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Amazon UK Moves to Ordering On the Fly

4 Mar, 2006 By: Holly J. Wagner

Amazon's United Kingdom site has hooked up with a mobile applications company to offer registered Amazon users the ability to rent and buy DVDs from their mobile phones.

Wireless application protocol (WAP) services provider The Bigger Picture terms the deal “the first mobile DVD store.”

“Now you don't have to wait for your computer to boot up or for your kids to finish sending e-mails to their friends. You can shop from the comfort of your sofa, your garden or even your bath!” touts Amazon.co.uk. The site exhorts users to make the best use of their line time waiting for other things by ordering discs.

Amazon has more than 8 million registered credit card users in the UK alone, although the company does not disclose how many rental subscribers it has. Those with credit cards registered will be able to buy and rent DVDs from their Internet-enabled mobile devices via a ‘browse and buy' service without having to re-register their credit card details. Mobile orders are fed straight back to Amazon's database for next-day customer delivery.

The mobile service offers access to the same search, customer review and recommendation features available on the regular Web site. Users also can check on existing orders.

“Clicking on a product type, such as music or software, allows you to search across that shop, see a list of the top five titles from the Amazon.co.uk Hot 100 charts and view the bestselling titles from a list of categories for that product,” the site states.

The Bigger Picture has reserved new, dedicated seven-digit shortcodes for special ‘off-handset' purchases with all operators in the UK. In the future, The Bigger Picture wants to “rebrand and resell DVD catalogues, providing Amazon, media companies and film studios extra revenues from mobile DVD sales and rentals,” according to a press release.

The Bigger Picture (thebiggerpicture.tv) just signed a contract with mobile provider Ericsson in a deal to combine their programming strengths and distribute content and WAP sites through Ericsson's international mobility offices. The deal facilitated creation of a mobile store architecture that The Bigger Picture claims will let reach more than half a billion mobile subscribers in 20 countries around the world.

“We are delighted to be working with Ericsson and Amazon ... [to] offer Amazon a significant presence in the global mobile space,” said Tim Burke, mobile operations commercial director of The Bigger Picture.

The Bigger Picture also hosts WAP pages for Reuters, The Financial Times and eBay, among others.

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