Today Amazon is Set to Unveil New Kindle Fire, Possible Phone

Amazon has been an industry leader in the online sales world for quite some time. Their brand is powerful and established, and their reputation basically does the marketing work for them. But, for a long time, they were simply a place to buy goods. Their recent moves and products in the last few years are taking the company in a direction similar to Apple or Google in terms of providing services.

Amazon’s streaming and on-demand services were the start of this jump into new industries. The Kindle was a low-tech e-reader that revolutionized the book industry and put e-books on the map. The Kindle Fire made people say, “Hey, these guys are on to something.” That something is a cheap tablet that provides a good user experience backed by Amazon’s content offerings. No one can argue with that. It feels like Amazon is becoming a Wal-Mart of the internet. We’ll know a lot more about that after today, too.

Amazon’s New Kindle Fire

Amazon’s original Kindle Fire was sold as a platform for Amazon’s online services. The company didn’t make a lot of money on actual sales of the tablet; that’s why it was so cheap. In fact, the Kindle Fire is completely sold out, and now competition is heating up with Google’s Nexus 7, Appleā€™s current iPad, and the possibility of a future mini-iPad.

The Associated Press reported today that Amazon is “expected to unveil a new Kindle Fire.” With the new iteration of the Kindle Fire, Amazon is hoping for success similar to that of the original. The AP also stated: “In the nine months since it began selling in November, Kindle Fire has captured 22 percent of tablet sales in the U.S.” That is pretty significant and impressive success in a market that used to be dominated by expensive and large tablets.

New Kindles, too?

In addition to the new Kindle Fire, the AP reports that Amazon is “expected to offer a new lineup of Kindle e-readers.” It seems likely that Amazon would announce these simpler Kindles as well. It’s an important part of their strategy to keep their digital marketplace in use. Plus, Amazon still has competition with Barnes and Noble’s Nook to encourage frequent product updates. E-Readers combined with the Kindle Fire allows Amazon to reach a much vaster market of consumers. The more consumers they can reach, the more people using their digital marketplace.

Amazon Entering the Mobile Battleground (Maybe)

The only piece of the “tech company” puzzle that Amazon is missing is a smart phone. According to Nilay Patel of technology blog The Verge, Amazon will announce a new Kindle Phone that runs on a “forked version of Android 4.0, … and [includes] Nokia Maps as the location solution.” As of now, there aren’t too many more details other than that.

I wouldn’t say the phone is 100% confirmed until we see it or hear it from CEO Jeff Bezos later today. We don’t yet know whether this Kindle Phone is designed to compete with high-end smart phones like the iPhone, or if it’s designed to compete in the middle-market. The phone won’t be using Google Maps, nor will the Kindle Fire. It seems that Amazon is trying to differentiate itself from Google and make sure it can provide the same services.

What this Means for Us

As consumers, the new products from Amazon should be welcomed. We’re getting more quality goods with which to interact with the digital marketplace. Also, older models will likely go down in price for those looking to save money. Competition is always good, as it forces companies like Apple, Google, and increasingly Amazon, to create products that satisfy consumers. We’ll find out more later today, though.

For businesses large and small, this is yet another indication of the importance of the web. Consumers now have multiple means of accessing the internet. People are using mobile, tablets, desktops, laptops, and more to stay connected to the web for the entire day. A business without a web presence is going to slowly fall behind.

Are you growing your web presence?

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Patrick currently lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, where he is studying for a Master's Degree in Intercultural Relations. Upon graduation from Penn State in 2008, he spent two years overseas in Kyrgyzstan with the U.S. Peace Corps. While writing is currently his chosen way to put food on the table, he loves fitness and exercise, which he believes makes up for his avid computer gaming habit.

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