29
Sep
kindle fire

Amazon's new tablet, the Kindle Fire, has been grabbing all of the headlines following Amazon's press event yesterday, and rightfully so. Priced at an aggressive $199, it has virtually alienated all other Android tablet manufacturers in one fell swoop, offering potential buyers a great piece of hardware and all of the content Amazon has to offer to back it up.

Despite this, there are still a few things that the Fire won't offer. It's running a heavily skinned version of Android 2.3, so the experience will be completely different to other Android tablets currently available. Also, it doesn't ship with the Android Market, instead offering Amazon's App Store (although it will support sideloading of applications).

As a result, many users of the Fire will want to root the device, and according to Jon Jenkins, director of Amazon's Silk browser project, Amazon isn't going to stop you.

"It's going to get rooted, and what you do after you root it is up to you," Jenkins said.

According to PC Mag, Jenkins went on to say that he doesn't know whether or not the bootloader is locked, and although Amazon won't help users root the tablet, they won't actively try to stop them.

This certainly bodes well for the hacking community when they attempt to root the Fire upon its release in November, so watch this space. You might be using a rooted Kindle Fire sooner rather than later!

Source: PC Mag

John Thompson
John's been addicted to technology ever since he tinkered with his first custom built PC when he was 10 years old. He's also the proud owner of seven Amazon Kindles, but only because he destroyed the first six.

  • thierry

    It may become the best price-quality ratio since the HP Touchpad! I look forward to the development of this story

  • sansenoy

    Come on, it doesn't even have a speaker, pass... Is the price really that important to people who visit sites like these???

    • Jeff

      yes it does have speakers. read the spec sheet. "3.5 mm stereo audio jack, top-mounted stereo speakers."

    • Zomby

      It doesn't have a mic, but it does have stereo speakers. And the price point is important as it could get quite a few reluctant people to make the leap to a tablet.

    • http://droidsamurai.blogspot.com PixelSlave

      You think Amazon would sell you a tablet that won't play their MP3? Come on, get real. They want people to buy from them.

    • Devin

      Do your research dope.

  • Johnny

    I think the Touchpad proved just how important price is. It was only people that came to sites like these that knew about the $99 deal in time to actually buy one (they were gone in less than a day pretty much everywhere).

    People are going to be buying these and giving them to their kids as dual-purpose readers and game--players. A way-better deal than the iPod touch which lots of people buy for their kids now.

    I make my kids mute the games when I'm around or if we're in public, so the speakers aren't a big deal to me.

    • SiliconAddict

      I've known how important price is for years, but it was punctuated by the $100 off coupon at Staples a few months back. The speed those tablets flew off the shelves and Staples was out of stock in hours was beyond impressive. Consumers have demonstrated they demand tablets under $300.

  • JayMonster

    The real question is whether or not the Amazon Apps will support the rooted device, or will you wind up with a message saying that you can't download/watch movies (or other content) on the rooted device.

    • Taedirk

      In the same way it stopped videos purchased through the Android Market. For a week or two.

  • http://tantrajnaan.com Robert Dunn

    The swipe up menu to replace the missing hardware buttons looks awful. I hope someone ports Honeycomb or maybe the swipe up menu isn't that bad. I can't wait for a review.

    • Eric

      Honeycomb and this device might never meet. Without source, it would be a PITA, and ICS is around the corner.

  • dalingrin

    Would rather get an Archos 80 G9, especially in a few months when it can be had for ~$260.
    +Bluetooth
    +Microphone
    +Camera
    +Honeycomb

    • Phil

      Yea I'm not sure why the guys here (at least I haven't seen others do it) are so hell bent on making this the Android tablet killer for all other OEMs. I can understand if its just to try and help steer the other OEMs into dropping the price. But seriously I don't see why this is even compared to a tablet. Its a better done Nook. Like you I'd go for that Archos or even bump my way up to a Transformer if I wanted an all around tablet.

      Now the kid market to give them something to read and game on yea I can see. But until someone has ported Ice Cream to it I don't see folks rushing to get this like the Touchpad...and maybe not even then.

      • dalingrin

        Yeah, even a $250 Touchpad on ebay is a better value...once we finish Android

      • JayMonster

        I think you are giving the general consumer way too much credit. As a converged book reader and lite tablet, sure it isn't for the power user, but for the Joe Schmoe who wants a tablet (and there are lots of them), this will be a big hit. So it can sell big, own a huge part of Androids sales and still not be "all that "

    • http://lettersfromdave.wordpress.com daveloft

      +GPS
      +microSD
      +HDMI
      +3G Dongle add on

    • Tu Tu

      I (personally) would NOT wait for ANY Archos device. I had an A70 (remember the delays on when that device finally came out to the masses vs. when it was promised?) and the quality was by far sub-par to the other tablets (or even Nook Color) from that time earlier this year. Yes, it cost less but the plastic screen, while lighter, does not compare to a glass screen experience (plus the visual clarity/definition was not as good). I didn't mind its light plastic body (that actually was nice) vs. a heavy metal tablet body. I also liked the two-front facing speakers and the kickstand but what was most important was how the company was lacking in its response to reported bugs & requests, not to mention that they marketed it like it would do everything and it didn't. I could never get a great HDMI-out experience on my TV. To each his own, but I was soured enough to never (NEVER!) go back to Archos. It's so unfortunate bec. SOOO much could have been done differently with that device and what they marketed that it could do.

  • SiliconAddict

    OK I'm ***|||_REALLY_|||*** surprised by this. Its pretty obvious at $199 Amazon is selling these at somewhat of a loss. My assumption was that their model was going to be similar to how the game consoles work: manufacturer takes a dive on the hardware, but makes it up in game sales. In this case they would make it up with content sales.
    But by not putting up a fight people can dump whatever is on the Fire and roll their own. Which just made this thing stupidly desirable.
    Again very surprised. I haven't praised a company in a long time but: way to go Amazon.

    • Rhayader

      The rooting/modding community is a tiny percentage of the target market for something like the Fire. For 95% of users, that's exactly the idea - get customers locked into the Amazon ecosystem. For the other 5%, Amazon writes them off rather than having stories pop up in the big-time silicon valley press accusing them of hijacking the open Android community for their own profit.

  • Eric

    The bootloader is locked. I guarantee it. Even the nexus bootloaders are locked. The question is, how easy is it to unlock? Is it signed? Encrypted? Those are the things that cause problems. Not a locked bootloader.

  • jbonics

    root it and they will come

  • Bailey

    Why is that when someone makes a tablet everyone wants to root it? I am going to suffer the slings and arrows here but what i have seen of the kindle fire UI I like. But what i have seen of ICS is awful. The kindle fire is not for people that are geeks or need loads of power it just a light tablet in fact in some areas it puts Google to shame Google should have a fully rounded music and movie store from the get go when it comes to tablets and way more apps for tablets by now. I like the fact that Amazon are testing the apps to make sure they work well on the fire its a shame Google don't do the same with their apps. Yep this going to sell because most not all people just want to do the basics well I am sure the Fire will do that. Google step up where is your fully rounded store?

    I will leave people with their dual and quad core talk waiting for apps they tell us that might fully scale with ICS oh but at least it quick at least you have SD slots oh but at least you have a camera that takes in most tablets sub standard pictures and at least you can video call. But the general piublic just want something that works no rooting no fiddling with mods or waiting for someone to change into something that's up to date and is cheap. Yep Google you just got served not only will Amazon steal you app revenue they are also going to steal you add revenue why else would you create your own way to use the internet. Yes 95,000 online pre orders for the fire alone in day 1 boom!!!

    • Rhayader

      Umm, the idea is not to cram ported ROMs down anybody's throat. The idea is to celebrate and enable *choice*. If you love the stock experience, awesome. Good for you, you got a tab you love at a great price.

      If others want to go in a different direction with their own tabs, why on earth would that bother you?

      • Bailey

        I didn't say that it bothered me I just said when anything new comes out people always want to do that.

        • Chozen

          The problem with Amazon even coming close to steal Google's ad revenue, this tablet adds to it. The defacto search will be Google and that's all Google needs. As for the marketplace, people will want (and this is the general public) to eventually want those apps that the Amazon market doesn't have and they will want to know how to get the Android Market on there.

          I will give Amazon their props for this tablet, but I think thinking they will steal anything away from Google is a bit of a stretch

  • Chozen

    Someone said it best already. Amazon will sell these things at a loss because they will make boatloads more from having people think about them FIRST when they want to make an online purchase. I am ont of those people who go to Amazon first and THEN I go to Ebay. I buy my music and rents movies from Amazon.

    So for someone like me, who is already in the Amazon Eco System (would love to have a Kindle honestly) then this would be for me. The addition of knowing I will be able to use the Android Market and NOT Amazon's wimp of a market is a bonus.

    $200.00? Sign me up.