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Sep 28, 2011

Kindle Fire Burns up the Tablet Market

Well there is big news today and it is the new tablet from Amazon, the Kindle Fire. Here are the quick facts:

Price: $199
Size: 7 inches
Memory: 8 Gig
Camera: None
Networking: Wifi, but no 3G
OS: Amazon's version of Android

Functionality
  • Book Reading
  • Web Browsing
  • Music player
  • Amazon Store App
  • Games (They already have Angry Birds)
  • Videos - An Amazon Prime movies and streaming app

Note: Rumor has it that a 10inch version is in the works. So if you are more interested in a full size tablet, you may want to think twice about buying this version.

My thoughts are as follows.

First, the price is huge. A $300 dollar price difference is significant. Many people who have balked on the $500 iPad may take a hard look at the $200 Fire. Heck this is cheaper than most iPods! All the other tablet manufacturers are gonna be under serious pressure. They can't make money on the books, videos and music like Amazon. Right away it looks like Amazon and Apple are the only horses on this race.

Second, it has all the key features a tablet needs. Web browsing, book reading, and movie playing. (At least that is what I do the most on my iPad 2.) I really think features like cameras and 3G are not something wanted or needed by most consumers. People will ask themselves if they really need an iPad?

Third, this puts pricing pressure on rival Barnes and Noble right away. By also announcing a black and white Kindle touch at $99, this will probably force Barnes and Noble to drop the price of their most excellant Nook Touch and Nook Color.

Fourth, this announcement is a direct shot at Apple. Amazon is gonna put their integrated music, video, ebook, and shopping services against Apple. This is why I scolded Apple for their silly attempt to get 30% of any in app purchases. You risk waking the sleeping giant. And now, the sleeper has awakened and he looks angry.

Finally, this makes me wonder about Android or at least Android on the tablet. Does this move put Amazon firmly in control of the UI on Android tablets? From the demos I've seen, the interface is a lot more elegant than any Android device I have seen to date. This is the danger of open source software, someone might fork the code right at your existing business model.

Well anyway, it should be interesting to watch. Here are links you might find interesting.

Feature Comparison from This is My Next
Molly Wood from CNet
Josh Lowenstein from CNet
Engadget Video Demo
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