NPR offers an extensive review of Amazon’s new Kindle offerings, including a direct comparison between the Kindle Fire and Apple’s iPad:
A supercharged Kindle or an underpowered iPad? For the Fire to catch on, Amazon probably needs it to be compared in terms of functionality to the existing Kindle, and not to the far more expensive iPad. The Fire can’t stand toe-to-toe with the iPad for functionality, cool design, or size, but Amazon hopes to compensate with the much lower price. By selling the Fire for $199 (when rumors had suggested more like $250), they have a chance to position it as a tablet for people who haven’t felt like an iPad was essential enough to spend more than $500 to acquire.
In fact, NPR’s Laura Sydell told me she’s been speaking to analysts today who believe the price point can bring people into the tablet market who would never enter it at current Apple prices. One pointed out to her that a person could by a Kindle Fire for herself and an inexpensive Kindle for her kid and still get out of the deal for $300 — $200 less than an iPad.
What the Fire probably compares to most directly is Barnes & Noble’s Nook Color, which also runs on Android