Amazon's 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD comes to UK, Europe

Along with Japan, Europe is getting its hands on the Wi-Fi only version, as the US cuts its costs.

Amazon has released 16GB and 32GB versions of the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD in a number of countries in Europe.

Europeans can now purchase the larger of the two Fire HD tablets from Amazon's online stores in the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain.

The 32GB Kindle Fire HD is available in the UK for £259.00 and €299 in other European markets, while the 16GB version will come in at £229 in the UK and €269 in other European countries.

Image: Amazon

As well as the European launch, Amazon on Wednesday released the tablet in Japan and announced a $30 price cut in the US , taking the tablet from $299 to $269 for the 16GB Wi-Fi version and $399 for the 32GB 4G version. The 4G version has not been released to European markets.

Amazon's 7-inch and 8.9 inch Kindle Fire HDs began shipping in September last year in the US and helped drive its worldwide share of the tablet market to nine percent in the third quarter of 2012, making it the third largest supplier by shipments behind Samsung and Apple, according to IDC.

The price of the 16GB 8.9-inch device could make it an appealing alternative in Europe, at least for consumers not too concerned by the 1920x1200 resolution display at 254ppi. It's available on Amazon UK for about £150 less than Google's popular Nexus 10 , which offers a higher resolution 2,560 x 1,600 pixel display at 300ppi, and only a £20 pounds more than the Google Nexus 7 .

Amazon attributed the price drop in the US to lower costs resulting from its larger production volumes.