Amazon has revealed its much-anticipated tablet, the Kindle Fire, which will retail for $199 in the US, which converts to £125 over here in the UK.
Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, is aiming to knock Apple off the top spot, the Cupertino-based iPad creator currently own around 75 per cent of the tablet market according to a recent report by analyst company Gartner.
Apple aren’t due to launch another iPad until the middle of next year, so that gives Amazon some time to muscle in on the action with its new Kindle Fire device.
It’ll have plenty of consumer appeal too being half the size and more than half the price of the iPad. The Fire is a 7-inch device running Google’s Android operating system and its price tag of $199 is much more competitive than Apple’s $499 RRP.
It will be a 7-inch backlit display tablet that looks similar to the BlackBerry PlayBook. Apparently, the Kindle Fire looks like a PlayBook because it was designed and built by the same original design manufacturer (ODM), Quanta. Even though Amazon has their own team dedicated to Kindle design and development, Lab 126, they wanted to get the Fire out there in time for this holiday season so they outsourced most of it as a shortcut.
But unlike the BlackBerry tablet or the many struggling Android tablets on the market, Amazon gives you many many reasons, right up front, as to why this tablet matters. As Amazon puts it: “18 million songs, movies, TV shows, books, magazines, apps and games.” Not that you get all of those free with purchase, but the device is purpose-built as a conduit for media, whether you pay for an Amazon Prime streaming subscription, subscribe to periodicals or buy books, music or movies a la carte.
Amazon’s Chief Executive Officer, Jeff Bezos, hopes to use the company’s leading retail position and already established widespread Kindle coverage and recognition to push the budget-price Kindle Fire to a wide consumer base.
The new Kindle Fire is Wi-Fi only and features no camera or microphone for still images, video or calls, so it’s not going to take on some of the more hardware intensive, 3G-enabled tablets on the market at their own game.
Amazon are offering additional services bundled in with the tablet, however, including a 30 day trial of the Amazon Prime service which includes video and music streaming.
Although its an Android device, Amazon has put its own stamp on the Kindle Fire so that all the native apps and linked services are Amazon based, including the Amazon App Store, Kindle eBooks and Amazon music and film services.