Amazon unveils $200 Android-powered Kindle Fire [Update]

Amazon have just unveiled at an event today the next generation of their eReader devices, except this one is going to be in direct competition with Barnes & Noble's Nook Color tablet. The unveiled device is the heavily rumoured Amazon Kindle Fire, which is a 7-inch Android-based tablet that will be going on sale for the extremely low price of just US$200. It is essentially a “souped-up version of the Kindle”, according to Bloomberg, citing Amazon executives.

The exact specifications of the device at this stage remain unknown, but for this low price you can't really expect much. There is no 3G modem inside, no microphone or camera and it will come with just WiFi to access Amazon's massive online collection of books to browse and purchase from. On that note, the Fire will also come with a 30-day free trial of Amazon's Prime membership (usually $79 per year), which grants users free two-day shipping for products and access to their video streaming service.

The Amazon App Store is also reported to be on the device, allowing users to browse over 10,000 applications from Amazon's very own store. Again, it's unknown whether the device will also ship with the Android Market, but considering the Amazon nature of the tablet, we highly doubt it. A web browser will also be included, which has been described as “lightning fast.”

This is indeed very big news for the tablet market, as the incredibly low price and Android backend will surely make it a favourite for those looking for a cheap tablet with the possibility of customization (like the Nook Color). More details of the tablet should be revealed as the event goes on.

Update: Specifications are coming in, the Kindle Fire will have a 7-inch IPS panel with an unspecified dual-core processor inside. It will weigh 14.6 ounces (413 grams), and will be shipping out on November 15.

Second Update: Also included in the Kindle Fire will be Amazon's Silk browser, which shares the workload of pulling down and rendering webpages between the device and Amazon's EC2 cloud service. Amazon calls it "Dynamic Split Browsing", where everything can be done locally or remotely. Amazon will also be able to optimize the content it's sending down for the device, such as downscaling images to the size of the display.

Third Update: Managed to hunt down some exact specifications. The Amazon Fire will be powered by a TI OMAP 4 dual-core processor, it will have a 1024 x 600 7-inch IPS panel, come with 8 GB of onboard storage and WiFI b/g/n. Its maximum battery life is rated for 8 hours, will weigh 14.6 ounces (413 grams) and will be 11.4mm thick.

Image courtesy of Bloomberg

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My question is, since it doesn't support EPUB format, would software like Calibre still work? I'm thinking if to "upgrade" to a Kindle Fire

freeeekyyy said,
LCD screens totally defeat the purpose of having an e-reader.

Edit: Oops. I guess it is color e-ink. Well then good job Amazon.

I welcome this device, this is what we need, some tablets that are sub <$250 to compete....I think thats how competitors can compete with the iPad, with lower prices....we keep seeing competitors releasing tablets at the same price as the iPad and nobody wants them....then we see the HP Touchpad drop down to $100/$150 and it sells out nation wide in minutes

I can't really see how this will be a success. The Nook seems better as a dedicated eReader and you can't purchase apps from the Android market.

$200 and it not pure Android I suppose if you are heavily into amazon then this might be good.But I'd still hold on for a pure Android tablet with these same specs possibly costing less.
Come on MSoft we know you can do it better than.

KingCrimson said,

You know that based on????

Any ereader which doesn't use electronic paper is a mediocre ereader. If you're going to use an LCD, you might as well stick to a tablet or a small laptop.

It looks like nothing more than a color Kindle. If I wanted that, I'd go buy a Nook Color, where I can read the entire Barnes & Noble library for free in their bookstores.

Pass.

Thinking to get this for the gf for Christmas or something She could use it as a regular tablet and do some reading and movie/video watching when she needs that

Xilo said,
Still doesn't beat the Kindle 3 for reading.

This is more for media consumption, hence how much they talked about streaming video and music.

DukeEsquire said,

This is more for media consumption, hence how much they talked about streaming video and music.

Im sure they are researching to find something to keep from getting bored.

Doli said,
A new device for Apple to block from being sold

Sure maybe if Amazon infringed on one of Apple's patents...
Doesn't really matter though since this will be on a different level than the iPad and won't really be a competitor.

Specs are up on Amazon.com - The Kindle Fire is as follows:

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 Kindle License Agreement and Terms of Use.
Included in the Box Kindle Fire tablet, U.S. power adapter (supports 100-240V), and Quick Start Guide.

WildWayz said,
Specs are up on Amazon.com - The Kindle Fire is as follows:

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 Kindle License Agreement and Terms of Use.
Included in the Box Kindle Fire tablet, U.S. power adapter (supports 100-240V), and Quick Start Guide.

Which means that the Kindle Fire will work anywhere that doesn't depend on 3G/4G (however, it should even work there with an external 3G/4G/LTE dongle for tablets - and they do exist; this could well be why there's no internal 3GZ/4G/LTe with the Fire). If anything, it's the anti-iPad.

Gah, another market fragmentation grenade. I want to be able to use developed apps on any device, not have to pay and use different ones each time.

dancedar said,
Gah, another market fragmentation grenade. I want to be able to use developed apps on any device, not have to pay and use different ones each time.
Like some iPhone/iPad apps?
It's meant to be an Amazon only device. It might have Android at it's base, but it's not marketed as a Android device. There is no google apps.

cybertimber2008 said,
Like some iPhone/iPad apps?
It's meant to be an Amazon only device. It might have Android at it's base, but it's not marketed as a Android device. There is no google apps.
Which means you have to get brand new apps from Amazon. Which is even worse.

I read somewhere it was to have Amazon app store but not Android Market, also I understand it is running a butchered offshoot of android, I can't remember which version they said, it might have been 2.2 but I really can't remember.

I will wait and see how this does and maybe consider the 10 inch when its released next year if I don't have another tablet by then

GoogolPlex said,
"Amazon's Prime membership (usually $79 per month)"

It's an annual membership of $79 per year.

Lol. You viewed this article for the 30 seconds that error was live before I corrected it

It is not that cheap since it doesnt have lots of standard components. I will stick with my third generation kindle. It has a big plus because it has e-Ink screen.

If it could browse the web as well as open a veritey of ebook formats from elsewhere as well, I would definitely buy one.

Plus there's the possibility of it becoming "jailbroken" too. Could be very cool.

Any word on when we'll get this in the UK?

_DP said,
If it could browse the web as well as open a veritey of ebook formats from elsewhere as well, I would definitely buy one.

Plus there's the possibility of it becoming "jailbroken" too. Could be very cool.

Any word on when we'll get this in the UK?

It hasn't even got a US date yet.

Chances are this'll get 2.3 unofficially pretty quickly and probably ICS once the source drops (And assuming it's got hardware comparative to the nook).

AFineFrenzy said,

It hasn't even got a US date yet.

Per the post above, for all the products shown today (except the price--dropped basic Kindle) it's November 21. For the basic Kindle (at $79), it's available now.

_DP said,
If it could browse the web as well as open a veritey of ebook formats from elsewhere as well, I would definitely buy one.

Plus there's the possibility of it becoming "jailbroken" too. Could be very cool.

Any word on when we'll get this in the UK?


There are tones of Android tablets perfectly fits into your conditions.

coth said,

There are tones of Android tablets perfectly fits into your conditions.

Ok, suggest a cheap android tablet which provides a smooth experience.