As Google strikes at the Kindle, Amazon preps an Android tablet

It’s funny how these things happen. As Google gears up for the launch of the first e-reader based on its eBooks platform—a competitor to Amazon’s popular Kindle devices—Amazon itself is reportedly about to embrace Google’s Android platform.

The Wall Street Journal quotes "people familiar with the matter" as saying Amazon will introduce this Android tablet some time before October. The device will have a nine-inch display and will purportedly not be designed by Amazon itself. Amazon simply may be outsourcing the industrial design work to a third party, perhaps even the Asian company the Journal says will manufacture it.

There’s no word on pricing, although the Journal adds that Amazon is also cooking up some fresh Kindles for a launch this quarter. I’m guessing the company will try to avoid overlap. (Right now, the cheapest Kindle will set you back $139.99.)

On Google’s side of the playground, the Irivier Story HD e-reader is due to hit Target stores across the United States on July 17. Google says on its blog that the device is the "first e-reader integrated with the open Google eBooks platform, through which you can buy and read Google eBooks over Wi-Fi." The Story HD looks an awful lot like the $139.99 Kindle, complete with a 6-inch display and a QWERTY keyboard sitting below it. And guess how much Irivier is going to charge for it? That’s right: $139.99.

Comments closed
    • d0g_p00p
    • 11 years ago

    I have a 7″ Samsung Galaxy Tab that I love. I also have a Android phone but it seems like it really shines on a tablet. Android is a great platform but the only issue is the segmentation, if Google can unify the OS into one version I think it would become a even bigger threat in the mobile and tablet space.

    • blastdoor
    • 11 years ago

    I’m sure Google couldn’t care less. The purpose of Android was to stop Microsoft from taking over the mobile world, and it’s achieved its purpose.

    • Voldenuit
    • 11 years ago

    Cheap shot :P.

    Blackberry doesn’t appeal to me (not least because of the paucity of apps), but I have lots of friends who use BBM to keep in touch with their social/business circle while they’re travelling the world.

    • BobbinThreadbare
    • 11 years ago

    Blackberry avoids the problem by having any apps people want to use *rim shot*

    • Voldenuit
    • 11 years ago

    Symbian^3 has had true multitasking *and* a task manager since day one. Better yet, nearly every app has a ‘close’ button or close option in the menu built in, so you don’t even have to dig in to the task manager to shut down your apps.

    webOS and BlackberryOS have also had multitasking for a while. Android, iOS and WP7 may get a lot of press, but they aren’t the only games in town.

    • kc77
    • 11 years ago

    Closing apps is built into the OS at this point. It depends on the version, but then again that argument really relies on the fact that the others barely multitask at all. So they avoid the problem because they aren’t even attempting to run multiple apps at one time. Unless they have changed it recently WP7 and IPhone only multitask their core applications Android does them all. It doesn’t care if it’s apart of the core apk’s or not.

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 11 years ago

    Hmmmm, I wonder. Did the Wall Street Journal hack someone’s voicemail to get this info? I think we need a reference that isn’t tainted by its corporate masters…

    • insulin_junkie72
    • 11 years ago

    Target sells the $114 Kindle (and the other Kindles), so I’m wondering how much marketing $$$ Google is going to float Target’s way, otherwise, I don’t see sales going so well w/o a push.

    • GodsMadClown
    • 11 years ago

    I think that’s supposed to be an Iriver tablet. As in, this river experience has been specially designed by Apple; It’s an Iriver.

    • eternalmatt
    • 11 years ago

    Cheapest Kindle is $114 if you don’t mind screensaver ads.


    • MadManOriginal
    • 11 years ago

    He probably means third party as opposed to built in to the OS itself by Google which would make it first party. Your Galaxy 2 App is provided by Samsung, no?

    • EtherealN
    • 11 years ago

    Third party workarounds? My Galaxy 2 came with widget preinstalled, shows me how many non-OS applications are running and allows me to review and kill them in two touches. Snappy and effective.

    On my previous Android phone, a Desire, it was real different though. Unless I kept on top of it the background tasks would eat the battery in no time and I’d only rarely see it last more than 12ish hours without needing a recharge. The Galaxy 2 I’ve had for 5 days on standby with 3G reception on a few times (though 2-3 is more common, assuming I use it for some radio streams and such).

    This really is the big issue with Android – we can’t think of it as one OS the way we can with iOS. Much better to think of it like Linux, and consider each model as having it’s own “distro”. Some are good, some are less good, even though the stuff under the hood is the same.

    • Namarrgon
    • 11 years ago

    “Best” is obviously a subjective term. Don’t take it as a personal attack on your own beliefs.

    Please let’s don’t start mobile OS flamewars here; god, I get far too much of that on every other tech blog :-/

    • Mr Bill
    • 11 years ago

    Yeah, by crashing the phone and requiring a reboot. Happens almost every time when I close the Torque app.

    • grantmeaname
    • 11 years ago


    windows phone 7


    • Voldenuit
    • 11 years ago

    I really dislike how Android handles closing apps and processes. Or rather, doesn’t.

    Yes, there are third party workarounds like Advanced Task Manager. But it’s still an unnecessary complication.

    • Skrying
    • 11 years ago

    In a few areas? Yeah but in most areas I would disagree.

    • SomeOtherGeek
    • 11 years ago

    There is one thing that Google can’t beat the Kindle in is the free 3G wireless. That beats all!

    • sweatshopking
    • 11 years ago

    yea, what makes it the best? malware? poor performance? inconsistent updates? or the cutting edge hardware? the “open sourceness”? the variety of designs?

    Android has a lot going for it, but i’d be hesitant to label it the “best” of anything. I think in terms of user experience, it’s behind iOS and WP7. it’s certainly not as easy to use.

    • willmore
    • 11 years ago

    I love it, too, but uhhh, [citation needed] there buddy. 🙂

    • BoBzeBuilder
    • 11 years ago

    Good. The more Android the better. It’s the best mobile OS by far.

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