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Newspapers giving tablets away, Amazon introduces Kindle Fire

Yesterday Amazon announced their new Kindle Fire tablet. The device is being hailed as the first serious tablet to compete against Apple’s iPad. It sells at $199 and has a whole bunch of features that you can see on their site.

Here’s Bloomberg’s report about the Kindle Fire.

In somewhat related news, at least two newspapers are looking to give away or subsidizing tablets to readers who sign a long term subscription contract. Back in July, Steve Myers reported that Philadelphia Media Network will start selling Android tablets with preloaded apps for the Philadelphia Inquirer and a shortcut link to The cost of the tablet to their readers would be about half the retail price.

The Tribune Co. is also looking at offering a tablet to extended subscribers (or at least highly subsidized) according to Jim Romenesko. According to the report, the project was still in the internal discussion phase with people split on its prospects.

With the Amazon Kindle Fire more than half the cost of the low end iPad, using the Kindle as a give away would be a bit easier on the wallet.

Community Comments

#1 Stephen Beals
@ 9:13 am

I hope this catches on. I’ve always wondered if a tablet with your subscription is the way to go.

#2 Brian Powers
@ 9:36 am

I read this morning that Amazon is losing $50 on each Fire they sell. This should get a color tablet in more hands.

#3 Dan Bielinski
@ 9:44 am

From the Kindle Fire video: “Read best sellers, children’s books, cookbooks, comics and magazines.”

Nice to see comics getting some love.

#4 Mike Cope
@ 10:22 am

Reminds me of the free phone or free HDTV receiver deals … So long as you agree not to cancel your subscription for 2 (or more) years!

On a side note, the newest Superman #1 comic has some interesting commentary on The Daily Planet (and print newspapers) vs New Media.

#5 Derrick Wood
@ 11:03 pm

AmI the only one who refuses to buy an electronic book reader?

#6 Anne Hambrock
@ 8:02 am

Yes Derrick, you are :-)

I have long maintained that the only way to get folks to pay for content is to tether it to a mobile device. There is a consumer psychology that is hard wired to get things free on their desktop but is willing to pay as soon as they are on anything mobile.

The reason the iPad changed everything is that it was more than an e-reader, it was a comprehensive mobile data consumption device, capable of delivering books, magazines, newspapers, music, TV (via streaming) and movies. And, unlike the iPhone tablets are large enough to deliver a non miniaturized quality consumption experience.

The first app I downloaded for my iPad was the Marvel Comics app. When I saw the color and the clarity of the work I was KNOCKED OUT. And I knew we had turned a corner.

We may not have made it through the transition phase but I believe we are well on the way back to a world where people pay for their entertainment content.

#7 Stephen Beals
@ 9:32 am

I completely agree, Anne. I love print, but the second I read comics, books and magazines on the iPad I was hooked.

I still have a lot of print stuff, but if you’ve ever had to deal with stacks and stacks of books and magazines a tablet is just too convenient to turn away.

Weirdly, I want to see a folding tablet. I want a tablet that can fold into quarters so that it can either be as small as a paperback book or as big as a newspaper. We probably won’t see that, though, because I would be the only one to buy it.

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