Amazon launches tablet computer, the Kindle Fire


Jeff Bezos, chairman and CEO of, introduces the Kindle Fire at a news conference, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2011 in New York. The e-reader and tablet has a 7-inch (17.78 cm) multicolor touchscreen. AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

NEW YORK—Amazon, maker of the popular Kindle electronic book reader, unveiled a tablet computer, the Kindle Fire, on Wednesday in a challenge to Apple’s market-leading iPad.

The Kindle Fire, which has a seven-inch (17.78-centimeter) screen, smaller than the iPad’s 9.7 inches (24.6 cm), will cost $199 and be available on November 15, the US online retail giant said at a launch event in Manhattan.

The Kindle Fire features Wi-Fi connectivity and is powered by Google’s Android software. It does not have a camera like many other leading tablets, including the latest iPad.

Presenting the new tablet to the press, Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos said the Kindle Fire features a new Web browser called Amazon Silk.

According to technology analysts, an Amazon tablet could pose the most serious challenge yet to Apple’s dominance of the fast-growing market for touchscreen tablet computers.

“More than any other recent tablet introduction, Amazon’s entry is set to shake the still-solidifying market to its very core,” independent technology analyst Carmi Levy told AFP.

“Unlike hardware manufacturers who lack the pockets and the resolve to slug it out with Apple in a protracted war over market share, Amazon has both the resources and the will to stay in the game as long as it needs to,” he said.

According to technology research firm Gartner, the iPad will account for 68.7 percent of the 69.7 million tablets sold this year and will remain the top-selling device over the next few years.

At $199, Amazon is significantly undercutting Apple with the price of the Kindle Fire. Apple’s cheapest iPad sells for $499.

The Seattle-based company is hoping to drive Kindle Fire buyers to its online store, which features books, music, movies, TV shows and games for the device.

“Over the past few years, Amazon’s customers have gotten used to one-click purchases of books and other published content via the Kindle,” Levy said.

“(Amazon’s) goal is to drive as much business as possible to and through its online retail presence,” he said. “Amazon doesn’t need to maximize its profits on every tablet sold.

“It’ll take thinner margins – or even per-unit losses – if that means getting as many Amazon tablets into consumers’ hands before the all-important Christmas shopping season,” the analyst said.

Bezos, at the launch event, said Kindle Fire owners would have access to 11,000 movies and television shows – plus 17 million songs – at

Technology research firm Forrester has forecast that Amazon could sell 3-5 million tablets in the fourth quarter alone.

Apple sold 9.25 million iPads last quarter and has sold nearly 30 million since launching the device in April of last year.

Amazon shares were up 3.18 percent at $231.34 in early trading on Wall Street.

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • RamBoDan

    Why no camera?…its a no-no to me, we usually used his gadgets to communicate and used webcam.

  • Haku Daten

    This is good news… for US Shoppers… as this product is only shippable to US. I have been an amazon shopper ever since, unfortunately, kailangang makisuyo sa kakilala/kamag-anak na nasa US para lang mabitbit iyon pauwi dito sa pinas.

    Sana magkaroon na ng Amazon Asia para accessible na rin ito sa masang pinoy!

  • Anonymous

    Just finished reading articles regarding the Amazon event.

    Kindle tablets were expected but their prices surprised everyone!

    Kindle at $79 and Kindle Touch at $99.

    I am honestly thinking of getting the Kindle.

    Fire honestly reminded me of the Playbook…

    I do not see any article mentioning its e-mail and calendar apps… so I feel like its like a Playbook if you do not own a Blackberry phone.

    Will the Fire challenge the iPad… not this year and not even next year…

    There are rumors about a Fire 2 coming early next year and there’s also rumors that there are different screen sizes planned for the Fire in the pipieline.

    Once Amazon releases an update for the Fire which includes productivity apps, then it will be a threat to the iPad, as of now, I think Amazon is just hoping that people who owns an iPad also buys a Kindle this Christmas.

    I think the Fire has a big impact on Google since it does not have their blessing (just like the Nook).

    I have enough reason to believe that by very early next year, we will start seeing rooted Fire’s and Nook’s running on Ice Cream Sandwich and I also believe that Google will have an unofficial hand on this.

    To Google… I am still praying for a day where we can download the latest Android version and install it on our device as long as it meets your minimum hardware requirements. Some of us don’t even mind paying for it.

    • Anonymous

      Will Philippine people be able to buy books, songs, etc. from Amazon tru the device?  

      The last time I checked, I could not buy songs no matter what type of credit card I had.  Something about being in a country in a ban list.

      • Anonymous

        I think its just songs we are not allowed to buy.  I have the Kindle software on my iPad and have been able to buy Kindle books without any problem.

      • Anonymous

        I buy software games which is also stored by the seller in their website. I could download them if I lose copies.

        I hope its the same also with Kindle/Amazon? You lose the device but get to recover your books from the cloud again?

      • Anonymous

        I believe so. You can actually download them to multiple Kindle devices you own. Before I got the iPad I had Kindle for PC. Now I have the same books I bought only once in both, though I now rarely use the PC version.

      • JP O

        yep, you can recover your books even if you delete it on your kindle. and you can synch it with other devices via whispernet. If you left off at page x on your kindle, and then access it on you kindle app for another device, it would open on page x. cool! just bought a kindle 3rd gen last month. and it cost 114 USD. this is so frustrating. hahaha

      • JP O

        cloud storage is free for all amazon content. and you get to have an email ad. pretty cool.

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks



latest videos