Amazon has just announced a raft of new Kindles, including what looks like the first serious challenger to Apple’s iPad, the Kindle Fire. Before the Apple fans start howling me down, let me point out why I think this is the case; it has nothing to do with utility or the OS or how wonderful the iPad is or is not. It’s the price ($199) combined with access to Amazon’s awesome (and, yes, I do use some of them) cloud services. The Kindle is tied to Amazon’s e-commerce platform but that is no bad thing given the library of movies, tv shows, apps, games and ebooks this gives you access to.
In the midst of all this Android-powered loveliness, it is easy to miss another very, very significant point. The cheapest Kindle e-reader, the basic keyboard-less Kindle, is now $79. This is well below the psychologically important $100 barrier. Basically hidden away in this Amazon launch is the fact that e-readers have pretty much just gone mainstream and right in time for Xmas. Coincidence? I think not. I can’t wait for this stuff to hit Europe.