Amazon Brings Christmas Wish Lists to Kindle Fire and iPad has announced Amazon Santa, a free app for Kindle Fire and iPad that makes it fun and easy for children and their parents to create holiday wish lists to share with friends, family, and maybe Santa Claus.


The app provides a visual creation experience to browse and search more than five-hundred thousand kid-friendly items. Kids and their parents can explore by a product category or type a search to find the perfect gift with just the tap of a finger. Parents can review or edit the list as needed, and share the same with the child’s family and friends to help them with their holiday shopping. While the app makes it fun, easy, and intuitive for kids to figure out exactly what they want, it would help parents to spend quality time with their kids to bring in the holidays.

“Sometimes Santa can use help sorting out what gifts to give everyone and this new app makes it easy and fun for kids to create their perfect Wish List.”

– Sam Hall, Director, Amazon Mobile.

The Amazon Santa app is available for free from the Amazon Appstore or from iTunes. Download: iPad | Kindle Fire

Amazon to Launch 8.9 inch Kindle Fire in Q2 2012

Amazon recently launched the Kindle Fire, and by all measures, it has been a huge hit. It’s priced at just under $200, making it one of the cheapest tablets around. It is expected to sell nearly 4-5 million units in Q4 2011.

It may not be as good as the iPad, but it offers plenty of value to budget consumers who want a cheap tablet to read ebooks, watch videos, browse the web and maybe play with a few apps.

According to a report by Digitimes, Amazon is already working on the Kindle Fire 2. Rumors suggest that Amazon is developing 8.9 inch and 10.1 inch Kindle Fire models, and will be launching the 8.9 inch model first.

We don’t have any details about the exact specifications of either model, but they will presumably have slightly better specifications than the Kindle Fire, and Amazon will probably try to iron out all the bugs and issues with the first Kindle Fire before launching them.

Foxconn will also be manufacturing the future versions of the device, along with Quanta, the exclusive ODM for the Kindle Fire.

Maybe Apple should rethink its plans and create a cheaper iPad Mini, if it hasn’t already. With the operational expertise of Tim Cook and their hefty margins, it’s probably the only company that can bring a better device at a price of around $300. But then, they aren’t as willing as Amazon to sacrifice their margins. And they don’t need to.

Amazon Working on Kindle Smartphone?

Here’s the most interesting rumor I’ve heard all week: Amazon is working on an Android smartphone, which it will launch in the fourth quarter of 2012.

The speculation was started by a Citigroup analyst whose research note said that “Based on our supply chain channel checks in Asia led by Kevin Chang, Citi’s Taipei-based hardware research analyst, we believe an Amazon Smartphone will be launched in 4Q12.”

According to the note, FIH will be jointly developing the phone with Amazon, while its components will be manufactured by Hon Hai’s TMS group. It will likely use a TI OMAP 4 processor and Qualcomm’s dual mode baseband chip.

It also says, that Amazon may be willing to lose money on the device, and may price it in the range of $150 to $170, to increase sales.

That strategy has often been used by Amazon, as in the case of the Kindle Fire and the Kindle, and it has seen quite a lot of success with it.

The Kindle Fire has been a huge hit, and Amazon may be planning to launch a more powerful 10 inch Kindle Tablet in 2012. There is no reason why it wouldn’t want to disrupt the smartphone market with a Kindle smartphone too.

The note doesn’t specifically mention Android, but given that Amazon has made a lot of investments in Android already, it’s only logical that it would use it on its own smartphone too.

U.S Congressman Demands Amazon Answer Privacy Questions Concerning Kindle Fire

Worried about privacy? Well you’re not alone. U.S Congressman Edward Markey has published an open letter to Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, demanding an answer to privacy issues.

With the recent announcement of the Amazon Kindle Fire, an Android tablet powering Amazon’s content store, the Silk browser came to the forefront as a great leap in browsing. While ‘proxy-browsing’ is nothing new, Skyfire and Opera Mini have been doing it for ages, Silk will be the primary way all Kindle Fire users browse the web. This allows for Amazon to collect a HUGE amount of data that can be used for advertising or other means of monetizing personal information. Imagine that, a company making money off your personal online habits.

What is the Congressman after? Answers about what Amazon is collecting, how they are collecting it and what they plan on doing with it. Markey specifically poses the questions and demands an answer within 3 weeks.

  • What information does Amazon plan to collect about users of the Kindle Fire?
  • Does Amazon plan to sell, rent or otherwise make available this customer information to outside companies?
  • How does Amazon plan to disclose its privacy policy to Fire and Silk users
  • If Amazon plans to collect information about its users’ Internet browsing habits, will customers be able to affirmatively opt in to participate in the data sharing program?
Thank you for your attention to this important matter. Please provide the responses to these questions no later than November 4, 2011.

Amazon has built a huge network of infrastructure to leverage “server-side browsing” and make it completely invisible to the user. Browsing data and purchasing information is constantly being sent to Amazon and there is no known way to opt-out. ¬†You could, of course, purchase one of the 30 other Android tablets on the market, that have unfettered access to the Amazon Kindle service.

While the Congressman does have his heart in the right place with these questions, especially considering he is Co-Chairman of the Congressional Bi-Partisan Privacy Caucus, this seems like a play using a very well known product to raise awareness for his ‘Do Not Track Kids’ legislation which attempts to protect online privacy for children. Won’t somebody think of the children?!

Do you really care if Amazon knows what you’re browsing the internet for? You probably already give that information to numerous other companies like Google or Facebook — what does one more Big Brother matter when you already have 6 looking over your shoulder?

Amazon Launches 3 New Kindles, Starting at $79

Amazon has a lot of surprises in store for us today. It has launched not only its new Android tablet – the Amazon Kindle Fire – but also 3 new versions of the Kindle ebook reader.

When the Kindle was originally launched, it was a great deal. Amazon slashed the price over the years and now the new Kindles start at just $79, which makes them irresistible.

Amazon Kindle

Amazon Kindle

This will be the new standard Kindle. It will be priced at $79, and will be the cheapest version available.

Amazon has done away with the keyboard and made it much more compact. It comes with a standard 6 inch e-ink display, with 2 GB of internal storage. It will also support Wi-Fi and sports a 5 way controller for navigation.

Buy Amazon Kindle

Amazon Kindle Touch

Amazon Kindle Touch

This will be the touchscreen version of the Kindle. It will come with a 6 inch e-ink, touchscreen display with no physical controls. It will sport 4 GB of internal storage, and will come with Wi-Fi only. It will retail for $199.

Buy Amazon Kindle Touch

Amazon Kindle Touch 3G

This will be the 3G version of the Amazon Kindle Touch. Exactly identical to the Kindle Touch, except for the price and connectivity options. It will sport Wi-Fi as well as 3G, and will be priced at $149.

Buy Amazon Kindle Touch 3G

Kindle Fire: Amazon’s $199 Android Tablet

Details of Amazon’s new tablet — the Kindle Fire — have been leaked by Bloomberg, just before the official event. It looks very similar to the Blackberry Playbook, with good reason.

It comes with a 7 inch multi-touch display and is an inexpensive, no-frills tablet. It doesn’t have a camera, or 3G connectivity, presumably stripped off to bring down the costs. It will come integrated with Amazon apps like the Amazon Appstore, Kindle Store, Amazon Prime, and Amazon MP3. It will also feature Amazon Cloud Drive support and will offer on-demand video streaming.

Thanks to its Android lineage, it will support thousands of Android apps from the Amazon Appstore. It will also come with 30 days of free Amazon Prime usage. It is priced at just $199, 60% lower than the iPad, and much lower than any Android tablet.

You can buy it here: Amazon Kindle Fire

Reportedly, Amazon will be launching another premium 10-inch tablet soon, which will be priced higher.

Amazon Kindle Fire

Some updates: The Kindle Fire will come with a 7 inch multi-touch IPS display, with a resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels. It’s a bit heavy, at 413 grams. It will have 8 GB of internal storage, and its battery will last for about 8 hours. Amazon has bundled free cloud storage for all content you get through Amazon.

Here’s a list of supported media formats: Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, MOBI, PRC, Audible, DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, non-DRM AAC, MP3, MIDI, OGG, WAV, MP4, VP8.

Update: The official Kindle Fire page is online – Amazon Kindle Fire

Amazon’s Android Tablet: Kindle Fire

Rumors that Amazon has been working on a new tablet have been circulating since months now. Techcrunch apparently even got hold of a prototype unit, and we just got to know that it may be unveiled by Jeff Bezos at an event on September 28.

I’m very optimistic about the Amazon tablet, and think that it may be the best alternative to the iPad. While most other Android tablet manufacturers suck compared to the iPad, the Amazon Kindle tablet appears to have the best chance at dethroning the iPad.

Today, some more details about the Amazon tablet were revealed by the guys at GDGT.

The Amazon tablet – Kindle Fire – will have a design similar to the Blackberry Playbook, because the hardware design and production was outsourced to the same manufacturer – Quanta. Because of the short time frame, Amazon didn’t do much of the hardware design in-house.

It will have a 7 inch display, and will run a derivative of Android. Apparently, it will be powered by a dual core OMAP chip from TI clocked at 1.2 GHz.

It may be priced at either $250, or $300 with Amazon Prime bundled. It will have a completely locked ecosystem, much like the iPad.

We will probably know more about Amazon’s Kindle Fire Android tablet in a day or two. We will be covering Amazon’s event tomorrow, so stay tuned.

PS: It’ll be interesting to see how Amazon’s Android tablet stacks up against the soon-to-be announced Nook Color 2 and $349 Android tablet by Barnes & Noble.

Kindle Cloud Reader Brings Kindle Books to Browser

Amazon has had a wide selection of free Kindle reading apps on most platforms and devices. The mission of “Buy Once, Read Everywhere” is now further extended to the web browser. Amazon has released Kindle Cloud Reader, based on HTML5, that allows you to read Kindle books instantly in your browser online or offline – with no downloading or installation required.

Kindle Cloud Reader

Kindle Cloud Reader automatically synchronizes your Kindle library, as well as your last page read, bookmarks, notes, and highlights for all of your Kindle books. This feature is similar to the one available in all reading apps and allows you to continue reading a book from the page that you last left on whether on a Kindle device or on one of the Kindle apps. Your current book is automatically made available for offline use, and you can choose to save a book for reading offline at any time.

Kindle Cloud Reader

Kindle Cloud Reader provides an immersive view of your entire Kindle library, with instant access to all of your books. An embedded Kindle Store optimized for the browser makes it seamless to discover new books and start reading them instantly. The iPad version includes an integrated, touch-optimized store that allows you one-click access to the vast selection of books.

Kindle Cloud Reader for Offline Reading

The first time you sign in to your account, you are given an option to enable offline reading capability which allows the books in your library to be downloaded for offline reading.

Kindle Cloud Reader - Book

Once you choose a book to read from the library, you can customize the page layout to your desired font size, text color, background color, and more. The interface is neat and has subtle navigational aids at the bottom and previous/next options on either sides.

The only grouse that I have is that Kindle Cloud Reader is not yet available for Internet Explorer 9. I could not even test a limited or hampered experience since the application doesn’t allow you to sign in on an unsupported browser. Kindle Cloud Reader is available for Safari (Windows/Mac/iPad) and Chrome (Mac/Windows/Linux/Chromebook). Amazon’s press release indicates that Kindle Cloud Reader will be available on additional web browsers, the BlackBerry PlayBook browser, and other mobile browsers, in the coming months. customers can start reading their Kindle books, or discover new titles from over 950,000 Kindle books available, immediately using Kindle Cloud Reader at using the existing credentials.

iriver Story HD Launched: The First Google eBook Reader

iriver Story HDWhile Amazon plans to launch an Android tablet by the end of this year, Google has already announced the launch of an eBook reader by iriver. The iriver Story HD will be the first eBook reader powered solely by Google eBooks and will offer access to more than 3 million e-books hosted by Google.

While Google eBooks offers support for multiple platforms, this is the first eBook reader which offers direct integration with Google eBooks platform. It will retail for $139.99, at exactly the same price point as the Kindle Wi-Fi. Which is why I think it won’t make much of an impact, considering we already have very good options in the form of the Kindle, the new Nook and the Nook Color.

The iriver Story HD comes with a 6 inch, 1024 x 768 pixel XGA e-ink display and is powered by a Cortex A8 processor. It has 2 GB internal storage, and comes with an SD card slot and Wi-Fi support. It is similar to the Amazon Kindle in terms of design and form factor and offers 3 weeks of battery life. It will be available starting July 17 at Target stores.

Amazon’s ‘Special Offers’ Ad Supported Kindle is a Bestseller

Amazon Kindle 3According to Amazon’s list of bestsellers in the electronics category, which has been dominated by the Kindle Wi-Fi for about an year, the new #1 bestseller is the Kindle Wi-Fi with Special Offers, the advertisement supported variant of the Kindle, which is priced at $114, $25 cheaper than the $139 Kindle Wi-Fi.

When it was first announced, there were mixed reactions. Many doubted whether users would be willing to spoil their reading experience by viewing ads for $25 off. But Amazon had clarified that the ads would be display unobtrusively, only on the Kindle’s screensaver, and on the bottom of the display. No ads would be displayed in any books, thus preserving the excellent reading experience that the Kindle is known for.

So far the feedback had been quite positive, with users even finding the Special Offers quite useful, but now we have confirmation. The users have voted with their wallets; the ad-supported Kindle is now the most popular Kindle. This may lead to Amazon giving away free Kindles, supported wholly by ebook purchases and ads.

As for the ‘Special Offers’ Kindle, I suspect it will remain on the top, at least until Amazon launches the rumored Android ‘Kindle’ tablet.

via BI