The next two weeks are going to prove very interesting in the tablet market once both the Kindle Fire and the Nook Tablet start hitting shelves.
Once it was revealed that the Nook Tablet would be featuring content from many major third-party players like Netflix and Hulu Plus to spice things up on that advanced e-book reader, everyone began to wonder what Amazon would come up with.
Although it looked like Amazon was just going to rest on its own ecosystem of products (Cloud Drive, Cloud Player, On-Demand video streaming, etc.) and promote those via the Kindle Fire, it turns out that is defintely not the case. Earlier this week.
Amazon responded with a lengthy list of apps that will be available to download from the Amazon AppStore at launch time, including Netflix, Rhapsody, and Pandora.
Today, Amazon continues to add to that list with the announcement that Hulu Plus and ESPN ScoreCenter will be joining several thousands other apps that will be available on Kindle Fire beginning next week.
Thus, this makes things considerably more difficult for Barnes & Noble to tout their new tablet as the prime option for third-party vendors as well as for customers who don't want to buy into the Amazon ecosystem because they already have subscriptions elsewhere. Now, one could argue that you can have it all on the Kindle Fire.
However, you can't get around the fact that the storage space and the hardware specs are better on the $249 Nook Tablet than the $199 Kindle Fire. If you want to have videos accessible at all times beyond streaming, the Kindle Fire isn't really the best option.
But don't forget about that other major tablet, the iPad, which has been available for months. Although the starting price is $300 more than either the Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet, the iPad is still heavily in consideration among consumers shopping for a new tablet this holiday season.
Yet, a recent survey found that more current and non-current tablet owners replied that they are planning to buy a Kindle Fire over an iPad in the next couple of months.
UPDATE: Kindle Fire owners will have plenty of periodicals to peruse through next week as well as Amazon just announced that it will be offering more than 400 full-color magazines and newspapers at launch time.
To further sweeten the deal, Kindle Fire customers who subscribe before March 1, 2012 will also receive a free, three-month trial of 17 Conde Nast magazines.