Submitted by acohill on Wed, 09/25/2013 - 08:37
Amazon has announced new Kindle tablets ahead of Apple's expected announcement of new and upgraded iPad tablets in October. As I have noted previously, the Kindle tablets, especially the Kindle HD, are really good devices and are very affordable. It is great that Amazon is providing strong competition to Apple. The new Kindle features include higher resolution screens and lighter weight, similar to what is expected from Apple. The flagship model is the Kindle HDX, which is priced lower than a comparable iPad. What is really striking is that the Kindle HD has been repackaged and now sells for a paltry $139--an amazing value.
Tablet sales are very nearly outpacing traditional PC laptop and desktop sales, and with prices well below $200 for very capable tablets, these devices are beginning to drive broadband demand. In a household of four people, we might be looking at as many as eight or ten Internet-connected devices, including tablets, smartphones, and traditional computers. And so you could easily have four or five devices using bandwidth at the same time. Amazon's low price points is part of a deliberate strategy to make money by selling content--books, TV shows, movies, and everything that is available in Amazon's online store.
The bandwidth usage should be getting more attention than it is, and some analysts are buying into the incumbent belief that 10-20 meg of bandwidth is plenty. But we continue to meet business people trying to work from home who are extremely frustrated with their "infinite" bandwidth plans from the cable companies. The big problem is that lack of symmetric bandwidth on DSL and cable connections. An "up to 25 meg up, 5 meg down" plan simply won't support business applications like corporate VPNs and business videoconferencing in any meaningful way.
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