It sports a color touch screen, looks much like a BlackBerry PlayBook and has no physical buttons on the surface of the device. And it comes at a bargain price.
Yes, reports TechCrunch’s MG Siegler, rumors of Amazon making a full-fledged tablet device are true.
It’s called the Amazon Kindle but is different from other Kindles. Siegler says he actually used the design verification version of the 7” tablet, which is due for release at the end of November and will be priced at only US$250.
At the competitive price and considering Amazon’s wealth of content, the new device could put a dent in other manufacturers’ tablet sales — maybe even Apple’s.
Amazon built the operating system on top of some version of Android prior to 2.2, effectively forking Google’s OS to build its own version for the Kindle.
Amazon has deeply integrated its services in this new tablet with a Kindle app for reading books, Amazon’s Cloud Player for music, Amazon’s Instant Video player for watching movies and Amazon’s Android Appstore (not Google’s Android Market). It also has a Web browser and Google search is set as default.
Siegler believes it runs on a single-core chip and only has 6 GB of internal storage. The initial version of the device will be WiFi-only and has a micro-USB port and speakers, but no camera.
The really big news is the price.
It will compete with the similarly priced Barnes & Noble Nook Color, although Amazon will be sweetening the deal by giving buyers a free subscription to Amazon Prime. The service is US$79 a year and gives users free unlimited two-day shipping, no minimum purchases for free shipping and access to Amazon’s Instant Video service.
Amazon plans to release a more expensive 10-inch tablet in early 2012 while continuing to sell its existing e-ink-based Kindles alongside the new versions.