Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet launch in late September marks the beginning of a new battle for dominance in the tablet market. It's no secret that Apple is the runaway leader in this market with the iPad having a headstart in what has proved to be a lucrative market for popular gadgets. Young and hippy professionals are the target for this market and they have proven to be the driving force for tablets.
However, with Apple enjoying the lion's share of the market and the rest of the competition seemingly resigned to playing second fiddle, there has been a lack of new entrants with the result of shortage in innovativeness and creativity. Amazon's entrance into the fray is meant to fix just that.
With a cost plan that is more than half the price of Apple's iPad, Amazon's strategy is bound to slice of the tablet market for the Seattle, Washington-based firm. The 7 inch tablet brings Amazon's digital content into a simple gadget format-a strategy that the iPad's competitors cannot match. Nokia, Samsung and Motorola are all in the tablet market but Apple is currently leading the way with 80% of the market.
Amazon is a market leader in e-commerce and CEO, Jeff Bezos hopes to harness this competitive advantage for the Kindle Fire.
At $199, Fire is bound to burn off some part of the competition and especially the iPad which has been retailing at $499 in the US. Pre-orders for the November 15 US shipments are currently ongoing. There's still no word on the worldwide release.
On the technical side, the Kindle Fire runs on a modified version of Google Inc.'s Android operating system-developed without Google's blessing but a good improvement nonetheless. This enables a friendly and easy-to-use interface that ties the device to its large content of videos, books, magazines and the most recent introduction-music.
Amazon's digital content currently boasts of 18 million movies, books, shows and magazines. The view is enhanced by the 16 million colors interface in high resolution that brings out the verve in the glossy magazines and books.
Over 100,000 movies and shows are available for downloading and streaming. In addition, Amazon Prime members are allowed a free 1-month trial to stream 10000 movies and TV shows.
Kindle Fire is run by a state-of-the-art dual core processor that enables enhanced performance allowing the user to stream, download and browse while at the same time enjoying a story on an e-book.
Amazon Silk, the web browser, uses cloud computing to enable enhanced computing power to deliver movies and other content to the device with super speeds utilizing Amazon's worldwide system of high-speed servers.
The only key missing features in the gadget are the camera, microphone and 3G capability but the gadget has been rated to be a prelude to a more sophisticated tablet to be released by Amazon in 2012 to counter the iPad on more fronts.
Sarah Rotman Epps, a financial analyst from Massachusetts-based firm, Forrester Research says Amazon is way ahead of competitors in terms of cloud services and that's what customers want more that the hardware.