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9/28/2011
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Live Blog Of Amazon Tablet Announcement

BYTE.com's Larry Seltzer live blogs as Amazon unveils the much anticipated Kindle tablet.

Today we will be live-blogging a major announcement by Amazon.com in New York City that is widely assumed to be for their tablet. The Amazon tablet will combine a low price with an established app store and maybe even the Kindle's e-ink for easy reading...or so the rumors go.

Be sure to refresh this page often to see my updates from Amazon's event as I post them.

10:11 a.m. EST: Bezos is talking about how great the kindle is. People were skeptical of it when it came out, but it's a success.

10:13 a.m. EST: "We gave you kindle on anywhere you want it We added whispersync. All your kindle stuff is where you want it. You can share with friends..."

(We're sorry for the sporadic posts so far. We're having some technical difficulties. Seems like we might not be the only ones.)

10:20 a.m. EST: "Kindle singles give opportunities to authors and publishers for short stories. 11,000 public libraries will loan you kindle books."

10:22 a.m. EST: Here's Kindle Touch (this is it)

Has an infrared touch display means there's no extra layer on tip of the electronic ink display So it doesn't interfere with your reading

10:23 a.m. EST: "We've also been able to make the device smaller, lighter. People will love it. It's for reading so we were able to focus on reading priorities..."

10:24 a.m. EST: "Standard tablet layout doesn't work for reading. People want to be able to read with either hand. That's why we put hard buttons on kindle."

10:25 a.m. EST: KT has EasyReach
Tap for menu on top
Tap for next page in main part of display
Tap for previous on narrow left pane

10:27 a.m. EST: Now there's video of him using one...Talks about how you can look up words on kindle

10:29 a.m. EST: "On KT we have X-Ray to look at the 'bones' of the book"
Shows word structure diagram of page.
Looked up "Versailles treaty' and a short article comes up quickly. They're pre-fetching it, making it easy to do so people will want to do it.
He looks up "Miss Kenton" (a character in the book) and it gives a character description from the web and links to her in the book

10:32 a.m. EST: Every time we launch a new device people say 'imagine a kindle for $99. There would be a frenzy! Demand would be unbelievable!'"

Kindle Touch: $99

10:34 a.m. EST: What do you get?:

  • Most advanced e-ink
  • Touch interface
  • Easyreach
  • Extra long battery live
  • Carry thousands of books
  • Access to millions of books
  • x-ray

    10:36 a.m. EST: And Kindle touch 3G:

  • Free 3G wireless -- Customers love this
  • Built-in WiFi too
  • On the go you don't have to hunt for a hot spot
  • Works in 100 countries around the word
  • No commitment, no contract, no data plan
  • $149
  • Top of the line kindle
  • Preorder today, ship November 21

    10:38 a.m. EST: What if you don't want touch display? Lots of reasons why you might not (dirty hands, for example)

    10:39 a.m. EST: We have a $79 kindle:

  • Really light under 6 ounces, 30% less than iPad
  • 18% smaller
  • Faster page turns
  • Solid device
  • We make premium products and sell them at non-premium products
  • Access to whisersync
    (I see no hard keyboard on it/ How does that work?)

    10:40 a.m. EST: "Special offers on kindle. Instantly became best-selling kindle. Then we put it on the 3G. It became best-selling"
    (if you haven't gotten it yet, there doesn't seem to be a real tablet.)

    10:41 a.m. EST: TV commercial for $79 kindle. Yawn

    10:42 a.m. EST: "We sell 100K movies and TV shows,buy or rent"

  • New releases
  • MP3 store with 17 million songs
  • Start at 69 cents
  • Cloud player so wherever you have a browser you can listen to your collection

    10:44 a.m. EST: Amazon Prime $79/year; Free two day shipping -- He's reading laundry list quotes about Prime.

    10:45 a.m. EST: If they had said that this was new kindles and not a tablet they wouldn't have had this kind of press attention.

    10:47 a.m. EST:

  • We added Prime Instant video
  • 11000 movies and tv shows
  • Instantly stream
  • Commercial free
  • No additional cost
  • We've committee n hundreds of millions of $ for licensing: CBS, NBC Universal, Fox

    10:48 a.m. EST: FINALLY Demo of Kindle Fire:

  • Comes out of box pre-registered with your amazon credentials and name, your content

  • Search bar -- you can search the local device and stores
  • Below that categories for newsstand, books, musing, video, docs apps, web
  • Below that carousel in most0recently0touched order
  • Carousel is images of content swirling around.
  • Easy place to find things you've been interacting with
  • Under that is where you can pin your favorites

    10:49 a.m. EST: "Let's watch X-Men on the device."
    (It's a video of a kindle showing a video)

  • 16 million colors
  • 169 px/inch
  • Gorilla glass

    10:50 a.m. EST: A beautiful display

    They talk a lot about their cool new browser 'Amazon Silk', the cloud-accelerated browser

    $199 -- Amazing. Really amazing price

    POST EVENT THOUGHTS: I'm really impressed with the products and pricing. $199 for a kindle/tablet from amazon with all the special access to prime is a great value.

    These really are almost down to impulse purchase prices (or "one-spouse decision").

    The Kindle Fire ships November 15, preorder now.

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