Amazon announces slew of new Kindle tablets

At a live event today, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos announced new products at at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California.

Bezos unveiled the Kindle Paperwhite, a smaller, thinner Kindle Touch which will retail for $119, with 3G, it’s $179. Pre-orders begin today and the product ships on October 1.

The current Kindle Touch will remain on the market with a $10 price decrease from $79 to $69. It ships September 14th.

The Kindle Fire, with double the current RAM and claimed to be 40% faster with longer battery life gets a $40 price cut from $199 to $159. It also ships on September 14th.

Bezos then announced the “Kindle Fire HD” in two sizes:

• 8.9-inch (1920 x 1200, IPS, 254 ppi) display (iPad’s Retina Display is 9.7-inch IPS @ 2048 x 1536, 264 ppi) with dual stereo speakers (the first tablet with Dolby Digital Plus) and dual-band 2.4 and 5 GHz Wi-Fi with dual antennas. 8.8mm thick. (iPad with Retina display is 9.4 mm thick.) HD front-facing camera. with “Kindle FreeTime,” multi-user support (think kids) with time limits that can be set for various functions (TV, apps, etc.) HDMI out. Bluetooth.
– 16GB Wi-Fi-only – $299
– 32 GB with 4G LTE – $499 (Users get 250MB per month data, 20GB of Amazon cloud storage, and a $10 app store credit for US$49.99 per year)

• 7-inch, dual stereo speakers (the first tablet with Dolby Digital Plus) and dual-band 2.4 and 5 GHz Wi-Fi with dual antennas. HD front-facing camera. Multi-user support with time limits that can be set for various functions (TV, apps, etc.) HDMI out. Bluetooth.
– 16 GB – $199

8.9-in Kindle Fire HD ships on November 20th. 7-inch Kindle Fire HD ships September 14th.

MacDailyNews Take: Mr. Cook, the ball’s in your court.

46 Comments

  1. Looks like an intriguing new product mix. And, they are not in the line of fire over the iPad. Kindles are great for consumption, especially reading ebooks. For that task, they are way better than an iPad. They’ve positioned themselves as content consumption devices. Nice move.

  2. I must admit I am impressed. The 4G model with service for just $50/year is crazy. And the rumors are that the iPad mini won’t be a retina display, while Amazon’s is, so that’s a big improvement. I also like Amazon’s content integration – all the whispersync stuff – and the multiuser/time limit stuff for kids is huge. I sure hope Apple is ready for some real competition, at least on the consumption-device side. Should be interesting!

    1. Apple is sleeping at the switch.

      It takes them a year to make another iPhone 1 mm thinner and 6.8675 mm longer… Wupppiieee

      Apple is just trying to catch up with the rest of the industry, 4g, screen size, iOS is hopelessly stagnated in lala land, where all the little apps are happily living ever after in a locked down prison and can’t do shit.

    2. The Fire HD does not have a Retina Display. It has fewer ppi than the new iPad.

      Also, it’s $50 a year for 250 MB per month of 4G data. That’s less than one HD movie per month. Once you go over, how much you wanna bet you’re gonna pay a major premium?

  3. > 32 GB with 4G LTE – $499 (Users get 250MB per month data,
    >
    250MB is better than nothing and could last a couple days with careful usage. No good for content consumption, I must be missing something.

  4. I think it would be foolish to lightly dismiss these models, particularly the HD model.

    People who are accustomed to iPads will certainly be aware of the differences, but many casual users will reckon that a Kindle will suit their purposes very well.

    There has been some original thinking, which is to be applauded, but while it’s not up there with the iPad, it has to be regarded as the best of the rest. It will certainly kill off the weaker performers in the Android tablet market and the resulting fire sales might cause some collateral damage to other models that might have otherwise been marginally viable.

    Respect to Amazon for demonstrating a finished product that will ship very soon. Compare and contrast with Nokia’s Microsoftian launch of an unfinished phone with faked demonstration images, no price announcement and no availability announcement.

  5. The new Kindles are up in the iPads price range now. Guess Amazon figured out you can’t build a good tablet and sell it for next to nothing. $499 that’s allot for a Kindle. When the Kindle fire was launched it was hailed for its low price. You could buy 2,5 Kindles for one iPad. Well guess what, they were not very good tablets.

    Apple lead the way with high resolution screens. Interesting to see Amazon take note.

    It will be interesting to see when iSupply tears these apart how much the cost to build.

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