Amazon's unannounced Android tablet previewed

It's been a source of great speculation for months but today TechCrunch claims that it has actually seen and used the long anticipated tablet device that's coming soon from Amazon. The article doesn't show any pictures or video of the tablet, which it claims will simply be called the Amazon Kindle. The site says that the tablet's physical design looks much like RIM's Blackberry Playbook.

It looks like Amazon will sell this product as the next evolution of its popular Kindle eReader. However instead of an e-Ink screen, this will be an Android-based tablet with a 7 inch capacitive touch screen. The article says that instead of the normal Android user interface, Amazon has created its own UI for the tablet. It states, "The main screen is a carousel that looks like Cover Flow in iTunes which displays all the content you have on the device. This includes books, apps, movies, etc."

The tablet is also designed to link up to Amazon's many online services. The article states, "The book reader is a Kindle app (which looks similar to how it does on Android and iOS now). The music player is Amazon’s Cloud Player. The movie player is Amazon’s Instant Video player. The app store is Amazon’s Android Appstore." Some of the tech specs have yet to be confirmed but TechCrunch believes the tablet is running on a single core processor and may (or may not) have just 6 GB of storage. It will only have a WiFi wireless connection at launch but future versions might have 3G wireless support as well.

As far as the price, the Amazon Kindle will be sold for $250. That will include a free subscription to Amazon Prime which gives its users free two-day shipments on Amazon's retail web site as well as access to its streaming video service. Amazon is currently targeting a November launch of the Kindle tablet.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Google to shut down 10 of its products

Next Story

Avalanche Studios: DRM is not the answer

17 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

thealexweb said,
So no access to the Android Market then

Most likely not by default no... Is anyone seriously surprised? Wasn't it always a given their tablet would only have access to their own market at least if it would end up being a cheap tablet.

thealexweb said,
So no access to the Android Market then

Amazon has no reason nor incentive to give you access to the Android market and thus help line it's competitors pockets with a cut of sales. It's in their interests to make their own market and sell their own apps to you directly, no need for Google in the mix.

thealexweb said,
So no access to the Android Market then

I'm wondering if they will allow apps not bought from the Amazon Market to be installed. I think one of the reasons this tablet will be cheap is because Amazon will be expecting a return from sales, so they might restrict it.

Trueblue711 said,

I'm wondering if they will allow apps not bought from the Amazon Market to be installed. I think one of the reasons this tablet will be cheap is because Amazon will be expecting a return from sales, so they might restrict it.

Even if they won't allow it, I'm sure some hacker out there will "allow" it somehow. :-)

There's also the matter of whether Google would allow the Android marketplace. Now that Amazon has forked Android with deep customizations and are in some ways competing with Honeycomb I'm not sure that Google would certify them.

GP007 said,

Amazon has no reason nor incentive to give you access to the Android market and thus help line it's competitors pockets with a cut of sales. It's in their interests to make their own market and sell their own apps to you directly, no need for Google in the mix.

There's an ermous incentive to include the Android Market, comparing the two Amazon's looks quite app free and without offical Android Market I wouldn't even consider it, other manufactors with their own app stores like samsung still include the android market.

thealexweb said,

There's an ermous incentive to include the Android Market, comparing the two Amazon's looks quite app free and without offical Android Market I wouldn't even consider it, other manufactors with their own app stores like samsung still include the android market.


Amazon aren't selling this to the tech crowd. Or to the Apps crowd. It's being sold, primarily as a Nook Color competitor, secondly to the "Do I want an e-reader or a tablet" crowd.

FMH said,
full-fledge Android Honeycomb

article says Gingerbread and that Honeycomb may never make it officially.

single-core Cortex A8 processor!!!

trollonknoll said,

article says Gingerbread and that Honeycomb may never make it officially.

single-core Cortex A8 processor!!!

You guys are right. So sorry!
It would eventually get Honeycomb.

I assume they'll still keep the e-ink version as an option, as there's no way that a tablet is even going to come close with regards to battery life? And are they subsidising it? Given the tie to other Amazon services I wouldn't be surprised if they did go down the route.

theyarecomingforyou said,
I assume they'll still keep the e-ink version as an option, as there's no way that a tablet is even going to come close with regards to battery life? And are they subsidising it? Given the tie to other Amazon services I wouldn't be surprised if they did go down the route.

I would not be surprised to see them do it much like B&N has, with a tablet version of Kindle, and then the regular e-ink.

theyarecomingforyou said,
I assume they'll still keep the e-ink version as an option, as there's no way that a tablet is even going to come close with regards to battery life? And are they subsidising it? Given the tie to other Amazon services I wouldn't be surprised if they did go down the route.

I hope so. The e-ink would be the reason I would be buying an e-reader instead of a normal tablet.

Trueblue711 said,

I hope so. The e-ink would be the reason I would be buying an e-reader instead of a normal tablet.

It's the ONLY reason I bought my Kindle. If I wanted to read my books on a tablet, I would have bought a tablet... I prefer the screen on my Kindle for reading, plus at work we've found out you can scan barcodes from them, which isn't exactly an easy thing to do with a tablet or any other regular display.