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Amazon Kindle Tablet – competitor to Android, Ipad and Windows 8?

Rumors of Amazon making a full-fledged tablet device have persisted for a while but MG Siegler from TechCrunch.com is saying that has actually seen it.

It’s called the “Amazon Kindle” and he thinks it’s going to be a big deal.

He says the device looks very similar to a Blackberry Playbook.

According to his report:

  • The device is a 7-inch tablet with a capacitive touch screen.
  • It’s got a full-color back-lit screen – no e-ink.
  • It is multi-touch, but two-finger multi-touch instead of 10-finger, like the iPad.
  • A 7-inch Amazon tablet could be released in October, with a larger, 10-inch version to follow next year.
  • It uses a slightly different version of Android software.
  • The device only has 6 GB of internal storage. The idea is that this will be more of a “cloud device” for things like music and movies.
  • This initial version of the device will be WiFi-only.
  • It has no camera.
  • Amazon plan to bundle it with a free subscription to Amazon Prime.
  • It should be available by this Christmas.

Oh, It will cost around $250 – now this is an interesting price point because our survey seems to agree that this is the sweet spot for consumers.

Listening Microsoft?

This is the way he describes the device:

The interface is all Amazon and Kindle. It’s black, dark blue, and a bunch of orange. The main screen is a carousel that looks like Cover Flow in iTunes which displays all the content you have on the device. This includes books, apps, movies, etc. Below the main carousel is a dock to pin your favorite items in one easy-to-access place. When you turn the device horizontally, the dock disappears below the fold.

Above the dock is the status bar (time, battery, etc) and this doubles as a notification tray. When apps have updates, or when new subscriptions are ready for you to view, they appear here. The top bar shows “YOUR NAME’s Kindle” and then the number of notifications you have in bright orange. It looks quite nice.

There are no physical buttons on the surface of the device. You bring up a lower navigation menu by tapping the screen once. This can take you back home, etc.

Here’s another interesting point:

Google’s Android Market is nowhere to be found. In fact, no Google app is anywhere to be found. This is Android fully forked. My understanding is that the Kindle OS was built on top of some version of Android prior to 2.2. And Amazon will keep building on top of that of that over time. In other words, this won’t be getting “Honeycomb” or “Ice Cream Sandwich” — or if it does, users will never know it because that will only be the underpinnings of the OS. Any visual changes will be all Amazon.

Amazon are going all the way with this and are pretty much declaring war on the Ipad.

It’s going to be a lot of fun watching this 4 way battle for the hearts of the consumer over the next 24 months.

At the end of the day, we can be sure of the following three things:

  • Tablets are here to stay
  • Lower prices are the way to go
  • The consumer will benefit from all the innovation being unleashed during this battle

It’s a great time to write about technology.

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  • Ray J Harris

    It totally makes a ton of sense to me.

    Personally I cant wait, it looks great to me!

  • Panya

    The strength point of Kindle was e-Ink.
    Without e-Ink I see no reason to put another so so tablet into the market.

  • Julius Malco

    I wasn’t a fan of e-ink readers especially with the versatility of android tablets. Of course, price is a factor as well for these devices.

    If the Amazon tablet is just a glorified ebook reader, I’m not interested. However, I consider myself a power user which likes to get the most out of my electronic purchases. For the extra cash, I can get a tablet that can do more than what this new tablet can.

    Don’t get me wrong, if Amazon releases this tablet, it will be a success – I just don’t think it’s going to be THE device that topples the iPad.

  • Dave M Wood

    No camera, no thank you.