Amazon Kindle Tablet to be Called Kindle Fire

TechCrunch has confirmed that the Amazon event being held tomorrow is for the Amazon Kindle tablet. However, the device will not be known as just the Kindle as expected. Instead, it will carry the name Amazon Kindle Fire. The reason for the slight name change is that the Amazon Kindle is normally an e-ink reader. The kindle Fire will be a Google Android OS based colour tablet. The name change distinguishes both devices from each other.

TechCrunch has also confirmed that the Kindle Fire will launch with a 7 inch screen and that the device is similar in looks to a BlackBerry PlayBook. This isn’t a matter of just copying though. The reason for the similar design is that Amazon opted to outsource the design and hardware of the device so it could launch quicker. The company used was the same company who created the PlayBook. Amazon does have its own internal team to create hardware which is where the Amazon Kindle comes from, so perhaps we’ll also see some design changes in the second generation Kindle Fire, if sales allow for another generation to be made.

Although the BlackBerry PlayBook hasn’t done too well, the Kindle Fire should do far better as it uses custom software and is based on content from a huge company. By having a lot available in a sleek UI the Kindle Fire could do exceptionally well.

Amazon has also been inking last-minute deals with the likes of Fox for movies and TV shows through their streaming video service which will be a key part of the Fire. And they have several publishers on board for magazine offerings, as Peter Kafka reports today. The Fire will rely heavily on Amazon’s MP3 service and, of course, the Kindle bookstore.

For email, Amazon hasn’t included a built in client but a 3rd party app can be installed, or GMail for example, can be used via the web browser.

On the downside of this particular tablet device, we have heard a lot about a $250 price tag. We now hear it could rise to $300.

We’ll have all the details tomorrow.

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