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Tablet Wars Begin: Amazon v. Apple

Now that Amazon has entered its horse into the tablet race, what are watchers saying about the product's prospects, and its likely impact on the sector? Well, it's cheap! "The Kindle Fire will ... sell for $199, compared with $499 for Apple's cheapest iPad," Bloomberg Businessweek reports, adding: "Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos is betting he can leverage Amazon's dominance in e-commerce to pose a real challenge to Apple's iPad."

"With its low price--most tablets retail for around $500--and the established Kindle brand, analysts believe Amazon's product could represent the first legitimate competitor in an area where many other high-end Android tablets have missed the mark," CNet reports.

That said, "The Android-based tablet has an attractive price, but to get there, it cut so many corners it probably won't make much of a dent in Apple's market lead," according to GigaOm.



Referring to the iPad, "This is not a tablet in that category," ReadWriteWeb determines. "It does include Amazon's Appstore, and it can be used for email and Web browsing, but this is not a personal computer first and foremost -- it's a media device."

For his part, Amazon's Bezos tells BusinessWeek: "We don't think of the Kindle Fire as a tablet. We think of it as a service." Translation: "Amazon hopes that selling digital content to Fire owners can help recoup costs of selling the device at a loss, a strategy Amazon has traditionally employed," Business Insider writes.

Moreover, according to ZDNet: "At just $199, Amazon's 7-inch 'Kindle Fire' may prove Steve Jobs wrong that people don't want a 'tweener' tablet."

"So yes, this serious competition for the iPad," according to All Things D. "No way around that."

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