Kindle Fire sets tablet market alight
A media-driven version of the Amazon Kindle has been unveiled that could challenge the dominance of the iPad 2.
The Kindle Fire features a 7-inch full-colour LCD touchscreen and a new high-performance browser called Amazon Silk. Users can access more than 100,000 movies and TV programmes through Amazon Instant Video, 17 million tunes through Amazon MPS, 1 million Kindle books and the main Android apps. It is priced at just $199 (£127) in the US, which is less than half the cost of the iPad 2. Shipping of the Kindle Fire will begin in the US on 21 November 2011, although there is currently no word on when it will be made available in the UK.
At the same time, Amazon has announced a further three new tablets. The latest generation of the standard Kindle ($79) is faster and lighter than ever before. Meanwhile, the Kindle Touch ($99) features a new touchscreen and the Kindle Touch 3G ($149) offers greater connectivity.
Amazon on Fire
But it is the Kindle Fire that is making the headlines. "Kindle Fire brings together all of the things we've been working on at Amazon for over 15 years into a single, fully-integrated service for customers," said Jeff Bozos, founder and CEO of Amazon. "We're offering premium products, and we're doing it at non-premium prices."
Tom Glass, creative director at theEword, feels the early signs are promising for the Kindle Fire. "Amazon is one of the world's biggest technology companies so the fact that it continues to invest heavily in the tablet market speaks volumes. The Kindle Fire boasts impressive specifications and a superb price point, so Apple could be in for a tough fight."