For better or worse, Asus has every intention of riding the growing tablet wave, no matter what else you might have heard. And what we heard earlier this week was that Asus, along with Acer, Dell, and Hewlett-Packard, were likely to bow out of the tablet market now that Amazon and Barnes & Noble have both joined the fray. That prompted speculation that maybe Asus and others were giving up competing for Android and were going to wait for Windows 8, perhaps in a mad grab for enterprise dollars. Nope, that's wrong too.
Amazon is almost certainly losing money on each Kindle Fire tablet it sells, but the dollar amount might not be as high as some analysts originally thought. According to preliminary findings from IHS iSuppli's teardown analysis, the Kindle Fire carries a BOM (build of materials) cost of $185.60 for the hardware, and $201.70 overall when factoring in manufacturing services expenses.
Computer system builders like Hewlett-Packard and Dell may look to pull out of the tablet market now that both Amazon and Barnes & Noble cannonballed the shallow end of the pool. Over in the deep end is Apple with its full-size (9.7-inch) iPad line, the only one that seems to be able to stay afloat at the $500 mark and above. Is it worth trying to compete anymore?
More good news for budget conscious tablet shoppers. For those of you who pre-ordered a Nook Tablet from Barnes & Noble, it too is shipping early, just like Amazon's Kindle Fire and Kindle Touch. The Nook Tablet was supposed to ship out on November 18, 2011 (this Friday), but will be available for pick-up from B&N stores a day early.
The Kindle Fire is already the best selling item on Amazon.com, and it's going to arrive on customers' doorsteps one day early, the e-tailer announced today. Kindle Fire shipments were supposed to go out tomorrow, but the $199 tablets are already loaded up on trucks and headed out to the their destinations, and it's anyone's guess as to why.
We don't have a whole lot of details to go on, but what little information we do have regarding Lenovo's upcoming 10.1-inch tablet is pretty exciting. The full size tablet is expected to launch by the end of the year, and when it does, it will reportedly bring a host of high-end hardware and features to the mobile party, including Nvidia's Tegra 3 platform and Google's Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) OS.
Still steaming over Netflix's recent shenanigans and couldn't care less that it's going to be available on the Kindle Fire you pre-ordered? Well hey, you have options, and Amazon just sent us word that Hulu Plus is joining its selection of several thousands of apps that will be available on the Kindle Fire next week, provided you're down with the $8/month subscription.
If Amazon's Kindle Fire fails to shake up the tablet market and pose a real threat to Apple's iPad, it won't be for lack of interest. Only a lack of execution can stop the Kindle Fire from being considered a huge success, because at this point, Amazon is on pace to move a lot of units by the end of the year, and the Kindle Fire isn't even available yet.
Research In Motion wants to make it clear that it intends to keep supporting and developing Adobe Flash for its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, even though Adobe itself is abandoning Flash on the mobile Web in order to "aggressively contribute to HTML5." Dan Dodge, President and CEO of RIM's QNX operations, announced RIM's continued commitment to Flash in a blog post.
Microsoft distributed 5,000 Samsung Windows 8 tablets among developers at its BUILD conference in September. The Windows Developer Preview PC is essentially the Samsung Series 7 Slate PC, albeit with a number of important upgrades. Now, it has emerged that the Korean electronics behemoth plans to release a Windows 8 device inspired by the Series 7 Slate next year.