Amazon Kindle tablet announced (but will it be any good?)


At Smoking Gun, like any great public relations company, we keep up with the latest in technology, particularly when it directly impacts on media, PR, marketing and publishing- digital or otherwise. So last week’s news from New York obviously caught our eye.
In May of this year Bloomberg reported that Amazon was selling 105 e-books for every 100 books, and the success of the Kindle reader is clear to see on trains, trams and tubes countrywide. Now the company has revealed the new Kindle Fire, a tablet computer set to enter a highly competitive, Apple dominated, potentially lucrative, and rapidly growing market  upon its November 15th Stateside launch.
But it doesn’t have 3G, a camera, or microphone. So that’s no Skype or Face Time, and no connectivity when you’re out and about. What it does have though is an Android operating system, currently the most widely used mobile platform, Wi-Fi capabilities, Amazon’s new web browser, Amazon Silk, and a 30 day trial subscription to Amazon Prime, the video streaming service. Most importantly of all though it has a $199 price tag, so that’s around £130, whereas Apple’s iPad costs $499.
Oddly enough, according to Computer World,  the device costs $209.63 to make, meaning Amazon is actually manufacturing the kit at a loss, with the suggested rationale being this modus operandi is justifiable because of the increase in the sales of physical goods via Amazon’s website it should hopefully produce. Designing a high tech piece of 21st Century tech as a marketing tool- how’s that for forward thinking?