Posted by: crudbasher | September 28, 2011

What The New Amazon Tablet Tells Us About Technology

There are a zillion tablets now on the market (that’s an approximation). Despite this, Apple is pretty much having it’s way right now. It’s fascinating to watch history replay itself. The exact same thing happened with the iPod 10 years ago. The take away lesson about this is that isn’t not the gadget, it’s the software. The gadget is just a way to accessing things we want to use. If you buy a Toshiba tablet, you don’t have many apps and so your world is limited. With Apple, you get a whole ecosystem that works right out of the box. The whole pricing model has changed with computing. With a regular computer you have to buy software for 30-60 dollars each. With tablets, you buy apps for 1-5 dollars each. Some developers still make money because of volume.

What this tells us about technology is that to have a successful device you have to have an ecosystem for it but that’s kind of like a catch 22. Developers won’t develop for a niche device, and people won’t buy that device unless developers make apps for it. It seems the only answer is to adapt an existing ecosystem to be delivered on a new device. Enter Amazon.com.

They have just announced a tablet that is not as powerful as an iPad, but is half the price.  Undoubtedly, the next version will probably have more features like a camera, but more importantly, they have a whole bunch of mature services to plug into it right out of the box. This could be a winning combination.

Just as a cherry on top, they also dropped the price of a regular Kindle to $79. So, how many of our students will be getting one of these under their tree this Christmas?

    • Businessweek is reporting that the Amazon Kindle Fire will cost only $199! This is a killer price for a color tablet. Even while it doesn’t match the iPad’s features, there’s going to be some fierce competition this year.
    • Amazon’s color tablet has a 7-inch 16-million color display. Like the iPad, it’s an IPS panel, which means it has a wide viewing angle and great color saturation. The resolution is pretty dense: 169 pixels per inch. It’s not comparable to the 326 pixels per inch of the small iPhone 4’s display, but it’s better than the iPad’s 132 pixels per inch. The screen is protected by Gorilla glass.
    • The Amazon Kindle Fire is powered by a dual core CPU and, of course, it has Wi-Fi.
    • It doesn’t have cameras or microphone—so no videoconferencing—and no 3G connectivity.
    • It also only has 8 Gigabytes of memory but think of those gigabytes more as cache memory than anything else. This is a true cloud device, where your content lives on the web, and we already know that Amazon has that the cloud nailed.
    • The interface is ultra-simple
    • Just a screen to flip through your content—books, movies, music albums and apps—and a simple icon tray for your favorite stuff.
    • Keeping the price tag below the $200 psychological mark is going to have a big effect in the mind of consumers. Unlike other tablet competitors, Amazon will use its powerful store to sell this tablet. More importantly, it will be deeply integrated with Amazon’s cloud services and offer as much books, music and movies as Apple does.
    • You can pre-order it now for $199 and it will ship on November 15. To top it all, Amazon has dropped the black&white kindle price to just $79. Happy holidays, shoppers.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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