Amazon is releasing a new Kindle in tablet format sometime this Fall. It’s going to be the same size as the current Kindle but I’m told that’s where the similarities end. This newest Kindle will be color and Tech Crunch TechCrunch, it looks a lot like a Blackberry Playbook, and those are gorgeous looking!
Here’s the nice part – the 7-inch version is only going to cost $250. That makes it substantially less and puts it in direct competition with the Nook Color’s 8-inch version – no accident there. Once Barnes & Noble came out with the Nook Color, Amazon had no option but to develop a color reader in order to stay competitive. The Nook Color and the new Kindle will both run on Android, although the new Kindle is said to be very different looking from any other Android device. The new Kindle will also use Amazon’s Android app store. Don’t expect to see any visible Google integration beyond search because of the way this device has been built.
So I guess the question is, “Is this new Kindle tablet just an e-reader or is it a tablet computer?” With only 6 GB of storage, it sounds like a color e-reader to me, although several sources say Amazon plans to use it with Cloud storage in addition to device storage. The Nook Color provides the ability to expand its storage up to 32 GB. Wonder if Amazon will also offer that option or if it will depend on its Cloud as a way to expand storage capabilities. I’d bet on the latter because Amazon is heavy into Cloud technology.
An ancillary devil’s advocate question to the one above: “Why would you spend $250 for an e-reader if a couple hundred dollars more would buy you a more robust tablet that includes e-reader apps?” That’s an if you should really look at. Is it a cost effective purchase for you personally? That’s something only you can decide.
I just have to bring this up because I think it’s ironic and funny as hell. Remember the Amazon TV ads about their e-ink screens being superior for reading and eye strain while reading outside, when compared to Nook’s or the iPad’s back-lit color? Well the new Amazon Kindle tablet will feature back-lit color. Hopefully it will also provide the option for e-ink reading outside like the Nook Color does.
I’m sure Amazon will entice people with all kinds of extra internal goodies to give the new Kindle an edge over the competition. Amazon has a lot of internal goodies it could offer to tip the scales in consumers’ minds. There’s all kinds of speculation about what those will be, and some of the things being tossed around look very drool-worthy.
One thing to note is that the first release will be WiFi because Amazon is still negotiating with 3G carriers. Rumors are that a 3G model may be available in early 2012, depending on how negotiations go. I would expect that model to be at a slightly higher price point, given how the current Kindle pricing structure works; however, I could be wrong because of competitive issues.
When the new Amazon Kindle tablet is released, we’ll do an article on it to give you the scoop. I expect it to roll out to the public in time for early adopters to do some holiday shopping. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what this new product looks like and what it has to offer. Hmmm…Maybe it’s time to upgrade my Kindle 2 – we’ll see.
I’m really looking forward to your comments on this one!