Amazon changes the game in tablet market with Kindle Fire HD pricing

Amazon changes the game in tablet market with Kindle Fire HD pricing

Summary: Amazon has presented what is arguably the most competitive device and pricing scale in the tablet market yet.

TOPICS: Amazon, 4G, Mobility, Tablets
Credit: Rachel King, ZDNet

SANTA MONICA, CALIF. -- Amazon debuted the new Kindle Fire HD series before the media during an invite-only event in Southern California on Thursday, essentially disrupting the entire tablet market in the span of an hour and a half.

That's because the Amazon has presented what is arguably the most competitive devices and associated pricing schemes in this growing market yet.

While commenting that up until now the standard price for a tablet has been $499, CEO Jeff Bezos addressed the elephant in the room (the iPad) by literally displaying an elephant on screen to some laughter from the audience.

The Kindle Fire HD 7" with 16GB will retail for $199 and ships September 14, while the Kindle Fire HD 8.9" with 16GB will really only be a little bit more at $299, shipping November 20.

Amazon is also turning things up a notch with a 4G LTE version of the 8.9-inch tablet at $499. That is tied along to a $49.99 per year package deal that is comprised of 250MB of data per month along with 20GB of cloud storage and a $10 Amazon Appstore credit.

While 250MB isn't really much at all for streaming the kind of video content being touted on the Kindle Fire HD, $50 per year for 4G access is really remarkable. For business customers who might not be as concerned with all of the video and music-related services, that is also more appealing to their technology budgets.

Even the $299 Wi-Fi only edition looks more appealing now to both enterprise and educational customers. On the business front, Bezos repeatedly drummed in about how the Kindle Fire HD comes with a major boost to productivity and email features -- not to mention the X-Ray super search function that pinpoints terms and characters in everything from novels to textbooks to movies.

Although the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD is ever-so-slightly smaller than the 9.7-inch iPad 3 in display real estate, that difference is hardly relevant when you take the pricing and functionality into account.

If and when Apple announces the next iPad, it is going to have to answer the play put forward by Amazon and go beyond -- especially if it wants to continue selling a $499 Wi-Fi only tablet, which just seems implausible at this point.


Topics: Amazon, 4G, Mobility, Tablets

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  • It is great

    But still, why do I need a tablet?
    • because apple says so...

    • Only you can answer that

      Just don't expect everybody else's answer to be the same as yours.
      Michael Kelly
  • 250MB of data

    It could be ok, but is there a way to block app update when not on wifi?
  • Compare to Nexus7 & is it rootable?

    1. In terms of hardware, How is it compared to Nexus7?
    2. Is it possible to install regular Android on this device?

    Thanks for any info.
    • I would not rely on that

      Amazon will do their best to lock the new kindles down, because they do not make money when people use the Google Play Market.

      Eventually a method to Root and/or install a new Android Rom will come along, but it will be incomplete for quite some time.
  • Winning at chicken

    "arguably the most competitive devices and associated pricing schemes in this growing market yet."

    Unfortunately, that distinction isn't going to last very long. So let's give credit where credit is due: Unlike certain other tablet makers who have announced recently, Amazon had the guts to actually announce their pricing. Now that they have, at least one other is likely to stick their head up, and then maybe another one.

    Perhaps this will break the logjam of Mystery Tablets that are coming Real Soon Now at a price to be named later.
    Robert Hahn
    • A little bit longer I think

      I suspect some of the other tablet makers will wait until Apple makes their announcements.

      There is no benefit to them releasing their pricing before that. People who are waiting for those devices will have to wait until the end of October anyhow.

      Next year should see some very interesting price wars.
    • I hope Amazon wins a lot more than chicken

      I hope they win a ton of marketshare from Apple.

      Then I hope MS Surface is released and they win a ton of marketshare from Apple.

      Then I hope more Google / Motorola tablets are released and they win a ton of marketshare from Apple.

      Amazon, Google, and MS will win big if this happens. Consumers will win huge if this happens because they will finally have real choice and even those that choose Apple will end up with better products because Apple will be forced to release something better than the iPad IE (stagnating as badly as IE has).

      Only Apple will lose but even they'll do okay with their $100 billion in the bank. I won't shed a single tear over Apple's lost marketshare. Heck, I don't even want them to lose profits. Let them charge $5,000 / iPad so that people who really need Nothing But Apple can still enjoy their fruit. Apple profits, MS profits, Amazon profits, Samsung profits, Google profits, consumers are happy with their innovative products, it is truly a win-win-win-win-win-win situation.
  • Nice offerings, nice prices

    But the real issue with bigger Android tablets is the lack of tablet specific apps, compared to Apple. I hope that Amazon can sell enough of these Fire HD to convince developers to code for Android 4.0 tablet size apps. If this happens, the end is near for iPad.
  • Amazon and the forced €49 bribe for a Kindle that cannot read in Italian
    ERA onlus