A Tablet Game Changer?

October 18, 2011

Amazon.com’s recently unveiled Kindle Fire tablet computer is being hailed as the first serious competitor to Apple’s industry-leading iPad. The Fire features a smaller 7 inch screen with no camera and no network plan, but amazon.com will provide access to thousands of apps for the Android-based operating system and free cloud storage. With a starting price of $199, it offers a substantially less expensive option than the iPad, which starts at $499. It also undercuts Blackberry’s Playbook, which was starting at $499, but those prices were slashed days before the reveal of the Kindle Fire.

Westlaw provides many business news and company information resources that may help answer that question.

Analysts Reports (INVESTEXT-PDF)

This collection includes full-text research reports written by investment specialists from leading brokerage houses, investment banks, and financial research firms (Cathay, Datamonitor, Bear Stearns, Credit Suisse, and many others).  A simple search for “tablet” in the title of these reports delivered many results including:

Amazon Fires Up the Kindle, Changes the Tablet Landscape from Current Analysis.  It includes the following sections.

Competitive Strengths
Competitive Weaknesses
Response & Recommendations

Perphaps the real benefit of this search, however, is that it shows us how we might search for future analysis.  Our relevant result was indexed like this:

Industry: TELECOMMUNICATIONS
Language: ENGLISH
Report Type: IR

So, a recommended query for a WestClip alert might look like this:

IND(“TELECOMMUNICATIONS”) & TI(TABLET) & RT(IR)

The abbreviations here have the following meanings:

IND = Industry

TI = Title

RT=Report Type

IR = Industry Report (vs. Company Report)

You might consider alternative terms for “tablet” or leave the term out of the title field.  Or, include the term “Kindle,” of course.  The query searches a shell document which houses basic bibliographic information, the table of contents for the report, and a pdf of the report itself .  The search is free.  You pay for the pdf.

Fair Disclosure (FINDISCLOSURE)

This database includes very frequently-requested company information: transcripts of analyst’s calls to the executives of publicly traded companies. This database is also indexed for company name, industry, and other information.  For our purposes, however, we found simple key word searches seemed to work the best:

hld(apple amazon) & ipad! kindle!

The hld (headline) field helps ensure the transcript is from the company you wish to research.  However, we found several transcripts where various firms discussed their use of these devices.  So, if setting up an alert to track adoption and use, the best search might simply be:

ipad! kindle!

EDGAR

EDGAR is another source for valuable corporate financial information.  You’ll also find it on the Westlaw Company Information or Securities Practitioner tab.  For Amazon.com securities filings form the last two years, try the following search:

cn(amazon.com) & da(aft 2009)

Stock Prices

Amazon’s stock price may be another barometer of the Fire’s initial reception.   For daily and historical quotes, try the Quotes Service.  On Westlaw.com you’ll find it on either the Company Information or Securities Practitioner tab, or via Site Map under “Alerts.”  On WestlawNext select “Business Information” on the “All Content” tab. Get the last closing price or track closing prices over a daily, weekly, monthly or yearly range.

News

Of course, there’s always news. For Kindle Fire news and product reviews, try the following search in the database ALLNEWSPLUS on Westlaw.com or the News content on WestlawNext (you may want to sort your results by date):

hld(kindle-fire)