Amazon hits Apple iPad with Kindle Fire
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Amazon.com Inc unveiled larger Kindle Fire tablets on Thursday, challenging Apple Inc's dominant iPad with lower prices and a trove of digital content that Amazon hopes will win it a bigger share of the booming tablet market.
The world's largest Internet retailer lifted the lid on devices with price tags ranging from $159 to $599. 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 after the iPad.
Amazon's expanding lineup also intensifies a battle with Google Inc and Microsoft Corp, 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 -- from games and books to video -- as possible.
Apple, by contrast, makes much of its profit from hardware sales. It sells a single-sized iPad often touted as best-in-breed, at costs ranging from $399 to $829, depending on storage capacity, screen resolution and wireless connectivity.
Amazon, which began as an Internet bookstore, will begin shipping on Nov 20 an 8.9-inch version with a high-definition screen, that works off either WiFi or fourth-generation wireless broadband, known as 4G. The costliest version, at $599 for 64 gigabytes of storage, undercuts the top-of-the-line $829 iPad.
Their first Kindle Fire tablet was a device that said 'See, we can tie all this together, but it wasn't a strong enough device, said Forrester Research analyst James McQuivey.
Now they've really come ready to show that their device line-up is going to be as good as their service line-up. They're tying those two things together, and at a price that is very very hard to compete with. It's going to push everybody's else's price buttons -- including Apple's.
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