The market is saturated. Just about every American who will buy a smartphone has already declared loyalty to either Google or Apple, and people are loath to switch.

By MSN Money Partner Jun 20, 2014 10:46AM

An Amazon representative shows off the 3D map features of the company's new Fire smartphone at the company's campus in Seattle © JASON REDMOND/Newscom/ReutersBy Christopher Mims, The Wall Street Journal


Please allow me to be the last to tell you that Amazon (AMZN) unveiled a phone, and among the first to tell you why no one will buy it.


The Wall St. Journal on MSN MoneyIt's not because the Fire phone is packed with a range of what can only be called parlor tricks -- that is, 3-D interface gewgaws of limited utility. Nor is it because the most interesting thing about the phone -- a button that lets you buy anything you see in real life on Amazon -- is probably more useful for Amazon than for its customers, and already exists on other phones anyway.


The central problems with the Fire, the factors that will kill its sales as surely as they have held Microsoft's (MSFT) Windows Phone to single digit market share in North America, are the following. (Microsoft owns and publishes MSN Money.)


1. People are loath to switch from the phones they already have, and in the process abandon all the apps and media they've bought.

 

The wrist device is reportedly scheduled to launch this fall and will be equipped with more than 10 sensors, including ones to track fitness.

By MSN Money Partner Jun 20, 2014 10:13AM

Apple store in GermanyBy Eva Dou and Lorraine Luk, The Wall Street Journal


Apple (AAPL) is planning multiple versions of its smartwatch, likely to be launched in the fall, people familiar with the matter said, as the company tries to counter wearable devices from rivals such as Google (GOOG) and Samsung (SSNLF).


The Wall Street Journal on MSN MoneyThe new wrist device from Apple will include more than 10 sensors including ones to track health and fitness, these people said. Apple aims to address an overarching criticism of existing smartwatches that they fail to provide functions significantly different from that of a smartphone, said a person familiar with the matter.


Apple showed its interest in health and fitness-tracking last month with a new app called Health, designed to collect all of a user's fitness and health data in one spot. However, Apple didn't introduce its own device to collect that data, fueling speculation that the company would unveil a sensor-laden wearable device at a later date.

 

Video camera maker GoPro is the latest company to open up the IPO process -- long the domain of insiders and institutional investors -- to customers before going public.

By MSN Money Partner Jun 17, 2014 11:28AM

Girls recording in first person with GoPro in the Color Run by Desigual. Blue color powder. © Moment Editorial/Getty ImagesBy Cadie Thompson, CNBC


Once exclusively for big institutions and large investors, initial public offerings are starting to be somewhat more democratized.


CNBC on MSN MoneySome companies planning to go public are opting to include employees, fans and customers in their IPO, giving them access to shares at the same time and same price as Wall Street.


Most recently GoPro, whose IPO is expected this year, said it would be opening up the offering to fans and customers.


The company plans to offer 17.8 million shares at a price of $21 to $24 each, according to an SEC documents filed Wednesday.


"While with most IPOs 'friends and family' are defined as a few select people, with our IPO, you're all our friends and family," CEO Nick Woodman said in announcing the IPO deal for the company, which makes wearable video cameras.

 

There are more ways than ever to tune in to the world's biggest sporting event, which kicks off Thursday in Brazil. Here are all the options.

By MSN Money Partner Jun 12, 2014 11:27AM

Fans watch a match at newly-renovated Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Sunday, April 6, 2014. © Dado Galdieri/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesBy Jacob Davidson, Money


The World Cup starts on Thursday, and if you're like pretty much everyone in the world (the 2010 Cup drew an audience of 3.2 billion), you're looking for ways to watch this event at home, at work, on the train, maybe in the shower.


Money Magazine on MSN MoneyHere are all the legal methods -- plus a couple ambiguously legal ones -- to get your soccer -- ahem, football -- fix.


Regular old television

If you own a TV (or can sneak one into your office), you automatically have access to the 10 matches that will air on ABC. Have cable or a satellite TV package? Then you can watch the other 54 matches exclusive to ESPN and ESPN 2. Here's a TV schedule to help you keep track of all the channels.


As you might guess, the first two scheduled matches for the United States team, on Monday, June 16 (versus Ghana) and Sunday, June 22 (versus Portugal) are being shown on ESPN, not ABC.

 

These early investors in the black-car startup -- now valued at about $17 billion -- own stakes worth up to 2,000 times their initial investments. Want to know what else they're backing?

By MSN Money Partner Jun 5, 2014 10:05AM

A user scans for an available vehicle using the Uber app in London © Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesBy Erin Briffith, Fortune


The valuation of Uber is poised to hit an eye-popping $17 billion in its latest round of funding. That makes the four-year-old black-car startup one of the most valuable private technology companies in the world.


Fortune on MSN MoneyAs a result, the startup's early investors, whose shares are now worth as much as 2,000 times their initial investment, are looking pretty smart.


Similar to the way early bets on Facebook FB 0.75%  (FB) solidified the status of top-tier investors like Jim Breyer, Marc Andreessen, Peter Thiel, Reid Hoffman and David Sze, Uber is the game-changing home run for dozens of angel investors.

 

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