Amazon unveils Kindle Fire HD

07 Sep 2012  |  Niall Johnson 

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled the Kindle Fire HD last night in San Diego, the latest attempt to take a bigger share of the tablet market away from Apple. The launch will mark the  first time that Amazon's tablet will be available in the UK.

The new model will come in a 7-inch and 8.9-inch version and will utilise Amazon's huge library of easy accessible content. Media reaction has been good with The New York Times describing the device as a serious rival to the iPad, with the emphasis on the upgrade between the original model and the HD version.

The device will feature a front-facing camera for video calls and boasts 'the fastest wi-fi available on a tablet'.

The two models will be available in the UK from 25th of October and will retail at a significantly lower price than Apple's tablet. The 7" Kindle Fire will be priced around £159 for the 32GB version, with the 16GB option going for £129.

Commenting on the news Mark Creighton, chief operating officer at Mindshare UK, said, "LTE Kindle Fire HD creates the most intuitive showcase of Amazon's broader service offerings within a Kindle device. By taking a longer term view of the lifetime value that can be generated across Amazon's suite of commercial opportunities on the new Kindle Fire, Amazon have launched into the market a far cheaper tablet, with key functionality that is comparable to the iPad.

"Where tablet computing is evolving  the ways that people consume media and content, the Kindle Fire HD is the first overt example of how connecting hardware to service offerings that drive ongoing commercial value enable Amazon to provide a competitive balance between tablet functionality and price point. The impact for publishers and advertisers is that a growth in Kindle market share and in tablet take up overall, increases the importance of building specific platforms and functionality that respond to tablet behaviour, rather than just PC behaviour.

"This also has implications for the power and potential of 'Google Play' (previously Google Android), where the growing penetration of Android enabled devices mean that publishers and advertisers can't choose just to be on the Apple platform, but need to build tablet applications that respond to the specific benefits of Android.

"As a consequence, Google are also beneficiaries of Kindle's increased consumer penetration which further extends the influence of Google in the wireless world.".

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