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September 28, 2011

Amazon Kindle Fire selling for $199

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Written by: mgardega
Amazon Kindle Fire Tablet

Amazon Kindle Fire ships on November 15th.

It isn’t much of a secret among tech circles that Jeff Bezos and company will be releasing a new tablet. Starting at 10Am Eastern Standard time, today Amazon is holding a press conference to reveal more about the new kindle offerings to the public. Today the anticipatory hype has swelled to flood advisory levels as the Amazon “Fire” Tablet represents many things to many people. Let’s try and improve the Signal to Noise ratio. We will start by breaking down the various rumor camps.

  • There are those who feel it is a competitor to the iPad and all things Apple and Cupertino because of the ecosystem and services Amazon can provide.
  • There are those who feel it is Amazons simple competition for the Nook Color.
  • Others feel it is the upcoming success story for Android as a whole.
Which of these if any is correct? That is hard to say but there are a few facts that will help us decide.
  • The Amazon Fire Tablet is said to be running a forked version of Android 2.3 Gingerbread with a complete custom interface and skin. Android is near to releasing their second significant OS since 2.3 which is nicknamed
  • Ice Cream Sandwich. At some point the development of these two OS’s are in different courses. which serves really to break the Apps availability between them. This could seriously reduce the amount of apps to the next gen Kindle Tablet, and confuse customers when they can’t find the app they were expecting. Unless this tablet hits critical mass this is a big point of vulnerability.
  • Amazon has a huge backend of service (Amazon, Amazon Prime!, Videos on Demand, E-books, Audible audio books, their own App Store, Amazon MP3 and music locker) that give it the ability to privde a serious ecosystem that very few companies can match. None of these services are going to be exclusive to this tablet, so unless Amazon has some exclusive drive in the sky and cloud benefits built in there is not much to see here.
  • It is said to lack Google Apps.  (no gmail, maps, reader, upcoming propellor, etc.  Google offers some very useful apps to lose them would be worse than forcing Bing on unsuspecting purchasers.

The tablet was rushed to market and the hardware is designed and built by the makers of the PlayBook for RIM. It lacks a Camera in the microphone or 3g. of the device.With a 7 inch screen it is easily transportable.
The Nook Color owes much of its success to the ease of botting into full blown Android, and obtaining the full marketplace.  How Amazon will do with a separate App Market remains up in the air.

For $199 it does more than enough for most people, but the rumored lack of Google Apps, and a fragmented Market could make this a harder sell than it needed to be.


More to come as it is revealed:


Amazon is bringing a lot to the table.  The hardware is far from the main point of discussion.

  • Amazon Silk: Browser that lives in EC2 and on the Kindle. Caches in javascript, processing and the heavy work in the cloud to reduce the effort on the phone. A plus one of the Opera browser. It should make the browsing much faster and less intensive.  Will this be duplicated in iOS 5 or Ice Cream Sandwich? How soon?
  • Whispersync: Wireless syncing of Video to TV  now added. This is a killer feature, which Google and Google TV still hasn’t achieved successfully.
  • Gorilla Glass IPS ultra-wide Display
  • Dual Core processor
  • 14.6 ounces.
  • Amazon Cloud Storage
  • Amazon MP3 with Music Locker
  • Amazon Appstore
Edit 2:
WVGA (800×480) is a marginal at best resolution, and must be a result of this getting rushed to market/manufacturer. The second Generation of Kindle Fire’s need to improve on this. This is lower than many modern, and some not so modern phones.
Update 3:
Ok there is confusion in the blogosphere:
apparently this device has
Price  $199
Processor TI OMAP 4 dual core (mhz TBD)
Resolution 1024×600
Display Size 7″
Thickness  11.4mm
Weight 414g
Storage 8GB
running the Amazon Silk browser…
Still there are no Google Apps.   (no Gmail? no Maps) sigh

About the Author

Fan of emerging technologies, and their trans-formative relationship with society both good and bad. Some of my heroes are: Nikola Tesla, Gutenberg, Hunter S Thompson, Lawrence Lessig, Marshall McLuhan and a few others. I think the US patent system needs a mass overhaul.


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