The 'tablet war' heats up with the Kindle Fire

The new Amazon Kindle Fire tablet is displayed at a press conference in New York, September 28, 2011.

Steve Chiotakis: In a little over an hour, Amazon will introduce its new tablet computer. It's really an updated Kindle, its electronic reader. The new gadget will be called the Kindle "Fire." Like BlackBerry, Lenovo and Samsung, Amazon is gonna try to take on the Apple's iPad. But Amazon is looking to protect itself as well.

Marketplace's New York Bureau Chief Heidi Moore is with us live to talk about it now. Morning Heidi.

Heidi Moore: Morning, Steve.

Chiotakis: What does the market for tablets look like right now? Why would Amazon get into this?

Moore: The market for tablets can be described in four letters: "iPad." Apple's iPad has a lot of fans -- so many fans, in fact, that the company dominates the market for tablet computers. For every 10 tablets sold in America, seven of them are iPads. Almost every other computer company has come out with a tablet, but they don't sell.

I talked to Roger Kay. He's the founder of Endpoint Technology Associates.

Roger Kay: Many have tried and many have failed in the tablet wars. So Amazon comes to a field already littered with bodies.

Chiotakis: So then -- littered with bodies -- why is Amazon even trying?

Moore: Well they have to go out on that field -- they don't have a choice. Amazon has to take on the iPad or see its customers just walk out the door.

Here's Kay again.

Kay: The main thing is that it's a defensive move in the sense that it doesn't want Apple, which offers a Kindle app, to take away its customers.

Still, it's a long shot. Apple announced a new iPhone next week, actually -- on Monday. And the company has a way of upstaging its rivals, as we know.

Chiotakis: As we do know. Marketplace's Heidi Moore in New York. Heidi, thanks.

Moore: Thank you, Steve.

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