The big news today in geekdom is Amazon’s announcement of the new Kindle Fire. It’s a seven inch tablet computer running on Google’s Android operating system. At the moment Apple is king of the tablet domain, but the Fire has a secret weapon. It costs $199!
The digital landscape is littered with iPad wannabes. Pretty much they’re all failures. Motorola, RIM (aka BlackBerry), HP — no one gets away unscathed.
Anyone who wants a tablet wants the iPad experience. Since Apple fully controls the hardware and software no one else gets a taste.
Amazon has done a few interesting things. Specifically they’ve moved some of the computing from the tablet back to their servers. What’s sent to your Fire will be specially formatted for it. It will be smaller bitewise, meaning it will be faster than the hardware implies.
What I still don’t understand is why there’s no camera or microphone. A tablet is the perfect comms device. Until you’ve videochatted you don’t understand the power unleashed. It’s my understanding this functionality costs around $1 additional at the OEM level. This is probably the deal breaker for me… but $199… we’re approaching stocking stuffer purchase.
There’s no way this thing’s being sold for a profit at $199.
Like King Gillette and the safety razor Amazon realizes the advantage a loss leader can sometimes bring. Every person who owns a Kindle Fire will have instant, easy, favored access to buy things through Amazon. That’s where they’ll make their money.
For the geekiest of you, a little about Kindle Fire’s Silk browser and how it leverages Amazon’s cloud computing expertise.