Amazon’s ‘Kindle Fire’ Tablet to Be Unveiled Wednesday

The technology world is abuzz over the much-anticipated announcement of Amazon’s own tablet,  believed to be called the Kindle Fire. While Amazon has remained tight-lipped about the device, some details have slipped out.

Amazon is expected to unveil its tablet at a news conference on Wednesday morning in New York, but the rumor mill has been grinding for months about the features of the wildly-successful Kindle’s following act.

The Kindle Fire will reportedly be a full color, backlit, touch-screen tablet with a 7-inch display and operate with Google’s Android software. Another major selling point is  price, at a reported $250–half of the base price for an iPad2.

While some believe the product could challenge Apple’s iPad, technology experts say this isn’t likely. With an estimated 29 million iPads sold to date, significant damage to Apple’s sales is improbable. But Amazon hopes the early fall announcement could put a dent in Apple’s sales as the holiday season approaches.

Other attempts at tablets to compete with the iPad have struggled. Companies including Blackberry, Acer, Hewlett-Packard, Samsung and Motorola have unveiled tablets with little success. Hewlett-Packard recently ditched its faltering tablet.

But Amazon seems to have an edge with its prospective tablet because of its strong following from Kindle and its successful music and movie marketplace. Amazon customers may see the Kindle Fire as a logical and affordable product to supplement the purchases they already make through Amazon.

Magazine publishers Hearst, Conde Nast and Meredith have made deals with Amazon to publish its magazines on the tablet. It took Apple a year to make similar deals with publishers.

But Amazon is not the only company that may make a splash before the holiday season. Apple is expected to announce its iPhone 5 at a news conference October 4. There may be announcements soon for the iPad3 as well as Barnes and Nobles’ Nook Color 2.

The Kindle Fire is expected to ship the second week of November.

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