Amazon Announces New Products, Cheaper Kindles
September 6, 2012

It’s Official – Amazon Announces New Products, Cheaper Kindles

Michael Harper for — Your Universe Online

Amazon announced a handful of new products today during their press event in Los Angeles, bolstering their Kindle line as well as introducing some new services.

Jeff Bezos announced 3 new versions of their e-reader Kindles, including the brand new Kindle named Paperwhite, which marries the famous e-ink display with a crisp backlit display. These new Kindles are said to feature blacker blacks, whiter whites and an insane battery life.

An upgraded version of their existing 7-inch Kindle Fire was also included, as well as 2 brand new additions to the Fire line, a 7-inch and 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD.

Amazon also announced a price drop for their existing, base model Kindle, from $79 to $69.

The Kindle Paperwhite models will come in either Wi-Fi or 3G versions, for $119 and $179, respectively. In addition to introducing a bright, crisp new display, Paperwhite also increases the pixel density, introducing 62% more pixels than previous Kindle models.

In a shocking announcement, Bezos also claims these new Kindles can go for 8 weeks before needing a recharge.

The existing Kindle Fire had been upgraded with 2 times the RAM and a reported 40% faster performance and a longer battery life.

Amazon didn´t include many details during the event about this upgraded Fire, but they were able to drop the price to $159 for the 16GB model. Those looking to snag one of these newly upgraded Kindle Fire tablets can place their pre-orders today. Shipments will begin next week, September 14th.

The big news of the event, of course, was the announcement of those long-rumored new Kindle Fire Tablets.

The Kindle Fire HD, which comes in a 7-inch and 8.9-inch variety, offer features you would expect on a tablet dubbed “HD.”

The 8.9-inch HD, for example, boats a 1920x1200, 254ppi display, complete with a “Laminated Touch Sensor,” which according to Amazon, not only provides a better image but also reduces glare by up to 25%. Elsewhere in the 8.9-inch HD, Amazon has packed in a OMAP 4470 processor from Texas Instruments, a chip they say outperforms the Tegra 3. The Fire HD also ships with stereo speakers, improved Wi-Fi networking, thanks to a 2.4GHz/5GHz receiver, and 2 antennas.

Amazon is also bringing their Whispersync services to multiple aspects of these new tablets, such as audiobooks and games. Now, Fire HD users can start an audiobook or video game on any device and pick up where they left off on another device.

Amazon also announced an HD-exclusive feature called “Immersion Reading,” which offers readers the choice to hear a professional narrator read their books along with them.

Starting at 16GB, the 7-inch Kindle Fire HD starts at $199, while the 16GB, 8.9-inch Fire HD starts at just $299.

In a bit of a shock move, Bezos announced a second 8.9-inch HD tablet, packed with 32GB of storage and 4G LTE.

When users buy this Fire HD, they sign up for a new data plan which includes 250MB of data a month, 20GB of cloud storage and a nice little $10 Appstore credit. The shocking part about this announcement are the prices: $499 for the tablet, and only $49.99 a year for the data plan. Apple´s base model, 16GB Wi-Fi iPad starts at $499, making this price point an aggressive move on the part of Amazon.

Pre-orders begin today, and these new HD tablets will arrive literally just in time for the holidays, November 20th.

Though they had been rumored to release a new smartphone, Jeff Bezos instead revealed new tablet and service options.

Apple is holding their own press event next week for their new iPhone, but are also expected to hold a second press event in October to release the rumored iPad Mini. Today´s announcements from Amazon could be seen as a direct call to Apple as Amazon leverages their tablets against the best-selling iPad.