Clearly Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was hoping he had a hit on his hands when he introduced the $199 Amazon Kindle Fire tablet last month. But pre-orders for the device have been far better than anticipated, and as part of today’s third quarter earnings report, Bezos says the company has already increased capacity and is “building millions more than we’d already planned” to meet demand.
The company hasn’t said exactly how many Kindle Fire devices it plans to have ready to go when the tablet ships on November 15th. But Bezos didn’t say they were building “dozens more,” so I’m guessing the overall number is going to be pretty high.
The Kindle Fire features a 7 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel display and ships with a customized version of Google Android. It will come preloaded with Amazon services including an Amazon Appstore, Amazon Silk web browser, and Amazon apps for music, movies, and eBooks.
What the Kindle Fire won’t have is access to the Google Android Market or the latest Google software such as Android 3.2 Honeycomb or Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. But it’s not really aimed at Android tablet enthusiasts. It’s basically the device Amazon hopes will do for music, movies, and apps what the original line of Kindle eBook readers has done for Amazon’s digital book store.
Folks looking for a more traditional tablet might want to check out the Lenovo IdeaPad A1, which also sells for around $200, but which comes with the Google Android Market, GPS, and front and rear cameras. Unfortunately the IdeaPad A1 has been out of stock for the past few weeks — suggesting that Amazon may not have been the only $200 tablet maker to be surprised by strong demand for a budget device.
The Amazon Kindle Fire is available for pre-order for $199.