Jeff Bezos is channeling Steve Jobs. It’s mid-September and the wiry billionaire founder of Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) is at his brand new corporate headquarters in Seattle, in a building named “Day One South” after his conviction that 17-year-old Amazon is still in its infancy.
Almost giddy with excitement, Bezos retrieves one by one the new crop of dirt-cheap Kindle e-readers --- they start at $79 --- from a hidden perch on a chair tucked into a conference room table. When he’s done showing them off, he stands up, and, for an audience of a single journalist, announces, “Now, I’ve got one more thing to show you.” He waits a half-beat to make sure the reference to Jobs’ famous line from Apple Inc. (AAPL) presentations hasn’t been missed, then gives his notorious barking laugh.
With that, Bezos pulls out the Kindle Fire, Amazon’s long- anticipated tablet computer --- and the first credible response to the Apple iPad, Bloomberg Businessweek reports in its Oct. 3 edition.
Unlike a wave of other tablets that have emerged hopefully only to flop, such as the Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) TouchPad, the Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. Xoom, and the Research in Motion Ltd. (RIM) PlayBook, the Kindle Fire has a good shot at turning the newest theater of war in high-tech into a two-tablet battle.