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Amazon Unveils $199 Kindle Fire Tablet

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout' started by Xerobull, Sep 28, 2011.

  1. Xerobull

    Xerobull You son of a b!tch! I'm in!
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    Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN), the world’s largest online retailer, unveiled its Kindle Fire tablet computer, taking aim at Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s bestselling iPad with a device that’s smaller and less than half the price.

    The Kindle Fire will have a 7-inch display and sell for $199, compared with $499 for Apple’s cheapest iPad, Amazon executives said in interviews with Bloomberg Businessweek. The device, a souped-up version of the Kindle electronic- book reader, will run on Google Inc.’s Android software, the Seattle-based company said.

    Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos is betting he can leverage Amazon’s dominance in e-commerce to pose a real challenge to Apple’s iPad, after tablets from rivals such as Hewlett-Packard Co. and Research In Motion Ltd. have fallen short. Sales of Amazon’s electronic books, movies and music on the device may help make up for the narrower profit margins that are likely to result from the low price, said Brian Blair, an analyst at Wedge Partners Corp. in New York.

    “Amazon is really the only other guy, the only other potential tablet player, that has a similar offering to what Apple has,” Blair said in an interview last week. “If you look across their product offerings, they have content that none of the other tablet makers currently have because they have content on the media side.”

    Amazon shares rose $8.59, or 3.8 percent, to $232.80 at 9:47 a.m. New York time on the Nasdaq Stock Market. The stock had increased 25 percent this year before today.

    Apple rose $3.46 to $402.72. Shares of Barnes & Noble Inc., maker of the Nook e-reader, fell 51 cents, or 3.9 percent, to $12.70, on the New York Stock Exchange.
    Tablets Surge

    The Kindle Fire doesn’t have an embedded camera or a microphone. The device offers Wi-Fi connectivity, though not 3G access, and comes with a 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime, the company’s $79-a-year membership service that includes streaming video and free two-day shipping.

    Amazon has painted over the rough surfaces of Google’s Android operating system with a fresh and easy-to-use interface and tied the device closely to its own large and growing content library of movies, magazines and music. Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Forrester Research Inc. predicts the tablet market will grow 51 percent a year through 2015.

    While the new Kindle will add to Amazon’s sales, estimated by analysts to rise 32 percent to $64.6 billion in 2012, the company may disappoint if the tablet doesn’t bring in revenue quickly, Steve Weinstein, an analyst at Pacific Crest Securities in Portland, Oregon, said in a note this week.
    Consumer Reaction

    Consumer reaction to the device will play a “critical” role in the company’s growth, he said. Analysts on average predict Amazon’s gross margin, a measure of profitability, will fall to 22.17 percent in 2012 from 22.35 percent last year, according to a Bloomberg survey. Gross margin is the percentage of sales left after subtracting production costs.

    “Without success in tablets, investor growth expectations for 2012 could prove too aggressive,” Weinstein said Sept. 26.

    Apple started selling the original iPad in April 2010, and introduced the iPad 2 in March of this year. The touch-screen device, which has a 9.7-inch diagonal display, is already Apple’s biggest source of revenue after the iPhone. The company shipped 9.25 million iPads in the quarter that ended June 25.

    Apple also leads the market for mobile applications, with more than 425,000. Over 100,000 of those apps are custom- designed for the iPad.
    Other Tablets

    Two other tablets have failed to make a dent in Apple’s dominance so far. Research In Motion Ltd.’s PlayBook, introduced in the second quarter, shipped 200,000 units, less than half of what analysts predicted. Analysts had already cut estimates for full-year PlayBook shipments to an average of 2.2 million, according to a Bloomberg survey.

    Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ), meanwhile, discontinued its TouchPad in August -- only about a month after its debut. And Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), the world’s largest software maker, may not have its Windows operating system for tablets ready until next year.

    The iPad accounted for 68 percent of all tablets shipped worldwide in the second quarter, according to Framingham, Massachusetts-based research firm IDC. Other Android-based tablets, including models from Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co., accounted for 27 percent.

    While Amazon has the clout and the content to take on Apple, the company will have to go beyond the tablet released today to be a serious competitor, Blair said.

    “I don’t actually believe 7-inch is going to be a viable tablet for anybody,” he said. “It’s a ‘tweener. A real tablet offering has got to be a 10-inch screen.”
     
  2. seclusion

    seclusion rip chadwick

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    Yep, they're going to make baaaaank off this. It may only be 7" but your average consumer won't care. $300 for 3"...yeah.
     
  3. Scionxa

    Scionxa Member

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    Let the Android hacking begin :)
     
  4. Yung-T

    Yung-T Member

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    Man I told my parents 10 years ago( was 11 or 10) to buy Amazon and Ebay stocks, they didn't believe me. Their money would've multiplied crazy. Sad I was too young to invest money.
     
  5. DarkHorse

    DarkHorse Member

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    I don't know. It's a nice price point, but in my opinion the primary reason to own a kindle over an iPad for reading is the e-Ink. I just can't read comfortably on a backlit screen.
     
  6. ItsMyFault

    ItsMyFault Member

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    The price is really amazing considering the other tablets are almost twice the price. I know it's only 7" but that's a helluva price for the specs that are on this thing.
     
  7. DonnyMost

    DonnyMost Member
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    If the screen size is tolerable, this may be what finally pushes me to get a PC + Tablet and trade in my Macbook.
     
  8. Mr. Clutch

    Mr. Clutch Member

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    Sounds like an awesome deal. I've had an old Kindle forever, might be time to upgrade.
     
  9. wakkoman

    wakkoman Member

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    Unless you're deep in the Amazon ecosystem, I'm not sure why this would appeal to you.

    If it can be rooted, then it's a different story.
     
  10. Mr. Clutch

    Mr. Clutch Member

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    Price. People weren't exactly deep in the WebOS ecosystem and they went nuts for the $99 tablet.

    And I would think there are a lot more people deep in the Amazon ecosystem than in WebOS.
     
  11. wakkoman

    wakkoman Member

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    The price point is good, but from the few details I've read, it's not really a traditional Android tablet. Amazon took Android and completely modified it for their ecosystem. It doesn't have a home screen, widgets, and doesn't allow you to access the full Android market, only the Amazon market. I'm not even sure it has an email app. You might have to check it through the browser.
     
  12. Mr. Clutch

    Mr. Clutch Member

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    That's true. I'm curious to see how the UI works and how modifiable it is (if at all).

    I don't know why these companies hate vanilla Android so much.
     
  13. ScriboErgoSum

    ScriboErgoSum Member

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    It's intriguing, but if Amazon strips out too much Android functionality, I'll pass. I was hoping for a cool reading device that would let us run minimal apps and check email. The iPad is way too expensive for how I and my family would use it, but this is at least intriguing. I'm looking forward to hearing more about it and checking one out in person.
     
  14. LFE171

    LFE171 Member

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    Damnit. My 6" Kindle with 3g+wifi comes in the mail today.
     
  15. Xerobull

    Xerobull You son of a b!tch! I'm in!
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    30 day return policy.

    Haha, 6 inches.
     
  16. theogcasey

    theogcasey Member

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    Engadget has compared it to the Blackberry PlayBook hardware wise and they say it's very quick from what they've seen. This thing will sell like crazy to those who just want a couch surfing tablet and the occasional read. Hopefully it has native email support.
     
  17. Coach AI

    Coach AI Member

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    Hmm. I've seen a lot of Android guys crap on the Fire when the rumors were going around, mainly because it seems to strip a lot of Android functionality out (like no Market). curious to see exactly what it has.

    LOVE the e-ink readers now at 79 and 99 bucks though. At 79 that may be the last needed push to make ereaders completely mainstream.

    The Fire kinda becomes middle ground. So many people were complaining about reading LCD screens and how much better e-ink is for your eyes, etc.....so as an ereader there is no improvement in that regard.
     
  18. vinsensual

    vinsensual Member

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    Great specs and if you can install a clean android rom on there the nook color is done for. Regarding eink to an LCD display yes there is strain, but with certain apps like aldiko you can dial down the brightness to some crazy low levels, and unless you're really hunkering down for a 2-3 hour reading session I don't see eye strain as big a factor. I have a Sony prs505 and it hardly sees any use. The only benefits eink readers still have is glare and battery life.
     
  19. LFE171

    LFE171 Member

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    Glad you saw what I did there. I already preordered it and printed a shipping label for the 3G kindle. Lol...now I gotta wait till mid november.
     
  20. Royals Ego

    Royals Ego Member

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    what's the difference between an android appstore and google's android market?...
     

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