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  • Amazon Drops a Bomb, Announces $199 'Fire' Tablet



    Amazon added some fuel to the Kindle and announced their entry into the tablet market with the Amazon Fire. Its biggest feature is undoubtedly the $199 price tag, positioning it well below Apple’s cheapest iPad.

    The Fire has a 7-inch IPS display (Gorilla glass and 169 pixels per inch) and only 8GB of storage. The fire has a dual core CPU, 512MB of RAM, WiFi only, and weighs a meager 14.6 ounces. Oddly, battery life wasn't addressed during the presentation. For those of you worried 8GB wont be enough storage space, Amazon is going to let anyone who buys a Fire store as much content in Amazon's Cloud as they want, allowing them to delete and retrieve content as they please.

    Fire users will have access to 100,000 movies and TV Shows, 17 million songs, the Android Appstore, Kindle Books, and all of Amazon’s content via the Fire (fees and subscriptions apply). Movies and content will synch across all the user’s Amazon streaming enabled devices meaning a movie paused on the Fire will pick up exactly where the user left off on their TV at home. Everything synchs in the background as well. No updates of any kind will have to be done by the user.

    The Fire runs an incredibly customized Android user interface and reports from the announcement confirm that this little device is fast. Very, very fast. Amazon—in an effort to speed up mobile web browsing—has even developed their own web browser called “Silk.” Silk works by processing some information on the tablet itself, but farms the bulk of the processing load to Amazon’s EC2 computer cluster. The technology—called Dynamic Split Browsing—can do every process locally or remotely.

    Silk essentially uses Amazon’s cloud to act as an infinite cache for your web pages. Silk even learns your browsing patterns. Frequent ModMyi? Silk will pre-load those pages allowing for an almost instantaneous launch when visiting the site.

    Amazon appears to have delivered, but not necessarily an iPad killer. Rather they produced a device with a decidedly different approach. It’s minimalistic. Doesn’t flaunt its power like other Android tablets. It clearly lacks features the iPad has like a camera, microphone, 3G connectivity, GPS, etc. but, this is purely a media viewing device. Content creation and business communication isn't a concern.

    Amazon has distilled the media viewing experience down to its bare essence and appears to have successfully married it to their cloud services to produce the first true cloud-based tablet. Sure it isn’t an iPad killer, it lacks a number of features to do so. But, I’m willing to bet there are enough consumers out there who will opt for a cheaper device, and at $199 it’s $300 cheaper than Apple’s cheapest iPad. That’s a lot of money to a lot of people.

    Pre-orders start today and the first shipments will land on customers' doorsteps November 15th.



    Source: Amazon Announcement
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Amazon Drops a Bomb, Announces $199 'Fire' Tablet started by Phillip Swanson View original post
    Comments 28 Comments
    1. thazsar's Avatar
      thazsar -
      Nice!!! Finally a product that isn't competing w/ iPad but shows technological advances! Sounds cool!
    1. RICO_'s Avatar
      RICO_ -
      Whether this is an iPad killer or not remains to be determined by the consumer. But you can't make the premature assumption that it is not because it was just released and you have no idea what kind of success or failure it will have. And it obviously wasn't meant to have all the features the iPad has with its $199 price tag.

      And here we go.....another rectangular device with rounded corners that im sure Apple is just itching to drop a lawsuit on.
    1. TheOrioles33's Avatar
      TheOrioles33 -
      Quote Originally Posted by thazsar View Post
      Nice!!! Finally a product that isn't competing w/ iPad but shows technological advances! Sounds cool!
      Agreed! A really nice device. Current Kindle owners will most likely be upgrading. People looking for an affordable tablet now have one.

      I think this will hurt Android tablet sales more than iPad sales.
    1. saunupe1911's Avatar
      saunupe1911 -
      Count me in if it can run Flash (which it should). I need a cheap device to stream Flash video, NFL Sunday Ticket, etc....
    1. Phillip Swanson's Avatar
      Phillip Swanson -
      Quote Originally Posted by RICO_ View Post
      Whether this is an iPad killer or not remains to be determined by the consumer. But you can't make the premature assumption that it is not because it was just released and you have no idea what kind of success or failure it will have. And it obviously wasn't meant to have all the features the iPad has with its $199 price tag.

      And here we go.....another rectangular device with rounded corners that im sure Apple is just itching to drop a lawsuit on.
      Haha very true about the lawsuit, but it is noticeably smaller at only 7" and shares a ton of physical similarities with the BlackBerry Playbook, a device Apple hasn't attacked yet.

      You are right about the consumer deciding whether or not it will be an iPad Killer, but I stand by my remarks that it won't. Apple is positioned to far ahead and with too much market momentum to be ousted from the top. What Amazon has put forth is a device that could finally take away a sizable chunk of Apple's market share, but the two devices have decidedly different intentions. Sure they share some market overlap, but the Fire isn't capable of being the all-in-one mobile computing solution the iPad is. It has been developed as more of a mobile media player, albeit the most capable one we've seen yet.

      The Fire's biggest hurdle is going to be its minimal amount of on-board storage. Anyone with a large number of games and applications isn't going to want this device. Download multi-GB games from the cloud every time you want to play them isn't going make very many people happy.

      That said, people will work around the Fire's shortcomings especially with its $199 price tag. We'll have to wait and see how Amazon disrupts the current tablet market, but my money is betting on Apple staying on top with Amazon eating up the potential Android market and as a result eventually releasing an updated fire with a larger capacity down the line.
    1. chris4851's Avatar
      chris4851 -
      I see no way that this competes with the iPad. Personally I do not use ibooks, I havent even downloaded it. I mean honestly, will there eve be a big library of apps? Who's going to rush out and develope Amazon kindle device.
    1. iYeow's Avatar
      iYeow -
      More competitions, better for consumers. Great price for a Tablet that plays flash.
    1. Outrager's Avatar
      Outrager -
      Quote Originally Posted by chris4851 View Post
      I see no way that this competes with the iPad. Personally I do not use ibooks, I havent even downloaded it. I mean honestly, will there eve be a big library of apps? Who's going to rush out and develope Amazon kindle device.
      It runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread and allows sideloading of apps as well as all the Android apps on the Amazon App Store.
    1. thazsar's Avatar
      thazsar -
      Quote Originally Posted by saunupe1911 View Post
      Count me in if it can run Flash (which it should). I need a cheap device to stream Flash video, NFL Sunday Ticket, etc....
      Supposedly Flash is coming to iOS in October!!! We'll see though...
    1. punjabi212's Avatar
      punjabi212 -
      Good product for it's price.
    1. feidhlim1986's Avatar
      feidhlim1986 -
      Quote Originally Posted by thazsar View Post
      Supposedly Flash is coming to iOS in October!!! We'll see though...
      LOL Nice joke
    1. PathKiller29's Avatar
      PathKiller29 -
      Quote Originally Posted by thazsar View Post
      Supposedly Flash is coming to iOS in October!!! We'll see though...
      Lol
      I doubt it...
      Although adobe did create something that allowed some sort of stream of flash content to ios
      Still I'm sure there isn't anything official that will bring flash to ios...
      Apple isn't a big fan
    1. Poseidon79's Avatar
      Poseidon79 -
      This is actually exactly what I've been waiting for. The iPad was way overkill for my needs which included couch surfing and playing movies on the go. No need for gaming or business use. I'll be pickin one of these bad boys up for sure.
    1. 14u2nv's Avatar
      14u2nv -
      I think this would be a good thing for me to get my mom for xmas. She's been wanting a kindle, this is better. I can still get the ipad 3 for me later.
    1. thetoothfairy's Avatar
      thetoothfairy -
      My nephew was going to get my sister a kindle for Christmas... I am going to let her know about this! She would like a iPad but neither my nephew or sister can afford one however they can this one! Maybe Apple might lower their prices to compete with this one!
    1. RICO_'s Avatar
      RICO_ -
      Quote Originally Posted by Phillip Swanson View Post
      Haha very true about the lawsuit, but it is noticeably smaller at only 7" and shares a ton of physical similarities with the BlackBerry Playbook, a device Apple hasn't attacked yet.

      You are right about the consumer deciding whether or not it will be an iPad Killer, but I stand by my remarks that it won't. Apple is positioned to far ahead and with too much market momentum to be ousted from the top. What Amazon has put forth is a device that could finally take away a sizable chunk of Apple's market share, but the two devices have decidedly different intentions. Sure they share some market overlap, but the Fire isn't capable of being the all-in-one mobile computing solution the iPad is. It has been developed as more of a mobile media player, albeit the most capable one we've seen yet.

      The Fire's biggest hurdle is going to be its minimal amount of on-board storage. Anyone with a large number of games and applications isn't going to want this device. Download multi-GB games from the cloud every time you want to play them isn't going make very many people happy.

      That said, people will work around the Fire's shortcomings especially with its $199 price tag. We'll have to wait and see how Amazon disrupts the current tablet market, but my money is betting on Apple staying on top with Amazon eating up the potential Android market and as a result eventually releasing an updated fire with a larger capacity down the line.
      Very true. The only reason I think it won't be an iPad killer is because of how many people have already purchased the iPad. And whether or not the iPad is overkill for some, the fact is that they already purchased it and have become accustomed to its features and operating system and would be less inclined to drop it and pick up or even try out the Fire.

      So basically the biggest thing Apple has going for their iPad sales against the Fire would be the vast customer base they have already acquired combined with customer loyalty.....which is a HUGE factor for Apple.

      But IMO this Amazon tablet will probably take a pretty good chunk out of the market IF it isn't riddled with problems. Especially with the Holidays coming up.
    1. zoso10's Avatar
      zoso10 -
      Man this'll really help them in competition with the Nook
    1. Simon's Avatar
      Simon -
      I preordered one. Too good a price to pass up trying it out.
    1. 2k1's Avatar
      2k1 -
      Just preordered mine
    1. Dorkenstein909's Avatar
      Dorkenstein909 -
      amazon has created a perfect product for a certain demographic. As an iphone owner, why the hell would i ever shell out 500 dollars for a device that does pretty much the same thing? the only advantage was a big screen. now i can have that big screen without paying half a grand for all that other useless crap!