Today Amazon unveiled the ‘Kindle Fire’ tablet and the e-ink ‘Kindle Touch’ reader. Priced at $199, the Kindle Fire is a full-featured tablet running Android under the hood with an interface that is totally Amazon’s.

The Kindle Fire will closely integrate with Amazon’s web services to offer eBooks, music and movies on the device’s seven-inch touch display.

Bloomberg leaked the details on Amazon’s new tablet right before the press event this morning:

“The Kindle Fire will have a 7-inch display and sell for $199, compared with $499 for Apple’s cheapest iPad, Amazon executives said in interviews with Bloomberg Businessweek. The device, a souped-up version of the Kindle electronic- book reader, will run on Google Inc.’s Android software, the Seattle-based company said.”

Brian Blair, an analyst at Wedge Partners Corp:

“Amazon is really the only other guy, the only other potential tablet player, that has a similar offering to what Apple has,” Blair said in an interview last week. “If you look across their product offerings, they have content that none of the other tablet makers currently have because they have content on the media side.”

The Kindle Fire will be offered with a free 30-day of Amazon Prime ($79/year value). The tablet has no cameras or microphone for video calling. Amazon is promoting the Kindle Fire as a content consumption device, while Apple touts the iPad’s ability to create and consume content.

The Kindle Fire sports a dual-core processor and Wi-Fi connectivity. Amazon will not offer a 3G version. The tablet will run Amazon Silk to enhance the web browsing experience for customers.

Amazon will be releasing the Kindle Touch as a cheaper counterpart for the Kindle Fire this Thanksgiving, priced at $99/$149 for Wi-Fi/3G variants.

Alongside the Kindle Fire, Amazon also introduced the sucessor to the Kindle eBook reader: the Kindle Touch. The Wi-Fi e-Ink reader will be offered for only $99.

Amazon has its own app, music, books, and movies store to offer content to customers. The Kindle Fire is cheap, and Amazon is a respected brand. People will buy this tablet. iPad owners won’t buy the Kindle Fire, because the iPad already does everything Amazon can do and more. The Kindle Fire is not an iPad competitor; it’s meant for a different audience.

If the Kindle Fire does incredibly well, Apple may take notice and offer a cheaper iPad. But that remains to be seen. For now, Apple will keep doing what it does best: making awesome products.

The Kindle Fire will be available on November 15th, with pre-orders starting today.

(images via The Verge)

  • Daniel277

    at 0:01 the reflection from the light you can see clearly the touchscreen dots, wonder how that will look in real life……

  • No Camera for SKYPE calls or just taking a quick snap of the kids doing something really cute (like throwing up on the dog…)

    I guess Amazon saw this strategy work so well for Apple, they thought they would try it!

    First, sell a few tens -of-millions of non-camera tablet devices, only to come along this time next year with their…. You Guessed it “NEW Camera Version!!!” YEA!!!!


  • At such a simple and cheap price it’ll sell simply because it’s so affordable. You can buy 2 and still have a ton of cash left for books or apps.

    But like mentioned above, it isn’t meant to compete with major tablets. It’s supposed to be a “minor tablet”, and its functionality will be of a toned down tablet coupled with an improved (unless the removal of e-ink is the opposite of improvement in your opinion) Kindle.

    Personally though, the Kindle Touch is what I care about. I was contemplating a Kindle anyway but its newly cheaper price and extensive features is simply more incentive to get the device.

  • Old Tom

    I think this fills a niche very well. While i have a 1st gen ipad at home now, i can see myself picking up 1 of these for commutes, train and subway rides. It seems to be good for books, magazines and web surfing. And honestly, thats about 95% of what the ipad is used for in our household anyways. And if its android based and will play and show all those flash based sites and videos that the ipad refuses to let thru, then all the more points for the new amazon device.
    With all that said tho, id like to be able to see 1 in person for a “test drive” before spending the money. Cheap? Sure, for an electronic device, but who wants to gamble that kinda bank and then not like it and go thru the hassle of returning it?
    So guess we’ll see how things pan out with some user reviews and such.

  • 7 inches? LOL, Mines bigger than yours.

    Sent from Marc’s iPad

  • Wayne

    So this looks like an Android powered Kindle? What’s different between this and a Kindle? And what’s different about this tablet and the other Android tablets?

  • Captain Obvious

    I am guessing that you will be tied to the amazon app marketplace and unable to use other android app venues….. We have a kindle 3g at home and any web traffic you do goes through their servers I believe. Could be wrong though.

  • Martin

    This device can’t compete iOS for one important reason. Android.
    With Android problems arrive… incompatible apps, freezing, battery…etc

    • shadow

      Lol, you funny… When Apple iOS has issues, you can’t fix without reformatting. In the rare occasion when Android has issues, it is easy to fix.

  • say no to amazon

  • shherr

    I want it. People look stupid as hell taking pics with tablets. Seriously. why not just whip out your phone? In what world does a person who owns a tablet not have a smartphone with a dope camera on them at all times? (it could happen, but it seems rare)

    I already buy music from amazon (they’re cheaper than itunes, and have always been drm-free). I’ll just tether it to my (android) phone for using out and about.