Amazon on Wednesday finally unveiled its long-rumored answer to the iPad. The Kindle Fire, which will run on a unique version of Google’s Android operating system, will sell for $199. Just in time for Christmas, the tablet will ship on Nov. 15.
The Kindle Fire doesn’t have all the nifty stuff that comes with the iPad. For example, it doesn’t have a camera and there are no cellular options, no built-in GPS and no Bluetooth. The software options are minimal and, at 7-inches tall, it’s smaller than an iPad.
Still, CNET Executive Editor Molly Wood thinks the Kindle Fire is an iPad killer because it’s so cheap. She says that most people don’t need the iPad, which starts at $499, since they use it mostly for casual gaming, Web browsing, email and for e-books. “And as tablet usage starts to shake out, it’s more and more apparent that a low-cost option with fewer features will actually suit most people’s first-world needs,” Wood writes.
Jim Dalrymple, who’s been covering Apple for 17 years and co-authors a tech blog called The Loop, agrees that the Kindle Fire will be successful, but he says it is not an iPad killer. The tablet will not touch the high-end of the tablet market where the iPad lives, the Dalrymple says. Instead, the Kindle Fire may take the second spot behind Apple’s iPad.
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