The newest version of Amazon’s Fire tablets and Kindle e-readers, which launch next month, will come with the requisite incremental innovations that make the coming generation of the devices lighter and faster.
But perhaps the biggest change consumers will see as preorders begin is the price. Amazon is introducing an ad-supported, 6-inch, high-definition Fire tablet for $99, an inch smaller and $80 cheaper than the lowest cost Samsung Galaxy Tab 4.
“It’s a core tenet of Amazon: Price matters,” said Dave Limp, the Amazon.com senior vice president who oversees the company’s hardware business. “Our goal there is to pack as much processing power into as low a price as we can.”
The new batch of devices isn’t just focused on low prices. Amazon is also adding a higher priced Kindle e-reader, the Kindle Voyage, with a 300-pixels-per-inch screen that is the sharpest yet. The highest-price version of the Voyage, which comes with wireless connectivity, will sell for $269 without ads.
“A lot of our customers are focused on us inventing,” Limp said. “To invent often requires a higher price point because you are going to try to push the edge of technology.”
Amazon revamped its lineup, introducing six devices — three new Fire tablets and three new Kindle e-readers — which it showed off Wednesday at a media briefing in New York. All the new devices can be preordered now, with delivery in October.
The company also updated the operating system that runs its Fire tablets, which includes the ASAP feature it has on its Fire TV devices. That feature anticipates videos customers might want to watch and preloads them so they’ll stream faster.
And Amazon debuted the Fire HD Kids Edition, a lower cost Fire tablet that comes with a two-year warranty to replace the device if it’s broken, no questions asked.
“If your child breaks your tablet, you get a new one. It’s that simple,” said Nate Glissmeyer, a director at Amazon Devices.
NEW DEVICES, NEW PRICES
Amazon unveiled its latest lineup of tablet and e-readers. Here is the range of devices and the amount they’ll set you back.
With special offers (ads):
Kindle Paperwhite: $119
Kindle Paperwhite 3G: $189
Kindle Voyage: $199
Kindle Voyage 3G: $269
Fire HD 6: $99
Fire HD 7: $139
Fire HDX 8.9: $379
Fire HDX 8.9 4G: $479
Without special offers
Kindle Paperwhite: $139
Kindle Paperwhite 3G: $209
Kindle Voyage: $219
Kindle Voyage 3G: $289
Fire HD 6: $114
Fire HD 7: $154
Fire HDX 8.9: $394
Fire HDX 8.9 4G: $494
Source: MCT Information Services