Amazon (AMZN) - Get Report got an early Christmas gift this year, which it revealed after the holiday was over. According to the e-commerce giant, three million new users joined Amazon Prime in the week before Christmas alone. The company has long been loath to reveal precisely how many Prime members it has, but at $99 a year for the service (and a much higher average level spending on the site) all those new members will be the gift that keeps on giving.
Or at least, some of them will be. Amazon did say the three million new Prime users include both paid memberships and people using free trials. So odds are, a percentage will decide the service isn't right for them and quit before their annual fee comes due, no matter how convenient the free shipping is, and regardless of how much the critics love The Man in the High Castle.
Amazon closed Monday at $675.20, up 1.9%.
Also enjoying a healthy boost this season was Fitbit (FIT) - Get Report : Its app jumped 20 spots to the top spot in the iTunes App Store on Christmas Day, evidence that a heck of a lot of people had just unwrapped their new wearable fitness trackers and were going online to set them up.
This proof of sales success cheered investors, who sent the stock upward.
Fitbit closed Monday at $29.79, up 3.1%.
Smartphone leader Samsung (SSNLF) is shifting away from its old device launch strategy, according to an article Monday in the Economic Times of Korea. It's reportedly planning to launch two different-sized versions of its flagship Galaxy S7 at the same time.
As noted by the good folks at Ars Technica, that behavior looks more like the way Apple (AAPL) - Get Report has behaved, releasing higher-end and lower-end iPhones simultaneously. In previous years, Samsung has brought out its smaller flagship model early and followed up with a large-screen version later.
The initial production run is alleged to be about five million Galaxy S7s. We'll likely learn more in late February, during the Mobile World Congress.
For those customers who find their T-Mobile (TMUS) - Get Report, Sprint (S) - Get Report or AT&T (T) - Get Report just doesn't look good on them, Verizon is offering up to $650 in incentives to trade in their networks for its fashionably good service.
As Re/Code notes, it's not all that different from the deals all the big cell service providers have been running at various points throughout the year, that offer to cover the costs of swapping networks to customers who port an old number over and trade in an older mobile device.
But kudos for creativity on the marketing front -- by this point in December we've all seen enough ridiculously bad sweaters to last us at least another 11 months.
Verizon closed Monday at $46.75, up 0.1%.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.