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Date

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Amazon to release new tablet : The Kindle Fire?

Amazon to release new tablet : The Kindle Fire?

The rumours have been flying, but now it looks certain that Amazon will release their new tablet, supposedly called the Kindle Fire, on September 28.

This is going to be a big deal for those in the publishing industry, because not only did Hearst form a potentially lucrative partnership with Amazon prior to the release of this device, but Conde Nast and Meredith are also on board with the new tablet.

So, what's it like? Good, apparently.

Here comes the tech bit: the tablet will run on a customised version of Android - which apparently bears no cosmetic resemblance to the system as it currently appears on other devices - that will rely heavily on Amazon's own appstore, MP3 store and, naturally, the Kindle Bookstore. The device uses multi-touch technology to navigate - so no buttons, just a slick screen. In appearance it is very similar to the BlackBerry PlayBook, probably because it was actually designed by the same company. Amazon wanted The Fire to be stoked and ready for the December shopping period so outsourced the design to PlayBook developers Quanta.

Oh, and it might be worth noting that the Kindle Fire will probably be somewhere close to half the price of a basic iPad.

So, does the iPad have competition? Is there finally something that will break the virtual stranglehold Apple has on the tablet market- and if it does, will it make life any easier for publishers?

AllThingsD reports that not all publishers have been extremely eager to get on board with the new Amazon project, Time Inc. included. They are in the process of negotiating a deal with Amazon that may or may not be sealed by the New Year. Notably, Time Inc. has so far failed to reach a uniform agreement with Apple regarding their subscription policies.

Don't think it's going to be more tempting for publishers to sign deals with Amazon over Apple though; the company takes on average a 30% cut - just like Apple - but this can rise, with Amazon taking up to a 70% cut of some publications.

What is more, Amazon may not have a clear playing field, which makes playing catch-up with Apple a lot harder. Barnes and Noble are apparently set to release their own tablet competitor, the Nook Colour 2, next month - which may cut into Amazon's share of the tablet market and present another option for publishers.

However, based on the success of the original Kindle e-Ink reader and the glowing reception from technology bloggers privileged enough to get a first glimpse, The Kindle Fire seems to be set to be a roaring success.

Sources: AllThingsD, Editors Weblog, TechCrunch (1), (2)


Links

Author

Katherine Travers

Date

2011-09-27 16:40

The World Editors Forum is the organization within the World Association of Newspapers devoted to newspaper editors worldwide. The Editors Weblog (www.editorsweblog.org), launched in January 2004, is a WEF initiative designed to facilitate the diffusion of information relevant to newspapers and their editors.


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