Amazon Introduces New Kindle And Bigger Version of the Fire
Technology Editor, CNBC.com
Amazon unveiled a new e-reader called the Kindle Paperwhite and a larger version of the Kindle Fire, named the Kindle Fire HD, Thursday.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos introduced the new mobile devices at a press event in Santa Monica, Calif., and said that both new devices will begin shipping within the next three months.
The new Kindle Fire HD, which comes in two different sizes, 8.9-inches or 7-inches, has faster wifi than its predecessor, 25 percent less glare on the display screen, better speakers and offers more memory, starting at 16GB.
The 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD with 16 GB of memory will sell for $299 and start shipping November 20. The 7-inch version with the same amount of memory will be priced at $199 and begin shipping September 14.
A Kindle Fire HD with 32 GB of memory and 4G LTE will be $499. This version of the device will also come with a data plan that offers 250 MB a month for $50 a year.
Amazon also upgraded the current version of the Kindle Fire, which will now have 40 percent more battery life, a faster processor, more memory and will price at $159.
The low price point of the new Kindle Fire HD and the price markdown of the current Kindle Fire are part of Amazon's plan to make moneyoff what users buy on the device, not the device itself. (Read More:Amazon's Risky Bet on Profit-Free Hardware)
"How are these prices possible?" Bezos said at the event. "We want to make money when people use our devices, not when people buy our devices."
The Kindle Paperwhite e-reader has a brighter, sharper, front-lit screen, a font changing feature and an adjustable size feature, which allows users to change the size of what appears on the display screen.
The new e-reader is thinner than the Kindle Touch, and has a battery life of up to eight weeks. The new e-reader is priced at $179 (3G version) and is 9mm thin, or about a third of an inch, and weighs 7.5 ounces.
Amazon's first Kindle Fire launched less than a year ago and sold for a mere $200. Since then Amazon's tablet has stolen 22 percent of the tablet market in the U.S., the company said last week.
The online retailer's latest product launch comes in the midst of a handful of other companies unveiling their newest mobile devices.
Wednesday, Nokia announced two new Lumia smartphones, and Google's Motorola Mobility launched three new Droid smartphones. Next week, Apple will is also hosting a press event where it isexpected to show off its latest iPhone.