Amazon takes on Apple with larger,cheaper Kindle Fires

The Internet retailer lifted the lid on devices with price tags ranging from $159 to $599

Written by Reuters | Published: September 8, 2012 1:47:19 am

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. 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 United States,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,resolution and wireless connectivity.

Amazon,which began as an Internet bookstore,will begin shipping on November 20 an 8.9-inch version with a high-definition screen,that works off either Wi-Fi or fourth-generation wireless broadband,known as 4G.

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