Rumors are flying around that the new Amazon tablet will be called “Kindle Fire” and that it will look very much like the BlackBerry PlayBook. How real are those rumors depend on the source. The tablet is said to be 7-inches, run it’s own Amazon custom Android software and reuse some if not all of BlackBerry PlayBook’s hardware. The source is TechCrunch who also said that Amazon won’t be ready to release it until the second week of November.
Amazon’s own Kindle group (called Lab 126) opted not to work on the new tablet to continue to work solely on next-gen E-Ink-based devices. That is where it breaks down for me. That would be like Apple’s design group saying we are not going to work on the iPad. We are going to just stick to iPhones. In the corporate world, departments can’t just opt out. It is said that Amazon went on to build a tablet without the experience of in house Lab 126 but instead outsourced the help of Quanta. Quanta sped up the development process by using the PlayBook as their hardware template.
The Kindle Fire will have Amazon’s Prime, Kindle bookstore and its own proprietary Android Marketplace. Therefore Google might just be 100% cut out of the picture. The tablet will be sold at the price of $250 without Amazon Prime and $300 with the inclusion of a free Amazon Prime membership. That would be a big step in the arm for membership for Amazon Prime that just signed a deal with Fox. No word yet on who and if there will be a mobile 3G partner. The announcement on Wednesday is just around the corner.