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Reports: Amazon’s Kindle Fire Tablet A ‘Stopgap’ Design, Publishers Line Up

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Amazon’s long-awaited Android tablet appears to be just two days away from making its first public appearance, and a few details trickled out in advance of its debut. According to reports, Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) plans to remind everyone that this tablet is from the company that brought you the Kindle and that the world of both magazine publishers and system designers is a small one indeed.

At this point, it seems silly to pretend that Amazon’s event in New York on Wednesday is going to be about anything other than its stab at a tablet computer with more functionality than a Kindle e-reader. Techcrunch reported that the device will be known as the Kindle Fire, similar enough to the popular e-reader to evoke the brand but different enough to imply something special about the device. (Although maybe somebody on Amazon’s marketing team has a thing for Arcade Fire.)

Just like when Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) launched the iPad, a cadre of magazine publishers plan to announce their support for the Kindle Fire, according to AllThingsD. Time (NYSE: TWX) is a noticeable absence from the list, which includes Hearst, Conde Nast, and Meredith (NYSE: MDP) according to the report, but AllThingsD suggested that Time’s presence on the Kindle Fire is a matter of when, not if.

And another interesting tidbit about the forthcoming tablet involves its hardware design, which Gdgt believes is going to be nearly identical to that of Research in Motion’s Playbook. Hopefully for Amazon, that design won’t be as off-putting to consumers as the Playbook has proven thus far, but that report suggested that Quanta, an original design manufacturer based in Taiwan, helped Amazon throw together a “stopgap” tablet based on the Playbook design in order to make the holiday season. That’s not the best sign.

One Response to “Reports: Amazon’s Kindle Fire Tablet A ‘Stopgap’ Design, Publishers Line Up”

  1. Publishers should try to deliver their content to their subscribers on every device or service that they can. However, the publisher needs to retain control of the subscriber and can’t allow Amazon or Apple (or anybody else) to steal that relationship. Fortunately, there are ways to put your content on a Kindle or an iPad without running afoul of Amazon’s or Apple’s horrible publisher policies. You can create a mobile website, which they can access through the device’s browser. You can create an html5 app, which your customers can download from your site without ever going through Amazon or Apple. And Kindles even have their own email address, so you can send some content that way.

    The worst thing to do is to allow Amazon or Apple to take over the customer relationship. Don’t do it.