Amazon's Kindle Fire

Apple, normally the centre of attention, will have to step aside this week and let Amazon hog the spotlight.

Tomorrow (Sept. 28, 10:00AM ET), the online retail giant will unveil its long awaited tablet, the rumoured Kindle Fire (name not final).

Based on recent reports, the device features a seven-inch full-colour display, two finger multi-touch support, six gigabytes of storage and runs a modified version of Android custom built to provide all forms of content to the consumer, be it games, books, music and even streamed TV shows.

Suffice to say, the Kindle Fire could be a huge game changer not only in the bloated Android market, but the tablet industry in general. It’s enough to make the talented folks at Cupertino sweat, especially with iPad sales dropping off following almost two years of dominance.

With this in mind, we have five reasons why Apple should fear Kindle Fire.

It costs $250

Might as well start here. From what we’ve heard, the Fire lacks a camera and other gadgets, allowing Amazon to sell it at a very affordable $250. That puts the device at half the cost of the base model iPad.

If this thing takes off, and we think it will, Apple may need to rethink its entire strategy. We may even see an “iPad Air”, a stripped down and perhaps smaller tablet.

It makes Android even more attractive

Kindle Fire supposedly runs a version of Android older than 2.2, which at first seemed like a weakness until we learned the software was custom built to take full advantage of the tablet’s strengths.

Bottom line, the Android market’s a huge mess, with too many tablets that may or may not run compatible software. Having one centralized Amazon app store makes a lot of sense. Whether or not this filters garbage, of course, remains to be seen.

It’ll probably work/come bundled with Amazon Prime

For $80 a year, Amazon Prime subscribers receive unlimited streaming (this will include movies and TV shows from FOX) and the real kicker, free two-day shipping on all purchases. That alone justifies the cost for quite a few shoppers.

You can bet Amazon will integrate Prime into the Kindle Fire in some fashion, perhaps even giving away a month (or more) free to new users.

It’ll debut in November

Amazon has no intention of revealing Kindle Fire and then targeting an early 2012 release. The company will capitalise on the busy shopping season, right before the craziest shopping event (Black Friday) of the year.

Apple can and will make some price adjustments on the iPad, but the iPad 3 won’t debut until next spring, which means the Fire will receive most of the attention.

It’s from Amazon

My fiance, a proud Kindle owner, got wind of the tablet and remarked, “Amazon. I just love them.”

That’s from a hardcore shopper that would work for this company if she could. Perhaps you have a proverbial axe to grind, as I’m sure some online warriors do. You can’t please everyone, but you can please most. The buying public knows anything with the name “Kindle” is both reliable and affordable. That seed was planted a long time ago. Folks will pick up this tablet simply because it has the word in its title. Who else shares that sort of marketing power? Apple.

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