Amazon updates tablets and lowers prices
One out of every three tablets sold last quarter was an Amazon tablet.
It’s a stat Amazon’s General Manager for Fire Tablets Kevin Keith cites when explaining why the company is doubling down on ultra-affordable tablets with lower prices, better features, and more design options.
Even as the tablet category shrinks, Amazon is making gains with its Android-based tablets, said Keith, and part of that success is due to “premium products at non-premium prices.”
It may also be because, at one point, Amazon was selling a Fire Tablet six-pack for $250.
The company no longer sells bundles like that, but the 8 GB, $49, 7-inch Fire tablet that made it possible is still going strong.
On Wednesday, Amazon introduced a new, thinner (by 1mm) and lighter Fire 7. The screen resolution is unchanged, but, Keith contends, has improved clarity.
It will also handle connectivity better, with new, dual band Wi-Fi. It’s available in black, blue, red, and yellow.
Amazon also updated its 8-inch Fire HD 8 with a slightly new design. Screen resolution (1280×800), battery life (12 hours) and CPU (Quad-core 1.3 Ghz) are all the same as on the previous HD 8, The price, however, dropped to $79.99 (down from $89.99).
The Fire 7 also forms the basis for Amazon’s other popular, entry-level tablet offering, the Kids Edition Tablets.
Those devices have thick, colorful bumpers, a 2-year guarantee and 1-year subscription to FreeTime Unlimited, a kid-friendly content and app offering. The 16 GB model starts at $99.99.
There’s also now a larger Fire HD 8 Kids Edition. It starts at $129.99 for a 32 GB model and includes all the Kids Edition essentials like the bumper, guarantee, and FreeTime Unlimited.
Amazon also announced that it’s finally bringing the Alexa digital assistant tablet experience to UK customers on new devices and as an update for older Fire tablets.
Both the Fire HD 8 and Fire 7 include Alexa, but neither of the updated tablets, which ship on June 7, support Alexa’s new calling feature.