Amazon Aims to Revolutionize Digital Entertainment Market with Kindle Fire Tablet for $199

Amazon Launches Inexpensive Tablet for Media Content

by Anton Shilov
09/28/2011 | 03:51 PM

Amazon, the world’s largest online store, on Wednesday introduced its highly-anticipated Kindle Fire 7” media tablet that will likely not only revolutionize the market of slates thanks to Amazon’s broad offering of digital media or transform the market of electronic book readers, but will eventually revolutionize the market of digital content in general.


“Kindle Fire brings together all of the things we've been working on at Amazon for over 15 years into a single, fully-integrated service for customers. With Kindle Fire, you have instant access to all the content, free storage in the Amazon Cloud, the convenience of Amazon Whispersync, our revolutionary cloud-accelerated web browser, the speed and power of a state-of-the-art dual-core processor, a vibrant touch display with 16 million colors in high resolution, and a light 14.6 ounce design that's easy to hold with one hand - all for only $199,” said Jeff Bezos, chief executive officer of Amazon.

Amazon Introduces $199 Google Android Tablet

Amazon Kindle Fire tablet sports 7” multi-touch display with 1024*600 resolution with Corning’s Gorilla glass and anti-glare coating. The device is based on a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 Texas Instruments OMAP 4 system-on-chip (with PowerVR SGX540 graphics core) as well as Google Android 2.3 “Gingerbread” operating system with Amazon’s own user interface. The device is equipped with 8GB of flash memory, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n wireless local network controller, micro-USB 2.0 connector, 3.5mm stereo audio jack, speakers and so on. Unfortunately, the Kindle Fire 7” does not feature any cameras or a microphone. The Amazon Fire product weights 413 grams and can work for 8 hours continuous reading or 7.5 hours video playback.

The new Kindle supports such file formats 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.

While the specifications of the Amazon Kindle Fire 7” tablet may not impress, it should be kept in mind that the device costs just $199 and aims mainstream customers primarily seeking for rich media experience that includes audio, books, games, news-papers, magazines, videos and so on. With 7” screen with 1024*600 resolution it will be impossible to watch HD videos, but the company will likely address that with another tablet in the future.

The Kindle Fire has a number of exclusive capabilities, such as web browser Amazon Silk that accelerates the power of the mobile device hardware by using the computing speed and power of the Amazon Web Services Cloud (Amazon EC2). The Silk dynamically determines a division of labor between the mobile hardware and Amazon EC2 (i.e. which browser sub-components run where) that takes into consideration factors like network conditions, page complexity, and cached content. Kindle Fire uses Amazon's popular Whispersync technology to automatically synchronize Kindle library (audio, book, video, etc.), last page read, bookmarks, notes, and highlights across the widest range of devices and platforms.

Incredible Set of Content at Fingertips

Kindle Fire allows Amazon to sell its incredible selection of digital content wirelessly across the world.

In particular, Kindle Fire offers:

Inevitable Success?

At $199, Amazon Kindle Fire 7” media tablet will be one of a few media tablets available at such a price-point. In fact, at present it does not have any direct rivals: Lenovo’s IdeaPad A1 for $199 sports outdated OMAP 3-series SoC and does not support all the content advantages that Kindle Fire will provide.

The new Kindle Fire 7” will have a lot of chances to become popular among customers who want to read books and have ability to watch high-quality videos and/or browse the Internet and who do not want to buy a more expensive Apple iPad 9.7” that does not have substantially better resolution. Unfortunately, Kindle Fire 7” is not a lifestyle device without a back-facing camera (albeit it has front-facing webcam [as can be seen on pictures] with unknown spec), mic and other things required for social networks, visual and video communications. Essentially, the novelty is a product designed specifically to consume content that Amazon sells and do not feature any communication functionality, which will naturally affect its popularity among the active consumers.

Without communication capabilities and integrated 3G, the Amazon Kindle Fire 7” becomes a product for in-home use as it will not download additional content wirelessly everywhere.

The main advantages of Amazon’s Kindle Fire 7” are its $199 price as well as support for various types of entertainment, including audio, books, games, news-papers, magazines, videos and so on. Initially, the Fire will become a popular and relatively inexpensive entertainment device that will be bought instead of e-book readers, personal digital media players, portable game consoles and so on.

Amazon Kindle Fire 7” has all chances to become an ultimate entertainment device that will seriously disrupt many markets as it will offer new ways of content consumption and user experience for the masses. Amazon claims that its Kindle e-book readers are the most popular products that it has sold ever. The Fire has all chances to outsell Kindles, but what remains to be seen is whether it will match or outsell popular media tablets with rich communication capabilities, such as Apple iPad 2.