Most Innovative Companies 2012–Where Are They Now: Amazon

For Jeff Bezos' business this was very much the year of the Kindle. Can the web giant continue to push into innovative territory in 2013?

This year Amazon was our No. 4 Most Innovative Company. And for the bulk of 2012 the Jeff Bezos-led business did plenty to earn the placement--much of it focused on its increasingly robust line of Kindle tablets, led by the Kindle Fire.

But where the company lands on the list next year depends, in part, on clarity. That's because the early claim that the Fire tablet was No. 2 in the U.S. was questioned and sales were even said to fizzle. Now it's selling a new Fire with more power plus two HD versions, one with a 7-inch screen, one 9 inches, and we still don't know how well these tablets are selling in absolute numbers. All the new devices are aimed directly at the iPad, and Bezos has revealed they're sold at cost. The money comes from selling content to Fire's users instead, and Amazon's definitely improved the content to serve to its tablets through many 2012 deals with video suppliers as diverse as Comedy Central and NBCU.

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