On this week's show, Jessica Dolcourt joins us for some hands-on time with the Galaxy Nexus--and that peek is all you get, since there's still no U.S. release date for that sucker. Ridiculous. Also, Google Music recapped and a tag-team SOPA rant, plus Stephen Beacham's awesome new segment: Into It or Not Into It. You will love it, and you will dance. All that and Computer Love, to boot! Settle in!
With Amazon's Kindle Fire launching today, one would think that the e-retail giant would want to focus all its efforts on promoting the tablet. Think again.
"What we really built is a fully integrated media service," Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said of the Kindle Fire in a wide-ranging interview published recently with Wired. "Hardware is a crucial ingredient in the service, but it's only a piece of it."
He might have a point. The Kindle Fire, which is shipping a day early today, is really more about the cloud-based services it offers than the … Read more
Writing CNET's official review of the Kindle Fire was probably the toughest assignment I've had all year. This is a tablet that wears its price tag like a bulletproof vest. The standby criticisms don't work. Holding it up to an iPad, I may as well be comparing a Vespa to a Mercedes.
That isn't to say that the Kindle Fire couldn't have flopped. I've seen my share of cheap tablets before and I haven't flinched at flunking them. Nine times out of 10, it's the screen that ruins things. On a tablet, the screen is the foundation of the entire experience. It's the window to the software; it's the substance of the navigation; it's the keyboard; it's the game controller.
Fortunately, Amazon didn't cheap out on the screen, though (spoiler alert!) I was surprised that it only supports two-finger multitouch. My three-finger Fruit Ninja technique was ruined. … Read more
Amazon apparently has reason to believe that its unreleased Android tablet is a hot seller.
The Internet retail giant recently increased its Kindle Fire orders to 5 million units for delivery before the end of 2011, sources from upstream component suppliers have told Taiwan-based DigiTimes. Amazon has increased its Fire order volume once before, from 3.5 million units to 4 million.
That may seem like pretty heady confidence for a device customers haven't even gotten their hands on, but Amazon is estimated to have recorded nearly 100,000 unit sales on the first day it was available for … Read more
Though it won't reach store shelves until next month, Amazon's new Kindle Fire is already the target of a patent lawsuit.
A company called Smartphone Technologies filed the suit last Friday in Texas Eastern District Court accusing the Fire tablet of violating four of its patents.
Smartphone Technologies is owned by Acacia Research, a firm that buys and licenses patents and is seen by many as a patent troll. Acacia has kept the courts busy launching suits against the likes of Apple and Research In Motion.
The patents named in the suit against Amazon seem to include several … Read more
Is Amazon losing money or earning a profit from the sale of each Kindle Fire tablet? Analysts seem to be at odds over that question.
In an investor note issued last Wednesday, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster calculated the manufacturing cost of each Kindle Fire at $250, leaving Amazon with a $50 loss on each $199 tablet that it sells. Munster said he based that estimate on the cost of the iPad.
Related stories: Amazon could sell 5 million tablets next quarter Kindle Fire leads Amazon onslaught (roundup) Kindle Fire sets a new (low) price point for tablets Why Amazon's Kindle Fire is like a razor Amazon to lose $50 on each Kindle Fire, says analyst
But other analysts have chimed in with different opinions and estimates.
UBM TechInsights believes Amazon is actually making a profit on each Kindle Fire. Estimating manufacturing costs as low as $150, the research firm pegs Amazon's profit per tablet at $49.
In comparison, RIM spends around $170 to make its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, which reportedly gave Amazon some "design clues" for the Fire. The retailer was able to cut its costs by eliminating certain features found in the PlayBook, according to EE Times, which is published by UBM's parent company.… Read more
Taking direct aim at competitors like Barnes & Noble and Apple, Amazon announces three new e-readers and its first ever, all priced below $200.
SNL's Seth Meyers pours cold water on Kindle Fire Amazon's new Kindle Fire is clearly important enough to deserve a joke on "Saturday Night Live." It doesn't come out too well. (Posted in Technically Incorrect by Chris Matyszczyk) October 2, 2011 2:25 p.m. PT
Amazon is not a hardware company For all the great things about the Fire, including the low price, it's important to remember that … Read more
Although Amazon has just unveiled a 7-inch tablet, a new report suggests the company is planning to launch a 10.1-inch model soon.
According to DigiTimes, citing anonymous sources, the e-commerce giant is planning to tap Taiwan-based Foxconn Electronics to start producing its rumored 10.1-inch tablet. Foxconn is expected to start shipping the tablet before the end of the year to meet "holiday season demand," DigiTimes' sources say.
Amazon on Wednesday unveiled a host of new Kindles, including its 7-inch Kindle Fire. The slate runs Android and allows users to connect to the Web via Wi-Fi. It also has 8GB of onboard storage, and allows users to access several Amazon services, including its cloud platform and the Kindle e-book store. Most importantly, the tablet will go on sale for just $199 when it launches in November.… Read more
Amazon just launched three new Kindles, and clearly the color tablet model, the Fire, is a shot straight at the heart of Apple and the iPad. (And, by the way, it's maybe the first really good Android tablet.)
But for all the great things about the Fire, including the low price, it's important to remember that Amazon is not a hardware company. A question from our editor got me to realize this. He said, "How is it that Amazon has gone from an e-commerce site to a hardware maker ready to take on Apple?"
Because, Jim, Amazon doesn't try to make a 40 percent profit on each tablet sold. From the digital perspective, Amazon is a media company. From a broader perspective it's a marketplace (it takes in more money reselling electronics and other hard goods than it does selling content products). The Kindle line supports these businesses.
That's not saying that the Kindle products are not beautifully designed or even technologically advanced. The combination of e-ink plus the built-in 3G network put the initial Kindle in an important new class of hardware; the Fire looks like a really smart private-label Android machine.… Read more