This morning in New York City, Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, was full of good news to accompany his long anticipated announcement. Months ago he told us to “stay tuned,” and we did. Bezos didn’t disappoint.
To begin the day, Bezos revealed the Kindle Touch (gee, that name sounds familiar). Wearing a sports coat and jeans, Bezos began by speaking of the original Kindle, “We set out to reinvent the book .” In a move paying homage to the device that began it all, Bezos announced its predecessor, the Kindle Touch, a pure reader that still uses e-ink and is about the same size and weight of earlier models. The main difference is the touch screen and the price of just $99. Yeah, less than a Benjamin. The Kindle Touch has a new feature called X-Ray, which gives context by providing Wikipedia info without the need to go into a browser.
Then he revelaed the Kindle Touch 3G, which as you may have guessed, is the same as the Touch with the added feature of wireless mobility to download books anywhere. The 3G will cost $149. Both devices offer free service and Wi-Fi, no contract, no fees. The devices can be ordered today but shipping begins on November 21st.
Next Bezos revealed the most basic Kindle at the lowest price ever, a $79 bare-bones Kindle that’s 18% smaller than the current version with just four buttons and everything a pure reading device needs: e-ink display, built-in Wi-Fi, Whispersync, Amazon Cloud storage. This model starts shipping today.
And then came the big moment, the one building for many months… ta-dah, the Kindle Fire! Bezos unveiled the 7-inch display, dual-core processor that weighs 14.6 ounces. “And it has all the content,” he said. It’s Android-based, of course (poke at Apple). Storage for the Kindle Fire tablet is cloud-based, no backups of data is not needed. Bezos added, “That model (another poke at the iPad) that you are responsible for backing up your own content is a broken model. The most recently used items, no matter what the content is, will be stored in a task bar/carousel interface.” At a price well below cost, the Kindle Fire will retail for only $199 (the iPad starts at $499.) “We’re delivering premium products at non-premium prices,” Bezos said. Shipping begins on Nov. 15 and orders can be made now.
Bezos then introduced another surprise, Amazon Silk, which is a new browser for the Fire. The browser now lives partially on Amazon’s servers. The idea is to improve mobile browsing, which Bezos admitted is challenging to display. This announcement raised many eyebrows in the press, because if Amazon Silk can make browsing web pages a faster experience, everyone will get excited about that, even some Apple users.
There will be three very happy ladies opening presents by the Christmas tree in our house this year. Thankfully, my wallet should still be feeling fat, at least from the gifts bought by a certain retailer. Thanks, Amazon.
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