Amazon Kindle Fire: 7" tablet finally available for 199 dollars
September 30th, 2011 - 12:25 pm ET by C. D.
As predicted, Amazon has unveiled their first tablet with a colour screen – the Kindle Fire during an event in New York. There was a finally surprise: the price, which has been announced as 199 dollars.
Amazon has finally unveiled their first tactile tablet with the 7" colour display – the Kindle Fire, with the device being positioned alongside the company’s well known e-paper reader the Kindle.
Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos presented the new baby, confirming the main points that had already been released on the web. The device will come with a 7" tactile screen with IPS backing and Corning Gorilla glass, a general look that resembles RIM’s PlayBook tablet, a dual core processor which allows multitasking and access to audio, video and other Android applications. The system has been built on Android, although Amazon has implemented their own custom interface.
The tablet brings with it a kiosk which groups together the content: digital newspapers, applications, documents, and a general search bar which looks for content on the device, on the web and on Amazon. Users will of course also have access to titles on the Kindle Store.
Price positioning which could hurt… but not necessarily Apple To speed up the display of Web pages on their browser, the Amazon Silk technology built on their Amazon EC2 cloud will be used in parallel to the Kindle Fire browser. It should be noted that the Kindle Fire tablet will only be available with Wi-Fi connectivity for a price of 199 dollars, with it to be available to the general public from the 15th of November.
This is less than the 250 dollars previously mentioned with this to be a big point in its favour when trying to capture market share. Perhaps Amazon took come inspiration from HP when they slashed the price of the TouchPad tablets to 99 dollars/99€ after announcing that they would be abandoning WebOS mobile products – only to see the devices start to fly off the shelves.
Western market watchers believe that Amazon is one of the only companies who could be able to rival Apple and their iPad 2 if they manage to combine their content/service offerings at an attractive price. The bottom of the range iPad2 tablet is priced at 499 dollars, placing Amazon well below this with a product that has its own 100% dedicated Amazon ecosystem.
Asian market watchers (notably in Taiwan) have suggested that rather than Amazon taking market share from Apple, it will be the other non iOS tablet manufacturers who will likely lose ground, and not Apple directly.
The All Things Digital blog has sarcastically posed the question whether Microsoft should ask Amazon for licensing rights to this new product, based on Android (although with a distinct form), knowing that the two companies already have agreements concerning the Kindle family.