Amazon Tablet Release Date

Published by under Amazon Tablet, Kindle Tablet

Important update: The Amazon tablet release has begun. Pre-orders can be made today, with deliveries scheduled to begin in mid November, on a first come, first served basis. Check out our color Kindle tablet article to find out all about the new Fire.

Back to the original article:

We should have a firm Kindle tablet release date in the next few days. In late September Amazon are due to hold a press conference in NYC. Since we didn’t get the August release we hoped for, this event would lead us to think that the new Kindle is being officially launched. That means we should see the tablet for real, as well as find out when we can start ordering it!

Back to the original article (which was very wrong!):

amazon tablet release dateAn August release date for the Amazon Tablet / Color Kindle looks like a near certainty today.  More news from Digitimes confirm that shipments are expected before the end of summer.

Not that we are surprised – after all when is a better time to release the ideal Christmas gift?

The report did bring some surprises though.  We had all got used to the idea of a quad core NIVDIA processor, but now it seems the hardware is being designed by Texas Instruments.  Even E-ink Holdings look like they’re out of the picture since the new story is that the touch panel is coming from Wintek.

It all seems a little odd that the previous reports were so wide of the mark.

So what will the new Kindle in color, and tablets from Amazon really be like?  You can bet we’ll be hearing all about them in the next month prior to a summer release.  And, if you want to find out first, subscribe at the right.  We’ll be in touch as soon as we have concrete information rather than simply more speculation!

 

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Amazon Tablet Release Date 2011?

Published by under Amazon Tablet, Kindle Tablet

Updated 22nd June 2011 – Great News – Amazon Tablet Release Date August 2011 – well we think so anyway.

7" Amazon TabletMore Amazon tablet news arrived 15th July which might mean we see only one new tablet this year, but another in 2012.  On the plus side it seems that a new Kindle with touch-screen, along with an updated version of their current reader are both in the pipe-line too…

Based on Digitimes latest report it seems that and August release of Amazon’s tablets looks more likely than ever.  And its all change on the specification too.  No more Tigra, but instead Texas Instruments provide the processors, with Taiwan-based Wintek to supply touch panels, ILI Technology to supply LCD driver ICs.

Whether these new rumors will be proved right of course, remains to be seen – but if you want to be first to know when Amazon themselves confirm the release date of their new tablets just complete the form at the side.  We’ll be in touch as soon as firm news is in!

Back to the original post…

It looks like more fuel to the Amazon Tablet rumours this month.  Taiwanese tech news site Digitimes released news on 3rd May, that indicates sources within the supply chain are saying Amazon have already placed an order for a new tablet device.

The manufacturer of the future tablet is said to be Quanta Computers who currently already the tablet OEM partner to Sony.  Of course both Quanta and Amazon have nothing to say on the matter so far.

But up-stream components manufacturers are suggesting quantities of up to 700,000 or 800,000 Kindle tablets might be shipped each month during peak production.

Of course no details have emerged, though it is expected that E-ink Holdings will provide the touch-screen panels and possibly more.  Samsung are still thought to be in frame, perhaps as co-designers of the new tablet itself.

And when is this all likely to happen?  Well the rumours persist that a tablet release date in the 2nd half of 2011 is expected.

 

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Amazon Tablet Kindle 2011

Rumours have been circulating for the last two years that an Amazon tablet device (probably Kindle branded) is imminent.  Obviously those rumours were a little off the mark, since as of today there is still no such thing as a tablet Kindle. Update 27th Sept saw the release of a Kindle 4, touch-screen Kindle and new Kindle Fire tablet.

Amazon Tablet - Kindle 4th Generation?But, that is not to say that such a device is not on the cards.  There are many reasons to assume that an Android Kindle device is indeed on its way from online giant Amazon:

  • 2009 Amazon purchase TouchCo and integrate them into Lab126, the division where Kindles are born.
  • 2010 Apple release the iPad, and contrary to expectations the tablet revolution kicks off with a bang.
  • 2010 the Nook Color proves a hit, as a budget priced mini tablet/e-reader.  The competition with B&N hots up.
  • 2011 Amazon open their own Android Apps store.
  • 2011 Amazon are recruiting Android experts.
  • 2011 Amazon introduce MP3 store and Cloud Player for Android.
  • 2011 Amazon introduce their Cloud store for all your mobile computing back-ups
  • 2011 Fforester blog that unless an Amazon tablet does appear, no one is going to be able to make a dent in Apple’s iPad sales.
  • 2011 Cheaper Kindles arrive, with the sponsored ads wi-fi Kindle 3, and one day sales on the Kindle DX.  Are they trying to get rid of stock?
  • 2011 a deal with Samsung is rumoured, and an Android Kindle is expected by the summer.
  • May 2011, yet more rumours – this time that a Korean manufacturer has been given an order for 800,000 Amazon tablets per month, starting in the second half of 2011.
  • Sept 2011, amazon finally unveiled their new Kindle Fire. Deliveries begin in November but pre-orders are massive so expect some serious delays if you don’t order pretty quickly!

A lot of this is conjecture of course.  Android experts might just be being recruited to help with the App store.  But even the App store itself could make even more money if an Amazon branded tablet were being sold alongside it.

All the mobile content that Amazon are able to offer suits an Android computer more than any other gadget available today, so why not produce their own?

With Amazon’s ability to offer cut price devices that deliver, and convince us to part with even more cash for content, they could really be a force to be reckoned with if a tablet computer is released.  Particularly this year, because try as everyone else might, no tablets to date have seemed to offer much to compete with Apple’s expensive iPad.  Something from a retailer we trust, that we already have an account with, and know how to order from could open the tablet market up to a much wider audience.

Amazon Tablet Release Date

So when would we get to see an Amazon or Kindle tablet device?  Well August 2011 sounds like a good time for something new to come from the brand.   August last year was when the iconic 3rd generation reader was released, so an annual upgrade could just be in order.

The only snag?  What on earth would they call it; an Amazon Tablet, a Kindle Color or simply the Kindle 4?  Whatever it will certainly be new!

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Kindle Touch Screen Reader

Published by under Kindle Readers, Kindle Tablet

Update Sept 2011: The Kindle Touch starts shipping on 21st November and you can pre-order yours now. The device brings a much more attractive look to the most popular ebook reader range (providing you don’t want a keypad!).

The basic guts of the machine is pretty similar to what we already had with the 3rd generation reader, but (and this is important for many), removing the keyboard allows the whole thing to be reduced in size, whilst still retaining its 6″ display AND you get to use IR touch to navigate the buttonless device.

Kindle Touch v Kindle 3

So why are people buying the latest touch screen Kindle in their droves? And is it the right one for you?

There are a lot of similarities between the two devices:

  • Kindle TouchBoth available in wi-fi or 3G + wi-fi versions so that you can download new ebooks in seconds just about anywhere.
  • Both available in ad sponsored or ad free versions so you can choose to save more money so long as you don’t miss the author screen savers (the screen savers on the sponsored ads versions shows ads or special offers amazon think you might be interested in).
  • Both have the latest generation Pearl e-ink display for paper-like reading even when in direct sunlight.
  • Both are similarly priced (both the Touch, and the Keyboard wi-fi models start at $99, and the 3G models start at $149 and $139 respectively).
  • Both have text to speech audio function (where publishers allow it) and access to the same Kindle book store (as well as new library lending features).
  • Both have the same experimental web browser should you want to go on-line.
  • Both have the same long battery life of up to 2 months, and the same memory of around 3GB available for storing around 3000 ebooks.
In short, the latest generation has more in common with the previous one than you might expect. But the differences make this a hugely popular choice:
  • The new generation are significantly smaller and lighter than the keyboard models (nearly an inch shorter and an ounce lighter).
  • They keyboard is gone, and instead a virtual keyboard can be displayed on screen for touch-screen typing of notes or browsing. With no buttons at all page turns are easy (tap almost anywhere to page forward, and in the top left for page back). Tap the very top of the screen for more menu options (so you won’t be accidentally turning pages and can hold the device in either hand).
  • New X-Ray feature means that books are downloaded to the device along with a whole host of additional look-up information, such as ideas, historical figures, places and topics of interest.
  • The latest generation Kindle with touch-screen does not have the audio Voice Guide feature which allows users to navigate the device with an audio description of the various options. It does however have the more often used text to speech option which is great when you get into the car but would like to hear more of the story you were reading.
  • The new models are supplied with a USB charger (to plug into your computer), whilst the previous generation come with a charger that can be used from a power outlet or a computer (you can buy these if needed for the new generation eReaders).
  • The new 3G Touch Reader only allows internet access to the Kindle store, and to download new books and periodicals, and to access Wikipedia via its 3G service. For all other internet browsing you will need to use the wi-fi connection. The current keyboard version with 3G allows all internet access using the 3G network. This might sound like a problem, but since the internet experience when seen on e-ink is basic at best, this issue is unlikely to affect any but the most ardent fans of social networking.

The key way to compare the Kindle Touch with the Kindle 3 is to determine how important both size, and keyboards are in your world! Personally I find using the keypad a little fiddly, so prefer the idea of freeing up space by removing it, and benefitting from an overall lighter device.But I know some people are not fans of touch-screens and will prefer the more old fashioned keyboard. Since Amazon are continuing to sell keyboard versions everyone should be happy.

Have a look at our run down of the new Kindles in our other piece.

 

And now back to our original article (from may 2011) detailing why Amazon would eventually bring us a Kindle Touch Reader:

You might already wonder why there is no Touch-screen Kindle already.  After all, didn’t Amazon buy a touch-screen developer (TouchCo) in 2009?  Why the wait then?  Well we don’t know yet, but of course it seems pretty likely that Amazon have something touchy feely in the pipe-line.  In fact TouchCo was amalgamated with Lab126 which is the hardware division of Amazon responsible for developing the Kindle reader today.

Of course this led to rumours all through 2010 that a touch-screen version of Amazon’s eReader would be released any day.  What we got instead was the fantastically improved Kindle 3, but no touch-screen at all.

Why Create a Touch Screen Kindle?

Now, you can get buy perfectly well without touch, but consumers are getting more used to it since it features so heavily in all our favorite new gadgets.  In fact, it is becoming simply the expected way to navigate our hand-held gadgets, thanks largely to Apple.

kindle touch screenLate in 2010 Sony actually re-worked their entire e-Reader range so that all included touch-screen navigation.  Even the Nook Classic, Kindle’s biggest rival features a small touch-screen panel at the base of the display, for easy browsing.

Of the big ebook reading devices it seems only the Kindle is left without touch.  Now, for many users this is no bad thing.  After all touch brings the dreaded smears and greasy finger marks that some people really worry about.  Frankly, most of the time you are simply start looking at the page so I don’t see this being that much of an issue.  In fact a Kindle with touch-screen is likely to get a lot less smeary than all the other touch screen gadgets you own.  But, each to their own obviously!

One of the key benefits of adding touch screen navigation would be that you can slim-down the size of the ebook reader even further.  The slightly old-fashioned keyboard can be removed and the whole thing made smaller, or else the screen enlarged without having to make the device any larger or heavier.

The real reason to have touch screens though is for doing things other than simply reading.  Navigating the web or playing games might be a whole lot easier if we had touch.  But the current device really isn’t that great for such things anyway since it uses that slow refreshing e-ink display we love so much.

Ah But Will We Get a Kindle Touch Screen?

Whilst many consumers do continually ask about a future touch-screen Kindle, my gut feeling is that we are more likely to a tablet Kindle with touch instead.  That would “kill two birds with one stone” so to speak, and ensure that the current style of Amazon’s ebook reader which already popular with a wide demographic does not alienate any of its loyal fans.

The best world would be one with a new generation e-ink based ebook reader similar to what the current Kindle 3 offers, along-side a touch-screen Kindle tablet for those that want something a little more flexible and multi-functional.  The Amazon ebook reader has been continually evolving but perhaps it is time for a very new approach.

It seems to us, that we will see a touch screen Kindle in 2011, but it is unlikely to be just any old ebook reader.

Watch this space…

 

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Amazon Kindles – A Little Background

original kindleThe Amazon Kindle ebook reader was first introduced in 2007. Initially it seemed like rather a far fetched idea that we would all want to read on a small hand-held device. After all, paper books have been good enough for quite some while.

kindle 2But as time went by, and the technology got better (and cheaper) the electronic reading device actually began to make sense.  The 2nd generation Kindle did a lot better than the first, whilst other products from Sony, Barnes & Noble et al sold increasingly well.  So well, in fact that Amazon came up with the DX version which boasted a whopping 9.7 inch screen that was great for reading newspapers and working on, but too large and too expensive for most buyers to actually really want.

The Kindle 3 – The Ebook Reader Goes Main-Stream

kindle 3Still though, ebook reading devices were relatively expensive and not truly loved by the masses, over a paper copy.  The technology was good but many still found it more comfortable to read paper than e-ink.  And, at over $250 it was a real luxury item, predominantly owned by an older generation with money to spare, and failing eye-sight to consider.  The first selling point of the original ebook readers was their variable font sizes that meant you could take the strain out of reading small text.

Roll on July 2010 and the Kindle 3rd Generation eBook Reader took the world by storm.  Bringing the price well below the $200 mark, and offering us both 3G and wi-fi ways to connect wirelessly for instant downloads of new books, alongside the awe inspiring Pearl e-ink display made more and more of us consider investing in a portable reader.

The outstanding battery life, and the ability to store thousands of titles on one extremely lightweight and easy to use device made the Amazon Kindle a must have accessory for commuters and travellers alike.

Tablet Competition for Amazon

Of course 2010 was also the year of the iPad.  Suddenly a sleek, colorful touch-screen that could do almost everything your laptop could, was all the rage.  Of course tech sites initially pondered the demise of ebook readers, after all the tablet computer was simply sexier, and far more versatile.

True, but for those of us that enjoy reading a lot, the tablet is often not the first choice.  The back-lit screen mean you don’t have the same portability since the battery runs down so quickly.  Some find that display also strains the eyes when reading for long periods, and of course the other issue is that reading on an LCD display can feel a little too much like “work” after a day in an office staring at a computer.

There probably were consumers that didn’t bother to buy an ebook reader once the tablet launched, but still many more did anyway.  The advantages of a cheap and cheerful, easy to read display with a battery life of up to a month, and no wireless contract were still very obvious to many.

Of course Barnes & Noble took a slightly different approach and gave us the Nook Color, which is really a small and affordable tablet.  But the advantages of e-ink still win out for many.

Kindle Reading AppsAmazon took advantage of the fact that many consumers have tablets, smart phones and the like by offering a Kindle Reader App to use on those other devices.  So even if you bought an iPad, you could still buy your content from the online retailer.  This is crucial to the Amazon Kindle story.

Whilst other products might prove better for some, it is hard to ignore the sheer power of the end content that Amazon can offer, alongside the seamless ordering process, and the fact that so many of us already know our way around their web-site and are happy to buy from them.

Amazon Kindle 2011

So things have definitely changed within the world of digital reading.  More of us than ever have smart phones, tablets and PCs loaded up with reading applications.  Technology is changing and we like that.  So of course we cannot believe that Amazon would let their iconic Kindle Reader stand still for two long.

There are some key developments that are being hotly gossiped about and anticipated in the technology press.  Of course Apple are saying nothing but we can be pretty sure that the innovative retail giant will bring us something later this year.  Just what it is remains to be seen though, but might include any or all of the following (which we discuss in more detail in the linked articles):

  • An Amazon Tablet? According to many insiders, and Forrester Research only Amazon can really hope to take a significant share of the tablet market from Apple.
  • A Color Kindle Reader? Of course a tablet would be color, but what about keeping the low power, easy to view e-ink but adding color?  Well it is becoming more than possible since Triton e-ink and Mirasol technologies could give us a color display very much like the monochrome one now used.
  • A Touch-screen Kindle Reader? Well just about everything else is touch-screen nowadays, and Amazon bought TouchCo (who made guess what, touch-screens) in 2009 so why not?
  • Free Kindles? This is not as daft as it sounds.  We already have an ultra cheap reader with ads for only $114, and offering readers to all those Prime subscribers could be an easy way to increase content sales.

Whatever Amazon are up to, it seems it is likely to be BIG!  After all 2011 has seen the ebook reader fall in price massively.  We now have a position where Amazon sells more electronic books than real paper-backs, Kindle books can be lent, will be able to be borrowed from libraries and the huge Amazon Cloud computing store is offering more and more content that would be ideally suited to a potential Kindle Tablet.  With an Android Apps store to rival the Android marketplace and music downloads and video streaming, the future of Amazon’s mobile technology is likely to be very bright indeed!

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