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Kindle Fire: 95,000 Orders On Day One

Amazon's new touch tablet makes an early splash, while Best Buy cuts RIM PlayBook price.
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It's not exactly iPad territory, but Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet is off to a solid start in terms of sales, according to one analyst firm.

eDataSource, which tracks consumer purchases, estimates that Amazon received about 95,000 pre-orders for Kindle in the first 24 hours after the product was unveiled Wednesday. That's a good bit lower than the 300,000 iPads that Apple sold in that gadget's first day on the market, but still respectable--particularly given that the Kindle Fire won't actually ship until Nov. 15.

The research firm builds its estimates by tracking email traffic, social media messages, and other electronic communications. The market watcher estimates that sales of the three other new Kindles that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos introduced this week--the $79, non-touch Kindle Wi-Fi, the $99 Kindle Touch, and the $149 Kindle Touch 3G--totaled about 25,000.

[ Take a visual tour of the Kindle fire. ]

"Despite the higher price point, the Kindle Fire outstripped sales of the other three new Kindle units combined," said eDataSource. Amazon officials did not return a call seeking comment on Kindle Fire sales. Bezos said he expects that sales of the new Kindles, including Fire, will be in the "millions."

Kindle Fire's impact on the tablet market won't be limited to Apple, as other players will also feel the heat generated by Amazon's decision to price the device at just $199. Best Buy this week revealed significant price cuts on RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook. The $699 64-GB model is now $499, the $599 32-GB model is now $399, and the 16-GB model, originally priced at $499, is now $299.

Kindle Fire is also cheaper than Barnes & Noble's $250 Nook Color, a fact that could lead the brick-and-mortar book seller to lower its price, according to some analysts.

Kindle Fire boasts some impressive specs for a device that comes in at under $200. The LCD screen displays 16 million colors in high-resolution, at 169 pixels per inch.

In-plane switching technology provides wide viewing angles. A dual-core processor, reportedly from Texas Instruments, provides quick responsiveness. The device weighs 14.6 ounces, making it possible for most people to hold in one hand.

Kindle Fire also provides out-of-the-box integration with Amazon subscription services for movies, TV shows, games and music. And it boasts a new browser called Silk that splits rendering tasks between the tablet and Amazon's big iron EC2 servers in the cloud. Amazon said the approach makes browsing faster than traditional approaches.

Noticeably absent, at least until the next version, is a microphone and camera. Kindle Fire is also currently available only with Wi-Fi connectivity. Amazon has not said whether it plans to release a follow-up model with 3G or 4G cellular reception.

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Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer