Amazon set the tablet world alight with the Kindle Fire
TABLET WARS! Amazon have just held a busy launch event where they unveiled a range of new hand-held devices, throwing the cat right among the pigeons with the $199 Kindle Fire. It’s a colour, 7-inch tablet and although it doesn’t have stuff like a camera or 3G, and only has 8GB of memory, its price alone means that is certain to shift some serious units.
Amazon have also updated the Kindle e-reader with three new formats. There’s the Kindle Touch, a touchscreen reader which is $149 with Amazon Whispernet connectivity and $99 for a wi-fi version. Then there’s the basic Kindle – you turn the pages by using buttons and there’s no keyboard, but it weighs only six ounces and, crucially, will retail for just $79. But will people buy a Fire or a Touch? Amazon’s Jeff Bezos says they’ll buy both.
The Amazon logic is that if you draw people in with affordable hardware, they’ll happily stump up for the software – books, music, films and apps via the Android store. There’s a November 15th US launch date for the Fire, and frustratingly, there seems to be no indications of UK prices as yet.
Right, that’s that sorted out – now we wait for next week’s Apple event to see what they’ve got up their sleeves…
EDIT: Amazon's UK site is now showing the $79 version of the Kindle as being available for... erm, £89. Also, the US prices quoted are for a version without ads - the ad-free version will cost more.