It makes entry by Microsoft and other would-be Android competitors harder. Much harder.
The pricing is extremely aggressive. I've hesitated to call it a race to the bottom as it is heavily subsidized, but that thought is there.
53 Minutes and we're finished. Thanks for following along, folks!
Kindle Fire ships November 15th, but pre-orders start today.
Bezos is again saying, "these are premium products at non-premium prices"
Kindle Fire features
Bezos: "How affordable is Kindle Fire? It's $199."
It cold be argued that offloading browser processing to the cloud is necessary when using low-end hardware, which Apple doesn't do.
Send us questions on Twitter at @MacObserverLive and we'll see if we can get answers.
AMZN is up sharply so far at $230.39 per share, up $ 6.18 (+2.76%). on strong volume. The market likes these announcements.
From what we can tell (no demo of Silk so far), it appears that the web will LOOK the same on the Kindle Fire. Just a faster experience.
In concept I love this Amazon Silk idea. If it's done right, this could be awesome. Perhaps Apple can use their datacenter for this for iOS?
Amazon Silk offloads all the processing AND most of the back-and-forth loading page assets to the cloud. This could be huge, folks.
I'd like to note that the chairs here at this event are amazingly uncomfortable. Like, WOW uncomfortable. Moving on...
Kindle Fire's browser is "Amazon Silk" -- Partially lives on EC2, partially lives on Kindle Fire.
"Is there some way that we can use the incredible computational horsepower of Amazon EC2 to improve the mobile web browsing experience?"
It's too bad for Google that it required forking Android to get us there.
Bezos: "It's challenging for mobile devices to display modern web pages rapidly."
Comparing Amazon's original web site versus today
Bezos: I have more for you.
Kindle Fire will be the first iPad-competitor that sales. Amazon seems to have put all the pieces together quite well.
Bezos played Fruit Ninja, so apps are definitely a highlighted part of this offering.
Music interface on books screen
Kindle Fire books
Now playing music. Full screen interface for current artist/album, shuttle controls, and music plays in background, of course.
Bezos (while X-Men is playing on Kindle Fire: "16MM colors, 169 pixels/inch, Gorilla glass. It's a beautiful display."
Recently-viewed/read content (movies, books, web pages, and more) floats to the top of the UI.
Kindle Fire UI
Kindle Fire comes pre-registered to your Amazon account out of the box. Initial UI does NOT look like Android at all.
Bezos says no syncing!
Kindle Fire free cloud storage
Whispersync on Kindle Fire works with Movies and TV shows. Watch some on Kindle Fire, then switch to TV and your place is the same.
Bezos: We feel that syncing should be invisible (standing in front of a huge iPod USB connector image)
Kindle Fire includes Magazines, too, and free cloud storage
Kindle Fire. 7" iPS Display, Dual Core processor, 14.6 ounces (hold in one hand), 100k movies and TV shows, 17MM songs, Android Apps
Bezos wonders: Can we bring it all together?
And now we're talking about Amazon Web Services (their cloud-based hosting and storage platform)
Bezos with Kindle touch
3 New Kindles
Now talking about Prime Instant Video. Showing movies, and touting the addition of Fox to this service.
Now we're talking about Amazon Cloud player, Amazon "app store", Amazon Prime. We're going somewhere with this.
The same thing can be said about the $79 Kindle, of course.
Bezos keeps saying, "These are premium products at non-premium prices."
The Kindle Touch is an aggressive effort to keep the dedicated ereader relevant, even as Amazon moves boldly into the media tablet business.
Adding Amazon Local to "Special Offers" (i.e. the ads that appear as screensavers, etc., on Kindle)
$79 Kindle ships today. Again, Bezos, "We're gonna sell many millions of these."
New $79 Kindle is 18% smaller than predecessor, faster page turns. That's 3 products in 23 minutes, folks, and I don't think we're finished.
Now onto another concept: "What if you don't want touch?" Then you get a $79 Kindle!
Bezos: "We're gonna sell many millions of these things."
Kindle touch 3G, $149. Pre-orders for both start today, ship November 21st.
Second device, Kindle touch 3G with free 3G wireless in addition to WiFi.
Ok, my guess was wrong. Kindle touch is $99. New touch interface, new slightly-smaller form factor, all the Kindle features you love.
We're moving into pricing. He's quoting many sources who said Kindle's would sell like hotcakes for $99. My guess - it's less than that.
X-Ray then has additional data on each of those topics, allowing one to learn more about books. Source is Shelfari (and others, presumably)
Kindle touch has "X-Ray" which drills down deeper into the book for interesting phrases, people mentioned, and more.
Kindle touch is a purpose-built device, which means they could really focus on what's important for reading and nothing else
Introducing "Kindle touch" - E-Ink display with an IR touch interface, meaning there's no extra layer to get in the way of reading.
Bezos says benefits are: E-Ink, Long Battery Life, Huge (relative to content) storage, and user is not responsible for backups.
Bezos: 4 Years ago Kindle started with 90,000 books, now it's 1,000,000.
Bezos is touting the ease of use with the Kindle, comes out of the box pre-registered, if it's your second Kindle it comes with your library.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is on stage now, talking about how far they've come with the Kindle in the last 4 years.
And we're off. Starting with a commercial with testimonials about the Kindle.
It's 10am, everyone seems to be in their seats and ready to go, so we're looking to have this start... soon.
...but we'll know more shortly, won't we?
I think Amazon's Windowshop app for the iPad -- which is brilliant, by the way -- was a testbed for what we'll likely see today.
To me, the ease of shopping is Amazon's largest competitive advantage. After all, where else do you feel *good* after buying things?
As I've been saying in pre-event line conversation, I think this device will be as much about media consumption as it will be shopping.
Filing in and getting our seats. Will it start on time?
We're registered and migrating inward
...but my day begins at 3am as I head to the train station to grab the Amtrak to New York to cover the event. Should be VERY interesting, folks!
Our live coverage begins at 10:00AM EDT, Wednesday September 28th
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