Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) says it will sell its new Kindle Fire tablet computer, the subject of much Internet speculation, for $199, undercutting Apple’s cheapest iPad, which is $499.
The device has, as predicted, a 7-inch screen and runs on Google’s Android operating system. It lacks a camera and a microphone, offers WiFi but not 3G, and boasts what early reviewers say is an easy-to-use interface on top of the Android OS.
Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, is the only competitor with media offerings similar to what Apple has, analysts say.
Here’s Bloomberg’s report on the Kindle Fire and its potential to disrupt the tablet market, affects on relevant stocks and on Amazon itself. Some analysts think the 7-inch model of the new Amazon device is a “tweener,” and a device will need at least a 10-inch screen to compete seriously in the tablet market. Do you agree?
A larger, 10-inch screen version of the new Kindle Fire is expected in the first quarter of 2012.
Personally, I love my Kindle (and Amazon just unveiled a new, $79 model) but I haven’t been impressed with any of the tablet computers I’ve tested. They’re too heavy to hold comfortably for photography or reading and working with virtual keyboards doesn’t light my fire.
I wouldn’t mind having some additional features on the Kindle: an easier way to scroll through a book’s text or move around in the book itself, especially for those saved as text or Word docs rather than as Kindle (Mobi) docs. Color would be nice sometimes, but a color LED screen is going to take a toll on the battery and one of the regular Kindle’s most endearing qualities is that the battery charge lasts weeks.
But we’ll withhold any judgement calls on the new Kindles until we get to try one. –Allan Maurer
The Associated Press weighed in with this report.
- Kindle Fire HD impresses some, others waiting for iPad Mini
- Kindle Fire helps Android close the gap on iPads
- Kindle Fire preorders near 100k; Spotify nabs 5M users; Daily up to 80K subscribers
- Kindle Fire leads Android tablet market, but larger screens get more use
- Consumers won’t pay as much for Android tablets as for an iPad
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