. i’m saddened by UnBox…I thought if anyone, Amazon could make a digital store I actually want to buy from.

    Apple is great in this regard. Is it really that hard to do this right? The Amazon web pages are a mess, even without the other issues.

    Apple has really won me over…and it has little to do with their marketing…they actually do the %#%#% right!

    biggest problem I have with all the other digital stores… they talk too much. cut with all the paragraphs trying to guide me, and all the articles.

    I go to the store I want products show me the products…not all this %%$&$& verbiage. Once I pick a product then expand the text.

    ..ahem sorry. I’ll just politely wait for the iTunes Movie Store.

  6. I wonder if Ballmer is going to lend Bezos some chairs to toss around at Amazon? I’m sure the UnBox staff has got to be sweating bullets about now — maybe they can get some of those Microsoft towels?

  7. “Leigh said Apple may announce new versions of the video iPod and/or its Mac mini computer that can connect with television sets so that movies transferred to the iPod can be viewed on a TV.”

    Errr… what am I missing here? The current iPod and Mac mini can both be attached to a TV to view videos, the iPod through the new version of their Dock, and the Mini using a DVI -> Composite/S-Video adapter or simply DVI/VGA for HDTV. I have personally used my mini to watch videos on my TV.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.