Amazon's Kindle Fire HD 8.9 inch tablet ships on Thursday and the 4G version lands next week. What remains to be seen is how the Kindle Fire HD winds up jousting with Apple's iPad mini for wallet share.
The Kindle Fire HD 8.9 inch version goes for $299 and will be sold at Amazon, Best Buy, Staples and other retailers. The 4G version, which includes a $49.99 LTE plan, ships next week.
Now it's a hard call to say that the large Kindle Fire HD competes with the Apple iPad mini, which starts at $329. However, there is only so much technology dollars to go around. Consumers, prosumers and even a few corporate technology buyers will face the following options when making their tablet calls:
Go cheap with something like Nexus 7;
Venture up the Android tablet stack for a more expensive, but larger Samsung tablet;
Go with the hardware-meets-service model from Amazon at good prices;
Buy an iPad mini, which would be a no-brainer if it had a better screen resolution and a lower starting price;
Go with a Windows 8 tablet, which roughly speaking will cost you more but can replace laptops in some instances.
Simply put, these tablet decisions are difficult. Amazon will win its share of sales and so will the other players.
This tablet scrum is likely to be the main event for the holiday shopping season. Technology buyers have a lot of choices, but that also complicates the decision making.