Friday, September 30, 2011

Kindle

Finally we have a touch screen version of Kindle. This means that I will no longer look like a fool when I touch the screen of my Kindle in trying to go to the next page (don't worry, there's still a list of other things I do that make me look foolish, but this one is low hanging fruit for me). It will be interesting to see if this method of browsing works for the Kindle, if the touch screen is too sensitive, then people will be turning pages by accident, if it's not sensitive enough you'll find people getting upset that it's too difficult to turn the page. What's nice about this is that they've kept to their roots, they've produced a tablet device that uses their tried and true e-ink technology to produce an e-reader. Amazon now has three e-reader devices, the non-touch wifi only version for $79, the touch wifi only version for $99 and wifi/3g touch version for $149 (they have kept the older versions, but I'm wondering why).

Kindle Fire

I don't feel I can lump the Kindle Fire into the "e-reader" category. It could turn out that's what it is, but to me it seems to be more of a real tablet computer. It's running Android and can connect Amazon Android store, it can also play video, music, games, view documents, handle email etc.... I don't see this e-reader being a competitor to the iPad, well at least not yet. I think the smaller version will lend it to being more of a competitor to the iPod Touch, since people will be wanting a mobile experience, without the mobile price. I do think that this tablet has a much better chance of winning the Android tablet war. Unlike the Xoom, Galaxy, Sony Tablets, Playbook (a BlackBerry Tablet) and all the other non-iPad tablets out there, the Amazon has one thing that the others don't have, and that's an existing store-front with people already set up to make purchases. There's no need to put in your credit card (again) to purchase Angry Birds Rio, Amazon will most likely already have it, as a matter of fact, when you purchase they tablet, they may have already linked it to your account (like they do the Kindles). I see this becoming an Amazon warrior that could do damage to the other tablets.

Now I do like the odds for the Fire, but I don't think it's an iPad killer yet. It's too small, they need a 10" version, it's wifi only, they need a 3G version (if they could pull this off like they do for the Kindle ereaders, that could be an iPad killer). I think this 7" version will be good for people wanting to get into the tablet market and not wanting to pay the $$$ for an iPad. I think it's great for kids, since it's only $199 and not a disaster if it gets lost or broken. Will I get one? Probably not, I have my iPad, I enjoy it and unless the Fire is running the latest and greatest Android OS, well it's not of much fun for me.

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