The Kindle “Fire” will cost just $199.99, will boast a 7-inch IPS colour display, 8GB of internal memory, and will have Wi-Fi connectivity for browsing the web and purchasing content (no 3G, like its younger brother Kindles).
Additionally, the Fire will have no camera or microphone, unlike its competitors, but it will have a speedy dual-core processor. The Fire will last for “up to 8 hours.”
It will ship November 15th.
The Fire wil come with a 30-day free trial of Amazon’s Prime subscription service, which provides access to thousands of streaming videos and movies.
Amazon hopes that selling digital content to Fire owners can help recoup costs of selling the device at a loss, a strategy Amazon has traditionally employed.
“We don’t think of the Kindle Fire as a tablet. We think of it as a service,” Bezos remarked to BusinessWeek.
One service Amazon will provide is its WhisperSync technology for movies and TV shows, meaning you can start streaming a movie from Amazon Prime on your Fire, then pick up where you left off on a TV or computer.
Software-wise, the device will run a “painted over” version of Google’s Android operating system, and will rely primarily on Amazon’s Android App Store for out-of-the-box functionality. The operating system looks nothing like Android.
The Fire comes with a brand new built-in app to browse Amazon’s website, minus the clutter of ads. The web browsing app called Silk is lightning-fast, because it’s based on Amazon’s EC2 cloud computing engine.
Silk uses Amazon’s back-end to process web pages before they get sent to your device, meaning that pages load incredibly quickly.
Hardware wise, the Fire will have a “two point” multi-touch screen, unlike the iPad’s “10-point” multi-touch screen, and will have Gorilla Glass on its frontside.
Amazon also announced the Kindle Touch, a $99.99 Kindle with a smaller body and IR touch display, as well as a “dirt cheap” Kindle without a touch screen priced at $79.99.
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