Amazon Kindle Fire

The Amazon Kindle Fire‘s relatively low $200 price tag may be partially due to Amazon’s hopes that customers will buy eBooks, music, and movies from Amazon to help shore up the bottom line. But it looks like Kindle Fire users won’t have to use Amazon’s digital store to get their digital media fix.

Earlier this week Amazon announced that Netflix, Pandora, and other online video and music apps would be available in the Amazon Appstore when the Kindle Fire ships. Today the company has added Hulu Plus and ESPN apps to the mix.

In other words, you can pay $79 per year to get an Amazon Prime membership and stream videos from Amazon’s collection. Or you can pay $7.99 per month to use Netflix or the same price for a Hulu Plus subscription and watch videos from those companies’ much larger (at least for now) video streaming libraries

The Kindle Fire’s closest competitors are probably the Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet and the older NOOK Color tablet. Both of these devices will also offer Hulu, Netflix, Pandora, and other digital media applications. But neither will have access to the Amazon MP3 music store or Amazon’s services for renting or purchasing movies and TV shows.

On the other hand, while the NOOK Tablet costs $50 more than the Kindle Fire, it has more storage than the Kindle Fire, twice the RAM, an SD card slot for expansion, and a built-in microphone.

It’s not exactly easy to decide which tablet is the better deal. If you’re looking for an all-purpose tablet and couldn’t care less about digital media, the NOOK might be the way to go… but if you’re already a fan of Amazon’s digital book, music, and movie services, the $200 Kindle Fire looks like a pretty great deal — especially since it doesn’t look like Amazon is going to block companies from offering users apps that compete with some of Amazon’s own offerings.

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4 replies on “Amazon Kindle Fire to offer Hulu, Netflix, ESPN… and Amazon videos”

  1. The Android app I really want for the Fire is Slingplayer.

    There are 2 things preventing this from being a truly excellent multimedia tablet for my needs (frequent traveler):

    HDMI
    Slingplayer

    Without this I can’t watch my TV/DVR on the road and I can’t output content to my TV.  So I’m probably better served by getting an Android tablet and installing the Kindle and Slingplayer apps.

    1. I couldn’t agree more about hdmi.
      I was hoping the kindle fire would have a dock and IR remote.
      That would have been a huge value add as it could act as a player for my entertainment system, reader, mail and general tablet stuff.
      Then, as you say, out in hotels it would have been great to just run an hdmi to the ubiquitous flat screen TV.
      But no.  Instead everyone in the world but me seems to think its great you can get all these movies to watch on a 7″ screen.
      There are only so many lines to stand in, and that is the only time I’d be all that interested on watching something on a 7″ screen.
      I’m more interested now to see what the rumored 8.9″ model might look like.  Perhaps it will actually pack a little innovation.

      This one lacks even a mic, also bluetooth, GPS, expandable storage…
      That’s a lot of tools missing from a swiss-army-knife-computainment machine.
      Oh well – I’m sure it will sell in the millions, just like the nook color did.

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