Amazon’s Three New Kindles Are More Than Reading Machines

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos did the Steve Jobs dance today (about a week after Mark Zuckerberg) to announce the release of the next generation of devices that will change how we read, or at least how we waste time. There will be Angry Birds! That’s because, in contrast to the days when Kindles were for “a different audience” than the iPad — “people who want to read” — the new Kindle Fire tablet, revealed today, is a colorful, cheap little computer. It’s also less than half of the price of an iPad. Amazon hopes to make up the money by selling movies, music, and apps, but book-lovers fear not.

Amazon also announced a Kindle Touch, which comes in color for $99, and a regular Kindle that at $79 is basically the price of a hardcover novel. (Or a set of encyclopedias; remember those?) And for those who find words boring, let there be streaming:

By leaving Apple the fancy hardware (GPS, camera, 3G), and therefore the high-end market, Amazon chooses instead to seriously undercut the Android tablet business, as well as the pricey Nook reader from Barnes and Noble, which saw its stock price drop during the Amazon announcement. The phrase “iPad killer” might be an overstatement, but now the Kindle is at least armed.

Playing With Fire: Amazon Launches $200 Tablet, Slashes Kindle Prices [Wired]
Amazon’s Kindle Fire just nuked the tablet market: Winners and losers [ZDNet]
B&N sinks as Amazon releases new tablet, e-readers [AP]

Amazon’s Three New Kindles Are More Than Reading Machines