Amazon flexes its tech muscles during Kindle Fire HD event
September 7, 2012 | 10:19 am
By Jeremy Hill | for the Technology Tell network
Oh boy, Amazon pulled an Apple yesterday. The Kindle media event yesterday showed Amazon in a totally different light. Amazon showed that it’s no longer content with being an online retail giant that happens to have a tablet. Amazon is going for the whole enchilada. It wants to be number one in retail and mobile technology. Amazon proved this by announcing different Kindle Fire HD SKUs and directly taking shots at the iPad.
Amazon debuted four different Kindle Fire models yesterday. Two of them have 7-inch screens, two of them have 8.9-inch screens and one of the latter two has a 4G LTE radio. No company other than Apple announces multiple SKUs of the same product at the same time. But Amazon didn’t stop there—it’s also proving it has the technology to back up its hardware.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos stressed “invention doesn’t stop with the hardware.” Amazon has steadily been building its credentials in this field with cloud storage, various licensing deals with music and movie studios and the Kindle Fire itself. Bezos said the Kindle Fire isn’t a gadget, it’s a service as well.
So what technology is Amazon betting on? One of them is called MIMO. By using MIMO, the Kindle Fire HD has two antennas that are designed to improve Wi-Fi performance. Amazon went so far as to claim the Wi-Fi performance in the Kindle Fire HD is better than that of the new iPad and the Nexus 7. The Kindle Fire HD is also the first tablet to have Dolby Digital Plus audio, thanks to its two speakers.
Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD announcements made the original Kindle Fire debut look like a test run. No longer is Amazon seen as one of the only places to get a cheap tablet. It wants to be the company that sells the tablet, regardless of whether you have $199 or $499 to spare. The customer response to these higher-priced tablets will determine whether Amazon actually has the chops to take bites out of Apple’s lunch.