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Amazon Kindle Tablet confirmed, sort of

Motorola, Sony, Samsung... the list of companies who've tried to launch a successful rival to Apple's iPad is as long as the summer day, and all have failed to seriously make a dent in Apple's market-commanding position. So for a while now expert-types have been speculating that the first company to really challenge the iPad might not be a hardware manufacturer at all, but a retailer: Amazon.

After all, Amazon is already in the hardware business with its hugely successful e-reader, the Kindle. It's got its own Android App Store already, so it'd be simple to release an Android tablet. And according to the journalist in question, that's just what they've done.

As MG Siegler explains on TechCrunch, 'It’s called simply the “Amazon Kindle”. But it’s not like any Kindle you’ve seen before. It displays content in full color. It has a 7-inch capacitive touch screen. And it runs Android...

'How do I know all of this? Well, not only have I heard about the device, I’ve seen it and used it.'

So, another Android tablet to line up against the Samsung Galaxy Tab and the like? Not exactly. Siegler goes on to explain, 'As anticipated, Amazon has forked Android to build their own version for the Kindle. Simply put: it looks nothing like the Android you’re used to seeing. The interface is all Amazon and Kindle. It’s black, dark blue, and a bunch of orange....

'The key for Amazon is just how deeply integrated all of their services are. Amazon’s content store is always just one click away. The book reader is a Kindle app (which looks similar to how it does on Android and iOS now). The music player is Amazon’s Cloud Player. The movie player is Amazon’s Instant Video player. The app store is Amazon’s Android Appstore.

'Google’s Android Market is nowhere to be found. In fact, no Google app is anywhere to be found. This is Android fully forked. My understanding is that the Kindle OS was built on top of some version of Android prior to 2.2. And Amazon will keep building on top of that of that over time. In other words, this won’t be getting “Honeycomb” or “Ice Cream Sandwich” — or if it does, users will never know it because that will only be the underpinnings of the OS. Any visual changes will be all Amazon.

'They are not working with Google on this. At all.'

Crikey. So this is Android in not much more than name, it seems, meaning Amazon will use its own App Store to filter out applications that don't work with the device.

So why is this going to duff up the iPad where so many others have failed to do so? Well, there's this little detail:

'So how much will the 7-inch Kindle cost? $250. Yes, Amazon has been able to trim the cost of the device to half of the entry-level iPad.'

Ha. Game on. If MG is correct, the Amazon Kindle in its new iteration will be revealed in November. Something to look forward to once the anticipation of a new iPhone 5 finally comes to an end...

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