Jeff Bezos CEO of Amazon introduces new Kindle Paperwhite during a press conference on September 06, 2012 in Santa Monica, California. AFP Photo/Joe Klamar
Amazon.com unveiled larger Kindle Fire tablets on Thursday, challenging Apple’s dominant iPad with lower prices and digital content that Amazon hopes will win it a bigger share of the tablet market.
The world’s largest Internet retailer lifted the lid on devices with prices ranging from $159 (R8,900) to $599.
Amazon will begin shipping on November 20 an 8.9-inch version with a high-definition screen, that works off either Wi-Fi or 4G. The costliest version, at $599 for 64 gigabytes of storage, undercuts the top-of-the-line $829 iPad.
The new tablets come with ads known as “special offers” that appear when screens are locked and in the corner of the home screen, helping Amazon keep prices low.
Last year, Amazon debuted a 7-inch tablet at roughly half the price of the $499 iPad. In just 10 months, it became the No. 2 tablet in the US, after the iPad.
Amazon’s expanding lineup also intensifies a battle with Google and Microsoft, who this year entered their own competitors in the booming tablet arena.
The latest aggressive pricing move, and Amazon’s variety of gadgets, furthers its goal of getting Kindle tablets into the hands of as many buyers of its online content as possible.
The premium Kindle Fire HD has a 1920-by-1200 resolution screen, lagging Apple’s so-called “retina” display. At 8.9 inches, it is also slightly smaller than the iPad’s screen. At the other end of the spectrum, the cheapest 7-inch WiFi-only Fire goes for $159. Apple’s lowest iPad price tag is $499.