In it's bid to be the king of media consumption and e-tailer platforms, Amazon launched a handful of new tablet devices yesterday. Built around the idea as stated by CEO, Jeff Bezos, that the most important part of the hardware... is the service, Amazon upped it's hardware game and touted some new software and service features which should make it much easier for the average buyer to work themselves into a music downloading, Kindle book buying and HD movie watching frenzy.
Announced today were five devices: the Kindle Paperwhite and Paperwhite 3G, the 7" Kindle Fire HD, the 8.9" Kindle Fire HD with 16GB or 32GB onboard storage and an 8.9" Kindle Fire HD 4G LTE with 32GB or 64GB. Pricing starts at $119 for the wifi only Paperwhite, $179 with free 3G, then goes up to $199, $299 and $499 respectively. The folks at Amazon also took their previously priced $79 basic Kindle, upped the specs just slightly, then dropped it's price by ten dollars to just $69 to buy your way into the Amazon ecosystem.
One of the first questions someone asked me when they first heard the pricing is "How can Amazon sell some of these at such a low price point?" As Bezos said, it's all about the service. Amazon knows there are other choices out there for online shopping, but having a Kindle in your hand already, is one of the best ways they can ensure that when it comes time to make those online purchases, you're going to use their kiosk, errr, I mean "tablet" to do so. And as an avid shopper at Amazon.com (though I do frequent many other online shopping destinations) and happy Amazon Prime customer, I have to say that the strategy is a pretty good one -though I don't currently own a Kindle Fire.
Coming soon, we're working to get demo units of the tablets in our hands and bring you a full review of the products to help you decide if you're going to open your life to Amazon's world of streaming and retail goods, or if one of the other options on the market are better for you.
If the video you've already watched here is good enough for you, you can jump right in, right now and pre-order one of the devices over on Amazon.com though I'd suggest waiting until Apple's September 12th event to see if something there piques your interest (Ahem, I'm looking at you iPad Mini).