Amazon to Apple: You're Fired! (Updated)

Summary:This morning Amazon announced a complete refresh of its Kindle line. Every single model costs far less than the Apple iPad. And one of them runs Android.

This morning Amazon announced a refresh of its Kindle line. New models include the Kindle Fire for $199, Kindle Touch for $99, Kindle Touch 3G for $149, and a new low priced Kindle reader for $79.

The most anticipated model is arguably the Kindle Fire so that's the one we'll focus on. Running Android and Linux under the hood, the Fire is an all-Amazon experience with nary a Google app in sight. Aimed squarely at the Apple iPad for its all-purpose tablet and multi-media capabilities and the Barnes and Noble Nook for its color e-reader capabilities, the Fire will be out on November 15.

Amazon enters a crowded tablet market dominated by the iPad but filled with dozens of Android-based offerings from companies as varied as Samsung, Asus, HTC, Motorola, and ZTE. To stand out in the crowd, Amazon will rely on its unique content and partners.

There are e-books of course, but Amazon believes if all you want is an e-book reader then one of the e-ink black-and-white models might be better for you. The higher powered (and higher priced) Fire tablet brings you full color magazines (New York Times, Wired, and more), video streaming (through Amazon Prime, Netflix, CBS, NBC, Universal, Fox, and others), comic books, games (Angry Birds of course), and other applications.

Here's a look at the Kindle Fire specifications revealed so far, and how they stack up against the competition:

Amazon Kindle Fire Apple iPad2 Color Nook
Operating System Android 2.3 iOS 5 Android 2.2
Screen Size & Technology 7.0" IPS 9.7" IPS 7.0" IPS
Screen Resolution 1024x600 1024x768 1024x600
Screen Density 169 dpi 132 dpi 169 dpi
Thickness 0.45 in. 0.34 in. 0.48 in.
Weight 14.6 oz. 21.3 oz. 15.8 oz.
Storage space 8GB 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB 8GB + SD card
RAM 512MB? 512MB 512MB
Processor ARM Cortex A9-based TI OMAP 4430 dual core @1.0GHz, PowerVR SGX540 GPU ? Apple A5 dual core@1.0GHz, PowerVR SGX543MP2 GPU ARM Cortex A8-based TI OMAP 3621 @ 800 MHz
Communication WiFi b/g/n WiFi a/b/g/n, BT2.1+EDR, optional 3G WiFi b/g/n, optional 3G
Battery life 8 hours 10 hours 8 hours
App store Amazon Apple Nook
Charger Micro USB Proprietary Micro USB
Cameras No 2 No
Email No (there's an app for that) Native client (Exchange, Gmail, IMAP, POP) Native client (IMAP, POP)
Web Browser Amazon Silk split browser Safari (WebKit based) WebKit based
Multi-touch 2 finger 10 finger 2 finger
Sync to TV Yes, Whispersync Yes, AirPlay No
Price $199 $499 and up $249
Updated: New specs from Amazon web site and statements from Amazon. Anything unconfirmed is marked with a question mark (?).

What do you think? iPad and Nook killer? Or is this something else entirely?

Topics: Hardware, Amazon, Apple, Laptops, Mobility, Processors, Tablets

About

Ed Burnette has been hooked on computers ever since he laid eyes on a TRS-80 in the local Radio Shack. Since graduating from NC State University he has programmed everything from serial device drivers and debuggers to web servers. After a delightful break working on commercial video games, Ed reluctantly returned to business software. He... Full Bio

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