Kindle Fire

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"Amazon Fire" redirects here. For the smartphone, see Fire Phone. For the media player, see Amazon Fire TV.
Amazon Kindle Fire
Amazon Kindle Fire logo.svg
Kindle Fire web browser 05 2012 1430.JPG
Developer, Inc.
Manufacturer Quanta Computer[1]
Generation 1st
Release date November 15, 2011 (2011-11-15) (USA)
September 6,  2012 (2012-09-06) (Europe)
December 18, 2012 (2012-12-18) (Japan)
Units sold 7 million (as of October 2012)[2]
Operating system Based on Android OS 2.3.3 (customized: 6.3.2_user_4110520) (1st gen.)
Based on Android 4.0.3 (customized: 10.5.1_user_5172420) (2nd gen.)
System-on-chip used Texas Instruments OMAP 4 4430
CPU 1.2 GHz Dual-core Cortex-A9 (ARMv7)
Memory 512 MB RAM (1st gen.)
1 GB RAM (2nd gen.)[3]
Storage 8 GB[4]
Display 7 inch multi-touch Gorilla Glass display, 1024×600 at 169 ppi, 16 million colors.[4] Capacitive touch sensitive.[5]
Connectivity Micro-USB 2.0 (type B)[6]
3.5 mm stereo socket[6]
802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi
Online services Amazon Prime, Amazon Cloud Storage, Amazon Cloud Player, Amazon Video, Amazon Silk, Amazon App Store, Amazon Kindle Store
Dimensions 190 mm (7.5 in) H
120 mm (4.7 in) W
11.4 mm (0.45 in) D[7]
Weight 413 g (14.6 oz)[8]
Successor Kindle Fire HD
Website Amazon Kindle Fire
Kindle Fire showing components, back cover removed

The Kindle Fire is a tablet version of's Kindle e-book reader. Built with Quanta Computer, the Kindle Fire was released in November 2011, featuring a color 7-inch multi-touch display with IPS technology and running a custom version of Google's Android operating system called Fire OS. The Kindle Fire HD followed in September 2012, and the Kindle Fire HDX in September 2013.


The device—which includes access to the Amazon Appstore, streaming movies and TV shows, and Kindle's e-books—was released to consumers in the United States on November 15, 2011, after being announced on September 28.

On September 7, 2012, upgrades to the device were announced with consumer availability to those European countries with a localized version of Amazon's website (United Kingdom,[9] France, Germany, Italy and Spain).[10]

The Kindle Fire originally retailed for US$199.[11] Estimates of the device's initial bill of materials ranged from $150 to $201.70.[12][13] Amazon's business strategy is to make money through sales of digital content on the Fire, rather than through the device itself.[14][15][16]

As of October 2012, the Kindle Fire is the second best selling tablet after Apple's iPad, with about 7 million units sold according to estimates by Forrester Research[2] and as of 2013 Amazon's tablets are fourth.[17]

On September 6, 2012, the Kindle Fire was upgraded to the second generation, and its price was reduced to $159, RAM upgraded to 1 GB and processor clock speed upgraded to 1.2 GHz. A more powerful and video-friendly version, the Kindle Fire HD (7 and 8.9 inch versions) was also made available, initially priced at $199 and $299.[18][19]

On September 25, 2013, the Kindle Fire HD was upgraded to the third generation, priced at $139, and the Kindle Fire HDX was introduced. The Kindle Fire HDX has an improved graphics engine, double the memory, and triple the processor speed of the previous model. The 7-inch and 8.99-inch versions were introduced at $229 and $379 respectively.[20][21]

In September 2014, the Fire HDX 8.9 and the Fire HD were upgraded to the fourth generation of Fire tablets, removing the "Kindle" naming.[22] There was also a 6-inch that had a quad-core processor priced for $99

In September 2015, Amazon announced the release of a $49.99 USD named Fire 7". It is currently the cheapest tablet Amazon offers.[23]



The Kindle Fire hardware was manufactured by Quanta Computer (an Original Design Manufacturer), which had also helped design the BlackBerry PlayBook, using it as a hardware template for the Kindle Fire.[24] Kindle Fire devices employ a 1-GHz Texas Instruments OMAP 4430 dual-core processor. The device has a 2-point multi-touch color LCD screen with a diagonal length of 7 inches (180 mm) and a 600×1024-pixel resolution (160 dpi density). Connectivity is through 802.11n Wi-Fi and USB 2.0 (Micro-B connector). The device includes 8 GB of internal storage—said to be enough for 80 applications, plus either 10 movies or 800 songs or 6,000 books.[25][26] According to Amazon, the Kindle Fire's 4400 mAh battery sustains up to 8 hours of consecutive reading and up to 7.5 hours of video playback with wireless off.[27]

Of the 8 GB internal storage, approximately 6.5 GB is available for content.[28]

The first-generation Kindle Fire has a sensor on the upper left-hand corner of the screen. This is widely considered to be an ambient-light sensor, disabled since an early software upgrade.[29]


The first generation of Kindle Fire devices run a customized Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread OS.[30] The second generation Kindle Fire HD runs a customized Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich OS.[31] Along with access to Amazon Appstore,[6][32] the Fire includes a cloud-accelerated "split browser", Amazon Silk, using Amazon EC2 for off-device cloud computation; including webpage layout and rendering, and Google's SPDY protocol for faster webpage content transmission.[33][34][35] The user's Amazon digital content is given free storage in Amazon Cloud's web-storage platform,[6] 5 GB music storage in Amazon Cloud Drive, and a built-in email application allows webmail (Gmail, Yahoo!, Hotmail, AOL Mail, etc.) to be merged into one inbox.[6] The subscription-based Amazon Prime, which includes unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows, is available with a free 30 day trial period.[6]

Content formats supported are Kindle Format 8 (KF8), Kindle Mobi (.azw), TXT, PDF, unrestricted MOBI, PRC natively, Audible (Audible Enhanced (AA, AAX)), DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, non-DRM AAC, MP3, MIDI, OGG, WAV, MP4, VP8.[6]

Because of Amazon's USB driver implementation, the Kindle Fire suffers from slow USB transfer speeds. For example, transferring an 800MB video file may take more than three minutes.[36]


Analysts had projected the device to be a strong competitor to Apple's iPad,[11][37] and that other Android device makers would suffer lost sales.[38][39]

In a review published by Project Gutenberg, the Kindle Fire was called a "huge step back in freedom from the Kindle 3"; the reviewer noted that Amazon introduced a "deliberate limitation" into the Fire that didn't exist in the previous version: it is no longer possible to download free e-books from websites such as Project Gutenberg, Internet Archive and Google Books and have them stored permanently in the same places where books from Amazon are kept.[40]


Customers began receiving their Kindle Fires on November 15, 2011, and by the following December, customers had purchased over a million Kindle devices per week.[41] International Data Corporation (IDC) estimated that the Kindle Fire sold about 4.7 million units during the fourth quarter of 2011.[42]

Recently, the Amazon Kindle Fire helped the company beat their 2012 first quarter estimates and boosted the company's stock in extended trading.[43] As of May 2013, about 7 million units have been sold according to estimates.[2] Statistics for FY2014 or Q1&2 2015 are not yet available.


Generation 1st generation (2011) 2nd generation (2012) 5th generation (2015)
Model Kindle Fire Kindle Fire Fire
Release date November 15, 2011 September 14, 2012 September 30, 2015
Status Discontinued Discontinued Current
Screen size 7"
Resolution 1024 × 600 (169 ppi) 1024 x 600 (171 ppi)
OS Based on Android OS 2.3.3 Based on Android OS 4.0.3 Fire OS 5
CPU Dual-core 1 GHz TI OMAP4 4430 Dual-core 1.2 GHz TI OMAP4 4430 Quad-core 1.3 GHz ARM Cortex A7[44]
GPU Imagination Technologies PowerVR SGX540 Mali-450
RAM 512 MB 1 GB
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Storage 8 GB 8 GB (Up to 128 GB MicroSD)
Dimensions 190 × 120 × 11.4 mm (7.48 × 4.72 × 0.45 in) 189 × 120 × 11.5 mm (7.44 × 4.72 × 0.45 in) 191 x 115 x 10.6 mm (7.5 x 4.5 x 0.4 in)
Weight 413 g (14.6 oz) 400 g (14 oz) 313 g (11 oz)
Battery 4400 mAh N/A


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lai, Marcus (27 September 2011). "Amazon to burn new tablet this week, says report". Punch Jump. Punch Jump LL C. Retrieved 29 September 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c Brian X. Chen (2012-10-19). "How Are 7-Inch Tablets Doing?". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-10-20. 
  3. ^ "Kindle Fire Device and Feature Specifications". Amazon Mobile app distribution. Amazon. Retrieved 16 February 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Lee, Tyler (28 September 2011). "Amazon Kindle Fire unveiled". Ubergizmo. Blogzilla LLC. 
  5. ^ Shahbaaz (September 28, 2011). "Amazon Unveils Kindle Fire Android Tablet ($199) & Kindle Touch ($99), Kindle 2011 Priced at $79!". 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g "Kindle Fire - the Amazon Tablet with Full Color 7" Multi-Touch Display, Wi-Fi". Retrieved 2011-10-02. 
  7. ^ Kindle Fire Amazon description Accessed: 11/23/2011
  8. ^ Grabham, Dan (October 31, 2011). "Amazon Kindle Fire: what you need to know Updated: Kindle tablet release date, specs, features and more". TechRadar UK. Future Publishing Ltd. 
  9. ^ "Kindle Fire Comes to the UK—Introducing the All-New Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire". Press releases. 6 September 2012. Retrieved 10 September 2012. 
  10. ^ "Amazon's Kindle Fire to go on sale in Europe (AFP)". 6 September 2012. Retrieved 14 September 2012. 
  11. ^ a b "Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet to sell at $199, challenging iPad". Chicago Tribune. 28 September 2011. Archived from the original on 26 October 2011. [dead link]
  12. ^ Merritt, Rick (28 September 2011). "Kindle Fire profitable at estimated $150 BoM". eetimes. 
  13. ^ Olivarez-Giles, Nathan (18 November 2011). "Amazons 199 Kindle Fire costs 201.70 to build, report says". Los Angeles Times. 
  14. ^ Myslewski, Rik (30 September 2011). "Amazon's Kindle Fire is sold at a loss". The Register. 
  15. ^ Whitney, Lance (29 September 2011). "Amazon to lose $50 on each Kindle Fire, says analyst". CNET. 
  16. ^ Naughton, John (2 October 2011). "Kindle Fire: the tablet that knows your next move". The Guardian / The Observer. 
  17. ^ [1]
  18. ^ Martin, James. "Amazon Kindle Fire". CNET. Retrieved 7 September 2012. 
  19. ^ Kindle Fire HD at store
  20. ^ Franklin, Eric. "Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 - Tablets - CNET Reviews". Retrieved 2013-09-25. 
  21. ^ Wilson Rothman (2012-05-18). "Amazon's Kindle Fire HDX tablets pose real threat to iPad dominance". NBC Retrieved 2013-09-25. 
  22. ^ "What's new with Amazon's Fire OS 4.0 "Sangria"?". AndroidGuys. 
  23. ^ "Amazon Fire 7". 
  24. ^ "The Amazon tablet will look like a PlayBook - because it basically is.". Engadget. Retrieved 2014-06-19. 
  25. ^ Murph, Darren (28 September 2011). "Amazon Kindle Fire tablet unveiled: Android-based, 7-inch display, $199 price tag". Engadget. AOL Inc. 
  26. ^ Ziegler, Chris (28 September 2011). "Amazon Kindle Fire vs. iPad 2 vs. Nook Color: by the numbers". This Is My Next. 
  27. ^ "Kindle Fire - Full Color 7" Multi-Touch Display with Wi-Fi". Retrieved 2013-03-18. 
  28. ^ Dawson, Christopher (17 November 2011). "Kindle Fire: Edu holy grail or one more DRM-ridden toy?". ZDNet. Retrieved 2013-03-18. 
  29. ^ "Eric Bergman-Terrell's Blog". Retrieved 2013-03-18. 
  30. ^ Hollister, Sean (28 September 2011). "Amazon’s Kindle Fire UI: it’s Android, but not quite". This Is My Next. 
  31. ^ "Getting Started with Kindle Fire". 
  32. ^ Tung, Liam (2011-09-20). "Amazon opens global Appstore by stealth". Retrieved 2013-03-18. 
  33. ^ Boulton, Clint (29 September 2011). "Amazon EC2 Underlies Kindle Tablet 'Silk' Browser". 
  34. ^ "Introducing Amazon Silk". Retrieved 2011-10-02. 
  35. ^ 'Amazon Silk team' (28 September 2011). "Introducing Amazon Silk". 
  36. ^ Ku, Andrew (November 24, 2011). "Storage Performance: Slightly Faster Than USB 1.0?! : The Amazon Kindle Fire: Benchmarked, Tested, And Reviewed". Tom's Hardware: Hardware News, Tests and Reviews. Retrieved 2011-12-04. 
  37. ^ Letzing, John (September 28, 2011). "Amazon to Challenge iPad". The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Retrieved 2011-10-01. 
  38. ^ "Amazon's Kindle Fire Will 'Vaporize' Android But Leave Apple Unscathed". Retrieved 2013-03-18. 
  39. ^ Lee Brodie, ed. (28 September 2011). Gene Munster: Samsung, Others Should Worry about Kindle Fire. (CNBC). 
  40. ^ "Kindle Fire Review". Project Gutenberg. 21 December 2012. Retrieved 2013-03-17. You can get free ebooks to the Fire too, but the process is so cumbersome that it isn't worth the trouble given the alternative of buying a Nexus 7, which handles free ebooks with ease. To be specific, there is no way to download free books from the web and have the Kindle Fire store them permanently or in the same places where your books from Amazon are kept. This was easy with the Kindle 3. No more. 
  41. ^ "Amazon Appstore Presentation at CES". Amazon Appstore Developer Blog. January 6, 2012. Retrieved 7 January 2012. 
  42. ^ Thomas Claburn (2012-04-07). "iPad Mini: 6 Reasons Apple Must Do It". InformationWeek. Retrieved 2012-04-13. 
  43. ^ Nakashima, Ryan. "Kindle Fire helps Amazon beat 1Q estimates". Yahoo News -Tech. Retrieved 28 April 2012. 
  44. ^ "Device and Feature Specifications - Amazon Apps & Services Developer Portal". Retrieved 2015-11-28. 

External links[edit]