Amazon is taking to the tablet PC rainforest and could shake it to its very foundations with their latest version of the Kindle eBook reader. A news conference today saw the announcement that alongside a new Kindle ($79), and Kindle Touch ($99), they were to be releasing the Kindle Fire. The new device will run on Google’s Android OS. You want to know the best part…the price. The entry-level version costs $199 meaning that it’s half the price of the all-singing, all-dancing Apple iPad 2.
The device is also noticeably smaller than the iPad at only 7inches to Apple’s 10inch-monster meaning that Amazon’s tablet can conceivably fit in your pocket.
Jeff Bezos, founder of the world’s largest online retailer, spoke about the Kindle’s evolution, stating, “Four years ago we stated with 90,000 books – today it’s a million. You can choose any of these books and have them in 60 seconds wirelessly.”
As with any new device entering the market there are doubts. The hardware is rumored to be very similar to the BlackBerry Playbook, a device that ultimately failed a cost a lot of Research in Motion (RIM) employees a job. Differences between these two devices are stark though. First up the Amazon tablet runs on the successful Android OS meaning that it will have apps available that actually work. How about that eh RIM!
Most importantly of all is the fact that Amazon’s main purpose for selling the device is to further the amount of content it can sell via its website. As mentioned earlier this is just the latest evolution and could be valuable in the fight for tablet supremacy. To be able to offer a device at only $199 that will seemingly let you do much of what the iPad 2 can do.
Adam Leach of Ovum believes that by 2016 Apple and Android are likely to be neck and neck, which is one reason why the online gaming industry will be beady-eyed after Amazon’s announcement. This might only be Amazon’s first tablet and no 3G will hold them back a bit. When that’s board then the sky might not even be the limit. The device is pre-ordering now and ships on November 15th. Here’s more of what we can expect…