The price makes it very attractive especially in the markets such as India, China, where the volume is expected to be huge. After the smart phones, the tabs are slowing penetrating into the Indian market. Recently Reliance Communication came out with a low cost tab (~USD 300/-) to compete with Apple, Samsung.
So, once Kindle Fire comes to India, it will find some competition already. If it can overtake the low cost tabs because of superior features, it will definitely be a winner.
Amazon is in a pretty good position to compete with Apple since they have a huge marketplace in terms of books and media offerings. I really hope it catches some of the Apple market so as the drive the product better.
On the other hands, according to the limited information online, I don't see it is better than B&N nook Color.
Only the specification can tell whether the performance is measured up to iPad.
" I suspect it is using something like Intel's Wi-Fi based display technology as the lowest cost way to make the link."
I think you're misinterpreting what the Whisper Synch is about. It is simply bookmarking where you are. Your smart TV or some connected device would need an Amazon app which would then utilize the TVs connection to the internet to pull the content and appropriate bookmark from Amazon's servers... the content doesn't get transferred from the Kindle directly to the TV.
I think the Kindle Fire will do very well, and not only because it's inexpensive, and not because of it's hardware or software features -- it will do well because of it's integration with Amazon's cloud services.
Some say "walled gardens" are a bad thing, but as millions of Apple customers will tell you, many consumers really like walled gardens when they are affordable, they give you want you want, and they just work.
Agreed. And though you choose to downplay the price, I think it will actually be a dominant factor in cost sensitive markets like India. It could be huge if Amazon could add services which find audience among the target crowd there.
Yes "walled gardens" are attractive, but they will stifle innovation and delivery as well as diversity as they become "the channel" and keep all competitors out. In retrospect as innovative (and dominating) Apple has been these last few years I believe that it has and will hurt the industry in the long run as you can now see that Amazon is one of the only competitors that can hit the ground running with hardware and software/content. Open systems allow us to compete and innovate - If they keep their entry point too high many markets will have no option but to circumvent them (and the US) market.
I don't buy the 'walled gardens stifle innovation' line. Sure they prevent any innovation within the garden, but there's always life outside the garden and they're likely to stimulate the creation of that garden's features beyond any garden. At least that's happened with Apple's walled App shop - it provoked the creation of Android's open market.
I think the Fire has a chance since Amazon isn't just producing another android tablet. The tight integration with Amazon's other products makes it an amazing consumption device, with tight integration to all the products in Amazon's inventory from books to movies to MP3s to apps. It's a tight ecosystem that's second only to Apple.
The thing I'm most impressed by is the Silk browser. If it works half as well as it's advertised to, it's a revolution in browser design.
Although you say Wintel will hate this, there's a large crumb of comfort in the new browser. Steve Ballmer's probably rubbing his hands in glee at increased fragmentation of the competition to IE. If they'd gone with one of the established ones it'd be a bigger headache for him.
Amazon can leverage on its cloud service to build up a consumer base. The free storage on cloud servers can help them keep the BOM in check as it will ease the hardware requirement. I would think it as a wise step.
I think this: "Thus Amazon is also challenging Microsoft's once dominant spot in browsers." is probably an overstatement. I mean, every browser, to an extent, is challenging ie, but a new browser to be introduced on a single platform has a long way to go before it's challenging anyone's dominance.
abraxalito is probably closer to an accurate description of the situation. Silk will be just another niche browser for quite some time. It may eventually come to be a contender for the dominant spot, but the other browsers listed have quite a head start on the path to that position.
amazon silk is not the first browser to do backend reprocessing of webpages. Opera mobile/mini browser already does this. Some people dont like it due to security issues, as as all the traffic passes thru opera servers. Amazon may be more trusted by people and it comes pre installed as opposed to opera.
Amazon Silk can be a darling but at the same time it can be a nightmare to the users. As all the web traffic first get routed to Amazon's servers before downloaded to the users, Amazon can and will track all the websites that the users have visited. The privacy issue will be magnified if someone hacked into Amazon's servers. We the users should know all these potential pitfalls before embracing the new browser.
While I have to agree with Rick that a larger 10" screen size is preferred by most, the smaller 7" screen size is actually one of the Fire's benefits. By keeping the size small, Amazon has addressed a major concern ... portability. Have you ever tried to put a tablet into your jacket pocket? It just won't fit (Samsung 7" Galaxy excluded). At least Amazon got something right
The shift from printed paper to electronic screen will no doubt be an interesting ponder for future historians. The portable information display was included by A.C. Clarke in his book "2001", and future implications are touched on in the following passage quoted from R.A. Heinlein's "The Tale of the Twins Who Weren't":
"... After supper he got his reward: permission to read a BOUND book, with him dressed in a pair of my surgical gloves and warned that I would clobber him if he got it dirty or tore a page. Llita wasn't permitted to touch it; this was HIS prize. She sulked and didn't even want to use the reading machine - until he asked if it was all right for him to read aloud to her."
The most intriguing aspect of this from my point of view is the bandwidth requirement. Up until now, Amazon has had the ability to download books and do WhisperSync over 3G networks, but the bandwidth requirement has been tiny - to download a book in text is kilobytes. Now, with web browsing and especially video, their aggregate requirements will be huge. How is that being paid for? As I understand the Fire announcement, as long as you have Prime subscription, you don't have to pay anything additional for the connection. That alone is going to make it attractive to people fed up with AT&Ts charges.
In country like Canada, data plan required for devices like Tablet are quite expensive - $30 for 1GB. If person can pay this high price for data, he may be able to spend little more and get good device like iPAD.
Low cost cost device like Fire may be useful for person who generally uses WiFi hot spot in home or school/university environment. It will be very good for student - Fire loaded with whole four years of university text and refernce books!
In Asia, the boardband rate may be reasonable but the download speed is terrible. I also wonder if Amazon has ever succeeded in Asia, especially China. Amazon doesn't have good reserve of Chinese books and media and the Chinese basically don't like to pay! So, if the selling price is indeed lower than hardware cost (some people said Amazon is going to gain back by service), I don't think Amazon can gain the money back in China!
Cost of ownership - Tablet + data plan + cost of content is important. If one analysis these cost over one year, cost of tablet becomes insignificant. And real joy of using Tablet is when one has good hardware like iPad.
Two big problems here on the user side:
1. Closed system - I'm not buying something (or taking it as a giveaway) that plays only closed content. To begin with, books that Amazon wants to push are usually not what I'm interested in reading. Second, if I want a book I will buy a book, not an opaque EULA. (Remember the work that disappeared from everyone's Kindles after Amazon had a beef with the publisher? A refund comes nowhere near to covering that kind of thing.)
2. Content going through Amazon's servers. Amazon is already an annoying place to shop due to their 'suggestions.' I don't need them looking at all my browsing and coming up with suggestions based on it. Yeah, everybody does it - but have you ever heard of anonymous browsing?
Finally, on a spite-my-face note, I take great pleasure in buying Amazon's suggested items elsewhere.
I plan on getting a Fire for Christmas (hint to wife), even though I already have an IPad and the old style Keyboard Kindle.
I also plan to buy a Kindle Touch for $99 - who can resist the price of these gadgets?
Non-US people: Don't buy kindle fire.
I bought it in US with the hope that it'll work in all the countries. Its waste. U've to be physically located in US to use this device. Also to purchase any music/video/book u'll need a US credit card and US shipping address. They don't support Non-US regions. I tried kindle fire in India as well.