Bezos Surprises With Kindle Fire HD 4G LTE At $499, Data Plan Just $49.99 per YEAR

Just when we thought Jeff Bezos and Amazon were done rolling out products, they announced another. Saying that the most popular price point for tablets was $499, Bezos said they decided to see what they could provide at that price. The answer? A Kindle Fire HD with an 8.9 inch screen, 32GB of storage and 4G LTE cellular data. They will also offer a basic data plan which will give 250MB per month ,20GB of cloud storage and a $10 app store credit  for $49.99/year. This is not a lot of data, so presumably there will be other plans available, or the thought is the extra access is just intended to tide people over between wifi spots.

Kindle Fire HD- Amazon Moves Up The Tablet Chain, Still Starts at $199, Ships September 14

Ever since Amazon rolled out the budget Kindle Fire tablet last year, critics have complained about how underpowered the device is, about its small screen, and about it’s underwhelming features. Today, Amazon is moving up the tablet chain.

The company announced 2 new Kindle Fire HD tablets. The tablets, which will feature an OMAP 4470 processor from Texas Instruments, also is the first tablet to include dual stereo speakers with Dolby Digital Plus.. Amazon also brags that the device has dual antennas and the best Wifi support available. This technology, known as MIMO has higher speeds and longer range. Amazon claims the Wifi on the Kindle Fire HD is 41% faster than that on the iPad 3, 57% faster than Nexus 7. The device will start with 16GB of storage.  With better sound, wifi and storage, Amazon is clearly taking a big step in positioning this as the best media consumption device available.

Integrating their vast services together, Amazon is introducing WhisperSync for Voice which will synchronize your place in an audiobook with the accompanying ebook, and X-Ray For Movies will allow you to touch an actor on a screen in a movie to find out more about him. The device features improved email with Exchange support, a front facing HD camera, and integration with Skype. Amazon is also heavily promoting the device for gaming.

Kindle FreeTime feature allows parents to set limits on how much time their children can spend on various types of activities on the Fire HD.

There will be two versions of the device a 7 inch($199) and an 8.9 inch($299). The 7 inch version will ship September 14, the 8.9 inch will ship November 20.

How are they so cheap? Bezos says “We want to make money when people USE our devices, not when they BUY our devices”




Kindle Paperwhite Will Ship October 1, $119 for Wifi, $179 for 3G

Amazon’s big Kindle event is happening right now. The highlight so far is the launch of the latest e-ink based Kindle, the Kindle Paperwhite. This is the first front-lit Kindle, but even with the light, it has 8 weeks of battery life. It also has a whitish

Cover of "Kindle Wireless Reading Device,...

screen background rather than the grey background of other e-ink Kindles. It will ship on October 1, $119 for the Wifi version, and $179 for the 3G version. No mention of ad-supported versions, or ad-free ones, so we assume that these are the “special offers” pricing. There is also a new “time to read” feature which will tell readers how much time it will take them to complete the chapter or book, based on their historic reading speed.  Amazon also refreshed its lowest price kindle adding some features,making it smaller, lighter and faster, and dropping the price from $79 to $69.  Still nothing free yet.

Will Kindle Soon Be Free?

Slate technology columnist Farhad Manjoo insists that the Kindle wants to be free, and someday will be.

English: Latest Kindle (2011) showing Esperant...

The truth of the matter is…Amazon has been slowly reducing the price of the Kindle because their interest in its manufacture is the purchase of content, not the purchase of the device itself.

Personally, we’re skeptical about free…with the exception of bundling deals where it is part of a larger purchase. We think the base device will likely settle somewhere between $30 and $50, making it a basically disposable purchase.

Amazon is feeling more downward pressure because more affordable tablets are coming into the mainstream. Some people use these devices over the Kindle, many use it in addition to the Kindle. The e-ink Kindle offers incredible battery life, simplicity, and distraction-free reading. There will always be a place for it. And at a price point that is as close to free as realistic for Amazon to achieve.

Either way, the Kindle Fire is now sold out, as well as the Kindle Touch, and Amazon has an event scheduled for next week, where it is said we will see new Kindles.

What do you think?