Yesterday Amazon announced its long awaited 7″ multi-touch tablet, dubbed the Kindle Fire. If you’re into computing you probably heard about it. I haven’t held the device, much less used one, but I think Amazon has hit a home run. I predict this will become the second most popular tablet device on the market in short order. I’m not sure what their current Kindle sales numbers look like, but Amazon will push this device hard around the holidays. They’ll sell.
Why they’ll sell
People like my wife is why they’ll sell. She’s had a Kindle for at least three years now and loves it. She has a large library of books in her Amazon library, she’d like to have a tablet, and, here’s the crazy one, she likes to play Flash based games on Facebook. That’s right Flash. The Kindle Fire, according to the website, “Supports AdobeÂ® FlashÂ® Player.” That means she can play all those games she likes. The Fire is also a media player. You can listen to your music library and watch movies. Hey, if you’re an Amazon Prime member you can stream movies and T.V. shows for free from their library of over 10,000 titles. Not bad. Oh, and you get all this for $199.00.
Can you believe that price? I can’t. I figured it would come in around $350 to $400. Amazon has just taken over the low end of the tablet market with, what appears to be, a great device. This brand new, ready to be fully supported by Amazon, device is priced only $50 above the TouchPad that HP is abandoning. Unbelievable, and unbeatable, price.
What about the software?
Do people care about the operating system? Well, sure, some of us do. There are those of us that care deeply about the operating system. Some will say Amazon doesn’t care, others will completely disagree. I think Amazon does care about the OS, that’s why they played the ole sneakaroo with Google. It’s rumored they took a cut of Android, prior to Honeycomb, to use as their new tablet OS. I’d say it was genius. Not only will the Fire become the second most popular tablet device, it will become the top Android powered device, much to the chagrin of Google. I don’t think Amazon really cares that deeply about Android, but they needed an OS for their new device. It was a means to an end. They’ve equipped the Fire with a great set of software pre-installed and they have their own App Store with fully vetted applications. That’s important. They’re building a safe ecosystem for their users and creating an OS to build their future on. For Amazon, it’s all about the user experience.
I think things are going to get very interesting in the tablet space.