Kindle is putting up the good fight. Nook trumped them on a small color ebook reader. Nook trumped them on a touchscreen ebook reader. Nook trumped them on being compatible with libraries. Kindle recognized this and now they are coming out with their own color ebook reader, their own touchscreen reader, and they are now compatible with Overdrive, used by many libraries.
Today they announced the release of their new models and along with them, very attractive prices. Of course everyone is going to be comparing the new color model, the Kinlde Fire, to tablets, just as they did with the Nook, but Amazon is definitely not going for the full tablet market. You can tell because the device does not have any expandable memory, it doesn’t have any cameras, and it doesn’t even have a microphone. Excluding all these things and keeping it what it is, an ebook reader and media player, let them keep the price down. Kudos to them for doing that.
Will it erode some sales of tablets? Maybe. For what I use a tablet for, this would probably work pretty well except for one thing, and that is the memory limitation. It has no external memory expansion capability. If I want to use it as a media device, and I have to use it with a wifi connection, The internal memory available isn’t going to cut it for any kind of video content. Maybe you can store media on the cloud, but it won’t be available when you don’t have wifi access.
I think the omission of an sd card slot will be this devices Achilles heal. I think it is a huge mistake. I understand they want people to use it with Amazon’s media and cloud services, but why prevent them from being able to add storage? Would it really have brought the price up that much? Also, if it is being marketed as a media device to access all of Amazon’s video content, how can it not have an HDMI port? You have all this content available, as long as you watch it on your 7″ screen.
It is an interesting announcement. The part of it I found most interesting though was not the Kindle Fire, it was their new base model Kindle without a keyboard on the bottom, for under $80. That is intriguing and definitely brings the Kindle down to the realm of a good Christmas gift.
The color Kindle Fire will probably get the most attention though, but I think Nook, who always seems a step ahead of Kindle, will probably have something even better available here soon. Since Amazon has very aggressive pricing, Nook will have to do the same with whatever they come out with too. Competition is a wonderful thing.