Amazon doubles down on tablets, launches two new models

Ever since Apple launched the iPad everyone from consumers to technology market analysts have asked, who will create something as successful in the tablet market? Well it took a while, but finally we’re starting to here about a company that’s giving Apple a challenge in the tablet market. That company is leading online retailer, Inc.

Amazon only launched their first tablet, the 7-inch Amazon Kindle Fire some 11 months ago, but they’re already reporting 22% of the current market share in the tablet space. In fact to this day the 7-inch Amazon Kindle Fire is still the best-selling single product in’s online history.

Naturally with their success Amazon has been subject to more than one rumor about future tablet products. The rumors, which started well before the Kindle Fire was actually released in November of 2011, talked of two tablets (a 7-inch model and a 10-inch model being released together) and after that didn’t come to fruition a second generation model with a 8.9-inch screen was reported to be in the works in early 2012.

All rumors aside it really was inevitable, Amazon was going to follow-up the Kindle Fire tablet with something else soon enough with all it’s initial success. And earlier this week we finally heard all about the new models.

New tablets live up to old rumors

Amazon on Thursday revealed the Amazon Kindle Fire HD and Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9-inch.

The Kindle Fire HD is a second generation 7-inch Kindle Fire tablet with improvements across the board like a higher-resolution display with 10-point multi-touch (first Fire only had 2-point/finger support), new sound from a two stereo speaker Dolby Audio system, front-facing HD camera, dual-band Wi-Fi for up to 40% faster speeds than the new iPad, 16GB and 32GB storage options (an improvement from the 8GB on the first Fire), and there is also a new 1.2 GHz dual-core ARM processor.

As for the Kindle Fire HD 8.9-inch it’s got a larger screen with 1920×1200 resolution as well as 10-point multi-touch going for it right off the bat, but that’s not even all of it. The Kindle Fire HD 8.9-inch tablet features the option for 4G LTE mobile broadband, a 1.5 GHz dual-core ARM processor that’s faster than the two 7-inch Kindle Fire’s, 32GB and 64GB storage options, front-facing HD camera, Dolby audio and two stereo speakers, and dual-band Wi-Fi.

 Pricing and availability

Understandably if you want the top-end Amazon Kindle Fire HD tablet (the 8.9-inch with 4G LTE) you’re going to pay more than the $199 the Kindle Fire series of tablets was introduced with. Amazon has priced their top-end model at the $499.99 mark, and if that’s too much you can get the Wi-Fi only Kindle Fire HD 8.9-inch tablet for $299.99. The prices just mentioned are for the base 32GB model, the 64GB 4G tablet is $599.99 and the 64GB Wi-Fi will be $369.99.

Now if you were a fan of the original Kindle Fire but what the new features of the Kindle Fire HD 7-inch Wi-Fi tablet you pay the same $199.99 Amazon launched the first-generation model with last year. That $199.99 get’s you the base 16GB model, but if you want the 32GB storage model you will need to pay $249.99.

Right now on you can pre-order either of the three new Kindle Fire HD models in their 16GB or 32GB options. Amazon is expecting to launch the first of the new Kindle Fire HD tablets on September 14, 2012 with the 16GB Wi-Fi only Kindle Fire HD 7-inch tablet. The model that will be released after that is the 32GB Wi-Fi 7-inch Fire HD in October 25, 2012. The 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD models will all be released on November 20, 2012.

As you can image the old Kindle Fire has been the subject of a price cut in the face of the new models. Right now you can pre-order a brand-new Amazon Kindle Fire 7-inch Wi-Fi tablet for $159.99 (Amazon is going to release the model on September 14, 2012). The $159 Amazon Kindle Fire should be a good seller during this years holiday shopping season.

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