As anticipated, Amazon heated up the tablet world, as well as the e-book world on Wednesday. Jeff Bezos, its CEO and founder, introduced several new products .Pride of place goes to the Kindle Fire, a direct challenge to Apple’s blockbuster iPad. The Kindle Fire is ca 2/3 the size and weight and only 2/5 the price ($199 vs $499) of the iPad, the king of the tablets. An actual multipurpose computer, it offers access to cinema, music, TV videos over Wi-Fi, as well as Amazon-selected Android apps. As an e-reader, it is a super Kindle, with color and touch screen technology, as well as a new “virtual newstand” of magazine & newspapers. Priced inexpensibly at a loss leader level, the Fire will profit Amazon by Amazon lock-in, increased Amazon Prime subscriptions, and a treasureload of retail consumer data with which to tailor sales and marketing.
[FYI, comparative specs of the Fire vs the iPad are shown in a table in the NYT article "Amazon's Tablet Leads to its Store" p B1, 29.09.11].
In addition to the Fire tablet/e-reader, Kindle broke the $100 price barrier with a $79 B and W model, and also rolled out two new touch screen products. íHappy shopping this holiday season!