26
Sep
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It looks like Amazon's Android-powered tablet we heard about previously will soon be a reality. TechCrunch reported today that at Amazon's press event this Wednesday, the online shopping giant will unveil the Kindle Fire, an Android-based tablet named to differentiate itself from its e-ink cousins.

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The tablet runs a custom version of Android including Amazon's own app market. Little is known about the Fire's hardware, other than the fact that it's sporting a 7" backlit display and possibly a Texas Instruments OMAP 4 processor. The Kindle Fire's hardware specs are not the only thing the tablet has to offer however. Many are speculating that a last-minute deal with FOX indicates a strong media focus for the tablet, bringing sophisticated streaming capabilities and a slew of media options.

Additionally, the Kindle Fire is said to be arriving with a low price tag of just $250, great news for would-be Android tablet owners on a budget.

The only bad news is that the Kindle fire won't be available until mid November. This is particularly interesting, because Barnes & Noble is said to be preparing the Nook Color 2 for release next month. Whether Amazon's entry to the Android tablet market will be able to overshadow the release of the Nook Color 2 remains to be seen, but we'll be providing more information surrounding the Kindle Fire as it becomes available.

Source: TechCrunch

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • Karl

    The rumors stating that it is based on Eclair are a bit disappointing, imho.

    • http://lettersfromdave.wordpress.com daveloft

      I don't see how it really matters. Android is just the underpinnings with Amazon's 'OS' on top.

      I see no reason to get this device and I don't think it will do well. Everything it does can be done on an Android. The Amazon appstore is much smaller than Android's and it will be limited to countries that have access to the Amazon Appstore. Which is a lot less than the 131 countries that have access to the Android Market.

      • http://www.focuszonedevelopment.com Aaron

        It matters because FroYo brought forth the revamped Dalvik VM which really changed the game in terms of performance. If they're sticking with Eclair, they're not getting those improvements. You'd otherwise be correct in that Gingerbread or Honeycomb wouldn't actually matter as much if they've modified it as heavily as rumors suggest.

  • Stephen

    I have a rooted Nook Color that runs Amazon Appstore, Android Market, and GetJar in addition to the Nook and Kindle apps. If this device is crippled out of the gate w/ no access to Android Market and prevents installation of 'untrusted' apps, it won't have much appeal without being rooted.

  • bobomb

    Oh noes! It's a rectangle and black and has a screen and icons! Does Apple know about this?

    But srsly... count me out. I'm a Google fanboi all the way, and Amazon deciding to strip out all the Google stuff makes this a no go.

    • http://ericcamil.com Eric

      I'm sure at 250 a pop, if the hardware is decent someone will end up having a work around or making this device root able. $250 for a decent tablet is a great deal. Look at the progress CyanogenMod has made with the HP TouchPad so far.

  • Elis

    I am getting the impression that Amazon's intent is to provide a platform for their services to be purchased, why people are obsessing that it's not like every other android tablet is ridiculous. If you don't want a device that showcases their product then don't buy it, it's not meant for you. It doesn't make it bad because it wasn't designed what YOU want it to be. sheesh.

  • Jon

    The only interest I may have in this tablet would be regarding the screen. By backlit, is it supposed to be LCD-like?
    I saw some shop retailers in china selling ebooks using color e-ink. The result is amazing. However, to portrait the beauty of it they would use them to play video, which would averagely reach somewhat 12~15 fps, very choppy. But those screens are beautiful. If the Fire is intended to have something like that, count me in (using it with the single purpose of reading). If it doesn't...well, i'll buy the traditional kindle. Honestly, I don't need-want a tablet, but i'm rather interested in a ebook reader.