Bangalore: Amazon launched its much awaited Kindle fire tablet for $199, the latest--and possibly biggest--challenger to Apple Inc.'s dominant iPad.The $199 device that will run on modified version of Google's Android operating system has a 7-inch screen nd can access Amazon's app store, streaming movies and TV shows.
The tablet will go on sale from Nov 15 and the pre-orders will start from today.
Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos said, "We asked ourselves, Is there some way we can bring all of these things together [web service, Prime, Kindle, instant video and its app store] into a remarkable product offering customers would love. Yes there is Kindle Fire," during the launch.
The cheapest new Kindle will cost $79, and dispenses with the keyboard the Kindles have carried since the first model launched in 2007. Previously, the cheapest Kindle cost $114.
Amazon is also bringing out the first black-and-white Kindle with a touch screen. It will cost $99 and is reminiscent of Barnes & Noble's latest Nook. A version with access to AT&T's cellular network for book downloads will cost $149.
Bezos said that most of the content is backed up in the cloud, and that the device features wireless synching. The specifications are however lower when compared to higher end tablets in the category. Though it has a dual core processor and is 3G enabled, it lacks other features like camera and a microphone. Fire includes an IPS display, an ultra-wide viewing angle, and fast dual-core processor
On the e-reader front, Bezos said the Kindle Touch e-book includes an advanced E Ink display, infrared touch interface, extra long battery life, access to millions of e-books, free storage in the Amazon Cloud, Audible integration, and more, including a feature known as X-Ray, which shows the "bones" of a book, or details Amazon thinks a reader would find interesting.It would be interesting to see how it survives in an already crowded tablet market. So far Apple's iPad has been the most popular tablet for its ease of use, elegant design and selection of over 90,000 apps. The iPad has sold 29 million versions since its introduction, owning more than two-thirds of the market.
So far, iPad rivals like HP's touchpad, Research in Motion's Playbook, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.'s Galaxy Tab and Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc.'s Xoom have failed to attract mass audiences