Amazon undercuts iPad 2 with $79-$199 Kindles | iLounge News

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Amazon undercuts iPad 2 with $79-$199 Kindles

Directly targeting Apple’s growing iPad ecosystem with even lower-priced alternatives, Amazon today launched a series of three completely new Kindle devices with prices ranging from $79 to $199. The most basic Kindle e-reader will now sell for $79, a drop from the company’s prior $114 price tag for its lowest-end unit, relying on modest screen saver-style ad support and a streamlined design to reduce the price tag. Amazon also announced a new $99 Kindle touch e-reader that employs an IR touch system in place of a physical keyboard, as well as a redesigned user interface that involves taps in place of buttons. The new unit is also reportedly slimmer, smaller and lighter than the current Kindle models. A 3G-enabled model will also be available for $149 with free global roaming.

Amazon also revealed the anticipated Kindle Fire Android-based tablet today at a price of $199. Designed to provide capabilities beyond those of traditional Kindle devices, Kindle Fire uses a custom version of the Android OS on a 7-inch IPS panel, featuring a dual-core CPU, Wi-Fi and a 14.6 ounce chassis. Although it lacks an embedded camera and microphone, or 3G connectivity, Kindle Fire is designed to be a simple touch-based video, music, book, and app-ready device leveraging all of Amazon’s digital stores and services. The device includes a 30-day trial of Amazon Prime, and provides access to the Amazon Appstore, Kindle Books, Amazon Cloud Storage, and introduces WhiperSync bookmarking for movies and TV shows. Amazon chief Jeff Bezos used the introduction of Kindle Fire to jab at the iPad’s need for backups—wired or wireless—by noting that all of Kindle Fire’s media content will be stored in the cloud and re-obtainable as needed. The new Kindles will continue Amazon’s tradition of ultra-simple setup, arriving pre-customized to the recipient’s Amazon account so that previously-purchased content is ready to go right away.

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Comments

1

With Amazon announcement of Kindle Fire, iPAD will die if it does not add Flash support.
I love my iPhone and trying hard to love my iPAD, but lack of flash support is killing me. And it will kill iPAD if Apple does not change its stratey and does not add flash support.
Color version of Kindle is out and time is now for Apple to react….

Posted by Bahman Jalali on September 28, 2011 at 12:06 PM (CDT)

2

I don’t see the K-Fire as an iPad killer, but Amazon has definitely cemented their place side by side with the iPad as a media consumption device. I didn’t spring for the Fire, but I did immediately pre-order the new touch Kindle + 3G. $150, e-ink, and a 6” screen - going to beat the heck out of reading on my touch with the Kindle app, which is what I do now.

The big thing Amazon just beat Apple on, though, is the cloud support. With me already being a Prime subscriber, if the Fire succeeds, the next revision will be awfully tempting with the amount of streamable content Amazon keeps adding to the service. While Apple promises to let us download our music from the cloud, Amazon is allowing us to download or stream everything from the cloud. While Apple spends all their time bending over backward to gain the blessings of the media companies, Amazon just does it and dares them to find a way to stop them from granting customers access to stuff they paid for. If this thing winds up with Netflix, Hulu, etc. support, Apple’s going to have to up their game with courting software devs because more and more, that’s about their only ace in the hole left.

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on September 28, 2011 at 12:42 PM (CDT)

3

Before anyone starts shouting iPad killer as loud as they can. I suggest they re-assess the situation. The iPad and Kindle Fire as of now target separate segments of the market. Amazon was very careful to push the Fire as consumption device rather than one for creation.

Secondly iPad’s can hold a price premium because they are desirable the Fire is almost an impulse buy. Sure people will buy one instead of an iPad due to the price but give them the choice between the two and I would think most would want an iPad.

What Amazon has done though is actually give Apple some REAL competition to consider about in the tablet market and I very much look forward to how this is going to play out.  While I do own an iPad 2 it would be nice to see some other companies capable of making a product to equal it and Amazon I must say are off to a good start.

Posted by Johnathan on September 28, 2011 at 5:10 PM (CDT)

4

The new devices look good, and Amazon’s being aggressive on pricing. My only gripe is that the prices shown for the E-ink Kindles have a catch: they’re for the models with built-in advertising. It’s $30-$40 more to get an ad-free device, which is definitely what I’d go for.

Posted by Jerome on September 28, 2011 at 10:01 PM (CDT)

5

@4: True, but if you’ve ever seen the “special offer” Kindles in action it really doesn’t matter much. The big ad is only visible when you’re not using it (ad goes away as soon as you hit the power button). The home screen one is no more intrusive than the side banner ads on this very page that I have to make myself see since my brain long ago started filtering them out. $40 in my pocket vs. Amazon’s to avoid ads that don’t get in my way seems a bit foolish.

Yes, I considered the ad free version, but having used the special offer version, I knew it wasn’t that big of a deal. I had to make a choice in terms of what was an impulse buy price that I didn’t have to consult my accountant (wife) over: do I get the free 3G for the life of the product for $50, or do I buy an extra half inch on the bottom of the book selection screen for $40? Practical won out over principled.

Besides, the vast majority of paperbacks come with advertising and have done so for as long as I can remember reading paperbacks (around 30 years). I get the impulse to avoid the ads, but when I’m already getting ads with just about everything else I pay money for, so long as they aren’t on the actual reading screen (which they’re not), force you to wait to get to your content (like many DVD ads, grrr!), and $40 represents five or more books, just not a big enough deal to worry about.

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on September 29, 2011 at 10:20 AM (CDT)

6

To put it in context, the “special offers version” represents an average of a 26.5% discount (close to 29% for the more expensive versions). The equivalent implementation on an iOS device would be the lock screen becomes an ad that goes away as soon as you unlock the device and a small iAD banner would appear at the bottom of Settings (that’s the closest equivalent, you really don’t see the home screen very much on a Kindle). If Apple offered a similar deal, you could get a 64GB iPad for the same price as ad free 16GB one, and ta “special offer” 16GB iPad could be had for $349. There would always be those who choose the ad free version, but I wager most would not be bothered by giving up the ability to customize the lock screen for such a deal.

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on September 29, 2011 at 10:54 AM (CDT)

7

I’m actually fairly impressed by the Kindle Fire. As one website mentioned, its the first tablet that isn’t trying to directly compete with the iPad. And honestly, if I wasn’t already firmly embedded in Apple’s iOS “ecosystem” I might give it a try.

As it is, I’ll be snagging one of those $79 Kindles for regular reading purposes. I love my iPad, but its utterly useless for outdoor use…

Posted by Daniel S. on September 29, 2011 at 9:47 PM (CDT)

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