$199 Kindle Fire: Android 2.3 with specific UI layer and cloud services

Follow-up: Kindle Fire with its $200 price pushing everybody up, down or out of the Android tablet market [Dec 8, 2011]

Suggested preliminary reading (although the 7″ Kindle Fire has an IPS screen, the 10″ coming in 2012 may have the FFS?):  Amazon Tablet PC with E Ink Holdings’ Hydis FFS screen [May 3, 2011]

Updates: Chimei Innolux to Supply Panels to 2nd-Gen. Kindle Fire [Dec 21, 2011]

Chimei Innolux Corp., the largest maker of thin film transistor-liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) panels in Taiwan, recently won Amazon`s order for panels used in its Kindle Fire second-generation tablet PCs.

The company is already a panel supplier to Apple`s iPad 2, and the new order from Kindle Fire would further consolidate Chimei Innolux`s leading position in Taiwan in supplying tablet-use panels.

Industry sources said that tablet-PC panel is one of a few panel models still generating profits now for panel suppliers, so the new order is expected to have positive effects on Chimei Innolux`s operation.

The first-generation Kindle Fire was contract assembled by local Quanta Computer Inc. using panels supplied by Korean company LG Display and Taiwanese maker E Ink Holdings Inc. (formerly known as Prime View International Co., Ltd., who contracted local Chunghwa Picture Tubes, Ltd., or CPT to produce the panels).

Hon Hai Group of Taiwan reportedly won the contract-assembly order for the second-generation Kindle Fire, allowing its affiliate Chimei Innolux to supply the panels.

Data compiled by market research firm iSuppli showed that Chimei Innolux ranked as the world`s No. 3 supplier of tablet-PC panels, trailing only LG Display and Samsung. With the new order from Amazon, Chimei Innolux`s market share is expected to rise further, industry sources said.

- Jeff Bezos Owns the Web in More Ways Than You Think [Wired, Nov 13, 2011]

Bezos doesn’t consider the Fire a mere device, preferring to call it a “media service.” While he takes pride in the Fire, he really sees it as an advanced mobile portal to Amazon’s cloud universe. That’s how Amazon has always treated the Kindle: New models simply offer improved ways of buying and reading the content. Replacing the hardware is no more complicated or emotionally involved than changing a flashlight battery.

Competing Visions

The Kindle Fire isn’t just a rival to the iPad. It represents an alternate model of computing: It’s Apple’s post-PC vs. Amazon’s post-web.

Apple: Post-PC

Amazon: Post-Web

Device-centric

Cloud-centric

Own the OS

Forget the OS

Specialized apps

Specialized browser

Hardware is king

Content is king

Downloaded media

Streamed media

How Amazon Powers the Internet

It began as a way for Amazon’s engineers to work together efficiently. Now Amazon Web Services hosts some of the most popular sites on the web and is responsible for a significant amount of the world’s online traffic. Here’s a look at some of the companies that rely on Amazon’s cloud computing platform.

Customer

What it uses Amazon Web Services for

Foursquare

3 million check-ins a day

Harvard Medical School

Vast database for developing genome-analysis models

NASA Jet Propulsion Lab

Processing of hi-res satellite images to help guide its robots

Netflix

Video streaming service that accounts for 25% of US Internet traffic

Newsweek/The Daily Beast

1 million pageviews every hour

PBS

More than 1 petabyte of streaming video a month

SmugMug

Storage for 70 million photos

US Department of Agriculture

Geographic information system for food-stamp recipients

Virgin Atlantic

Crowdsourced travel review service

Yelp

Data storage for its 22 million-plus reviews

Levy: You’ve leveraged Amazon Web Services by making use of it in your new Silk browser. Why?

Bezos: One of the things that makes mobile web browsing slow is the fact that the average website pulls content from 13 different places on the Internet. On a mobile device, even with a good Wi-Fi connection, each round trip is typically 100 milliseconds or more. Some of that can be done in parallel, but you typically have a whole bunch, as many as eight or more round trips that each take 100 milliseconds. That adds up. We’ve broken apart this process. If you can be clever enough to move the computation onto our cloud platform, you get these huge computational resources. Our cloud services are really fast. What takes 100 milliseconds on Wi-Fi takes less than 5 milliseconds on Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud. So by moving some of the computation onto that cloud, we can accelerate a lot of what makes mobile web browsing slow.

Levy: Was it difficult to turn yourself from a retail company into a consumer electronics company?

Bezos: It’s not as different as you might think. A lot of our original approaches and techniques carried over very well. For example, we’ve always focused on reducing the time between order and delivery. In hardware, it’s the same principle. An example is the time between when we take delivery on a processor to when it’s being used in a device by a customer. That’s waste. Why would we own a processor that’s supposed to go into a Kindle Fire that’s not actually in a customer’s hands? That’s inventory management.

Levy: By the way, how many Kindles have you sold?

[Bezos gives a long, loud example of his famous laugh.]

Levy: You don’t even answer!

Bezos: I know you don’t expect me to.

Levy: For years you’ve been touting e-ink as superior to a backlit device for reading. But the Fire is backlit. Why should Kindle users switch?

Bezos: They should buy both. When you’re reading long-form, there’s no comparison. You want the e-ink. But you can’t watch a movie with that. And you can’t play Android games. And so on.

Levy: And you now are selling a new version of the basic Kindle for $79. At this point, why not give it away—offer a deal where if people buy a certain amount of books, they get a free Kindle?

Bezos: It’s an interesting marketing idea, and we should think about it over time. But $79 is low enough that it’s not a big deal for many people.

Levy: Speaking of pricing, I wanted to ask about your decision to include streaming video as part of Amazon Prime. Why not charge separately for that? It’s a completely different service, isn’t it?

Bezos: There are two ways to build a successful company. One is to work very, very hard to convince customers to pay high margins. The other is to work very, very hard to be able to afford to offer customers low margins. They both work. We’re firmly in the second camp. It’s difficult—you have to eliminate defects and be very efficient. But it’s also a point of view. We’d rather have a very large customer base and low margins than a smaller customer base and higher margins.

Media Powerhouse

Amazon has stealthily become a major player in the competitive content business, with a major footprint in every medium. Meanwhile, its web services division owns one-fifth of the cloud computing market.

- Amazon increases Kindle Fire orders [Nov 10, 2011]

Amazon has recently increased its Kindle Fire orders to more than five million units before the end of 2011 as pre-orders for the machine remain strong, according to sources from upstream component suppliers.

Amazon already raised its order volume once in the middle of the third quarter, up from 3.5 million units originally to four million units.

Since the company estimates that demand for Kindle Fire will become even stronger at the end of 2011, Amazon has further increased its orders. Amazon’s upstream partners including Wintek, Chunghwa Picture Tubes (CPT), LG Display, Ilitek, Quanta Computer, Aces Connectors and Wah Hong Industrial will all benefit from the short-term orders.

UMC Becomes Exclusive Supplier of Kindle Fire’s Processors [Nov 10, 2011]

Benefitting from the launch of Amazon’s tablet PC Kindle Fire, Taiwan-based United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC), one of world’s largest semiconductor foundries, has landed orders from Texas Instruments to exclusively supply ARM processors for the devices, becoming part of Amazon’s supply chain.

With some 215,000 Kindle Fire tablets sold in the first week of launch, the device, ranked in the top-10 gifts for Christmas, is regarded the biggest challenger to the Apple iPad. Optimistic about its constantly growing popularity, market researchers have also raised fourth-quarter sales projections for the Kindle Fire to 5 million units.

Hot sales of Kindle Fire bodes well for UMC as the Taiwanese company is to exclusively supply Texas Instruments OMAP4430 through the 45-nano process. The OMAP4430 is a dual-core 1GHz processor based on ARM architecture, and is widely adopted in a variety of smartphones and tablet PCs, including Motorola’s Droid 3 and Droid RAZR, Fujitsu-Toshiba’s Arrows Z, Panasonic’s Lumix and Toshiba’s Regza.

UMC’s business ties with Texas Instruments have increasingly grown recently, reflected in the influx of orders for the new OMAP4 series processors, contrasted against TI’s erstwhile reliance on mainly Korea’s Samsung Electronics for its older OMAP3 series processors.

Industry insiders indicated that UMC’s capacity utilization rate at the 12-inch wafer foundry will improve significantly in the fourth quarter, thanks to TI’s increasing orders.

Amazon.com Management Discusses Q3 2011 Results – Earnings Call Transcript – Q@A – Seeking Alpha [Oct 25, 2011]
HEAVY Amazon investments into the future:

We’re seeing the best growth which we’ve seen since 2000, meaning in 2010 and so far over the past 12 months ending September.

1. And so with this strong growth, we’re investing in a lot of capacity … we had announced 15 new fulfillment centers this year that’s on a basis of 52 from last year. And then we’d likely open one or two more. We are actually going to be opening 17 new fulfillment centers. …

2. We’re investing to support retail growth fulfilled by Amazon growth, fast-growing AWS business, as well as infrastructure to support our retail business.

3. We’re investing in our Kindle and Digital business. … if you take a look at our Kindle business, for example, we’ve launched 4 new products at the end of September, and we’re very, very excited about those products. They’re at great prices, and they are certainly premium products. And so we’re very excited about those. And we think about the economics of the Kindle business, we think about the totality. We think of the lifetime value of those devices. So we’re not just thinking about the economics of the device and the accessories. We’re thinking about the content. We are selling quite a bit of Special Offers devices which includes ads. We’re thinking about the advertisement and those Special Offers and those lifetime values.

Because according to Amazon.com Management Discusses Q3 2011 Results – Earnings Call Transcript [Oct 25, 2011]:

North America segment operating income decreased 23% to $144 million, a 2.4% operating margin. … Consolidated segment operating income decreased 35% to $260 million or 2.4% of revenue down approximately 290 basis points year-over-year. … For Q4 2011 … We anticipate consolidated segment operating income, which excludes stock-based compensation and other operating expense, to be between $0 and $450 million or between 100% decline and 28% decline.

End of Updates

Amazon Kindle Fire Official Presentation [Sept 28, 2011]

Check out the official presentation of the new Amzon Kindle Fire tablet.

Kindle Fire [product site]


Fast, Dual-Core Processor [1GHz TI OMAP 4, 512MB RAM]

Kindle Fire features a state-of-the-art dual-core processor for fast, powerful performance. Stream music while browsing the web or read books while downloading videos.

Amazon Whispersync

Like Kindle e-readers, Kindle Fire uses Amazon’s Whispersync technology to automatically sync your library, last page read, bookmarks, notes, and highlights across your devices. On Kindle Fire, Whispersync extends to video. Start streaming a movie on Kindle Fire, then pick up right where you left off on your TV – avoid the frustration of having to find your spot. Learn more

Free Month of Amazon Prime

Experience the benefits that millions of Amazon Prime members already enjoy, including unlimited, instant streaming of over 10,000 popular movies and TV shows and Free Two-Day Shipping on millions of items. Learn more

Technical Details

Display 7″ multi-touch display with IPS (in-plane switching) technology and anti-reflective treatment, 1024 x 600 pixel resolution at 169 ppi, 16 million colors.
Size (in inches) 7.5″ x 4.7″ x 0.45″ (190 mm x 120 mm x 11.4 mm).
Weight 14.6 ounces (413 grams).
System Requirements None, because it’s wireless and doesn’t require a computer.
On-device Storage 8GB internal. That’s enough for 80 apps, plus either 10 movies or 800 songs or 6,000 books.
Cloud Storage Free cloud storage for all Amazon content
Battery Life Up to 8 hours of continuous reading or 7.5 hours of video playback, with wireless off. Battery life will vary based on wireless usage, such as web browsing and downloading content.
Charge Time Fully charges in approximately 4 hours via included U.S. power adapter. Also supports charging from your computer via USB.
Wi-Fi Connectivity Supports public and private Wi-Fi networks or hotspots that use the 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, or 802.1X standard with support for WEP, WPA and WPA2 security using password authentication; does not support connecting to ad-hoc (or peer-to-peer) Wi-Fi networks.
USB Port USB 2.0 (micro-B connector)
Audio 3.5 mm stereo audio jack, top-mounted stereo speakers.
Content Formats Supported Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively, Audible (Audible Enhanced (AA, AAX)), DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, non-DRM AAC, MP3, MIDI, OGG, WAV, MP4, VP8.
Documentation Quick Start Guide(included in box); Kindle User’s Guide (pre-installed on device)
Warranty and Service 1-year limited warranty and service included. Optional 2-year Extended Warranty available for U.S. customers sold separately. Use of Kindle is subject to the terms found here.
Included in the Box Kindle Fire device, U.S. power adapter (supports 100-240V), and Quick Start Guide.

Amazon launches Kindle Fire [The Telegraph, Sept 28, 2011]

Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos shows off the Kindle Fire, a tablet device designed to build on the success of the company’s e-reader and to challenge the dominance of Apple’s iPad.

… Decked out in jeans, white shirt and a jacket, Amazon’s founder and chief executive, Jeff Bezos, told an audience in New York that “this is unbelievable value. What we’re doing is making premium products and offering them at non-premium prices.”

Mr Bezos also claimed that the ability of Amazon to store all the content users download on the internet will prove a key selling point. “All of the content on this device is backed up on the cloud,” said Mr Bezos. “The model where you have to back up your own content is a broken model.”

Live from the Amazon Kindle Fire Launch [Mashable, Sept 28, 2011]

Mashable gets up close with Amazon’s new Kindle Fire tablet at the official unveiling event in New York City.

The Fire’s interface bears no resemblance to any Android tablet (or phone) on the market. Its home screen looks like a bookshelf, with access to recently accessed content and Apps (books, movies and music) and another shelf to pin favorites or frequently used items. At the top of the screen is search and menu accessto Newsstand (for magazines), books, music, movies, apps and docs.

… There are no ports to connect the Fire to your HDTV, but if you have a device that supports Amazon Prime connected to your TV, you can switch from watching a movie on the Fire to your TV. Whispersync will ensure that the movie starts just where you left off.

… The biggest innovation of all may be Amazon Silk, the company’s home-grown browser that uses the power of Amazon’s own cloud servers to offload Web page building duties. It can even, Amazon promised, prefetch the next page it thinks you’ll view.

Kindle Fire Tablet: The 3 Biggest Disappointments [Sept 29, 2011]

… the Kindle Fire lacks three really important features that a tablet needs to have.

#1. No memory expansion. There are no memory card slots, and no USB host (it has a mini USB port for transferring files). No matter what you are stuck with the 8GB of storage that it comes with. Sure, the Kindle Fire comes with free cloud storage, but that only applies to Amazon’s content.

#2. No HDMI port. I can’t believe the Kindle Fire with it’s access to 100,000 movies and TV shows doesn’t have an HDMI port. Even crappy sub-$150 tablets like the Pandigital Starhave an HDMI out port for connecting to a TV.

#3. The Kindle Fire runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread, but it is closed off. It’s not like a regular open Android tablet with a customizable homescreen, widgets, Android Market, or any of that. It has Amazon’s customized interface and the Amazon appstore. The Kindle Fire may run Android but it is an Amazon tablet, not an Android tablet (hackers will fix that in about 2 days after its release).

Don’t get me wrong, the Kindle Fire is a good starter tablet for Amazon. It has a lot of nice features, especially the IPS screen and dual-core processor, and will compete with the Nook Color very well, but it certainly isn’t breaking any new ground in the tablet world.

Amazon: The Kindle Fire Will Get Rooted [Sept 28, 2011]

Amazon’s new Kindle Fire tablet has a great user interface, but many of our readers already want to get rid of it. That’s OK. Amazon isn’t doing anything special to prevent techies from “rooting” and rewriting the software on its powerful yet inexpensive new tablet, Jon Jenkins, director of Amazon’s Silk browser projectsaid.

“It’s going to get rooted, and what you do after you root it is up to you,” Jenkins said.

(Curious about rooting? Check out our Concise Guide to Android Rooting, which explains what the fuss is about.)

Amazon’s Kindle Fire is powered by the cloud [GigaOM, Sept 28, 2011]

The Kindle Fire also taps into Amazon’s cloud infrastructure to offer free cloud storage and backup of all content, so users don’t have to worry about irrevocably deleting something from local storage. And there’s also simple wireless syncing and integration of Amazon’s Whispersync technology in movies and TV shows, so users can keep their places in videos when they switch from one device to another.

Amazon has built its own interface layer that hides the Android underpinnings. It’s an approach that Barnes & Noble also undertook with its Nook Color. The interface on the Fire looks great and seems extremely snappy. Users get a search bar at the top and then a selection of books, music, video, docs, apps and the web. There’s a carousel of recently added content and then a shelf for favorites.

UPDATE: Here are some more details on the Kindle Fire. It will ship with its own email application that supports IMAP and POP3, but the Fire will rely on third-party apps to provide Exchange support for email. The device will also ship with contacts, shopping and gallery apps but no calendar app. Users will be able to sideload their own content, including photos and videos, with most of the popular formats accepted.

Amazon will go through its Appstore for Android, which has more than 15,000 apps, and filter out those apps that won’t work on the Kindle Fire for users who visit the store from a Kindle Fire. The company is approaching app developers to build new apps and optimize existing titles for the Kindle Fire, but it’s not putting out its own SDK. Instead it will encourage them to use Google’s existing tools. Amazon has started talks with Twitter, Facebook, Pandora and Netflix to optimize apps for Kindle Fire, but it’s too early to say what will happen.

Kindle Fire Live Demo [Sept 28, 2011]

A very detailed 4:39 long demo video with a lot of details.

Introducing Amazon Silk [Amazon Silk blog, Sept 28, 2011]

Today in New York, Amazon introduced Silk, an all-new web browser powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS) and available exclusively on the just announced Kindle Fire.  You might be asking, “A browser?  Do we really need another one?”  As you’ll see in the video below, Silk isn’t just another browser.  We sought from the start to tap into the power and capabilities of the AWS infrastructure to overcome the limitations of typical mobile browsers.  Instead of a device-siloed software application, Amazon Silk deploys a split-architectureAll of the browser subsystems are present on your Kindle Fire as well as on the AWS cloud computing platform.  Each time you load a web page, Silk makes a dynamic decision about which of these subsystems will run locally and which will execute remotely.  In short, Amazon Silk extends the boundaries of the browser, coupling the capabilities and interactivity of your local device with the massive computing power, memory, and network connectivity of our cloud.

We’ll have a lot more to say about Amazon Silk in the coming weeks and months, so please check back with us often.  You can also follow us on Twitter at @AmazonSilk.  Finally, if you’re interested in learning more about career opportunities on the Amazon Silk team, please visit our jobs page.

Amazon Silk—Amazon’s Revolutionary Cloud-Accelerated Web Browser [Kindle, Sept 28, 2011]

The web browser on Kindle Fire introduces a radical new paradigm — a “split browser” architecture that accelerates the power of the mobile device hardware by using the computing speed and power of the Amazon Web Services Cloud. The result is a faster web browsing experience, and it’s available exclusively on Kindle Fire.

Amazon Silk: Bridging the gap between desktop and mobile web browsers [ExtremeTech article, Sept 28, 2011]

… Silk is WebKit-based, uses Google’s SDPY HTTP-replacement protocol, supports Flash 10 — and no, despite what it sounds like, Silk is not comparable to Opera Mini.

If you’ve used Opera Mini — an existing browser that you can use on almost every phone platform — Amazon Silk certainly sounds similar, but it’s important to note that Silk does not send out images of the content; all of the assets arrive on your Kindle Fire tablet, so you get a full browsing experience. With regards to video content, we are told that Amazon Silk doesn’t transcode content — but presumably the dual-core processor in the Kindle Fire and Flash support is enough to handle most YouTube videos.

By leveraging EC2 and S3, Amazon can also do a few other clever things with Silk. For a start, Amazon can cache static files in the cloud — images, CSS, JavaScript — further speeding up page load times on the Kindle Fire. Amazon says that EC2 keep permanent connections open to popular sites like Facebook and Google, too, reducing latency by a few more milliseconds — and if that wasn’t enough, Amazon EC2 will also use predictive algorithms to pre-download the link that it thinks you will click next. Finally, the use of SPDYinstead of HTTP between Kindle Fire and EC2 should result in Silk being much, much faster than comparable Android or iOS browsers.

With regards to privacy, because all of your web requests will go through the cloud, your surfing will effectively be fully anonymous — target websites will see Amazon’s IP addresses, not yours. If you’re worried about Amazonsniffing your data, though, you can turn off “EC2 acceleration” in the browser’s settings.

All in all, then, Amazon Silk will be faster than the competition, it will save everyone (except Amazon) bandwidth costs, and it will even provide a little more security. One important fact is unknown, though: what version of WebKit is Amazon Silk using? Is it closer to desktop versions of Chrome and Safari, or is it like Android 2.3′s stock browser? Has Amazon designed the Kindle Fire to be a first-rate device for HTML5 web apps, or merely a content-consumption machine? We probably won’t find out until we receive a review unit for some real hands-on testing and benchmarks — which will hopefully be in the next few weeks.

Opera: Amazon’s Silk Browser is Flattering, But Five Years Late [Sept 28, 2011]

According to Mahi de Silva, executive vice president for Consumer Mobile at Opera Software ASA, however, the concept of rendering a complex Web page in the cloud and sending an optimized version down to the client is already in several Opera products today. Opera Mini applies compression to most interactions with the Internet while on a mobile device, and Opera Mobile refines this for the Web. Opera’s desktop browseralso has a “turbo mode” that allows the optimization to take place on the desktop, as well.

In all, Opera already does the sort of cloud optimization that Amazon Silk claims to do, deSilva said. OnLive’s Steve Perlman, who runs a cloud gaming service, has also talked about how easy it would be to provide a cloud-based browser, given the fact that it can push an entire remotely-rendered video game down to the client. However, de Silva endorsed the Silk concept.

“It’s very helpful for the consumer because you get a snappier, consistent quality, and also a less expensive experience,” as well as a boon to operators to reduce their own network congestion, de Silva said.

“We’re very flattered that Amazon chose to replicate something that we’ve had in the marketplace for a long time,” de Silva added. “It’s a good reflection of sort of that value proposition of having cloud-based browsing solutions, and also having the ability to switch full featured version – for example, [within Opera] if you want to support full HTML 5 interaction, Javascript, and Flash, you’re in a native browsing mode, but if you don’t encounter a lot of that content, you can be in [an optimized] browsing mode, and you can overlay that to some extent.”

“We’ve been doing this in mobile for five years as a key feature, and with the Opera browser, even longer,” de Silva said.

The performance of Silk is accelerated by the fact that users who need to wait for a browser to connect and download to dozens of Web objects, many of them relying on different domains, Amazon engineers said. The portion of the Amazon Silk browser that lies on the Amazon EC2 infrastructure can quickly negotiate and fetch those objects, connecting to the Web through Amazon’s “fat pipes”. Those who wish can also surf in “off-cloud” mode, somewhat anonymizing the experience.

“I’m sure you’ve had the experience, where you’re on a page, and you’re hanging, and you’re saying, I wish I was on a better network,” said Peter Voshall, a distinguished engineer for Amazon. “We’re on a better network. Our back end has some of the fattest pipes you’ll ever find, and we do all the heavy listing on the back end.”

Still, de Silva said it was doubtful that users will ever see a marked difference in performance between Opera’s implementation and what Amazon offers, based on its infrastructure connections alone. Opera also caches data that’s frequently accessed by many users in a content delivery network (CDN) close by, so that all of Opera’s users don’t have to ping cnn.com to constantly download the logo graphic.

De Silva called Silk a “smart move” for Amazon, one that will provides an always-on, connected experience. Consumers will have to decide for themselves what the effect of Silk will be on their browsing experience, and whether or not it will differentiate it from other manufacturers.

“Over 200 million unique users per month use this,” de Silva said of the Opera cloud browser technology. “Will Amazon ship 200 million devices anytime soon? Probably not.”

Amazon’s Kindle Fire is powered by the cloud [GigaOM, Sept 28, 2011]

The Kindle Fire also taps into Amazon’s cloud infrastructure to offer free cloud storage and backup of all content, so users don’t have to worry about irrevocably deleting something from local storage. And there’s also simple wireless syncing and integration of Amazon’s Whispersync technology in movies and TV shows, so users can keep their places in videos when they switch from one device to another.

Amazon has built its own interface layer that hides the Android underpinnings. It’s an approach that Barnes & Noble also undertook with its Nook Color. The interface on the Fire looks great and seems extremely snappy. Users get a search bar at the top and then a selection of  books, music, video, docs, apps and the web. There’s a carousel of recently added content and then a shelf for favorites.

UPDATE: Here are some more details on the Kindle Fire. It will ship with its own email application that supports IMAP and POP3, but the Fire will rely on third-party apps to provide Exchange support for email. The device will also ship with contacts, shopping and gallery apps but no calendar app. Users will be able to sideload their own content, including photos and videos, with most of the popular formats accepted.

Amazon will go through its Appstore for Android, which has more than 15,000 apps, and filter out those apps that won’t work on the Kindle Fire for users who visit the store from a Kindle Fire. The company is approaching app developers to build new apps and optimize existing titles for the Kindle Fire, but it’s not putting out its own SDK. Instead it will encourage them to use Google’s existing tools. Amazon has started talks with Twitter, Facebook, Pandora and Netflix to optimize apps for Kindle Fire, but it’s too early to say what will happen.

Introducing the All-New Kindle Family: Four New Kindles, Four Amazing Price Points [Amazon press release, Sept 28, 2011]

  • New latest generation Kindle – world’s bestselling e-reader now lighter, faster, and more affordable than ever – only $79
  • New “Kindle Touch” with easy-to-use touch screen – only $99
  • New “Kindle Touch 3G” with free 3G – the top of the line Kindle e-reader – only $149
  • New “Kindle Fire” – the Kindle for movies, TV shows, music, books, magazines, apps, games, and web browsing with all the content, free storage in the Amazon Cloud, Whispersync, Amazon’s new revolutionary cloud-accelerated web browser, vibrant color touch screen, and powerful dual-core processor – all for only $199

… and Kindle Firea new class of Kindle that brings the same ease-of-use and deep integration of content that helped Kindle re-invent readingto movies, TV shows, music, magazines, apps, books, games, and more.

… said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Founder and CEO. “Kindle Fire brings together all of the things we’ve been working on at Amazon for over 15 years into a single, fully-integrated service for customers. With Kindle Fire, you have instant access to all the content, free storage in the Amazon Cloud, the convenience of Amazon Whispersync, our revolutionary cloud-accelerated web browser, the speed and power of a state-of-the-art dual-core processor, a vibrant touch display with 16 million colors in high resolution, and a light 14.6 ounce design that’s easy to hold with one handall for only $199. We’re offering premium products, and we’re doing it at non-premium prices.”

New Class of Kindle–”Kindle Fire”–Only $199

All The Content–Over 18 Million Movies, TV Shows, Songs, Apps, Games, Books, and Magazines

Kindle Fire puts Amazon’s incredible selection of digital content at your fingertips:

  • Over 100,000 movies and TV shows from Amazon Instant Video, including thousands of new releases and popular TV shows, available to stream or download, purchase or rent – all just one tap away. Amazon Prime Members enjoy instant, unlimited, commercial-free streaming of over 11,000 movies and TV shows at no additional cost. Kindle Fire comes with one free month of Amazon Prime.
  • Over 17,000,000 songs from Amazon MP3, including new and bestselling albums from just $7.99 and individual songs from $0.69.
  • Over 1,000,000 Kindle books, including thousands of bestsellers, children’s books, comic books and cookbooks in rich color.
  • 100 exclusive graphic novels, including Watchmen, the bestselling – and considered by many to be the greatest – graphic novel of all time, which has never before been available in digital format, as well as Batman: Arkham City, Superman: Earth OneGreen Lantern: Secret Originand 96 others from DC Entertainment.
  • Hundreds of magazines and newspapers – including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, Wired, Elle, The New Yorker, Cosmopolitan and Martha Stewart Living – with full-color layouts, photographs, illustrations, built-in video, audio and other interactive features are available from the new Kindle Fire “Newsstand.” Kindle Fire customers will enjoy an exclusive free three-month trial to 17 Condé Nast magazines, including Vanity Fair, GQ and Glamour.
  • All the most popular Android apps and games, such as Angry Birds, Plants vs. Zombies, Cut the Rope and more. All apps are Amazon-tested on Kindle Fire to ensure quality and Amazon offers a new free paid app every day.

Cloud-Accelerated Web Browser – “Amazon Silk

The Kindle Fire web browser Amazon Silk introduces a radical new paradigm – a “split browser” architecture that accelerates the power of the mobile device hardware by using the computing speed and power of the Amazon Web Services Cloud. The Silk browser software resides both on Kindle Fire and on the massive server fleet that comprises the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2). With each page request, Silk dynamically determines a division of labor between the mobile hardware and Amazon EC2 (i.e. which browser sub-components run where) that takes into consideration factors like network conditions, page complexity, and cached content. The result is a faster web browsing experience, and it’s available exclusively on Kindle Fire. Additional technical details are available in the Amazon Silk press release, released today at www.amazon.com/pr. To see a video about Amazon Silk go to www.amazon.com/silk.

Simple and Easy-To-Use

Amazon designed the Kindle Fire user interface from the ground upto make it easier than ever to purchase, manage, and enjoy your digital content. Just like with Kindle e-readers, Kindle Fire comes automatically pre-registered to your Amazon.com account so you can immediately start enjoying your digital content purchased from Amazon or shop for new content. All of your digital content is instantly available to enjoy and manage with a simple, consistent experience across all content types.

Free Cloud Storage

Just like Kindle e-readers, Kindle Fire offers free storage for all your Amazon digital content in the Amazon Cloud. Amazon digital content is automatically backed up for free in the Amazon Cloud’s Worry-Free Archive where it’s available for re-downloading anytime.

Amazon Whispersync Now for Movies & TV Too

Just like Kindle e-readers, Kindle Fire uses Amazon’s popular Whispersync technology to automatically synchronize your Kindle library, last page read, bookmarks, notes, and highlights across the widest range of devices and platforms. With the introduction of Kindle Fire, Amazon is expanding this technology to include video. Start streaming a movie on your Kindle Fire, and when you get home, you can resume streaming right where you left off on your TVavoid the frustration of needing to find your spot.

Easy to Hold in One Hand

Just like Kindle e-readers, Kindle Fire was designed to disappear so you can lose yourself in the content. Weighing in at just 14.6 ounces, Kindle Fire is small and light enough to hold in just one hand and carry everywhere you go. The lightweight, compact design makes Kindle Fire perfect for web browsing, playing games, reading and shopping on-the-go.

Brilliant Color Touchscreen

Content comes alive in rich color on a 7-inch full color LCD touchscreen that delivers 16 million colors in high resolution and 169 pixels per inch. Kindle Fire uses IPS (in-plane switching) technologysimilar technology as used on the iPad, for an extra-wide viewing angle – perfect for sharing your screen with others. In addition, the Kindle Fire display is chemically strengthened to be 20 times stiffer and 30 times harder than plastic, which means it is incredibly durable and will stand up to accidental bumps and scrapes.

Fast, Powerful Dual-Core Processor

Kindle Fire features a state-of-the-art dual-core processor for fast, powerful performance. Stream music while browsing the web or read books while downloading videos.

Free Month of Amazon Prime

Right out of the box, Kindle Fire users will experience the benefits that millions of Amazon Prime members already enjoy - unlimited, commercial-free, instant streaming of over 11,000 movies and TV shows with Prime Instant Video and the convenience of Free Two-Day Shipping on millions of items from Amazon.com.

Only $199

The all-new Kindle Firewith all the content, Amazon’s revolutionary cloud-accelerated browser, free storage in the Amazon Cloud, Whispersync, 14.6 ounce design that’s easy to hold with one hand, brilliant color touchscreen, and a fast and powerful dual core processoris only $199. Customers in the U.S. can pre-order Kindle Fire starting today at www.amazon.com/kindlefireand it ships November 15.

For high resolution images and video of the all-new Kindle family, visit www.amazon.com/pr/kindle.

Introducing “Amazon Silk”: Amazon’s Revolutionary Cloud-Accelerated Web Browser, Available Exclusively on Kindle Fire [Amazon press release, Sept 28, 2011]

Amazon’s cloud computing infrastructure and eight years of cloud computing expertise come together in new web browser for Kindle FireAmazon’s new Kindle for movies, music, books, magazines, apps, games, and web browsing

Amazon Silk introduces a radical new paradigm – a “split browser” architecture that accelerates the power of the mobile device hardware by using the computing speed and power of the Amazon Web Services cloud (AWS). The Silk browser software resides both on Kindle Fire and on the massive server fleet that comprises the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2). With each page request, Silk dynamically determines a division of labor between the mobile hardware and Amazon EC2 (i.e. which browser sub-components run where) that takes into consideration factors like network conditions, page complexity and the location of any cached content. The result is a faster web browsing experience, and it’s available exclusively on Kindle Fire, Amazon’s new Kindle for movies, music, books, magazines, apps, games, and web browsing.

“Kindle Fire introduces a revolutionary new web browser called Amazon Silk,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Founder and CEO. “We refactored and rebuilt the browser software stack and now push pieces of the computation into the AWS cloud. When you use Silk – without thinking about it or doing anything explicit – you’re calling on the raw computational horsepower of Amazon EC2 to accelerate your web browsing.”

Modern websites have become complex. For example, on a recent day, constructing the CNN.com home page required 161 files served from 25 unique domains. This degree of complexity is common. In fact, a typical web page requires 80 files served from 13 different domains. Latency over wireless connections is high – on the order of 100 milliseconds round trip. Serving a web page requires hundreds of such round trips, only some of which can be done in parallel. In aggregate, this adds seconds to page load times.

Conversely, Amazon EC2 is always connected to the backbone of the internet where round-trip latency is 5 milliseconds or less to most web sites rather than the 100 milliseconds seen over wireless connections. In addition, EC2 servers have massive computational power. On EC2, available CPU, storage, and available memory can be orders of magnitudes larger than on mobile devices. Silk uses the power and speed of the EC2 server fleet to retrieve all of the components of a website and deliver them to Kindle Fire in a single, fast stream.

In addition to having more horsepower than a mobile processor, AWS has peering relationships with major internet service providers, and many top sites are hosted on EC2. This means that many web requests will never leave the extended infrastructure of AWS, reducing transit times to only a few milliseconds. Further, while processing and memory constraints lead most mobile browsers to limit the amount of work they attempt at any one time, using EC2 frees Silk from these constraints. If hundreds of files are required to build a web page across dozens of domains, Silk can request all of this content simultaneously with EC2, without overwhelming the mobile device processor or impacting battery life.

Traditional browsers must wait to receive the HTML file in order to begin downloading the other page assets. Silk is different because it learns these page characteristics automatically by aggregating the results of millions of page loads and maintaining this knowledge on EC2. While another browser might still be setting up a connection with the host server, Silk has already pushed content that it knows is associated with the page to the Kindle Fire before the site has even instructed the browser where to find it.

A typical web request begins with resolving the domain names associated with the server and establishing a TCP connection to issue the http request. Establishing TCP connections for each request consumes time and resources that slow down traditional browsers. Silk keeps a persistent connection open to EC2 so that there is always a connection at the ready to start loading the next page. Silk also uses EC2 to maintain a persistent connection to the top sites on the web. This approach reduces latency that would otherwise result from constantly establishing TCP connections. Further, Silk’s split architecture uses a pipelined, multiplexing protocol that can send all the content over a single connection.

Finally, Silk leverages the collaborative filtering techniques and machine learning algorithms Amazon has built over the last 15 years to power features such as “customers who bought this also bought…” As Silk serves up millions of page views every day, it learns more about the individual sites it renders and where users go next. By observing the aggregate traffic patterns on various web sites, it refines its heuristics, allowing for accurate predictions of the next page request. For example, Silk might observe that 85 percent of visitors to a leading news site next click on that site’s top headline. With that knowledge, EC2 and Silk together make intelligent decisions about pre-pushing content to the Kindle Fire. As a result, the next page a Kindle Fire customer is likely to visit will already be available locally in the device cache, enabling instant rendering to the screen.

“Silk”

The name “Silk” is inspired by the idea that a thread of silk is an invisible yet incredibly strong connection between two different things. In the case of Amazon Silk, it’s the connection between the Kindle Fire and Amazon EC2 that creates a better, faster browsing experience. For more information on Amazon Silk, visit www.amazon.com/silk.

Exclusively on Kindle Fire

Silk is available exclusively on Kindle Fire. To pre-order Kindle Fire, visit www.amazon.com/kindlefire.

About Amazon Web Services

Launched in 2006, Amazon Web Services (AWS) provides Amazon’s developer customers with access to in-the-cloud infrastructure services based on Amazon’s own back-end technology platform, which developers can use to enable virtually any type of business. As one of the world’s most reliable, scalable, and cost-efficient web infrastructures, AWS has changed the way businesses think about technology infrastructure–there are no up-front expenses or long-term commitments, capital expense is turned into variable operating expense, resources can be added or shed as quickly as needed, and engineering resources are freed up from the undifferentiated heavy lifting of running onsite infrastructure – all without sacrificing operational performance, reliability, or security. AWS now offers over 21 different services, including Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), and Amazon SimpleDB. AWS services are used by hundreds of thousands of enterprise, government, and startup customers in more than 190 countries around the world, powering everything from the most popular games on Facebook to NASA’s Mars Rover project to pharmaceutical drug research.

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Amazon increases Kindle Fire orders

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How Amazon Powers the Internet

It began as a way for Amazon’s engineers to work together efficiently. Now Amazon Web Services hosts some of the most popular sites on the web and is responsible for a significant amount of the world’s online traffic. Here’s a look at some of the companies that rely on Amazon’s cloud computing platform.

Customer

What it uses Amazon Web Services for

Foursquare

3 million check-ins a day

Harvard Medical School

Vast database for developing genome-analysis models

NASA Jet Propulsion Lab

Processing of hi-res satellite images to help guide its robots

Netflix

Video streaming service that accounts for 25% of US Internet traffic

Newsweek/The Daily Beast

1 million pageviews every hour

PBS

More than 1 petabyte of streaming video a month

SmugMug

Storage for 70 million photos

US Department of Agriculture

Geographic information system for food-stamp recipients

Virgin Atlantic

Crowdsourced travel review service

Yelp

Data storage for its 22 million-plus reviews

About Nacsa Sándor

Lazure Kft. • infokommunikációs felhő szakértés • high-tech marketing • elérhetőség: snacsa@live.com Okleveles villamos és automatizálási mérnök (1971) Munkahelyek: Microsoft, EMC, Compaq és Digital veterán. Korábban magyar cégek (GDS Szoftver, Computrend, SzáMOK, OLAJTERV). Jelenleg Lazure Kft. Amire szakmailag büszke vagyok (időrendben visszafelé): – Microsoft .NET 1.0 … .NET 3.5 és Visual Studio Team System bevezetések Magyarországon (2000 — 2008) – Digital Alpha technológia vezető adatközponti és vállalati szerver platformmá tétele (másokkal együttes csapat tagjaként) Magyarországon (1993 — 1998) – Koncepcionális modellezés (ma használatos elnevezéssel: domain-driven design) az objektum-orientált programozással kombinált módon (1985 — 1993) – Poszt-graduális képzés a miniszámítógépes szoftverfejlesztés, konkurrens (párhuzamos) programozás és más témákban (1973 — 1984) Az utóbbi időben általam művelt területek: ld. lazure2.wordpress.com (Experiencing the Cloud) – Predictive strategies based on the cyclical nature of the ICT development (also based on my previous findings during the period of 1978 — 1990) – User Experience Design for the Cloud – Marketing Communications based on the Cloud
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3 Responses to $199 Kindle Fire: Android 2.3 with specific UI layer and cloud services

  1. Pingback: Amazon Tablet PC with E Ink Holdings’ Hydis FFS screen | Experiencing the Cloud

  2. Pingback: Jeff Bezos levele a vevőkhöz az új Kindle-ek megjelentetése kapcsán « Szoftver aktualitások

  3. Pingback: Kindle Fire with its $200 price pushing everybody up, down or out of the Android tablet market | Experiencing the Cloud

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