Amazon Kindle Fire

Amazon announces “thousands of apps” for the Kindle Fire

We always assumed that all the apps in the Amazon Appstore would find their way onto the Kindle Fire (albeit with varying degrees of compatibility) but just in case you were wondering, Amazon's here to set the record straight. The company announced that major titles like Facebook, Netflix, Pandora, and games from developers like EA, Zynga and Rovio would land on the Kindle Fire when it releases next Tuesday. Appstore mainstays like the free paid app of the day will remain, and apps purchased on the Kindle Fire can be downloaded via the Appstore on any Android device.

Japanese retailer Rakuten buys Kobo for $315 million

E-reader dark horse Kobo has a new master: Japanese mega-retailer Rakuten. The company bought the e-reader manufacturer for $315 million, with most of it going to majority shareholder Indigo Books & Music, from Canada. The backing of a powerful retailer should help the relatively small company compete better with the likes of Barnes & Noble and Amazon in the e-reader/tablet marketplace. Like its competitors, Kobo sells ebooks on Android, iOS and its own line of e-readers.

Can Android compete with the iPod Touch, and does it need to?

Earlier this week we reviewed the Samsung Galaxy Player 5.0, an Android device with the iPod Touch squarely in its crosshairs. It's not the first, either: Samsung, Archos and innumerable smaller companies have released phone-sized Android devices designed primarily for media and app consumption, just like the Apple device. So far, they've failed to make a dent in the low-cost, high-function section of the market.

Apple CEO dismisses Kindle Fire as “more Android fragmentation”

Never let 'em see you sweat, huh Apple? In a recent interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook, a question was posed about the disruptive power of the Kindle Fire, which many see as the first tablet to pose a threat to the iPad due to its $199 price. Cook responded that the Fire simply represents more fragmentation, and that that will lead more consumers to Apple's walled garden of hardware and software.

Rumor: Nook Color 2 announcement coming November 7th to fight Kindle Fire

We've known for a while that Barnes & Noble intended a second model of its successful Nook Color tablet for later this year, as the original passed its first birthday this week. The Amazon Kindle Fire may have hastened the bookseller's plans: multiple sources claiming to be Barnes & Noble employees are reporting that kiosks and other retail goodies are showing up in bookstores ahead of a November 7th launch. That would put the Nook Color 2 on retail shelves a week before Kindle Fires begin shipping out from Amazon. An anonymous B&N employee tells The Digital Reader that his or her store is building a huge new display in the center of the store especially for the Nook tablets and e-readers. Spotlight, LCD TVs, touch screen demonstration kiosks, the works. A manager told him or her to expect a major Nook announcement on the 7th to battle the Kindle Fire. That's a pretty unmistakable indication that we'll be seeing more Nook news soon. The biggest draw for the Kindle Fire is its rock-bottom price of $199, undercutting other Android tablets by hundreds of dollars and the current Nook Color by $50. That probably means that the Nook Color 2 will see a discount of at least that much, whenever it comes to market. The Nook Color currently runs a heavily modified and branded version of Froyo, and the Fire runs a likewise customized version of Gingerbread. The rivalvry between the two biggest player in the e-reader market is about to seriously heat up, and consumers will be on the winning side whatever happens. [via SlashGear]

Analyst predicts lower Amazon profits after cheap Kindle Fire sales

We know that the Amazon Kindle Fire costs about $10 more to produce than its $199 selling point, and according to a Needham & Co. analyst, that loss-leading figure is going to hurt Amazon's third-quarter profits by a considerable margin. Amazon's earnings are predicted to fall by more than half year-over-year, from 51 cents to 24 cents a share. Amazon is of course mum on the subject, but even if the prediction is only half right, it illustrates how great a risk Amazon is taking on the Android-powered Kindle Fire.

Amazon could ship 5 million Kindle Fire units this year

We already know that Amazon's Kindle Fire is a hit: it's reached the top of Amazon's internal sales charts and has made a good bit of buzz on its rock-bottom price. Now a supply chain analyst is predicting that Amazon could order 5 million Fire tablets before the end of the calendar year, making it the first tablet seller to truly rival Apple's iPad. Between Amazon's selling prowess and its integration with its own digital library, they're poised to make an incredible entrance into the tablet market.

In-app purchases coming to the Amazon Kindle Fire

Android users have been able to take advantage of in-app purchases via PayPal, Glu Mobile or the Android Market's native tools for a while now, and Amazon is naturally going to be bringing the same capability to the Android-based Kindle Fire tablet. The online retailer is beginning a developer beta program for in-app purchasing even before the tablet goes on sale next month. Developers can request access to the program today.
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