On Wednesday, Amazon held a press announcement in Southern California to announce the roadmap for Kindle device releases through the end of November. Coming in at a variety of price points, here is the new line-up:
The basic Kindle has been updated with better fonts, 15% faster page turns, and improved wi-fi. Oh, and they improved the price....the Kindle is now just $69 and is available now.
Amazon announced a new front-lit e-ink reader to compete with the Nook Glow-Touch. From the images we've seen and the demo on Wednesday it looks like a winner, and comes in almost $30 dollars less than the Nook at $119 for the Wi-Fi version. It is also available with 3G at $179. The PaperWhite will ship the first week of October.
Amazon announced a new HD version of their popular Fire tablet, bringing a faster processor and 720p video to the platform, while doubling memory capacity from 8GB to 16GB. The amazing thing was the announcement that the price would remain $199, and the original Fire would be upgraded slighly while reducing the price to $159. The 7" HD will begin shipping Sept. 14th.
The big news of the day was the announcement that they were "Going Big". Jeff Bezos and company announced an 8.9" tablet in the Fire line. Boasting 1080p video with HDMI output, 32GB of RAM and a processor that it claims has 2x the performance of the Tegra 3 Chipset, the Kindle Fire 8.9" HD is making a very strong play. The important part of this announcement isn't the specs though, it is price point. Starting at just $299 it is going to provide stiff competition to Apple's iPad line, coming in $200 lower than the entry level iPad. Amazon also announced a 4G LTE version of the 8.9" tablet, with the offer of 250MB of 4G data for just $50 a YEAR. Compared to the $25 monthly charge of the lowest priced Apple tablets and you have a solid counter punch to sway budget-minded consumers your way. While 250MB of data isn't much and there still has not been any announcement of other data plans, this could be huge for Amazon this holiday season. The 8.9" units will start shipping in late November.
We have all 3 new units on their way, and I'll post reviews as soon as possible.