All year we have been getting bits of data, speculation, and supposedly leaked information about the upcoming Kindle Tablet. This past month has seen huge dumps of information about the upcoming product, and today we’ve got even more thanks to TechCrunch. In a press conference being held this Wednesday, we should get confirmation and all of the other information we’ve been waiting for.
Probably the first big revelation is the name. In order to differentiate it from the Kindle eReader line, the new Tablet has apparently been dubbed the “Kindle Fire”. This was actually hinted at several months back when people stumbled on Amazon’s acquisition of several Kindle related domains, including kindlefire.com.
We now know that the Kindle Fire will be feature a 7″ backlit screen that may look quite similar to the BlackBerry Playbook due to shared manufacturers and a lack of time to get the product out for this holiday season. It will be using a custom fork of Android (probably built on the 2.1 base), but altered to the point of complete uniqueness. This will be running on a TI dual-core OMAP chip, probably in the 1.2GHz range, putting the hardware in line with other newer Android devices. Overall a strong offering.
Now, the existing Kindle line has effectively dominated the eBook market in the United States by bringing customers an impressive reading experience that improves value despite the inability to price their eBooks as competitively as the company might desire (Hooray for the Agency Model, right?). If a similar relationship with customers can be achieved with the Kindle Fire, Amazon can completely turn the current hardware-based Tablet sales model on its head (Some reports indicate that as much as 90% of iPad based profit for Apple comes from hardware sales).
To pull this off, Amazon has been pulling together a great support base. Major app developers have apparently been approached to get them ready for the launch, for one. Also, quite importantly given the media-centric nature of this device, Amazon has been putting together deals with the likes of CBS and Fox to secure access to extensive video content for the Amazon Instant Video service.
There is currently some question as to the exact nature of what will be offered as incentives to new users. Some sources are saying that this will be a $250 Tablet PC with Amazon Prime bundled free for the first year, while others are claiming that there will be two packages available that will differ mainly in their inclusion of the Amazon Prime membership.
What we anticipate at this time is an announcement by Amazon that the Kindle Fire will be available either late October or early November. This seems like a large delay between the press conference and first shipments, but Amazon is clearly under pressure from competition in both tablets and eReaders at the moment and needs to get ahead.
Check back on Wednesday for confirmation, revisions, and any other Kindle Fire news that we are able to bring you.