Amazon's Kindle Tablet: An Android fork with disruptive pricing

Amazon's Kindle Tablet: An Android fork with disruptive pricing

Summary: Amazon's Kindle Tablet reportedly features a souped up, but dated version of Android.

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Amazon's 7-inch Kindle Tablet has been rumored for what feels like an eternity, but now demo models are making the rounds. The upshot: The Kindle Tablet features a fork of an earlier version of Android, integration with Amazon services and a price that will garner more than a few orders.

TechCrunch's MG Siegler says he has played with this Kindle Tablet. The details go like this:

  • 7-inch touchscreen;
  • $250;
  • 6GB built-in storage;
  • Runs a version of "prior" to Android 2.2, but is so customized you won't care;
  • The UI is a Kindle interface similar to its iPad and iOS apps;
  • And Amazon's app marketplace is the lead market.

Add it up and this Kindle Tablet is going to be extremely disruptive. As noted before the HP TouchPad $99 or bust experiment, pricing will be king. Amazon can subsidize this tablet because it will make money elsewhere on e-books, music and Prime subscriptions.

A few thoughts based on Siegler's report:

  • Price: $250 is a solid price that will garner interest. The rub: I thought $250 was a magic price until I realized you can get a TouchPad for $99. Now I'm sure Amazon will have its act together more than HP, but consumers may get greedy.
  • Android tablet forks ahead: If Amazon can take an old, stable version of Android and make it sing, what does that say about Android 3.0?
  • No work with Google at all. A subset of that Android fork question is whether Amazon's tablet will make the search giant cringe at all. After all, it's not like Google has been able to piece together the music, video and e-commerce parts yet.
  • And can this Kindle Tablet compete with Apple's iPad? If Amazon's tablet lives up to what Siegler is saying it's likely to squash rivals to Apple. Amazon isn't going to dent the iPad, but the race to the bottom will be vicious for all the other tablets in the market. You just know after millions of these tablets get rolling, Amazon will move the price down to $199 or so. That price will seriously hurt RIM, Motorola, HTC, Samsung and other challengers.

Bottom line: Amazon's Kindle Tablet may be among the worst kept secrets ever.

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Topics: Hardware, Amazon, Laptops, Mobility, Tablets

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37 comments
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  • You just convinced me not to buy it

    If all that is correct
    ron.cleaver@...
    • RE: Amazon's Kindle Tablet: An Android fork with disruptive pricing

      @ron.cleaver@...
      Yes, same here. I've no interest in a 6Gig device!
      Wakemewhentrollsgone
  • Outdated OS ?????

    So pretty much this is going to be another Walgreens tablet.
    wackoae
    • RE: Amazon's Kindle Tablet: An Android fork with disruptive pricing

      @wackoae

      Lol. Right next to the Timex watches, no doubt.
      farwest101
  • RE: Amazon's Kindle Tablet: An Android fork with disruptive pricing

    $250 for a lame 7" 6GB tablet?

    Get real. This is no ipad killer. Make it 10", put Honeycomb on it (and quickly update to ICS when it releases), market it at $299 with 3G or Whispernet and they might have something.

    7" screen feels like an oversized phone, not a small tablet.

    This is gonna underwhelm the market if you've got the numbers correct. You can already buy the excellent 10" Asus Transformer for $349 - so why would you pay $249 for a 7" with outdated software and likely minimal ports and tiny storage?
    farwest101
    • RE: Amazon's Kindle Tablet: An Android fork with disruptive pricing

      @farwest101 It isn't supposed to be, it is supposed to be a Nook Killer!
      slickjim
      • RE: Amazon's Kindle Tablet: An Android fork with disruptive pricing

        @Peter Perry
        Yes! It will compete with Nook.

        But I'm really interested how new screen will be for reading?

        LCD and family is not best. And is quite bad outside in the sun.
        przemoli
    • RE: Amazon's Kindle Tablet: An Android fork with disruptive pricing

      @farwest101

      7" is sooo much better than 10".
      x I'm tc
    • Personally, I think it will be a hit

      @farwest101: ... specifically because it's a simplified, reliable and probably far easier to use product than any current Android tablet. Amazon isn't catering to the techies the way all the other OEMs are doing, Amazon is catering to the consumer. I think the difference will blow your minds.
      Vulpinemac
  • RE: Amazon's Kindle Tablet: An Android fork with disruptive pricing

    Didn't Barnes and Nobles come out with this last year?
    nategator
    • RE: Amazon's Kindle Tablet: An Android fork with disruptive pricing

      @nategator

      It sounds quite a bit like my wife's Nook color. TBH while it's a good e-reader that has "some" tablet like features... it's not quite a tablet. For that $250.00 price tag, I hope they're not just duplicating the Nook.
      Badgered
      • RE: Amazon's Kindle Tablet: An Android fork with disruptive pricing

        @Badgered Who still runs an unrooted Nook?...Cyanogen runs awesomely on the nook...
        jacjar1
      • RE: Amazon's Kindle Tablet: An Android fork with disruptive pricing

        @jacjar1

        That would be my wife... she prefers it the way it is.
        Badgered
  • If True - No Thanks !

    This sounds like a "device" that you use for Amazon products and services and nothing else. The specs are underwhelming to say the least - No Thanks. Love my Kindle, but I will skip this...whatever it is (not a real tablet).
    jpr75_z
  • RE: Amazon's Kindle Tablet: An Android fork with disruptive pricing

    Personally id prefer to spend more and get something decent i can use.

    I wouldn't buy a 7" no matter what the price is, id prefer to just use my phone.
    Frenz9
    • RE: Amazon's Kindle Tablet: An Android fork with disruptive pricing

      @Frenz9
      Amazon do have 2 products line one for 7' one for 10'

      Second will probably come if 7' is received well.
      przemoli
  • They better do better than what you're saying

    Horrible specs, horrible software (I say this because... well ... have fun hacking your way into the market), and horrible price (it'll essentially be an overpriced Kindle).

    Amazon is smarter than this, I hope.
    Michael Alan Goff
  • RE: Amazon's Kindle Tablet: An Android fork with disruptive pricing

    Color me disappointed, this is not the serious iPad competitor that many of us expected and hoped for. (I say this as a content creator and publisher, not a tech geek.)

    But let's get serious here and ask the question why would Amazon tip its hand to Apple and B&N 45-60 days from introduction, to a single blogger, no matter how influential? I think there's a good chance that it's some sort of smokescreen, that the actual release unit at $250 will be either higher spec (8GB, 10-inch screen or both) or this device will actually be introduced at the magic $199 price point (coming out of the box seriously undercutting the Nook Color and forcing B&N to respond). Then there's the possibility of a second unit with a 10-inch screen with 16GB of memory at $279-$299 (current Vizio tablet price), close to an iPad 2 in overall spec. That strategy makes more sense, don't most of you agree? Otherwise all this talk of Amazon selling five million tablets in the 4Q will never happen, especially if it isn't released until late October or early November.

    Richard Truesdell
    Editorial Director Automotive Traveler Magazine, automotivetraveler.com
    autotraveler
    • Why did you think it would be an iPad competitor and

      not an upgraded ebook reader? Oh. Wait. It was because all the tech pundits are so desperate for something to take Apple down that they imagined an Amazon iPad killer out of their fevered imaginations and sold it to you as if it were actually something real that was going to happen.
      baggins_z
    • You really pointed out why it will succeed

      @autotraveler

      6 GB storage: If you really look at it, those 8GB devices are only 6 once the OS is installed, so they're being more truthful in usable space.
      $250 price: I think you'll find this to be the proper break-over point for most users while still offering some profit to Amazon. Still, unlike the other OEMs, Amazon stands a good chance of making more money off of app and media sales to the device which means they could use it as a loss leader much the way Microsoft did with the xBox. However, I think developers and producers (authors, musicians and other content makers) are going to suffer unless Amazon quits undercutting them. I've read of authors in particular getting offered percentage of profits per copy sold, only to see tens of thousands of copies given away for free, earning the author nothing.
      Vulpinemac