Amazon Kindle Fire aims to undercut Apple's iPad with $199 price

article thumbnail

AppleInsider is supported by its audience and may earn commission as an Amazon Associate and affiliate partner on qualifying purchases. These affiliate partnerships do not influence our editorial content.

Amazon on Wednesday unveiled its new Kindle Fire touchscreen tablet, an Android-powered device with a 7-inch display that will sell for just $199, or less than half of Apple's entry-level $499 iPad.

The details of the new Kindle Fire were leaked ahead of Wednesday's official announcement by Bloomberg, which revealed that the device will have Wi-Fi connectivity, but no 3G. It will also come with a 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime, a $79-per-year service that includes free two-day shipping of purchases and some streaming video content.

The device was described as a "souped-up version of the Kindle electronic-book reader" that will run the Google Android mobile operating system. It said that Amazon "painted over the rough surfaces" of Android with a "fresh and easy-to-use interface."

The Kindle Fire will begin shipping on Nov. 15, and customers can now preorder the device. Features of the hardware, as touted by Amazon, include:

  • 18 million movies, TV shows, songs, magazines, and books
  • Amazon Appstore - thousands of popular apps and games
  • Ultra-fast web browsing - Amazon Silk
  • Free cloud storage for all your Amazon content
  • Vibrant color touchscreen with extra-wide viewing angle
  • Fast, powerful dual-core processor
  • Amazon Prime members enjoy unlimited, instant streaming of over 10,000 popular movies and TV shows

AppleInsider first reported on Monday that Amazon will build an initial run of 3 million of its new color touchscreen tablet, code-named "Hollywood." It will run on the older OMAP3430 processor from Texas Instruments.

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo was also first to reveal to AppleInsider that the bill-of-materials for the Kindle Fire will be around $180, which has allowed the retailer to sell the device at the aggressive $199 price point.

Kindle Fire

Amazon is said to be first releasing a 7-inch tablet to test the market, ahead of devices with larger form factors potentially arriving in 2012. At 7 inches, the Kindle fire is smaller than the 9.7-inch display of Apple's iPad.

Kuo said that Amazon is working on a 10.1-inch device code-named "Coyote" aimed to compete more directly with the iPad when it arrives in 2012. The company is also said to be preparing an 8.9-inch device for release in the second half of 2012.

Kindle Fire

Unlike Amazon's previous e-ink-based Kindle devices, the Fire sports a color LCD touchscreen which allows for activities beyond reading. Amazon plans to sell movies, games and other content for its new 7-inch tablet.