Amazon (AMZN) on Thursday began shipping the Kindle Fire HD 8.9″, the larger version of its popular Kindle Fire tablet line. The Kindle Fire HD 8.9″, which sells for $299, features an 8.9-inch display with a resolution of 1920×1200 pixels, a TI OMAP 4470 processor and a front-facing HD camera, and it measures in at just 8.8 millimeters thin and weighs 20 ounces. Amazon says that it will start shipping the LTE-capable version of the tablet, which sells for $499, sometime next week. Anyone who hasn’t pre-ordered the new tablet will have to grab it at Best Buy (BBY) quickly, however, as AllThingsD notes that the device is already backordered to December 3rd. The company’s full press release is posted below. More →
Amazon (AMZN) clearly isn’t sweating the iPad mini. Per AllThingsD, Amazon says that the iPad mini’s launch day “was the $199 Kindle Fire HD’s biggest day of sales since launch” and that sales of the device tripled week over week. Of course, since Amazon never releases sales figures for the Kindle Fire it’s impossible to tell how well its tablet is selling relative to Apple’s (AAPL) devices. All the same, it’s not hard to imagine that some potential iPad mini customers were spooked by its $329 price tag and instead opted for the $199 Kindle Fire HD.
Amazon (AMZN) certainly can’t compete with Apple (AAPL) in terms of profitability — Apple earned $8.2 billion last quarter while Amazon posted a $275 million loss — but the retailer can go toe-to-toe with Apple when it comes to tiny tablets. As picked up by AllThingsD, Amazon has updated its homepage with an ad that takes aim directly at Apple’s new iPad mini. According to Amazon’s chart, the Kindle Fire HD tablet tops Apple’s new iPad when it comes to display resolution, pixel density, the ability to watch high-definition movies, sound quality and Wi-Fi speed. In the end, Amazon says the Kindle Fire gives users “much more for much less;” the Kindle Fire HD costs $199 while Apple’s iPad mini starts at $329.
Consumers aren’t nearly excited about Amazon’s (AMZN) latest tablet as they were for the original. The Kindle Fire was the first tablet aside from the iPad that saw widespread success, capturing 14% of the tablet market in its debut quarter. The Kindle Fire HD doesn’t seem to have the same effect on consumers, though. According to a study conducted by CouponCodes4U, nearly half, or 45%, of those polled are “unimpressed” with the Fire HD. In addition, 54% of respondents said they would opt for an iPad mini instead of Amazon’s tablet.
Ripping apart new gadgets is what the guys over at iFixit do best, and the latest device to get the teardown treatment is the 7-inch Amazon (AMZN) Kindle Fire HD. Unlike the third-generation iPad that received a repairability rating of 2/10 (a score of 10 is the easiest), Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD received a 7/10 from the iFixit team. iFixit praised the ease with which the Kindle Fire HD’s rear case can be removed, the lack of adhesive attached to the tablet’s battery and use of mostly Phillips screws as factors that contributed to the higher than average repair score. But just because the Fire HD is easy to take apart doesn’t mean hacking it will be a breeze, however. There are murmurs over at XDA Developers that suggest the Fire HD’s bootloaders are locked down by tougher security measures found inside the Texus Instrument OMAP processors. Still, we doubt that will deter any tinkerers from trying to crack the new Fire HD. More →
Friday isn’t just iPhone 5 preorder day — it’s also the first day that Amazon’s (AMZN) brand new Kindle Fire HD tablet goes on sale. The 8.9-inch version of the sleek new slate won’t be available until next month, but the 7-inch model can now be purchased on Amazon’s website for just $199. The new Kindle Fire HD features a 1,280 x 800-pixel high-definition display, Dolby audio, a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, a front-facing HD webcam and access to Amazon’s Prime library of streaming movies and TV shows. The non-HD model of Amazon’s Kindle Fire is also available starting Friday for just $159.
Amazon’s (AMZN) Kindle Fire HD could prove to be a popular stocking stuffer, as Digitimes’ research arm projects that Amazon will ship 5 million Fire HD tablets in the second half of 2012. Digitimes Research analyst James Wang writes that the 7-inch Fire HD will see the most action this year, with estimated shipments totaling 2.9 million by the end of 2012. Wang expects that the more expensive 8.9-inch Fire HD will ship an estimated 2.2 million units by the end of the year, meaning that demand for the larger tablet will be only slightly less than demand for the 7-inch model. More →
Amazon’s (AMZN) Kindle Fire tablet burst onto the scene ahead of the holidays last year and despite increasing competition in the tablet market, Amazon reeled in 22% of the tablet market in the United States with just one model. Amazon’s original Kindle Fire is the best tablet in the world at the sub-$200 price point according to the company, but Amazon seemingly aimed much higher with its new tablet lineup. More →
Amazon (AMZN) knows that not everyone wants to be bothered by advertisements as they get ready to relax with a cup of tea and a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey, so the company’s support team confirmed last week that users would be able to opt out of “Special Offers” on its new line of tablets. Later that day however, Amazon PR said this would not be the case and those who purchase a new tablet from Amazon will be stuck with ads forever. Potential buyers were none too happy with the news, of course, and a flurry of complaints has prompted the online retail giant to reconsider. “With Kindle Fire HD there will be a special offers opt-out option for $15,” Amazon said in a statement given to TechCrunch. “We know from our Kindle reader line that customers love our special offers and very few people choose to opt out. We’re happy to offer customers the choice.” Amazon’s new 7-inch Kindle Fire HD tablet will begin shipping this Friday and the 8.9-inch version will launch in November. More →
Last year, Amazon (AMZN) turned the tablet market on its head by releasing the Kindle Fire, which featured a then-unthinkable $199 price tag and… not too much else. That’s not to say the Kindle Fire was a disaster in any way, it’s more that it was a low-price tablet in both name and in design that featured good-but-not-great hardware and that lacked key features such as a camera and a microphone. The Kindle Fire’s killer price point helped it move a lot of units over the holiday season, but its sales reportedly sank quickly once Apple (AAPL) released its new iPad in the spring. More →
Amazon (AMZN) on Wednesday announced sequels to its popular Kindle Fire tablet, dubbed the Kindle Fire HD. The new tablet line will feature a 7-inch or an 8.9-inch display with a resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels. The 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD will sell for $299 and start shipping on November 20th. The smaller version of the Kindle Fire HD with a 7-inch screen will start at $199 and will ship on September 14th.