Amazon to launch Kindle Fire iPad rival next month
Amazon’s much-rumoured new Kindle will be called the Fire, according to widespread internet speculation.
The device, which is set to launch on Wednesday in New York, will begin to ship in early November, and run a version of Google’s Android operating system.
It will use a 7” touchscreen and look similar to BlackBerry’s PlayBook tablet, with which it will also share a processor.
Reports indicate that Amazon has been signing deals with movie and TV studios for content that will complement its own MP3 and Kindle book store. Although the Fire is apparently not going to come with an email programme, it will be possible to download one.
Forrester analyst Sarah Rotman Epps says that “Amazon’s willingness to sell hardware at a loss combined with the strength of its brand, content, cloud infrastructure, and commerce assets makes it the only credible iPad competitor in the market. If Amazon launches a tablet at a sub-$300 price point — assuming it has enough supply to meet demand — we see Amazon selling 3-5 million tablets in Q4 alone.”
Apple has been keen to galvanise app developers into working on its platform, but Amazon is likely to continue its Kindle strategy of using the new device to encourage media sales, rather than sales of the new Kindle itself. An advertising-subsidised Kindle is already sold in the USA.
Ms Rotman Epps also said that she does not see a lack of apps holding Amazon’s tablet back, because most users’ tablets are currently used primarily for email and web browsing.
Amazon declined to comment; UK launch details are likely to be announced after the New York event.