Kindle Tablet to be a Playbook Clone?
That’s what the gdgt blog are reporting, but I’m going to take this one with a grain of salt. Ryan Block posted this morning that his sources at Amazon told him that on Wednesday Amazon will be launching the tablet they have, not the tablet they want.
According to Ryan, Amazon had to make a number of compromises in order to get the Kindle out the door in time for this holiday season. They decided to go outside their own team at Lab126 and signed a deal with Quanta. The kTab is reportedly going to look a lot like the Playbook, and that’s because the Playbook was the starting point (according to Ryan). This shortcut was used because of time. If Amazon want to ship by the end of October this was their only option.
It sounds like Amazon and Quanta made a number of changes to the design, but we won’t know what they are until Wednesday. The tablet is "supposed to be pretty poor" and is a "stopgap" measure. It sounds like Amazon are afraid of what Barnes & Noble might launch next month, and that they’re pretty anxious to get something out the door – anything, just so long as it ships.
TBH I never took the "kTab as an iPad Killer" idea very seriously, and now I clearly had a good reason. The kTab is clearly going to be about as well designed as the original Kindle. The software features will be good, but the general performance and appearance might turn stomachs.
At least that’s what the latest rumors say. I’m not taking a side until I see it on Wednesday.
Update: I’ve just finished reading and thinking about the TechCrunch rumor that Wednesday’s announcement will be the Kindle Fire. MG Siegler also reports thatthe kTab will be based on a Texas Instruments OMAPs CPU, same as on a number of newer Android gadgets (and the Playbook). The kTab is also believed to be running Android v2.1, which is not a good thing. That is last year’s OS and it feels like it.
I’m not so sure I beleive it. First of all, there’s no trademark for the term. Amazon have not registered Kindle Fire or Fire. That tends to make me doubt that they will use it. More importantly, Kindle Fire doesn’t sound quite right. It’s a verb- noun pairing, and while it does roll off the tongue it doesn’t quite have the same alliteration of just Kindle.
On the other hand, this is the guy who got the first look at the kTab. He clearly has inside sources so this report is probably true.