Amazon’s new Kindle tablet gets a fiery reception

12 Dec 2011

The Kindle Fire

While it may be next month before Amazon’s Kindle Fire goes on sale in Europe, the new tablet’s reception in the US has been anything but warm, with the e-commerce giant announcing a much-needed software update to allay concerns.

According to various reports, shortcomings with the hardware include no external volume control, the ‘off’ button can be hit easily by accident and the touchscreen isn’t responsive enough.

There have also been complaints that the device does little to safeguard user privacy, revealing everything the previous user had been doing on the device, and, according to Reuters, some parents have been complaining about how easy it is to order content … much too easy, it seems.

According to The New York Times, Amazon will be rolling out an over-the-air update for the device within two weeks that will bring about improvements in performance and multi-touch navigation, as well as the ability to edit the list of ‘recent activities’.

The Fire is pivotal to Amazon’s future in a content-delivery environment it is largely creating, from books and movies to apps and games.

Amazon’s newly released Kindle Fire media tablet has a bill of materials (BOM) that amounts to US$185.60 but which rises to US$201.70 when manufacturing expenses are added, IHS iSuppli has revealed, which means at a retail price of US$199, Amazon is selling the device at a loss.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years