Amazon will unveil its Android-powered “Kindle Fire” tablet on Wednesday during a press event in New York City. The Kindle Fire will begin to ship during the second week of November and, with a similar-sized 7-inch screen, the device looks very much like the BlackBerry PlayBook according to reports. GDGT explained that the device was built by Quanta, the same manufacturer that built the PlayBook, and the firm played a big role in designing each of the slates. While recent leaks have created a lot of buzz about the potential tablet, GDGT suggested the tablet might not be that exciting. Reportedly the Kindle Fire is “pretty poor” and was rushed out the door so that Amazon had a product on store shelves for the holiday season. TechCrunch argued the Kindle Fire is better than the PlayBook, however, thanks to Amazon’s content and a “custom version of Android.” The Kindle Fire is powered by a TI dual-core OMAP chip but the processor speed is still unclear. Amazon is expected to price the device between $250 and $300. BGR will covering Amazon’s press conference live on Wednesday, so be sure to tune in for more details. More →
Amazon sent out media invites on Friday for a press event that will be held in New York City on September 28th. The invitation does not provide a hint toward what will be unveiled during the presentation, although we expect the company to finally take the wraps off of its first Android tablet. The most recent rumors have suggested that Amazon will undercut the price of the iPad by hundreds of dollars, and Amazon could price its tablet in the $250 range. We exclusively reported that Amazon was working on an entry-level dual-core “Coyote” tablet and a quad-core “Hollywood” tablet this past May. Recent rumors have suggested the company’s first tablet device will offer a 7-inch display and will run Android with a custom Amazon user interface on top. BGR will be at Amazon’s event to cover all the action as it unfolds, so be sure to tune in!
Amazon’s Kindle Library Lending service, first announced in April, is now live in the United States. The service allows Kindle users to borrow eBooks from more than 11,000 participating libraries across the country. Here’s how it works: simply visit the website of a U.S. library with support for OverDrive and then, provided you have a library card, check out a Kindle book by clicking “Get for Kindle.” The eBook will then be delivered to your Kindle via Wi-Fi or USB. Library Lending is supported on any device that has Amazon’s Kindle application installed, which means it is available for multiple platforms including the PC, Android, iOS, Blackberry and Windows Phone. There are no limitations to titles borrowed from a library, and users can still view real page numbers and synchronize notes, highlights and more across multiple devices. More →
Even with sales estimates that creep closer to reality, Amazon’s Kindle tablet is poised to become the best-selling Android tablet to date when following its launch later this fall. In a note to investors, Barclays analyst Anthony DiClemente offered up what is seemingly a more realistic sales projection than prior estimates: 2 million units in 2011. An earlier report claimed Amazon is looking to sell 4 million Kindle tablets this year, and Forrester went even further to project sales of up to 5 million units. With most other tablet vendors thought by some to be spinning their wheels, Amazon’s tablet could quickly become the top contender in a market dominated by Apple’s iPad. Read on for more. More →
As Amazon prepares to launch its first tablet offering this fall, the tech press seems to be in agreement that the device will give owners deeply integrated access to the company’s suite of digital services. It will download books from Amazon’s Kindle book store, stream music from the company’s Cloud Player service, pull down movies from Amazon Instant Video, and provide a window into Amazon’s numerous additional services. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, Amazon is also working on a new service its tablet offering might take advantage of down the road: Netflix for books. Read on for more. More →
Amazon launched its new Kindle Cloud Reader service on Wednesday that provides users with access their Kindle library using Chrome or Safari on Mac, PC, Linux and the Chromebook. Kindle Cloud Reader is also optimized for the iPad and offers a caching feature for offline reading. To get started, simply navigate to http://read.amazon.com and install the small required plug-in. We gave the service a quick run this morning and were impressed by how fast it loaded our eBook library. We definitely still prefer the standalone app on the iPad, but we’re sure Amazon created this option as a loophole to get around Apple’s iTunes App Store rules. Don’t use Safari or Chrome? Amazon still has you covered with its Kindle for PC client. Read on for the full press release. More →
OfficeMax announced on Thursday that it will stock Amazon’s popular Kindle eReader in its nationwide stores beginning on August 7th. The company mentions 3G in its press release so we assume it will only carry the 3G/Wi-Fi version of the eReader and not the ad-supported “Kindle with Special Offers” model. The Kindle provides access to more than 950,000 books and offers a 6-inch E Ink display. OfficeMax did not specify the device’s price, but Amazon currently sells its 3G/Wi-Fi model for $189. Read on for the full press release. More →
Amazon’s manufacturing partner is expected to ship as many as 3 million tablets for the online retail giant this quarter, Taiwan Economic News reports. BGR exclusively reported this past May that Amazon is currently prepping two tablets for launch, a low-end dual-core “Coyote” and a high-end quad-core “Hollywood.” The former is expected to hit the market first and Amazon is preparing to make quite a splash, as it reportedly has ordered between 800,000 and 1 million units each month this quarter from manufacturing partner Quanta Computer. The new order estimates are up from the 700,000 – 800,000 units reported in May by DigiTimes. Foxconn is said to have landed the contract to manufacture Amazon’s high-end 10.1-inch “Hollywood” tablet, which is expected to start shipping next year. More →
Samsung held a special event in New York City on Wednesday where it upgraded Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 owners with its custom TouchWiz user interface. If you weren’t in the New York area, fear not, as Samsung announced on Wednesday morning that it will begin pushing out the update over-the-air on August 5th. The patch will add the Amazon Music Player, Words with Friends and Kindle software. TouchWiz includes the following updates user interface enhancements:
- Live Panel: Magazine-like widget view for immediate access to weather, social updates, email, news, photo gallery, all on the home screen. The visual layout of Live Panel is completely customizable for one-touch entry into each user’s most important information.
- Mini Mode Tray: One-touch access to commonly used applications—Task Manager, Calendar, World Clock, Pen Memo, Calculator, Music—which overlay in a pop-up window on display screen for powerful multi-tasking.
- Clipboard: Advanced copy & paste functionality allows Galaxy Tab 10.1 users to store photos, Web pages, YouTube links, etc., on the clipboard for easy sharing via email and social network sites.
- Indicator Quick Panel: Quickly toggle on/off Wi-Fi, notifications, sound, brightness and settings in lower right hand corner of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 display.
- Photo Editor: Rotate, crop and adjust colors on high quality digital images
Samsung’s update will also add Swype, a host of enterprise features, Social Hub and Samsung Media Hub. Read on for the full press release. More →
Samsung announced on Wednesday that it will hold an event on August 3rd during which all Galaxy Tab 10.1 owners can bring in their tablets to have them updated to the latest software build. The update will add Samsung’s custom TouchWiz user interface, which includes live panels and mini apps, as well as a redesigned Samsung Hub application. It will also install Words with Friends, Amazon’s Cloud Player for music and Amazon’s Kindle software. Galaxy Tab 10.1 owners in the New York area can bring their units to the Samsung Experience Store at Columbus Circle between 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. to have their devices updated for free. Those outside the New York metropolitan area will receive an over-the-air update “soon.”
Amazon has updated its Kindle for iOS application with support for magazine and newspaper subscriptions. iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users can now browse, purchase, and read from more than 100 newspapers and magazines, complete with high resolution color photos, and the company confirmed that more content is on its way. Amazon customers with existing subscriptions can find recent issues under the “Archived Items” menu inside the application. The update also removes Amazon’s Kindle Store button from the the app now allows users to share quotes and passages with Facebook and Twitter friends. Kindle for iOS version 2.8 is available in the iTunes App Store for free.
Sony is expected to introduce a new family of eReader devices to challenge the Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook devices next month. In an interview with Bloomberg, Sony Electronics’ vice president of digital reading Phil Lubell said that the new eReaders will offer both software and hardware enhancements, although he wasn’t specific on what exactly the changes are. Lubell said the devices will hit the market ahead of his company’s S1 and S2 Android tablets. AT&T announced yesterday that it would ship the dual-screen S2 to its customers in time for the back-to-school season, and Sony said its tablets will receive a software update later this year with support for the company’s eReader bookstore and software. “Sony appears to be struggling to expand its e-reader business as fast as it had originally planned,” Nobuo Kurahashi, an analyst at Mizuho Financial Group Inc. in Tokyo, told Bloomberg. Sony’s Reader products currently cost between $180 and $300 and the company will need to drop that price in order to compete with Amazon’s $114 Amazon Kindle with Special Offers and Barnes & Noble’s $139 ‘All new NOOK.’ More →
Amazon announced on Wednesday that AT&T will sponsor a new Kindle 3G with Special Offers, a deal that has lowered the price of the device $50 to $139.99. In a statement, AT&T’s CEO Ralph de la Vega said that the Kindle 3G is “by far the fastest growing connected device” on AT&T’s network. Amazon’s “Special Offers” devices come at the cost of ad-sponsored content. Users will see advertisements at the bottom of the screen and can launch the “AdMash” Kindle application to choose which advertisements are displayed. The $114 Kindle Wi-Fi with Special Offers device, which launched in April, is currently the best selling version of the popular eReader. Read on for the full press release. More →