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Amazon is on Fire!

By Lito Carasig - Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Remember the rumored Amazon tablet we were talking about last May? It seems that we are finally getting much closer to something solid, because Friday last week Amazon handed out invites to a press conference which will be held this coming Wednesday (September 28th) and what else could it be about but the now code-named Kindle Fire tablet.

The Kindle Fire tablet will be unveiled this coming Wednesday by no less than Mr. Amazon himself, Jeff Bezos, but will still not be readily available until the second week of November.  Amazon has settled on the name Kindle Fire to differentiate it from its sibling, the still existing and still on sale e-ink reader.

As reported earlier, the Kindle Fire will sport the same hardware making it a 7-incher with backlit display which is familiarly similar to Blackberry’s Playbook.  This is due to the fact that Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet shares the same original design manufacturer (ODM), Quanta.  Amazon wanted to get the Kindle Fire tablet out in time for the coming holiday season so they outsourced most of the design details and manufacturing process even though they have a dedicated design team for their new tablet.

Though this may be the case, we have been assured by Amazon that the Kindle Fire user experience will be extremely rich because of the overwhelming abundance of content and apps not only from their own Kindle Appstore and MP3 service but also from third party providers being tapped by Amazon to give users access to movies, TV shows and other multimedia content as well.

The Kindle Fire tablet will be powered by a Texas Instrument (TI) dual-core OMAP chip which is used by other popular tablets such as the Playbook.  On top of this, the Kindle Fire will be running its own concocted version of Android (which does not look anything like Android) and will be significantly faster than its nearest competitor, Barnes & Noble’s Nook Color which has a single core 800MHz OMAP running the same-flavor Android.

Speaking of which, Barnes & Noble has hinted that it will also release an update on its well-received Nook Color next month.  Obviously, the Nook Color 2 will add more fuel to the already consuming conflagration and will play exactly with Amazon’s timeline. 

Insiders believe that the new Nook Color 2 will have a 1.2 GHz OMAP chip under its hood and will be utilized to display better multimedia content.  The new device will also be designed to stream content and the number of apps will be greatly increased to keep up with the competition.

The new Nook Color 2 will be running its own blend of Android based on Gingerbread (Android 2.3) which puts one on top of the Kindle Fire which is based on Android 2.1. 

Pricing of the new device will be comparable to the existing Nook Color - $250 – so it is obvious that its older sibling will drop its price to around $200 while the Kindle Fire is estimated to have an SRP of $300.  This is not yet definite, but we will soon find out as Wednesday is just a couple of hours away.

All in all, Amazon’s much-anticipated tablet will definitely make the tablet war a lot hotter and we can look forward to another great contender to the iPad 2’s throne.

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