Published September 06, 2012
Amazon (AMZN) fired the latest shot in the tech wars heating up ahead of Apple's (AAPL) big announcement next week at which the world's largest company is expected to launch the iPhone 5: the Kindle Fire HD 4G LTE.
The sleek looking tablet has a larger, 8.9-inch HD display (the current Kindle Fire has a seven- inch display). The Fire HD 4G has 32 GB of memory, dual stereo speakers, two wi-fi antennas and state-of-the art MIMO technology that eliminates buffering delays and connectivity problems that slow down other tablets.
A comparable iPad costs more than $750 and lacks the MIMO technology and audio improvements.
"We want to make money when people use our devices not when they buy our devices" said Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
Amazon still offers the seven-inch Kindle Fire for $159, but a new Kindle Fire HD seven-inch model starts at $199 and an eight-inch display costs $299. Both come with 16GB of memory and are shipping in September and October. The Kindle Fire HD 4G will ship in November.
Bezos says Amazon is making "the best tablets at any price."
Amazon never releases sales data, but Bezos says The Kindle Fire has captured 22% of the tablet market which continues to grow more crowded as Google (GOOG), Nexus and others introduce their tablets.
Amazon also upgraded its original Kindle, the world's first successful e-reader, dropping the base model price to $69. The upgraded Kindle includes better visual display, which Amazon calls Paperwhite. The Kindle Paperwhite starts at $119 and ships October 1st. The Kindle Paperwhite Free 3G sells for $179 and also ships October 1st.
Bezos says the low prices reflect Amazon's business model to sell content and service -- not necessarily technological gadgets.
"Last year there were more than two dozen android tablets launched into the market place and nobody bought them. Why? Because they are gadgets and people don't want gadgets they want services."