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T-Mobile's customers are more loyal than Verizon's, AT&T's, and Sprint's (TMUS, S, T, VZ)

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T-Mobile boasts more loyal customers than any of the other Big Four telecoms, according to BI Intelligence’s exclusive Digital Telecom Consumer survey. 

In fact, almost a quarter of T-Mobile’s subscriber base said they wouldn’t switch mobile carriers for anything. Customer loyalty among the three other big US telecoms is low in comparison:

  • AT&T’s and Verizon’s customer bases aren’t nearly as loyal T-Mobile’s. Only 16% of AT&T subscribers said they wouldn’t switch on account of competing features. And an almost equal share of Verizon’s customers expressed the same sentiment — 15% said they wouldn’t switch.
  • Sprint ranked worst for customer loyalty among the Big Four. Only 7% of Sprint’s wireless subscribers said they wouldn’t switch carriers for anything.

The results are a huge win for T-Mobile — customer loyalty matters to US telecoms now more now than ever, for several reasons:

  • US smartphone penetration is approaching saturation, causing mobile carriers to fight over each other’s subscribers. About 95% of Americans own a cell phone and 77% own a smartphone, according to Pew Research, making new subscribers a rare commodity.
  • To win that fight, mobile carriers are engaging in a price war, which is compressing margins — and making customer volume more important than ever. Average revenue per user across the Big Four dropped to $45 in Q1 2017, from $49 in Q1 2014. To remain profitable, carriers need to maintain or grow their customer base.
  • The end of the two-year contract has made it easier for consumers to switch providers. Consumers have long been tethered to their carriers via contracts — being able to switch carriers quickly and without penalty makes loyal customers especially valuable for telecoms. 

But a more loyal customer base can only go so far in protecting T-Mobile from aggressive competition. Forty-two percent of T-Mobile subscribers said they’d switch to a provider that offered better coverage where they live. This is higher than both AT&T and Verizon. 

BI Intelligence’s Digital Telecom Consumer survey examines consumers’ preferences and ratings of the major US telecoms and the features they provide. It rates Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint, and other mobile carriers on loyalty and user experience, and it looks at consumers’ real must-haves. The full report will be available to BI Intelligence enterprise clients in October. To get access to this report the moment it becomes available, email Matt Jackson (mjackson@businessinsider.com).

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The best moment in the new Mario game is an incredible homage to a gaming classic

Super Mario Odyssey

Few games are as delightful and downright joyous as “Super Mario Odyssey,” the new Mario blockbuster on Nintendo’s Switch console.

It’s a great game unto itself, and it’s a game that celebrates Nintendo’s long history. Look no further than “New Donk City,” one of the game’s many massive open worlds, for proof of this duality.

Super Mario Odyssey

And it’s here, in New Donk City, that I experienced the most incredible moment of “Super Mario Odyssey.”

SEE ALSO: 6 reasons you should buy a Nintendo Switch instead of a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One this year

WARNING: This piece speaks in detail about “Super Mario Odyssey,” and contains spoilers.

It’s clear from the name of the city, and the endless references to Donkey Kong, that he must be somewhere. Right?

Did you notice that the street Mario’s walking away from here is named “Cranky Road”? That’s a reference to Cranky Kong, the aged ape who originally starred in “Donkey Kong” in arcades. This old fogey right here:

Cranky Kong

Perhaps you didn’t know: The character known as “Cranky Kong,” who appears in various “Donkey Kong Country” games, is actually the original Donkey Kong. I hope you were sitting down for that. The character in the “Donkey Kong Country” series named “Donkey Kong” is actually Donky Kong Jr. Really!

New Donk City is even run by Mayor Pauline — the same Pauline who appeared in the original “Donkey Kong” game as the damsel in distress.

Mayor Pauline is not Princess Peach, to be clear.

This is Princess Peach, who is also in “Super Mario Odyssey”:

Super Mario Odyssey

There have been several “damsel-in-distress” characters in the history of Mario games. Pauline was the very first, appearing in the original “Donkey Kong” game as the woman who “Jumpman” was trying to rescue from the eponymous ape villain. The Kong family is now known for heroics rather than stealing ladies.

In the case of “Super Mario Odyssey,” Pauline is now a mayor and she’s seeking Mario’s help for energy-related issues. She actually doesn’t mention Donkey Kong.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Reviewers give the Xbox One X positive marks, but they didn't have enough games to really test it (MSFT)

xbox one x

Reviewers generally like Microsoft’s new Xbox One X game console.

But many also said they couldn’t give a definitive verdict on it. That’s because they didn’t have enough games to play on it that take advantage of the new console’s capabilities. 

The $500 gadget is due out November 7, and Microsoft allowed some game journalists to get an early look at it. The game machine’s selling point is that it will play games that have been “enhanced,” a term representing a grab-bag of different technologies and features, including 4K video resolution and high dynamic range (HDR). Many of the latest TV support both 4K, which delivers sharper images on bigger screens, and HDR, which provides a greater range of light and dark tones than you’d see on screens without it.

The problem is that there just aren’t many “enhanced” Xbox games to play. So reviewers had a tough time evaluating the console.

Still, the reviewers did have some interesting notes from their tests of the Xbox One X. Here’s what they had to say:

SEE ALSO: 6 reasons why you should buy a regular Xbox instead of the new $500 Xbox One X

Reviewers liked the design of the Xbox One X.

Overall, reviewers like the fact that the Xbox One X takes some design cues from last year’s Xbox One S.

The new gadget has a sleek, minimalist appearance with a matte plastic exterior. Its power supply is housed inside of the game machine instead of in an external power brick.

Many reviewers liked the fact that they could position the Xbox One X horizontally or vertically. 

Reviewers liked how smoothly the Xbox One X plays games.

The general consensus from reviewers is that the Xbox One X plays games with few hiccups or stutters. The new machine even does well with games that aren’t “enhanced” for it, playing them more smoothly than the Xbox One S.

“Even during the most intense firefights, the gameplay was beautifully smooth,” said TechCrunch’s Matt Burns, referring to his experience playing “Gears of War 4” on the Xbox One X.   

 

Some said games looked great even on older TV sets.

The Xbox One X was designed for TV sets that support 4K and HDR. But you can still see a difference between it and previous Xbox One models if you plug it into an older, 1080p TV, thanks largely to its sheer power, reviewers said. 

“1080p TVs will see benefits to pure performance,” said The Verge’s Warren. “I played Destiny 2 on the Xbox One X and it felt a lot smoother than on my Xbox One S.”

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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How to keep the passion alive in your relationship, according to a relationship scientist

Eli J. Finkel, a professor at Northwestern University and the author of “The All-or-Nothing Marriage,” explains how to maintain fiery passion in a relationship. Following is a transcript of the video.

Eli Finkel: I’m Eli Finkel. I am a professor at Northwestern University in the psychology department and the Kellogg School of Management.

We want our spouse usually to be our primary source of emotional support. So, I want to be able to come to you when I’m most vulnerable — when I’m most pathetic and weak and hurt.

And I want you to support me. And that’s great. It’s one of the great things that we can get out of a meaningful marriage.

The problem is it’s not particularly hot, right? Like, when I’m coming to you with my tail between my legs and just feeling weak and defeated by the world, you’re probably not thinking how desirable I am.

You’re thinking of how much you want to nurture me in the way we might nurture a young child.

On the other hand, when we want to have sexual passion in the relationship, there’s another way that we like to connect with each other.

So, there’s this interesting juxtaposition of we want to have a respectful, loving, warm, nurturing sort of connection, but we also want a little bit of naughtiness and impropriety. And reconciling those two things is difficult.

But it isn’t impossible. There’s been some excellent research coming out over the last decade that looks at the importance of engaging in novel and exciting activities together.

A lot of us default to engaging in comfortable sorts of activities together — sitting on the couch and watching some nice television for example.

And that’s good for the relationship too, especially if you’re having some communication while you’re watching. That tends to increase the amount of satisfaction and connection we feel in the relationship.

But it doesn’t tend to increase how much fire and passion we have in the relationship. What does that is engaging in novel — that is new and exciting sorts of activities that we haven’t tried before.

Examples might include ballroom dancing, going hiking/ one person in one of the couples listed shucking oysters for the first time. But things that get you out of the mundane reality of everyday life — this is one of the most promising recipes for helping to sustain a sense of fire and passion for the partner.

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Gary Vaynerchuk on Facebook being a force of good or evil: 'Facebook is a mirror'

Last night, I decided to re-watch one of my more recent favorite episodes of the YouTube show “Hot Ones,” which everyone should watch if they’re not already. In each “Hot Ones” episode, which lasts around 15-20 minutes, an interviewer (Sean Evans) asks guests (usually celebrities) various questions as they eat increasingly hotter chicken wings.

hot ones gary vaynerchuk sean evans

This particular “Hot Ones” episode features Gary Vaynerchuk, the fast-talking founder of VaynerMedia and investor in dozens of notable tech companies including Facebook, Twitter, and Uber.

Honestly, I had never even heard of Vaynerchuk before this 21-minute YouTube episode, but it was a great introduction to his quirky personality.

gary vaynerchuk

My favorite moment in the episode, however, was when Sean Evans asks Vaynerchuk about Facebook. “Is Facebook a force of good? A force of evil? Does it matter?”

Here’s Vaynerchuk’s response, which stuck with me:

“Facebook is a mirror. Everybody’s super pumped about blaming other people for their own s—. Technology’s exposing who you are, not changing you. Facebook’s a mirror.”

Vaynerchuk also had an interesting response when asked by Evans what people get wrong about Mark Zuckerberg, as someone who has actually spent time with the Facebook founder:

“I think this notion of he’s a tech nerd, and he built it because of a girl, all that bulls—. I just think he’s a genuinely good guy, smart as s—, and disproportionately understands human behavior. Besides Jeff Bezos, I think he’s probably the most understanding of consumer behavior, which makes him extremely dangerous as an entrepreneur.”

You can watch the whole “Hot Ones” episode featuring Vaynerchuk below.

SEE ALSO: 5 small changes that would make Netflix so much better to use

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NOW WATCH: Watch Google repeatedly mock Apple at its October Pixel event

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Why the iPhone 8 makes the iPhone X a tougher sell

iPhone X

  • Despite fears around supply shortages, you can still get the new iPhone X in about 5-6 weeks.
  • iPhone X demand may have been tempered by the bevy of available iPhone options, especially the new iPhone 8.
  • For prospective buyers, it’s difficult to value the price difference between the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, since both phones are so similar under the hood and most people have yet to try the iPhone X.

 

For months, analysts studying Apple and its supply chain have been saying “good luck finding the iPhone X” when it launches in November. Yet, despite demand for the phone being “off the charts” according to Apple CEO Tim Cook, you can still order an iPhone X right now and get it before the end of 2017.

As of October 31 — four days after pre-orders kicked off — you can expect to receive most iPhone X models in about 5-6 weeks.

We may never know how well the iPhone X is selling is compared to other iPhone models — Apple stopped reporting pre-orders and first-weekend iPhone sales back in 2014 — but it does make one wonder: Is the presence of the new iPhone 8 affecting demand for the also-new iPhone X?

More options than ever before 

The iPhone has been around for 10 years now, but Apple has changed a lot in the past decade.

For many years, people had two options when it came to buying an iPhone: Buy the newest model, or buy the prior-year model. This made it a pretty easy pitch to consumers: You can save $100 and get last year’s iPhone, or spend $100 more to get the latest and greatest. And who doesn’t want the latest and greatest? 

Now, prospective iPhone customers have a ton of options. As of October 31, you can choose between:

– The iPhone SE, starting at $350

– The iPhone 6S, starting at $450

– The iPhone 6S Plus, starting at $550

– The iPhone 7, starting at $550

– The iPhone 7 Plus, starting at $670

– The iPhone 8, starting at $700

– The iPhone 8 Plus, starting at $800

– And the iPhone X, starting at $1,000

That’s at least eight different iPhone models to choose from, at an array of price points — and the final three iPhones on that list can all be considered “new.”

iPhone SE

Let me be clear: For consumers, this is a very good thing. More choice leads to more competition, which drives down prices, which makes everyone happy. Plus, as we’ve written about many times before, the biggest selling points of these phones versus others tend to boil down to software, and all of these phones run iOS 11 and share many of the same great features.

That said, the multitude of options makes it harder for Apple to entice consumers into buying the “latest and greatest phone,” which it did successfully for many years.

Simply put, nobody needs to bite the bullet anymore. You can own an excellent iPhone this year without shelling out $1,000 for the latest model.

But the presence of the iPhone 8, specifically, seems to make the iPhone X a tougher sell.

iPhone X = increased risk + increased cost

I’m going to break the fourth wall for a minute. I hope you don’t mind.

Over the past month, I’ve written two different stories offering reasons to buy one iPhone model over the other. But there is a clear discrepancy in interest between the two stories.

iphone x 8 cms

iphone x 8 cms

Of course, there are various contributing factors at play here — the timing of each article published, for example, and the fact the iPhone X isn’t in the wild just yet. But to me, it shows that people are clearly looking for any reason to save money when it comes to their new iPhone purchase, which makes perfect sense.

My colleague Lauren Lyons Cole recently changed her mind and decided to get the iPhone 8 instead of the iPhone X. Business Insider CEO Henry Blodget agreed with Lauren’s takeaway, saying it “seems like the iPhone 8 Plus is the best option.”

The iPhone 8 and iPhone X are extremely similar phones on paper, but choosing to buy an iPhone X right now means being okay with both increased cost and increased risk.

iPhone X

The iPhone X’s starting price is $200 more than the iPhone 8, so you’d really have to value what that price increase means — and that’s especially hard to do if you’ve never tried the phone before (most people haven’t), and especially true for people who don’t really know what the differentiating features are.

Even if you’re completely aware of the differences between the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, you haven’t tried living with the phone yet. It’s a completely new experience, from the shape of the phone itself to the way you interact with it.

You can watch all the YouTube videos you want; you are essentially taking a risk buying the iPhone X without trying it first.

iPhone X

Meanwhile, the iPhone 8 provides a very familiar, almost safe experience. If you’ve owned an iPhone 6, 6S, or 7, you’ll feel right at home with the 8. It’s the same look, shape and feel as those phones, with its “new” features — wireless charging, fast charging, and a faster processor — mostly under the hood.

The iPhone 8 provides an easy way out for people looking to get a new iPhone, but are sheepish about the iPhone X.

The iPhone 8 will almost certainly affect iPhone X sales in some way, but to be clear, the takeaway here is not “Apple is doomed.” Far from it: The iPhone business is still extremely strong, and Apple still wins every time someone buys an iPhone, even if it’s not the iPhone X. This may well have been Apple’s strategy for 2017, given all the supply-related fears for this particularly new phone — the first iPhone with an OLED display, the first with Apple’s new TrueDepth camera system, etc. But it will certainly be interesting to see how Apple changes its iPhone lineup in 2018, if it wants to push another one of these iPhone “super cycles” where everyone upgrades to the new technology.

Having choices is certainly good for consumers, but it’s unclear how other, cheaper iPhones may affect the excitement around future iPhone launches. New iPhones still set the tone for the smartphone industry at large, but people no longer need to upgrade to the “latest and greatest” anymore.

SEE ALSO: Forget the iPhone 8 and iPhone X — here are 7 reasons you should buy the iPhone 7 instead

DON’T MISS: Watching the new iPhone X switch between apps is hypnotizing

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NOW WATCH: I won’t trade in my iPhone 6s for an iPhone X or iPhone 8 — here’s why

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Sony just offered a major look into the future of the PlayStation 4 in these 12 new trailers

For the over 60 million PlayStation 4 owners out there, the future is bright.

Marvel's Spider-man (PlayStation 4)

If you thought 2017 was a great year for games, 2018 looks like it may be even better. Sony just showcased a mess of new games coming to the PlayStation 4, like the charming and silly “Spider-man” game you see above.

Perhaps you’re looking for something more gritty, like the highly-anticipated “The Last of Us” sequel? 

The Last of Us: Part II

Whether you’re looking for something family friendly, for something deadly serious, or for a gorgeous remake of a gaming classic, Sony’s PlayStation 4 has something for you in 2018.

Check out the rundown below:

SEE ALSO: 16 reasons why now is the perfect time to buy a PlayStation 4

1. “Detroit: Become Human”

Youtube Embed:
http://www.youtube.com/embed/YtPmIBqRwQU
Width: 800px
Height: 450px

Release date: 2018

2. “The Last of Us: Part II”

Youtube Embed:
http://www.youtube.com/embed/UzdNECcio54
Width: 800px
Height: 450px

Release date: Unknown

3. “God of War”

Youtube Embed:
http://www.youtube.com/embed/EawtIu_RntE
Width: 800px
Height: 450px

Release date: Early 2018

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THE CLOUD COMPUTING REPORT: An introduction to cloud solutions and their use cases

Cloud_Growth

This is a preview of a research report from BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service. To learn more about BI Intelligence, click here.

Cloud computing — on-demand, internet-based computing services — has been successfully applied to many computing functions in recent years.

From consumer-facing, web-based productivity apps like Google Docs to enterprise database management suites, the tools businesses rely on are increasingly moving to the cloud.

But developing a cloud strategy is no easy task. Public cloud solutions will likely come to dominate the market over the next decade, but business constraints, such as security concerns and the limitations of existing infrastructure, make it difficult for companies to fully adopt the public cloud right now.

That means that hybrid clouds, in which multiple cloud implementations (including public and private) are connected, will remain popular for the time being, at least until these constraints are addressed. The tech giants that dominate the IaaS market — Amazon, IBM, Microsoft, and Google — are constantly expanding their offerings to address current business constraints as they compete for market share.

A new report from BI Intelligence evaluates the current business considerations for the various cloud solutions and provides an outlook on the state of the market.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the report: 

  • Cloud computing solutions have gained traction because they’re flexible and cost efficient. Sixty-seven percent of companies used an Infrastructure-as-a-Service solution in 2015, like the cloud, for some part of their business, up 19% from the prior year.
  • All cloud solutions provide certain benefits that are becoming increasingly essential to businesses in the digital age. These include on-demand self-service, rapid elasticity, and broad network access, among others.
  • Security needs, demand predictability, existing infrastructure, and maintenance capabilities are key business considerations for enterprises choosing between cloud implementations.
  • While hybrid cloud strategies will remain popular in the near term, the market is likely to shift toward the public cloud over time. That’s because costs are falling, providers are developing solutions that address main concerns with the public cloud, and business practices like agile development and data analytics are dependent on advantages the public cloud provides. However, industries that handle sensitive information, like financial services and healthcare, will likely prefer hybrid and private cloud strategies given regulatory restrictions.
  • Amazon Web Services is the dominant cloud computing provider by market share, followed by Google, IBM, and Microsoft. Because the latter three companies have had little success taking on Amazon, market-share gains are likely to come at the expense of smaller competitors.

In full, the report:

  • Explains the different cloud computing strategies and benefits of cloud computing.
  • Evaluates key business considerations – security needs, demand predictability, existing infrastructure, and maintenance capabilities – for enterprises choosing between cloud implementations.
  • Provides and outlook for trends and major players in the cloud computing market.

Interested in getting the full report? Here are two ways to access it:

  1. Subscribe to an All-Access pass to BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report and over 100 other expertly researched reports. As an added bonus, you’ll also gain access to all future reports and daily newsletters to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and benefit personally and professionally. >> Learn More Now
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NOW WATCH: Here are the most important differences between the iPhone 8 and the iPhone X

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NASA sent one identical twin brother to space for a year and studied how it changed him — here are the latest results

NASA astronauts Scott and Mark Kelly

When NASA astronaut Scott Kelly stood up last March after spending a year in space, he was two inches taller.

Kelly is part of a study NASA is conducting to assess how the human body changes as a result of space travel, using Scott Kelly and his twin brother Mark Kelly as subjects. While Scott spent 340 days aboard the International Space Station, Mark stayed on Earth, giving NASA the rare opportunity to compare two identical sets of DNA — one that has been exposed to the stressors of space, and one that has not.

Temporary additions in height are just one of many alterations the researchers have documented so far. Scott and Mark have the same genes, but Scott’s year in space appears to have strongly affected the way those genes are expressed.

“We can observe the entire human biological system responding to space flight,” Christopher Mason, a principal investigator on the NASA Twins study and an associate professor at Weill Cornell Medical College, told Business Insider.

Researchers already knew that taking our bodies for a jaunt outside Earth’s protective atmosphere has plenty of effects on the human body, like stretching your spine, shrinking your muscles, and messing up your sleep cycle — but the effects of long-term exposure to space have been less well-known.

NASA astronaut Scott KellyThe results of the twin study, though preliminary, are already giving scientists a ton to think about.

Mason said they’ve seen “thousands and thousands of genes change how they are turned on and turned off,” almost immediately once an astronaut reaches space. Some of these changes stick around for days or even weeks after astronauts return to Earth.

The new findings about gene expression build on some preliminary results that NASA released in February. Researchers hope to use the full set of data, which could take some time to comb through completely, to better prepare for future deep-space missions.

Here are some of the most interesting results so far:

  • Scott’s telomeres got longer, then shrunk back to normal. Scott’s telomeres, or the caps at the end of chromosomes, became longer than his brother’s while he was in space, but quickly returned to their normal length once he returned home.”That is exactly the opposite of what we thought,” Susan Bailey, a radiation biologist at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, told Nature in Februrary. That’s because shorter telomeres are generally associated with getting older. Scientists are still studying what this means, but it could be linked to more exercise and eating fewer calories while in space, according to NASA.
  • Scott’s genetic expression changed in a bunch of ways. Scott’s genes showed both increased and decreased levels of methylation, a process that results in genes getting turned on and off. “Some of the most exciting things that we’ve seen from looking at gene expression in space is that we really see an explosion, like fireworks taking off, as soon as the human body gets into space,” Mason said in a recent statement. According to NASA, this could “indicate genes that are more sensitive to a changing environment whether on Earth or in space.”
  • The twins hosted different gut bacteria. Researchers noted differences between Scott’s and Mark’s gut bacteria (essentially the microbes that aid in digestion) throughout the year-long study. This was probably a result of their different diets and environments, NASA said.
  • Scientists are looking for what they’re calling a “space gene.” By sequencing the RNA in the twins’ white blood cells, researchers found more than 200,000 RNA molecules that were expressed differently between the brothers. It is normal for twins to have unique mutations in their genome, but scientists are “looking closer to see if a ‘space gene’ could have been activated while Scott was in space,” NASA said.

SEE ALSO: I got my dog’s DNA tested and what I learned shocked me

DON’T MISS: 8 weird things that happen to your body if you live in space for a year

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NOW WATCH: NASA and Lockheed Martin reveal their plans to build the first-ever Mars space station

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We just got another hint that Amazon could be getting into the prescription drug business

amazon jeff bezos

We just got another hint that Amazon is getting into healthcare. 

Samantha Liss at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Amazon has been approved for wholesale pharmacy licenses for at least 12 states. That’s based on regulatory filings reviewed by the Post-Dispatch. 

While the licenses don’t necessarily indicate that Amazon is going to start to sell prescription drugs, the news was enough to make the stocks of some of the major players in the pharmaceutical supply chain move. 

Screen Shot 2017 10 26 at 3.44.01 PM

This isn’t the first time the prescription drug industry has been concerned about Amazon entering the pharma business. CNBC reported in May that Amazon is seriously considering entering the pharmacy business, leading to speculation about what that might look like.  

CNBC in October reported that Amazon’s expected to make a decision about whether it’s getting into the prescription drug business by Thanksgiving. 

SEE ALSO: Pharmacies take a $10 billion hit as Amazon lands Whole Foods deal

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NOW WATCH: Watch billionaire Jack Ma sing his heart out during a surprise performance at a music festival

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