Kindle Fire Ships Early: The Next Chapter in the Tablet Arms Race

Nov 14, 2011

Article ImageIf you pre-ordered a Kindle Fire, you better be sure to check your mailbox today. This morning Amazon announced that the new members of its Kindle family will ship to buyers early. The Kindle Touch and Kindle Touch 3G will head out to early buyers beginning tomorrow, November 15, several days earlier than the previously announced November 21 shipping date. Perhaps more notably, the Kindle Fire will head out a day early. This comes on the heels of last week's "leaked" announcement that Barnes & Noble would be introducing the Nook Tablet and making it available in stores on November 17.

With the attention of holiday shoppers up for grabs, Amazon and Barnes & Noble have been scrambling for early market dominance. The Fire has battled early lukewarm reviews, though developers have been far more enthusiastic. On the other hand, the Nook e-reader has long been a darling of hackers who turned it into a tablet of sorts long ago.   

Amazon says the Kindle Fire is already the top selling item on at $199. The Nook Tablet comes in at $50 more, but also has twice the internal memory and a MicroSD slot--along with better rated battery life.

With the big holiday shopping push just about ready to get underway, it will be interesting to watch these two tablets, possibly the iPad's only real competition, battle it out for shopper affection.   

Related Articles, Inc. will release the first software update for the Kindle Fire tablet in the next two weeks, according to paidContent. The update will reportedly mend the device's multitouch navigation response and other performance issues as well as the list of options for recent activity on the tablet.
ebrary announced the results of its Download Survey for which it asked more than 1,000 participating librarians about mobile and offline access to ebooks. Patrons value the portability of ebooks, which led 92% of respondents to say that providing offline access to ebooks was at least as important as providing online access to them, if not more so.