Bloomberg provides a sneak peek at the Amazon event that will start in a few minutes.
The Kindle Fire will have a 7-inch display and sell for $199, compared with $499 for Apple’s cheapest iPad, Amazon executives said. The device, a souped-up version of the Kindle electronic-book reader, will run on Google Inc.’s Android software, the Seattle-based company said.
Other details about the newest tablet to hit the market include:
The Kindle Fire doesn’t have an embedded camera or a microphone. The device offers Wi-Fi connectivity, though not 3G access, and comes with a 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime, the company’s $79-a-year membership service that includes streaming video and free two-day shipping.
Amazon has painted over the rough surfaces of Google’s Android operating system with a fresh and easy-to-use interface and tied the device closely to its own large and growing content library of movies, magazines and music.
The hardware specs of a 7-inch tablet are a little disappointing but we’ll see the rest of the details in a few minutes. If it has the power and the battery life, it could be a contender with Amazon behind it. Otherwise, with its form factor, it’s a toss-up between getting a regular Kindle with e-ink screens and an excellent battery life and the Kindle Fire.