Amazon, a Seattle-based online retail store (founded in 1995 by Jeff Bezos) that sells books, consumer electronics and other products, released its Kindle Fire, a tablet computer, on November 15, 2011; with the price of $199, it became the most affordable tablet on the market.
The Kindle Fire, which is Amazon's next-generation media player/reader, marked its entry into the tablet computer market not only as a low-cost tablet but as a device that is productive for personal use as well as for business use. The Kindle Fire is Amazon’s ideal product to get consumers to access the Amazon Appstore Developer Portal (only available in the US, for now) for free and paid applications and permit usage of the Amazon Web Services (News - Alert) (AWS), which is the cloud server that helps get customers to run their own computer applications (or retrieve must-have apps).
Amazon’s strategy was to promote the Kindle Fire at its incredible price to entice customers to buy it. In return, Amazon could earn revenue from in-app purchases and subscription-based purchases of their own digital media. The Kindle Fire is believed to help Amazon’s revenue in the years ahead; according to IHS (News - Alert), Amazon’s revenue from in-app purchases could reach $5.6 billion by 2015.
The Kindle Fire is much more than a digital e-book reader (with Text-to-Speech features) or a content-delivery device providing Amazon services, it is an easy-to-use package with a media viewer for entertainment: video streaming (via Amazon Instant), movies and TV shows streaming (via Amazon Prime), music (via the Amazon MP3 Store), web browsing (via Amazon Silk) or magazines and books to read read (via the Amazon Store).
It may not compare to other tablets on the market when it comes to speed and storage; it has neither camera nor expansion slot for speakers; it lacks Bluetooth and has adequate Wi-Fi connectivity (one of Kindle Fire’s weakest points according to consumers); however it does deliver the core functionality of a tablet to use and download apps, check e-mails, play games and be used for searching and shopping for books, movies and music.
The Amazon Kindle Fire has a color 7” multi-touch, high-resolution, In-Plane Switching (IPS) flat panel display, a dual-core 1GHz TI OMAP4 processor and an 8GB internal storage. It uses a customized version of Android, more specifically Google's (News - Alert) Gingerbread operating system. The Kindle Fire may not stand up to the tablet competition, but one can still have lots of use for it.
Though the Kindle fire lacks most of the important specs and features found in many of today’s competitive tablets, it is Amazon’s plan to “attract more developers” and release a tablet (with a user-friendly interface to navigate, scroll and tap on icons) that users could use to read a book, watch or record a TV show, retrieve and use apps. Even if it does have limited features and functions compared to other tablets, it may be too hard to pass up this opportunity: it offers incredible value for the price. Later this year, a 10-inch version of the Kindle Fire tablet will also be available.
Edited by Jennifer Russell