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Amazon Lowers Prices of Kindle Fire HD 8.9, Further Pressuring Other Tablet Makers

Amazon Lowers Prices of Kindle Fire HD 8.9, Further Pressuring Other Tablet Makers

It’s pretty clear that the tablet market is being subsumed by low-cost entries, just as the PC market was previously by the netbook. Leading the race to the bottom is Amazon, of course, which today lowered the price of its full-sized Kindle Fire HD 8.9 tablets pretty dramatically.

Now, the base Kindle Fire HD 8.9 with 16 GB storage costs just $269 and the 4G LTE wireless version of the device (32 GB of storage) starts at just $399. Previously, a base Kindle Fire HD 8.9 cost $299 and the 4G version started at $499.

To put these prices in perspective, Apple’s iPad—which has just ceded control of the tablet market to Android-based devices like the Kindle Fire HD lineup—starts at an incredible, budget-busting $499 for that base 16 GB version. And an iPad with 4G LTE capabilities and 32 GB of storage will set you back an incredible $729. So Amazon’s devices costs $230 and $330 less than the equivalent iPads, respectively.

(Amazon offers other versions of the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 as well. For example, their non-LTE version comes in a 32 GB model, and you can get LTE with 64 GB for $499. So the price of the most expensive Kindle Fire HD 8.9—which includes LTE wireless and 64 GB of storage—is the same as the lowest-end iPad with no LTE and just 16 GB of storage. Granted this model comes with “Special Offers” sponsored screensavers that you can pay an additional $15 to remove.)

Additionally, Amazon announced that the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 is now available in the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Japan.

In my December review of the Kindle Fire HD 8.9, I recommended the device for people who prefer larger tablets. It’s certainly a better deal than the iPad in particular, and is generally cheaper than most other comparable Android-based tablets too. Google, for example, charges you fully $399 for a base 16 GB model of the Nexus 10, where the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 costs just $269. As for Windows-powered tablets, you know the story there as well: The Surface RT starts at $499, as do most other RT-based devices.

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