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Market Update

Game-Change Potential for Amazon's Kindle Fire

The firm's tablet computer device is poised to be a disruptive force in digital media.

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Ending months of anticipation,  Amazon (AMZN) formally unveiled its tablet computer device, the Kindle Fire, at a press conference Wednesday. Much as Amazon.com has been a disruptive force for brick-and-mortar retailers, we believe the Kindle Fire tablet has game-changing potential for digital media distribution and represents a credible challenger to  Apple (AAPL) for market share in this category.

The new device, which will retail for $199 and start shipping Nov. 15, features a 7-inch full-color LCD touch screen, dual-core processor, free cloud storage for digital content purchased, wireless synchronizing through Whispersync technology, and Amazon's new cloud-enhanced Silk web browser, which promises faster web browsing. Kindle Fire users will also receive a free month of Amazon Prime, which should augment Amazon's existing general merchandise sales.

R.J. Hottovy does not own shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.