Amazon Lines Up Magazine Publishers for "Kindle Fire" Tablet

Paul Lilly

Tomorrow's shaping up to be a big day for Amazon, assuming all those reports turn out to be true. Word on the Web is that Amazon will officially unveil its first tablet, which TechCrunch says will be called the "Kindle Fire." Think of it as Amazon's answer to Barnes & Nobles' Nook Color, only perhaps a bit more versatile and, according to reports, with the backing of several major magazine publishers. Here's what we know so far.

According to TechCrunch , Amazon is definitely going to call its tablet the Kindle Fire to help separate the device from the rest of the Kindle lineup. It will sport a 7-inch backlit display with color and will look somewhat similar to Research In Motion's PlayBook. That makes sense because it's being designed by Quanta, the same company that builds the PlayBook.

TechCrunch says the Kindle Fire will blaze an OMAP processor from Texas Instruments, though the clockspeed is unknown. For what it's worth, the PlayBook also uses an OMAP chip and that one's clocked at 1.2GHz. The focus here will be on streaming media and displaying multimedia content better than competing devices.

Switching sources, All Things Digital says enthusiasm on the part of the magazine publishers is high. At least three big names have signed on to back the device, including Hearst, Conde Nast, and Meredith, all of which will sell digital versions of their magazines.

Under terms of the rumored deal, AllThingsD says publishers will get to keep about 70 percent of all Amazon sales, and will also receive from Amazon certain customer data. This is pretty much the same way it works with Apple. What has the potential to be really cool about all this publisher enthusiasm is that they're some of the magazines have been customized specifically for the 7-inch slate.

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