Amazon lights the Fire

The Kindle Fire is on the way to customers – and with it, Amazon’s hoping to revolutionize the tablet business. Kindle_Fire

The $199 entertainment-focused device is actually shipping a day earlier than planned, as Amazon looks to build on the substantial buzz the Kindle Fire has generated since it was first announced. The company also plans to ship the Kindle Touch and Kindle Touch 3G eReaders tomorrow – six days ahead of schedule.

The Kindle Fire is considered the tablet most likely to give Apple’s iPad a run for its money, due in large part to its affordable price. Amazon’s taking a razor and razor blades sales model with it, keeping hardware costs low but reaping the benefits of that by controlling the content that runs on the device.

Technically an Android tablet – and, thus, able to run most of the offerings in the Android Marketplace, the Kindle Fire is focusing on mainstream entertainment, specifically movies, television, books, magazines and music – all sold through Amazon.

Reviews have been mixed, at best. (Variety has not yet received a review unit of the device.) But with the buzz and the holiday rush underway, those negative comments aren’t likely to substantially affect sales.