Amazon Jumps Into The Ring

Kindle Fire Lanuch

CEO Jeff Bezos should probably look happy, not worried, while launching the Kindle Fire tablet.

The tablet market got a bit more crowded today with the announcement of the Kindle Fire – Amazon’s attempt to steal some market share from industry titan Apple and their iPad. With Amazon’s $199 US price tag, the potential to makes waves is definitely there.

I, however, am underwhelmed with the Kindle Fire as a tablet.

While $199 may nearly put the Kindle Fire in the realm of a impulse buy, what it lacks compared to the other tablets is significant. There is no 3G or 4G capability, the 7-inch screen is smaller than both the newer Droid tablets (10.1 inches) and the iPad2 (9.7 inches), there is less on-device storage, no camera (video or still) and a shorter battery life.

However…. it is only $199.

And when you compare it to other eBook readers such as the Nook, the “regular” Kindle and the Kobo, which are all priced from $80 to $100, you start hearing the argument: “Hey, for only $100 more, I get all a bunch of extra features that an eReader doesn’t have, and I don’t have to splurge on an iPad”.

Kindle Fire

Read eBooks, watch movies, listen to music and play your favorite Android Market apps - Starting at $199 US

The Kindle Fire will be running Google’s Android OS and have access to the Android Market. The touch screen will make a bunch of tablet-only apps accessible to the eReader crowed, which is a significant step up from the current “book only” functionality of the currently Kindle, Kobo, et al.

So, based on the announcement today and my own musings, I don’t think that the Kindle Fire will turn the tablet market on its head, nor will it steal a significant amount of market share from Apple. However, competing eReaders should probably be worried, because the Kindle Fire is a significant upgrade from the current offering.

At only $100 more than the basic eReader and a launch date of November 15th, there is a very good chance that Kindle Fire will be showing up under Christmas trees come December. Well, more so than its $499-and-up cousins, at any rate.

….but only if you live in the United States.


One thought on “Amazon Jumps Into The Ring

  1. It’s that whole “but only if you live in the United States.” It’s like they’re allergic to my money, even though, of late, it’s typically been worth more. 😀

    But I do think that the Fire is going to utterly vaporize the rest of the non iPad tablet market….at that price point, how could it not?

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