Final - It's now 12:32 local, and I'm waiting for my cab to the airport. I just wanted to share my first impressions. In a single day, in a single hour, Amazon just cut B&N, Kobo, Samsung, Google, and Apple off at the knees. Impressive, that.
But I'm not sure Apple will be all that upset once everyone does the math on the Kindle Fire HD's data plan. It's 3GB for $50 spread over a year. The iPad 4G data plan is $20 for a single GB in a single month. That's not much more expensive.
11:53 - 4g LTE model includes 250MB a month data plan, $50 a yer.
11:51 - 4g LTE Kindle Fire HD model will cost $499.
11:49 we want to make money when people use our devices, not when they buy our devices.
11:47 - Jeff now affirming Amazon uses the KF as a portal - real money is in content sales.
11:44 - Kindle Fire HD to cost (7", 16GB)$199, Ships 14 September. 8.9" model to ship in November, costs $299 with 16GB.
11:43 - Now showing KF HD TV spot.
11:39 - New KF will also have in game offers for physical sales - tie-ins.
11:36 - New KF will include recommendations for movies, hand all content now.
11:35 X-Ray for movies - thanks to content drawn from IMDB.
11:33 Kindle Free Time demo.
11:31 Those leaked KF images on The Verge are real. Also introducing Kindle Free time - Amazon's new way for parents to manage kids access to the KF.
11:30 - OLD NEWS - Introducing Whispersync for games.
11:27 - Immersion Reading - Amazon has merged the audio book and ebook. Buy both and reading location in one will be tracked as listening location in other.
11:26 Introducing Whispersync for voice.
11:25 - New KF has 16GB of storage as well as faster Wifi thanks to Mimo.
11:20 - MIMO <- google it!
11:18 - New KF offering new wireless connectivityon 5GHz band, 2 antennas.
11:17 - Runs on TI Omaps4 CPU. Dual speakers - one on either side of back. Also has Dolby digital sound.
11: 15 Larger KF measures 8.9" screen - 1920 resolution.
11:14 Now showing the Kindle Fire Hd - 7" 4:3 - and a new larger Kindle Fire.
11:12 - Now talking Kindle Fire. 22% of tablet sales in US. Getting hardware update and new price - $160.
11:08 Now introducing Kindle Serials. Techcrunch broke this story last night.Will cost $2 - 1 payment for all installments. 8 titles to start.
11:07 3.5 million Kindle singles sold.
11:05 Watching KDP author endorsements.
11:03 - Now talking about KDP. 27 of top 100 ebooks on Kindle come via KDP.
11:01 Showed new Kindle Paperwhite commercial.
11:01 - K4 gets a price cut to $69 and firmware update.
11:00 - Free 3g, Priced $120 & $180, ships 1 October.
10:58 - 8 weeks battery life.
10:56 - Now talking about "Time to read" - new estimate of how long it takes to finish chapter and book. Frontlight has more settings than on the Nook Glow.
10:55 - This is the same device we saw in the leaks, all right.
10:53: Now talking about the Kindle Paperwhite - capacitive touchscreen, frontlight, HD screen, and pretty much everything we expected.
10:49 - Customer testimonials video.
10:48 - Now talking old news about Prime content.
10:47 - Customers don't want any of the 2 dozen Android tablets launched last year because they want services, not gadgets - says Jeff.
10:45 - He's now talking about a thank you letter he got from an Amazon Prime member,
10:43 - Jeff is on stage.
10:42 - And finally it begins. They're turning down the music, and that leaked commercial is now playing.
Update 1o: 35 -Still waiting.
Update 1o: 31 -Still waiting.
Update 10:26 - Still waiting for this to start and still waiting for the network issues to resolve.
Update 10:21 - Okay, I don't think this will work long. The local Wifi went down fast and now my Virgin Mobile 3G card is having trouble with network congestion.
Update 10:17 - It looks like the plugin has been causing the access issues that has been plaguing my blog all morning. So I'm going to have to go old school and do the time stamp manually.
Right now it's 5:30am local time, and Amazon's event is still 5 hours away. I'm starting early because I want to cover a few details which i didn't get a chance to post yesterday. There was also a lot of stuff breaking in what was for me the middle of the night, and I want to pull them all into one place.
For example, Engadget reported that the new Kindle Fire showed up in the logs for an app developer. The log indicated that the KF2 was running Android 4.0.3. They didn't get any details on the CPU or other specs, but I don't doubt this rumor is true. It simply makes too much sense, and what's more back before the Kindle Fire launched last year I suggested this could happen. TBH I didn't think it would work but clearly I was wrong.
Thanks to the leaked commercial and the FCC filings I uncovered I am far more certain we'll see at least 1 new Kindle Fire and a new Kindle Touch. Well, 2 Kindle Touch devices, but the main difference will be one has 3g.The new Kindle Touch will almost certainly be the Kindle Paperwhite which leaked last week. Right now I'm expecting it to have a front light and the HD E-ink screen, and that's largely due to the fact that Kobo just unveiled a similar model mere hours ago. I don't see Amazon being a step behind Kobo, do you?
Note that I'm not sure if we'll see one or 2 Kindle Fire today; it looks like a couple models with different screen geometries were used in the commercial, but that could just be the poor image quality. But this could mean the set of leaked Kindle Fire images which The Verge posted last week could be real. I don't know.
In other news, The Verge is insisting that we'll see a smartphone today. In spite of my prediction a couple weeks ago, I'm not so sure. It might happen but it also might not happen.
And we might also see the Firedock for the Kindle Fire, but at this point I'm the only one who is keeping track.
P.S. If there's a leak I missed, please point it out in the comments.