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Amazon Kindle Fire could rival iPad, says YouGov

Pricing is critical says research firm

Amazon's Kindle Fire could become a very serious competitor to rival the success of Apple's iPad, says YouGov.

Amazon's tablet PC, which was launched last week, is a 7in device with a 1024x600. Powered by a dual core processor, the 190x120x11.4mm device runs a custom version of Google Android with an Amazon-branded user interface. Weighing 414g, the Amazon Kindle Fire has an 8GB internal memory, but comes with free access to Amazon's online storage service, Amazon Cloud, allowing users to store music, movies, books and apps that are purchased from the etailer, on the web and stream them on the device.

Although more of a content consumption device than a personal computer, the Amazon Kindle Fire costs $199 (£127) in the US, which is less than half the cost of Apple's tablet PC, a move which could see the popularity of the Kindle Fire surge.

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UK pricing and availability for the Amazon Kindle Fire has yet to be released by YouGov believes its likely the same pricing differential will be seen in the UK and other markets when Amazon actually makes the device available.

"Apple is far and away the current UK market leader in terms of brand awareness, preference and price," says Russell Feldman, associate director for technology and telecoms consulting at YouGov.

"But the introduction of the Kindle Fire, with its compelling features and even more attractive price, will make it very hard indeed for other players to compete. The Kindle Fire benefits not only on price and specifications, but also in the value and trust consumers have in the Amazon brand."

Feldman also believes the depth of Amazon's downloadable content as well as its burgeoning application store, something he says has underpinned consumers' loyalty to Apple over other tablets running an Android OS, means the Amazon Kindle Fire has the potential to be "a major game-changer".

The research firm's TabletTrack study confirmed Apple's dominance in the tablet market with 72 percent of Brits that said they're keen to get a tablet PC, admitting Apple's iPad 2 is their device of choice.

However, the survey also revealed £250 is most-preferred price point for a tablet PC, which means the Amazon Kindle Fire could take-off if it offers an attractive price tag.

"By launching a rival ecosystem at an extremely competitive price, Amazon is likely to make a rapid approach to the summit, at the expense not necessarily of Apple, but of its rival Android stable mates."

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