Business World

Friday 18 August 2017

Amazon opens Fire on Apple's tablet domination

Technology

Alistair Barr

ONline giant Amazon unveiled its long-awaited tablet computer yesterday -- with a $199 (€147) price tag potentially cheap enough to give the iPad some serious competition.

Amazon launched the Kindle Fire, a tablet with a seven-inch screen, free data storage in the cloud and a new internet browser called Amazon Silk.

Speaking at the event in New York, the company's CEO, Jeff Bezos, also unveiled the Kindle Touch, an e-reader with no buttons and a touch screen starting at $99, along with a basic Kindle e-reader at a new price of $79.

"These are premium products at non-premium prices," he said. "We are going to sell millions of these."

The Kindle Fire marks Amazon's first foray into the tablet market, which has so far been dominated by Apple's iPad. But with its low price -- most tablets retail for around $500 -- and the Kindle brand, analysts believe Amazon's product could represent legitimate competitor to the iPad.

The Kindle Fire will go on sale in the US on November 15. A release date and prices have not been set for here.

It's about half the size of the iPad, a similar size to the Barnes & Nobles Nook Colour tablet. But while Barnes & Noble sees the Nook Colour as a jazzed-up e-reader, Amazon has ambitions for the Fire as a platform for games, films and other applications.

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