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September 28, 2011

Amazon Enters The Tablet Market by Launching $199 Kindle Fire

Amazon just put the rest of the tablet world on notice by pricing the Kindle Fire at $199, less than half of the $500 mark that the industry has gravitated toward as a standard price. By doing so, Amazon is redefining for consumers just how much they need to pay for a quality tablet.

The new device, priced at $199, may have the biggest impact on other makers of tablets and e-readers, such as Samsung and Barnes & Noble Inc, which makes Nooks

"It's a Nook killer," said Scot Wingo, chief executive of ChannelAdvisor, which helps merchants sell more on websites including "And it's a very compelling offering if you're not in the Apple ecosystem already."

The Kindle Fire tablet has a 7-inch screen, free data storage over the Internet and a new browser called Amazon Silk. Amazon expects shipments to start on Nov. 15.

Amazon also introduced the Kindle Touch, an e-reader with no buttons and a touch screen starting at $99. And it cut the price of its basic Kindle e-reader to $79 from $99.

"These are premium products at non-premium prices," Chief Executive Jeff Bezos said. "We are going to sell millions of these."To demonstrate the Kindle Fire, Bezos pulls up a chair. He proudly shows off a lightning-fast Web browser that runs on Amazon’s EC2 cloud computing engine and Amazon’s version of the Android app store, with over 10,000 games, e-mail programs, shopping guides, and the like.

However The Kindle Fire and Kindle Touch are being launched in the U.S. only with no detail on when it plans to offer the new devices abroad.

A Amazon still lacks a convincing global strategy compared with Apple,” writes Sarah Rotman-Epps at Forrester. “The iPad is available in 64 countries, and we estimate that 50 percent of iPad sales in 2011 are outside the US.”

This is now a pattern with Amazon. It took two years for the earlier Kindle to make it outside the U.S.. Amazon is also yet to launch its App Store and video service outside North America.