New Kindle is the Amazon tablet

Not just another rumour of a new Amazon tablet, this is more or less a confirmation – as one of the TechCrunch staff has been hands-on with it.

Interestingly, the new device goes by the name of the Amazon Kindle, but doesn't much look like the Kindle you might have in your bag right now. This one is said to be a seven-inch device with a colour screen, specifically a capacitive touch-screen, and has Android for the operating system. Storage is said to be just 6GB, it has a single-core chip and might be Wi-Fi-only initially. Looks-wise, it's not a million miles from the BlackBerry PlayBook. No pictures sadly, that was apparently a condition of this early hands-on.

Not just any old Android tablet either. The same report claims Amazon has paid for their own build of Android for use on the Kindle, meaning it looks nothing like any other. Amazon-branded and media-driven, with a carousel of books, media and apps to flick through on the home screen. No surprise there - this is very much about getting you to buy media from the online mega-retailer.


Of course, you can access all your other social and web-based apps, but Amazon is always just one click away. For example, the music player is Amazon’s Cloud Player, the movie player is Amazon’s Instant Video player and the app store is Amazon’s Android Appstore.

So when can we see it? Earlier than you think. A while back, we heard that a 10-inch device would launch first, followed by a seven-inch device next year. Seems that the scheduling was wrong. According to TechCrunch, the seven-inch tablet/Kindle will be launching in October, with the bigger brother now following next year, as long as the seven-inch device is a hit with the public. If the budget pricing rumour holds true, we can assume this will be the case, especially in the run-up to Christmas. The price being quoted is $250, which is £155. Apple might just have some competition on its hands, even if the iPad easily beats it for features.

We're waiting in hope rather than expectation for the new Kindle in the UK. Amazon's track record is US first, the rest very much later. That doesn't look like changing. But if it did, this could be the must-have over the festive season. We'll keep you posted.

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