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Amazon Kindle Fire   (Source: Bloomberg)
Amazon's tablet undercuts the 16GB iPad 2 Wi-Fi by $300

Amazon's entry into the growing tablet sector has been one of the worst kept secrets in the tablet industry. Amazon has already stormed the e-reader market with its line of Kindle devices, so delivering the company's expansive multimedia platform to a more versatile platform seemed like a given.

After a pretty expansive leak earlier this month, Amazon is officially taking the wraps of its Android-based Kindle Fire today. Fortunately, Bloomberg jumped the gun a bit early and revealed that the Kindle Fire indeed will feature a 7" IPS display (1024 x 600), and it checks in at a low $199 (you can pre-order today, but your Kindle won't ship until November 15), which undercuts Apple's entry-level iPad by $300. 

To reach that price point, the Kindle Fire forgoes 3G access, a microphone, and the usual bevy of cameras that come on today's tablets. However, the Kindle Fire does include Wi-Fi (802.11n) and a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime (an Amazon Prime membership normally runs $79/year). 

The Kindle Fire weighs 14.6 ounces and features a dual-core processor. Amazon says that the Kindle Fire provides up to 8 hours of continuous reading or 7.5 hours of video playback (Wi-Fi disabled). The devices fully recharges within 4 hours via its USB 2.0 port.

While the Kindle Fire has 8GB of internal storage, apps from the Amazon Appstore, music, magazines, and Kindle Books will all be stored on Amazon's Cloud Drive service which makes having a large amount of onboard storage unnecessary.

"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 Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. "With Kindle Fire, you have instant access to all the content, free storage in the Amazon Cloud, the convenience of Amazon Whispersync, our revolutionary cloud-accelerated web browser, the speed and power of a state-of-the-art dual-core processor, a vibrant touch display with 16 million colors in high resolution, and a light 14.6 ounce design that's easy to hold with one hand - all for only $199. We're offering premium products, and we're doing it at non-premium prices."

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RE: The beginning of the end of iPad dominance
By 91TTZ on 9/30/2011 11:11:11 AM , Rating: 2
The small and large content delivery devices and the dedicated conent creation device are all going to be cloud integrated, and azure backed with Metro running across windows phone, xbox, and the PC. The screens themselves will eventually become a commodity no matter what they are. The content and experience delivering it is where it's at.

That's what the companies would like you to believe, and that's definitely where they're trying to move the market, but you need to be wary of the reasons for it.

The long-term objective is about achieving a constant revenue stream, nothing else. Companies like Microsoft are finding that their revenue is drying up because customers are no longer purchasing software at the rate they used to. In 2003 it would have been crazy if you were still using Windows 3.1, or even Windows 95. Yet in 2011 people are commonly using Windows XP. Many businesses still use Office 2003, 8 years after it came out. The products are mature now and they do just about everything that people need to do. Obviously a company like Microsoft doesn't want you to buy Windows 7 or Office 2010 and use it for the next 10 years. So they're moving to a different model where you continuously have to pay them to use the product as a service.

I think people are growing tired of being continuously nickel and dimed by all these companies. Everyone wants to offer their products as a "service" nowadays to ensure a constant revenue stream, but open source offerings are getting better every day. I want to be able to buy my device once and keep on using it until it breaks. I don't want the company to claim that it "needs" to be connected to the company's servers in order to work.

By Smilin on 9/30/2011 11:25:35 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, reasons for it are well understood.

Yes Ozzie and Kevin Turner have both said that the days of buying a pack of licenses then maybe or maybe not using them are over. They realize things are moving to a pay for what you use model and that churn can be instant.

We are moving to a world where pay-as-you-go will be the norm. Ecosystem jumping will become harder for a while then become easier. In the meantime competition will get more fierce than it ever has.

As for required connection: That doesn't seem to be the direction Microsoft is going. They know that choice is a prime feature of their ecosystem. Look at the On, Off, and Hybrid cloud/premisis solutions they have in O365, BPOS, Azure, and Windows Live.

“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls

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