ⓘ Amazon Fire tablet
The Fire, formerly called the Kindle Fire, is a line of tablet computers developed by Amazon.com. Built with Quanta Computer, the Kindle Fire was first released in November 2011; it features a color 7-inch multi-touch display with IPS technology and running a custom version of Googles Android operating system called Fire OS. The Kindle Fire HD followed in September 2012, and the Kindle Fire HDX in September 2013. In September 2014, when the fourth generation was introduced, the name "Kindle" was dropped. In September 2015, the fifth generation Fire 7 was released, followed by the sixth generation Fire HD 8, in September 2016. The seventh generation Fire 7 was released in June 2017. The ninth generation Fire 7 was released in June 2019.
The Kindle Fire - which includes access to the Amazon Appstore, streaming movies and TV shows, and the Kindle Store for e-books - was released to consumers in the United States on November 14, 2011, after being announced on September 28.
On September 7, 2012, upgrades to the device were announced with consumer availability to those European countries with a localized version of Amazons website.
The original Kindle Fire retailed for US$199 in 2011. Estimates of the devices initial bill of materials cost ranged from $150 to $202. Amazons business strategy was stated in 2011 as making money through sales of digital content on the Fire, rather than through sales of the device itself.
As of October 2012, the Kindle Fire was the second best selling tablet after Apples iPad, with about 7 million units sold according to estimates by Forrester Research and as of 2013 Amazons tablets were the fourth best selling.
On September 6, 2012, the Kindle Fire was upgraded to the second generation, and its price was reduced to US$159, RAM upgraded to 1 GB and processor clock speed upgraded to 1.2 GHz. A more powerful and video-friendly version, the Kindle Fire HD 7 and 8.9 inch versions was also made available, initially priced at $199 and $299.
On September 25, 2013, the Kindle Fire HD was upgraded as the third generation Fire, priced at US$139, and the Kindle Fire HDX was introduced. The Kindle Fire HDX had an improved graphics engine, double the memory, and triple the processor speed of the previous model. The 7-inch and 8.99-inch versions were introduced at US$229 and US$379 respectively.
In September 2014, the Fire HDX 8.9 and the Fire HD were upgraded to the fourth generation of Fire tablets, removing the "Kindle" adjective in the naming scheme. There was also the Fire HD 6 that has a six-inch screen with a quad-core processor priced at US$99.
In September 2015, Amazon announced the release of the Fire 7, priced at US$49.99 for the 8GB version that displays advertisements on the lock screen. As of March 2016 it was the lowest-priced Amazon tablet. In June 2016, its price was dropped briefly to US$39.99. This fifth generation tablet includes for the first time a micro SD card slot for extra storage.
In September 2016, Amazon announced the release of the Fire HD 8 which includes the virtual assistant Alexa, priced at US$89.99. Fortune reported that, "As with most of Amazons devices, the aim isnt to make money off of the hardware but instead to sell digital content such as books, movies, and TV shows to users".
A slightly improved Fire 7 was released in June 2017, keeping the US$49.99 price point.
An upgraded model of Fire 7 was announced in May 2019, with a scheduled release in June 2019 and keeping the US$49.99 price point.
2.1. Design Hardware
The Kindle Fire hardware was originally manufactured by Quanta Computer an Original Design Manufacturer, which had also helped design the BlackBerry PlayBook, using it as a hardware template for the Kindle Fire. First-generation Kindle Fire devices employed a 1-GHz Texas Instruments OMAP 4430 dual-core processor. The device has a 2-point multi-touch color LCD screen with a diagonal length of 7 inches 180 mm and a 600×1024-pixel resolution 160 dpi density. Connectivity is through 802.11n Wi-Fi and USB 2.0 Micro-B connector. The device includes 8 GB of internal storage - said to be enough for 80 applications, plus either 10 movies or 800 songs or 6.000 books. According to Amazon, the first-generation Kindle Fires 4400 mAh battery sustains up to 8 hours of consecutive reading and up to 7.5 hours of video playback with wireless off; later generations all offered around 7–8 hours
Of the 8 GB internal storage available in the first-generation Kindle Fire, approximately 6.5 GB was available for content.
The first-generation Kindle Fire has a sensor on the upper left-hand corner of the screen. This was widely considered to be an ambient-light sensor, disabled since an early software upgrade.
Color display technologies consume much more power than monochrome electronic paper E-ink types; Fire offer a typical battery life of 8 hours of mixed usage, while monochrome Kindles offer 15 to 30 hours use without WiFi - "battery lasts weeks on a single charge" - with a much lower-capacity battery.
2.2. Design Software
The first generation of Kindle Fire devices run a customized Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread OS. The second-generation Kindle Fire HD runs a customized Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich OS. Along with access to Amazon Appstore, the Fire includes a cloud-accelerated "split browser", Amazon Silk, using Amazon EC2 for off-device cloud computation; including webpage layout and rendering, and Googles SPDY protocol for faster webpage content transmission. The users Amazon digital content is given free storage in Amazon Clouds web-storage platform, 5 GB music storage in Amazon Cloud Drive, and a built-in email application allows webmail to be merged into one inbox. The subscription-based Amazon Prime, which includes unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows, is available with a free 30-day trial period.
Content formats supported by the first-generation Kindle Fire were Kindle Format 8 KF8, Kindle Mobi.azw, TXT, PDF, unrestricted MOBI, PRC natively, Audible Enhanced AA, AAX), DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, non-DRM AAC, MP3, MIDI, OGG, WAV, MP4, VP8.
Because of Amazons USB driver implementation, the first-generation Kindle Fire suffered from slow USB transfer speeds. For example, transferring an 800MB video file may have taken more than three minutes in 2011.
It is possible to convert a Kindle Fire to a tablet running standard Android, with some loss of Amazon-related functionality, and lacking features such as Bluetooth, microphone, camera, and memory expansion.
Analysts had projected the device to be a strong competitor to Apples iPad, and that other Android device makers would suffer lost sales.
In a 2012 review published by Project Gutenberg, the Kindle Fire was called a "huge step back in freedom from the Kindle 3"; the reviewer noted that Amazon introduced a "deliberate limitation" into the Fire that didnt exist in the previous version: it is no longer possible to download free e-books from websites such as Project Gutenberg, Internet Archive and Google Books and have them stored permanently in the same places where books from Amazon are kept.
Customers began receiving Kindle Fires on November 15, 2011, and in December 2012, customers had purchased over a million Kindle devices per week. International Data Corporation IDC estimated that the Kindle Fire sold about 4.7 million units during the fourth quarter of 2011.
The Amazon Kindle Fire helped the company beat their 2012 first quarter estimates and boosted the companys stock in extended trading. As of May 2013, about 7 million units had been sold according to estimates. Statistics for FY2014 or Q1&2 2015 are not yet available.
There have been nine generations of Fire tablets, spread across three different models: Fire, Fire HD and Fire HDX. There have also been different-sized tablets within the Fire HD and Fire HDX models. Items in bold are currently available.