Amazon.com Inc introduced its eagerly-awaited tablet computer on Wednesday with a $199 price tag. Many analysts think this price is not potentially cheap enough to compete with Apple Inc’s iPad, but rather will create a new lower-end category.
The Kindle Fire tablet has a 7-inch screen, free data storage over the Internet and a new browser called Amazon Silk. It expects shipments to start on November 15.
“These are premium products at non-premium prices,” Chief Executive Jeff Bezos said. “We are going to sell millions of these.” Breaking into the tablet market will be difficult. Companies including Hewlett Packard, Motorola Mobility, Samsung and Research in Motion, have each launched tablets but none have taken a bite out of Apple’s lead.
Apple dominates the North American tablet market, with 80 percent of the 7.5 million units shipped during the second quarter of 2011, according to Strategy Analytics.
How does the Kindle Fire compare to the iPad?
It doesn’t really. It is a different kind of device – and for that reason, it probably has the best chance of becoming a success. If fact, when you put the specs side-to-side, the iPad begins to look like a premium product. Unlike what many of the other competitors in the tablet market have done, i.e. try to woo customers with specs that no one besides computer geeks care about, the Kindle Fire stresses content and how this device gives you easy access to it. This is a very smart move. It doesn’t tout the Android OS and for good reason – at the moment it is not very compatible with existing apps and the company wasn’t very clear whether this was going to be addressed in the future.
Description of the Amazon Kindle Fire
Below is text from the Amazon product page describing the Kindle Fire:
Stunning Color Touchscreen
Movies, magazines and children’s books come alive on a 7″ vibrant color touchscreen that delivers 16 million colors in high resolution. Kindle Fire uses IPS (in-plane switching) technology – similar technology to that used on the iPad – for an extra-wide viewing angle, perfect for sharing your screen with others.
Magazines in Rich Color
Enjoy your favorite magazines with glossy, full-color layouts, photographs and illustrations. Choose from hundreds of titles, such as Bon Appetit, Elle, and Oprah. Special editions of titles likeVanity Fair, Wired, and GQ come with built-in video, audio and other interactive features.
Beautifully Simple to Use
Designed from the ground up, Kindle Fire‘s simple, intuitive interface puts the content you love at your fingertips – spin effortlessly through your recent titles and websites straight from the home screen. Whether you are in the mood to watch, read, listen, play or browse, you can get to all your favorite content with a single touch. It’s that simple.
100,000 Movies and TV Shows
Over 100,000 movies and TV shows, including thousands of new releases and your favorite TV shows, are available to stream or download, purchase or rent – all just one tap away. Amazon Prime members enjoy unlimited, commercial-free streaming of over 10,000 popular movies and TV shows.
Fast, Duel Core Processor
Kindle Fire features a state-of-the-art dual-core processor for fast, powerful performance. Stream music while browsing the web or read books while downloading videos.
Your favorite Apps and Games
Angry Birds, Plants vs. Zombies, The Weather Channel and more, plus a great paid app for free every day. All apps are Amazon-tested on Kindle Fire for the best experience possible.
Ultra-Fast Web Browsing
Amazon Silk is a revolutionary, cloud-accelerated browser that uses a “split browser” architecture to leverage the computing speed and power of the Amazon Web Services cloud. Supports Adobe® Flash® Player.
Millions of Books
Read bestsellers, children’s books, comic books, and cookbooks in vibrant color. The Kindle Store offers over 1 million books, including 800,000 titles at $9.99 or less. In addition, over 2 million free, out-of-copyright, pre-1923 books are also available such as Pride and Prejudice.
Display - 7″ multi-touch display with IPS (in-plane switching) technology and anti-reflective treatment, 1024 x 600 pixel resolution at 169 ppi, 16 million colors.
Size (in inches) - 7.5″ x 4.7″ x 0.45″ (190 mm x 120 mm x 11.4 mm).
Weight - 14.6 ounces (413 grams).
System Requirements - None, because it’s wireless and doesn’t require a computer.
On-device Storage - 8GB internal. That’s enough for 80 apps, plus either 10 movies or 800 songs or 6,000 books.
Cloud Storage - Free cloud storage for all Amazon content
Battery Life - Up to 8 hours of continuous reading or 7.5 hours of video playback, with wireless off. Battery life will vary based on wireless usage, such as web browsing and downloading content.
Charge Time - Fully charges in approximately 4 hours via included U.S. power adapter. Also supports charging from your computer via USB.
Wi-Fi Connectivity - Supports public and private Wi-Fi networks or hotspots that use the 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, or 802.1X standard with support for WEP, WPA and WPA2 security using password authentication; does not support connecting to ad-hoc (or peer-to-peer) Wi-Fi networks.
USB Port - USB 2.0 (micro-B connector)
Audio - 3.5 mm stereo audio jack, top-mounted stereo speakers.
Content Formats Supported - Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively, Audible (Audible Enhanced (AA, AAX)), DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, non-DRM AAC, MP3, MIDI, OGG, WAV, MP4, VP8.
Documentation - Quick Start Guide(included in box); Kindle User’s Guide (pre-installed on device)
Warranty and Service - 1-year limited warranty and service included. Optional 2-year Extended Warranty available for U.S. customers sold separately. Use of Kindle is subject to the terms found here.
Included in the Box - Kindle Fire device, U.S. power adapter (supports 100-240V), and Quick Start Guide.
Technology so advanced, you’ll forget it’s even there.
When you pick up iPad, it becomes an extension of you. That’s the idea behind its innovative design. It’s just 0.34 inch thin and weighs as little as 1.33 pounds, so it feels completely comfortable in your hands.2 And it makes surfing the web, checking email, watching movies, and reading books so natural, you’ll wonder why you ever did it any other way.
Dual-core A5 chip. It’s fast, times two.
Two powerful cores in one A5 chip mean Apple iPad 2
can do twice the work at once. Multitasking is smooth, apps load quickly, and anything you touch responds instantly. And with up to nine times the graphics performance of the first-generation iPad, everything on Apple iPad 2
is even more fluid and realistic, from gameplay to scrolling through your photo library.
Instant On. Touch and go.
Pick up your iPad, press the Home button, and it wakes from sleep instantly. That’s because iPad features fast, efficient, and reliable flash storage that lets you access data quickly. So everything effortlessly springs to life.
Battery life keeps on going. So you can, too.
Even with such a thin, light design, Apple iPad 2
has an incredible 10-hour battery life.1That’s enough juice for one flight across the ocean, or one movie-watching all-nighter, or a week’s commute across town. Because iPad hardware and software are made for each other, the power-efficient A5 chip works with the iOS software to keep battery life from fading away.
Two cameras. And a big hello to FaceTime for Apple iPad 2
You’ll see two cameras on Apple iPad 2
— one on the front and one on the back. They may be tiny, but they’re a big deal. They’re designed for FaceTime video calling, and they work together so you can talk to your favorite people and see them smile and laugh back at you.3 The front camera puts you and your friend face-to-face. Switch to the back camera during your video call to share where you are, who you’re with, or what’s going on around you. When you’re not using FaceTime, let the back camera roll if you see something movie-worthy. It’s HD, so whatever you shoot is a mini-masterpiece. And you can take wacky snapshots in Photo Booth. It’s the most fun a face can have.
Apple iPad 2
and the iPad Smart Cover are made for each other. Literally. We designed the iPad Smart Cover to work side-by-side with iPad — and on top and underneath it, too. Smart magnetic technology built into each really pulls them together. The iPad Smart Cover falls perfectly into place and stays put to protect your iPad screen, yet doesn’t add bulk to its thin, light design. Open the Smart Cover and your iPad wakes up instantly. Close it and your iPad goes to sleep automatically. And here’s another smart part: It transforms into the perfect movie-watching, game-playing, web-surfing stand. It comes in 10 bright colors — including five in rich, aniline-dyed Italian leather. Choose your favorite, and your iPad will be smart all around.
iOS. The world’s most advanced mobile operating system.
iOS is the operating system for iPad. And it lets you see and do everything just by touching the screen. It includes all the powerful, innovative, and fun built-in apps you use every day, many times a day. It’s the platform for which more than 140,000 other amazing iPad apps have been created to take advantage of the large Multi-Touch screen. And now with over 200 new features in iOS 5 — including Newsstand, iMessage, and Notification Center — iOS is yet another reason no other device comes close to iPad.
iCloud. Your content. On all your devices.
iCloud stores your music, photos, documents, and more and wirelessly pushes them to all your devices.6 So if you buy a song, take a photo, or edit a calendar event on your iPad, iCloud makes sure it appears on your Mac, iPhone, and iPod touch, too. You don’t have to do a thing.
LED-backlit display. The view is amazing.
iPad is one big, beautiful display — 9.7 inches of high-resolution photos, movies, web pages, books, and more. LED backlighting makes everything you see remarkably crisp, vivid, and bright. Even in places with low light, like an airplane. And there’s no wrong way to hold iPad. It’s designed to show off everything in portrait and landscape, so with every turn (even upside down), the display adjusts to fit. Because it uses a display technology called IPS (in-plane switching), it has a wide, 178° viewing angle. Hold it up to someone across the room, or share it with someone sitting next to you, and everyone gets a brilliant view.
Multi-Touch. Everything’s at your fingertips.
With iPad, you use your fingers to do everything. And thanks to Multi-Touch technology, everything youdo — surfing the web, typing email, reading books, swiping through photos, and switching between apps — is easier and a lot more fun. When your fingers touch the display, it senses them using electrical fields. Then it instantly transforms your taps, swipes, pinches, and flicks into lifelike actions. Just like that.
Wi-Fi and 3G. Two great ways to stay connected.
Every iPad is built with advanced 802.11n wireless technology. It automatically finds Wi-Fi networks, which you can join with a few taps. iPad is also available with 3G connectivity on either AT&T or Verizon Wireless networks. So if you’re somewhere without Wi-Fi, such as outdoors on a camping trip or on the road, you can still surf the web, check email, or get directions.
Gyro, accelerometer, and compass. iPad knows your every move.
With the built-in accelerometer, you can rotate iPad to portrait or landscape, or even upside down, and whatever you’re watching, reading, or seeing adjusts to fit the display. And now the accelerometer, three-axis gyroscope, and compass all work together. They sense which direction iPad is heading and how it’s moving. So games, maps, and other apps know your every twist, turn, tilt, and 360. It’s an epic win for gaming. And it’s just the beginning of better-than-ever iPad apps.
Broadcast live to your HDTV and speakers.
All the great stuff on your iPad — your music, photos, and videos — can stream wirelessly to your HDTV and speakers via Apple TV or AirPlay-enabled speakers over a Wi-Fi network. With just a tap on the AirPlay icon, you can blast some tunes, have a movie night, show off some photos, or watch YouTube. And go big.
Video mirroring. See it here. See it there.
Video mirroring for iPad is great for every app, web page, presentation, video, movie, or photo you want to show a big audience. Just plug in the Apple Digital AV Adapter or Apple VGA Adapter (sold separately) and your HDTV or projector becomes a bigger version of your iPad. One plug, that’s it. Or you can wirelessly stream what’s on your iPad with AirPlay Mirroring and Apple TV. Everyone sees what’s on yourdisplay — even when you rotate iPad from portrait to landscape or zoom in and out.
AirPrint. Print everything wirelessly.
Print your email, photos, web pages, and documents right from your iPad over Wi-Fi. There’s no software to download, no drivers to install, and no cables to connect. With just a few taps, you can go from viewing something on the iPad screen to holding a printed copy.