Amazon’s announced but un-released Kindle Fire is generating a lot of buzz and attention and huge demand for the tablet is forcing the Internet retailer to ramp up production to make millions more of the Android-powered tablet. Like rival e-book retailer Barnes & Noble, the Kindle Fire is based upon Google’s Android operating system–in this case, the smartphone-based Android 2.3 Gingerbread–but will come with a content-centric UI that integrates and highlights apps, books, magazines, and other digital content purchased from Amazon. Like Barnes & Noble’s color Android-based Nook Color tablet, the Kindle Fire will not rely on Google’s Android Market for apps, but the Kindle Fire will go through Amazon’s proprietary app store called Amazon Appstore for Android.
The device is launching with a $200 price tag and will come feature-rich. The device will utilize a 7-inch form factor. For comparison, HTC’s 7-inch WiFi-only HTC Flyer tablet, which uses the same Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS, retailed for $500 when it first launched, but the HTC tablet also includes a screen that works with an active digitizer pen to differentiate itself.
The Kindle Fire will have a lot of high-end specs, including a 1024 X 600-pixel resolution display, which is on the higher end of things but still as not high definition as the 1280 X 800-pixel on the 7-inch screen of the T-Mobile Springboard tablet by Huawei–that tablet also runs the newer tablet-optimized Android 3.2 Honeycomb OS. The Kindle Fire also bests the Nook’s paltry processor with a dual-core gigahertz CPU and will come with many Amazon customizations, including the ability to download digital content–music, books, magazines, movies, and TV shows–from Amazon, Amazon’s Cloud Drive cloud storage, and Amazon’s proprietary web browser that’s highlighted to speed up web browsing through server-side rendering.
Given its low price point and the huge demand, Amazon may be Apple’s biggest threat in the tablet market. So far, we’ve been hearing more about tablet manufacturers trying to scale down production due to an excess of supply and not enough demand, and Amazon’s case may have a lot to do with attractive pricing, and that’s something no other tablet maker can match at this time due to Amazon’s control of the ecosystem.
Like Apple, Amazon controls a lot of digital content through its ecosystem. As it stands, the Internet retail giant can afford to sell the Kindle Fire at a loss and can undercut rivals because it can make up for loss revenues through digital content sales, such as from purchases of ebooks, movies, and magazines. The loss-leading Kindle Fire can be a huge win for Amazon’s other businesses and can be a hit for the Android tablet market, which so far isn’t faring too well against the market-leading Apple iPad.
Amazon is also expected to launch a multi-core Kindle Fire with a larger display to better compete against the iPad.
Via: Business Insider