NEW YORK Amazon is taking on the untouchable iPad with a touch-screen tablet of its own.
The company on Wednesday introduced its entry in the rapidly expanding market for handheld computers a device called Kindle Fire that connects to the Web, streams movies and TV, displays e-books and supports thousands of apps.
Its half the size of an iPad and will be less than half the price when it goes on sale Nov. 15. Amazon is offering the Kindle Fire for $199. The bare-bones iPad sells for $499, the most expensive for $829.
Of course, competing with the iPad wont be as easy as swiping a finger.
Analysts at one research firm, Gartner Inc., say three of every four tablets sold this year will be iPads. Apple sold almost 29 million of them from April 2010 through June of this year.
Amazon sells more than 1 million e-books, 100,000 movies and TV shows, and 17 million songs. It hopes it will succeed where other companies have failed because the tablet is designed to tap into Amazons massive storehouse of media content.
The reason they havent been successful is because they made tablets. They didnt make services, CEO Jeff Bezos told The Associated Press in an interview.
Bezos unveiled the Kindle Fire at a New York media event that was stage-managed much the same way Apple choreographs its product launches. He extolled the product while technology sites blogged the event.
The CEO also introduced three versions of its popular Kindle e-reader, all with black-and-white screens a basic model for $79, a touch-screen version for $99 and a touch-screen with 3G wireless service for $149.
Those devices will further pressure competitors such as Barnes & Noble as they try to break Amazons dominance in electronic book sales.
The Kindle Fires size, with a screen that measures 7 inches diagonal, makes it a close match to Barnes & Nobles Nook Color tablet, which came out last year. But while Barnes & Noble sees the Nook Color as jazzed-up e-reader, Amazon has broader goals for the Fire as a platform for games, movies, music and other applications.
All that content makes the Fire the only credible competitor to the iPad this year, said Sarah Rotman Epps, an analyst with Forrester Research.