Amazon has updated its range of Kindle e-book readers with four new devices. Three share a similar design to previous Kindles, while the fourth - the Kindle Fire - is an Android-based tablet. The two current Kindle devices - now renamed the Kindle Keyboard and the Kindle Keyboard 3G - will remain on sale.
Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com founder and CEO, said “Kindle Fire brings together all of the things we've been working on at Amazon for over 15 years into a single, fully-integrated service for customers. With Kindle Fire, you have instant access to all the content, free storage in the Amazon Cloud, the convenience of Amazon Whispersync, our revolutionary cloud-accelerated web browser, the speed and power of a state-of-the-art dual-core processor, a vibrant touch display with 16 million colors in high resolution, and a light 14.6 ounce design that's easy to hold with one hand - all for only $199. We're offering premium products, and we're doing it at non-premium prices.”
The lowest-priced Kindle now sells for £89 in the UK. It’s smaller than current devices and lacks a QWERTY keyboard but still has a 6-inch electronic ink display and WiFi connectivity.
The Kindle Touch and Kindle Touch 3G are only available to pre-order in the USA. They also have monochrome electronic ink displays, although these displays are touch-sensitive. All three US-spec versions of these new devices will display special offers and sponsored screensavers when users aren’t reading; non-sponsored devices will be available at a higher price.
The $199 Kindle Fire is based on the Android operating system, using a 7-inch colour touch-screen, a dual-core processor and a cloud-based browser called Amazon Silk. Amazon is promoting the device alongside its Amazon Prime service, which provides unlimited, commercial-free streaming of movies and TV shows. The retailer has also arranged partnerships that include exclusive graphic novels, interactive magazines and newspapers. It’ll be available from 15th November in the US; there’s no news about UK availability at the moment.