Amazon Kindles its Tablet Fire

by Matt Klassen on September 29, 2011

Amazon's Kindle Fire Tablet

The cheesy play-on-words aside, ever since Amazon underwent a much-publicized overall of its entire ecommerce website the tech world has been awash with rumours about the company potentially releasing its own unique tablet. It looks like yesterday those rumours came true, as Amazon finally entered the tablet fray with the Kindle Fire.

Building on the astounding popularity of the company’s basic Kindle e-reader and its online store, Amazon is hoping that the addition of its vast entertainment offerings and its cutting edge cloud infrastructure will help the Fire break into the cutthroat tablet market.

In fact, competitively priced at $199, many analysts are already calling the Kindle Fire the first real threat to the dominance of Apple’s iPad, but with the Fire sporting a relatively bare-bones packages of features, will anyone really be interested?

It was yesterday at a Manhattan unveiling that Amazon took the wraps off its latest devices, including a newly designed Kindle Touch–designed for one handed use–and its brand new Kindle Fire, the company’s first entry into the tablet market.

Weighing a mere 14.6 ounces and sporting a market average 7-inch multitouch screen, there isn’t much about the Kindle Fire’s specifications that will get anyone’s head turning. The Amazon tablet is a Wi-Fi only device, sporting 8GB of storage and running on a 1GHz dual-core Texas Instrument processor. Unlike the iPad or other tablet offerings, the Fire does not have a camera or microphone built in.

Lacking the general versatility and appeal of many of its established competitors, does Amazon really have a chance to make a dent in the market with the Kindle Fire? While the tablet/e-reader hybrid may seem unassuming at first, the fact is that the Fire has a lot going for it, enough that it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that it could actually make a dent in the market.

For starters, the device comes preloaded with Amazon’s newly revamped mobile storefront, it runs Android (although I am unclear about which OS version) and thus gives users access to the Android marketplace, it features MP3 and video playback features that will give users access to Amazon’s wide array of streaming movies, television and music and, as previously mentioned, the device utilizes Amazon’s cloud infrastructure for added storage.

But again, none of that is really ground breaking, so how will Amazon’s Kindle Fire find lasting success? Competitively priced at $199 I can envision the Fire finding its niche as people’s second tablet, especially those looking for a more than just an e-reader to take travelling. While clearly the iPad does some things well, it truly seems like the Fire picks up the slack, giving users an e-commerce and e-reader platform in a modestly equipped Wi-Fi enabled tablet.

In the end, I can see the battle between Apple’s iPad and the Amazon Kindle Fire looking a little like the race between the tortoise and the hare, with the iPad clearly outdistancing the Fire in almost every category, including price. But where Apple seems downright cocky about its tablet success, Amazon’s Kindle Fire has an air of humility surrounding it, a simple device created for both those who buy into Apple’s technological lifestyle and those who don’t.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. Follow by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

{ 3 trackbacks }

Kindle Fire Burns Amazon’s Bottom Line —
August 17, 2012 at 5:42 am
B&N Nook looks to Quell Amazon’s Fire —
August 17, 2012 at 5:48 am
Kindle Fire Faces Firestorm of Criticism —
August 17, 2012 at 7:29 am

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