As predicted, Amazon has released its entry to the tablet market, the Kindle Fire, in a move commentators say throws down a gauntlet to the dominant Apple iPad.
The main selling point is the price of the device, which Amazon has set at US$199, less than half of the US$499 customers pay for the cheapest iPad.
In truth, the devices are only just comparable. The Kindle Fire has a 7-inch screen compared with the iPad’s 9.7-inch display. It has no camera while the iPad has two. It has no GPS, no Bluetooth, and none of the cellular and storage upgrade options, coming only as in wi-fi with 8GB of internal memory.
Anyone who doesn’t use all the bells and whistles of their Apple device, though, will be sure to take a look at the cheaper alternative rather than simply justifying the additional expense.
The Kindle Fire runs on Google's Android software, and includes built-in access to Amazon's Appstore, as well as free cloud storage for any Amazon content. Pre-orders are open in the US now, with the device due to start shipping in November.
Kindle products are currently sold in New Zealand by Dick Smith; the company could not be reached for comment about when we might see the device here, and for how much.
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