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Amazon To Push Early-Adopter CE Devices This Year

1/11/2003 10:58:00 AM Eastern

Las Vegas - Taking advantage of its inherently upscale and tech savvy customer base, Amazon.com will begin emphasizing early adopter products within its CE offering this year.

At a Friday morning breakfast here, CEO Jeff Bezos said that the company plans to make a 'big push' in 2003 to offer cutting-edge products that represent a huge leap in technology or are 'qualitatively or quantitatively different by a factor of 10.'

Bezos noted that his company's emphasis at CES is to work with manufacturers on launch dates for electronic exotica to allow online aficionados to pre-order the goods.

'We have the world's largest concentration of early adopters and can communicate with them,' he said, citing Amazon's proprietary personalization technology. Amazon will create an 'early adopter score' for target customers, which would help determine which products would be included in tailored offers.

Amazon's VP of CE Frank Sadowski cited Samsung's new hard disk Digital Gadget and networking products for home entertainment as the kind of early adopter devices the e-tailer would seek.

Amazon's high-end emphasis will also carry over into TV. Although HDTVs by Samsung, Zenith and Toshiba already represent 'the majority' of Amazon's television sales, Sadowski said it shipped its first plasma unit last month and would expand its selection of flat-panel displays and HD brands this year.

Bezos said Amazon is talking to vendors about selling direct to consumers through its site, and has already conducted tests in which orders would either be drop-shipped by Amazon or fulfilled by the manufacturer.

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