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.
The article has an error. Lenovo A1 has yet to show up in the US market (check Google and see), so its OOS condition didn’t stem from high demand. Like many tablet announcements to date, it’s still a paper launch.
Demand for low-end ($200 and less) tabs hasn’t been good, else we’d have seen much more of the likes of Coby/Arnova/etc. The Fire (and Nook Color) are exceptions because of their content, and the Fire stokes interest for its good hardware, even if sparse on feature. The buying public are no fool; they won’t buy crappy tablets just because of low price.
It went on sale for about a week in early October:
I’m not sure if it’s actually *shipped* to any early customers yet, but Lenovo was taking orders until sometime around October 12th.
Since this is the first version of their customized Android software, I’m sure with this many early adopters, the loud complainers will stampede through the internet and create a lot of bad press. With the current trend of releasing beta software/hardware, there’s going to be a lot of “QA dropped the ball,” “don’t they test these things,” etc.
I’m going to wait and see before buying this.
TouchPad has tons of apps now thanks to CM7 😉
I am still interested in a Kindle Fire though. Just debating if I should check it out before buying or just go ahead and preorder it.
On the fence — just ordered a $99 Kindle Touch (delivery est. 28th Nov), since it clearly beats competition on price and functionality, but will wait and see on the tablet. There is plenty more competition for the Fire and we’ll see how they react on pricing once the reviews are in.
I have a touchpad, but ordered a Kindle Fire for my wife. $199 is a great price point. Amazon is going to take the market with this device.
Looking forward to receiving mine. Had an HP TouchPad that I used for about a month and then sold. Needed more apps.
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