Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo

 

Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

{ action.text }

A Forrester report published in August predicted that Amazon would be Apple’s main rival in tablet computing. It predicted that Amazon could sell 3 million to 5 million tablets in the fourth quarter alone. Apple has, so far, sold around 29 million iPads. Speaking after Wednesday’s announcement, Forrester analyst Sarah Rotman Epps, lead author of the report, said, “Amazon is delivering what we expected, but at an even better price.”

The Kindle Fire’s impressive new Web browser also taps into Amazon’s cloud platform. Silk uses this cloud infrastructure to cache Web data, significantly speeding up the time it takes to load pages on mobile devices.

Bezos said he asked himself if there was a way Amazon could use the computational horsepower of Amazon Elastic Cloud Compute to accelerate mobile Web browsing. “The answer is yes,” he said.

“The browser was a surprise,” Rotman Epps added. “It’s pretty techy, but the benefit for the user is a really fast experience.”

Amazon’s sophisticated cloud strategy is, however, also a powerful example of “vendor lock-in.” Both Amazon’s cloud backup and Whispersync service only work for content that users buy from Amazon—a compelling incentive for customer loyalty.

The Kindle Fire does lack some of the iPad’s features. It has no camera, which means no videoconferencing. It also lacks support for 3G.

The Android Market also lacks the cache of Apple’s App Store. But Bezos didn’t seem worried about these missing pieces. By the end of the launch event, he had some smug digs at those who might have doubted him: “We’re making many millions of these, but I still suggest you preorder today if you want to be sure.”

The first units will ship November 15.

6 comments. Share your thoughts »

Credit: Getty Images

Tagged: Computing, iPad, tablets, cloud, Amazon EC2

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives

Close

Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me