Welcome!

iPhone Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Tim Hinds, Carmen Gonzalez

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, Wireless, SOA & WOA, .NET, Search, Web 2.0, iPhone

Cloud Expo: Article

Amazon Makes Waves to Swamp iPad’s Boat

Amazon unveiled three next-generation Kindle Fire tablets

In a highly anticipated event in Los Angeles Thursday that pushed its stock to a record high while it was happening, Amazon unveiled three next-generation Kindle Fire tablets and priced the mid-range 8.9-inch model with a 1,920 x 1,200 HD screen at $299, undercutting the 9.75-inch Apple iPad by $200.

A seven-inch 1,280 x 800 Kindle Fire HD will run $199, a buck less than Google's seven-inch Nexus 7 and probably less than the iPad mini Apple is believed to be getting ready to put on the market.

The first will be available on November 20. The smaller one goes out the door on September 14. Both come standard with 16GB of memory.

The pièce de résistance is the Kindle Fire HD 4G LTE with 32GB of memory and a built-in wireless modem that'll go for $499 competing against an Apple model that sells for $630.

It also ships November 20 with a data plan that costs all of $50 a year for 250MB of data a month plus 20GB of storage on Amazon's cloud.

That el cheapo data plan puts pressure on carriers and may have implications for the phone Amazon is supposed to be working on. The gossip says it could be out early next year at the latest.

The HD gismos are fitted with dual antennae using a technology called MIMO to improve connections, reportedly making the Fire's Wi-Fi 40% faster than Apple's. The bigger ones also have what Amazon calls "Retina-class displays."

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos chortled, "We are not building the best tablet at a certain price; we're building the best tablet at any price."

Amazon claims its original $199 Android-based Fire, out less than a year, has taken 22% of the US tablet market.

Of course Amazon can afford to sell tablets for cost or less because they support its huge e-commerce and content business like Google can afford to give operating systems away for free to support its ad search interests. Amazon's hardware is also ad-supported.

The company has updated the processor in the original market-snaring seven-inch Fire and cut its price from $199 to $159. That little number will be available next week.

Amazon has come up with a parent-friendly feature called Kindle Free Time that lets time limits be set for activities like playing games and watching movies. There's no limit for reading thank goodness. Users can also get background information on the movie they're watching with a feature called X-Ray that taps into an Amazon database. (Well, maybe it's an Amazon database, we'll have to see.) And a facility called WhisperSync Voice lets users sync between an audiobook and the text version of a book.

A front-facing camera integrates with Skype and the widgets have dual speakers with Dolby Digital Plus sound - which must be a first for tablets. The new Kindle Fire is supposed to 20% faster, thanks to a chip from Texas Instruments (OMAP 4470) with more RAM. There's reportedly 25% less glare with the new screen, which also has a laminated touch sensor for better contrast.

The dingus has new e-mail capabilities, including improved Exchange support for business users, and a custom Facebook app among other Amazon-specific apps. Amazon is using Nokia maps so it doesn't give too much aid and comfort to Google.

Amazon also came out with a new black-on-white e-reader, promising eight-week battery life even if it's left on, called the Paperwhite that weighs 7.5 ounces and is 9.1mm thick. Bezos said the screen has 212 pixels an inch, making it 62% crisper than its predecessor.

With the Paperwhite Amazon is finally able to exploit the technology it got with its acquisition of Oy Modilis a couple of years ago so the easier-to-read-in-the-dark light comes from the bottom edge in competition with Barnes & Noble's Nook. The sensitive, more accurate touchscreen technology used apparently comes from its acquisition TouchCo around the same time.

The Paperwhite with a free 3G data service will cost $179. The non-3G version will run $119. Both will be delivered next month. To cut costs neither support audiobooks anymore. It will however tell you how long it will take for you to finish a chapter based on your personal reading speed. You can also change fonts - or should we say you have a few more fonts to pick from

Whether it knows it or not Amazon is taking a page out of Charles Dickens' book and is going to serialize some e-books. The whole book will cost $1.99 but the Kindle Serials will be released over time to add an air of excitement and anticipation.

The old Kindle e-reader has gotten improves resolution and software updates and will now cost $69.

The Kindle launch coincided with a federal judge approving a settlement with three of the largest book publishers for alleged collusion in the pricing of e-books. The anti-Apple ruling could have serious implications for pricing power and, according to the wall Street Journal, reshape the publishing industry.

Amazon closed at $251.38, close to its high.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to evolve the way the world does business; however, understanding how to apply it to your company can be a mystery. Most people struggle with understanding the potential business uses or tend to get caught up in the technology, resulting in solutions that fail to meet even minimum business goals. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO / President / Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., showed what is needed to leverage the IoT to transform your business. He discussed opportunities and challenges ahead for the IoT from a market and technical point of vie...
IoT is still a vague buzzword for many people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, discussed the business value of IoT that goes far beyond the general public's perception that IoT is all about wearables and home consumer services. He also discussed how IoT is perceived by investors and how venture capitalist access this space. Other topics discussed were barriers to success, what is new, what is old, and what the future may hold. Mike Kavis is Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Pa...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly in the process of breaking from its heretofore relatively obscure enterprise applications (such as plant floor control and supply chain management) and going mainstream into the consumer space. More and more creative folks are interconnecting everyday products such as household items, mobile devices, appliances and cars, and unleashing new and imaginative scenarios. We are seeing a lot of excitement around applications in home automation, personal fitness, and in-car entertainment and this excitement will bleed into other areas. On the commercial side, m...
Dale Kim is the Director of Industry Solutions at MapR. His background includes a variety of technical and management roles at information technology companies. While his experience includes work with relational databases, much of his career pertains to non-relational data in the areas of search, content management, and NoSQL, and includes senior roles in technical marketing, sales engineering, and support engineering. Dale holds an MBA from Santa Clara University, and a BA in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley.
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Performance is the intersection of power, agility, control, and choice. If you value performance, and more specifically consistent performance, you need to look beyond simple virtualized compute. Many factors need to be considered to create a truly performant environment. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, discussed how to take advantage of a multitude of compute options and platform features to make cloud the cornerstone of your online presence.
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and assessments, including a decade of leading incident response and digital forensics. He is co-author of t...
SYS-CON Media announced that Splunk, a provider of the leading software platform for real-time Operational Intelligence, has launched an ad campaign on Big Data Journal. Splunk software and cloud services enable organizations to search, monitor, analyze and visualize machine-generated big data coming from websites, applications, servers, networks, sensors and mobile devices. The ads focus on delivering ROI - how improved uptime delivered $6M in annual ROI, improving customer operations by mining large volumes of unstructured data, and how data tracking delivers uptime when it matters most.
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it's a mix of architectural styles ...
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, will examine why IT must finally fulfill its role in support of its SBUs or face a new round of...
The BPM world is going through some evolution or changes where traditional business process management solutions really have nowhere to go in terms of development of the road map. In this demo at 15th Cloud Expo, Kyle Hansen, Director of Professional Services at AgilePoint, shows AgilePoint’s unique approach to dealing with this market circumstance by developing a rapid application composition or development framework.

ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...

Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) are increasing at an unprecedented rate. The threat landscape of today is drastically different than just a few years ago. Attacks are much more organized and sophisticated. They are harder to detect and even harder to anticipate. In the foreseeable future it's going to get a whole lot harder. Everything you know today will change. Keeping up with this changing landscape is already a daunting task. Your organization needs to use the latest tools, methods and expertise to guard against those threats. But will that be enough? In the foreseeable future attacks w...
As enterprises move to all-IP networks and cloud-based applications, communications service providers (CSPs) – facing increased competition from over-the-top providers delivering content via the Internet and independently of CSPs – must be able to offer seamless cloud-based communication and collaboration solutions that can scale for small, midsize, and large enterprises, as well as public sector organizations, in order to keep and grow market share. The latest version of Oracle Communications Unified Communications Suite gives CSPs the capability to do just that. In addition, its integration ...