This from a friend, Amanda Green:
Whether Amazon’s new Kindle Fire will be the iPad killer some have predicted remains to be seen. But Jeff Bezos has struck another nail into the coffins of those publishers who continue to believe e-books are a craze that will one day just fade away. Bezos is betting those naysayers are wrong, just as he has bet that all those who say reading for pleasure is a dying art are wrong.
This morning, Bezos fired multiple shots across the bow of not only Apple, but Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Sony, among others. His first shot was the announcement of the new Kindle Touch. With the “most advanced” E-ink display and an extra-long battery life, the Kindle Touch will sell for $99. That’s right, Bezos has broken what many have long felt to be the magic price point for e-readers, the price most people will be willing to spend.
There’s more. This Kindle Touch is the wifi version. For $149, you get a Kindle Touch with free 3G service that will work in 100 countries. There will be no 3G contract required, no monthly fees, no nothing except for price of the books you download.
But that wasn’t the end of the surprises from Bezos. If a $99 Kindle Touch isn’t enough to tempt those who have been holding off buying an e-book reader, Bezos announced that the Kindle will now have a $79 model. This version will have buttons, faster page turns and will weigh in at under six ounces.
The mad genius of Amazon wasn’t done yet. After discussing some of the latest acquisitions to the Prime video program, he rolled out the device everyone has been talking about and waiting for – the Kindle Fire. The Fire has a 7 inch IPS display, a dual core processor and weighs in at 14.6 ounces. With the Fire, you have access to 100,000 movies and TV shows, 17 million songs, as well as access to the Android Appstore and Kindle Books. Whispersync will work on the Fire much as it does on the current generations of the Kindle. Not only will you be able to sync your books and magazines between devices, but also your music and videos.
The price for the Kindle Fire — $199. That sound you hear is the sound of thousands of virtual feet pounding their way to the virtual line to place their pre-orders for the Fire. Whether the Fire will come out in a 10-inch version and prove to be a true challenger for the iPad remains to be seen. In the meantime, however, Bezos has just delivered new devices that will not only have dedicated Kindle customers ordering them but that will, because of their lower prices, have those who have never tried an e-book reader buying one. And why not, when the new Kindle costs less than a night out on the town now?