HTC One preorder, Fire HD LTE sales begin April 5
AT&T revealed today that a new pair of devices will be available for puchase and use on its networks soon. Starting April 5, AT&T retail stores will be carrying the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 with a two-year subsidized price. Additionally, preorders of the HTC One smartphone will begin on the same day.
Amazon adds X-Ray functionality to popular TV shows
Amazon has updated the X-Ray feature of its Instant Video service to now include television shows. The update will allow users to view IMDB information for individual episodes of programs, including the names of actors, what other shows they have appeared in, and other similar content. Expanding what the company has done to movies in the last six months since the feature's launch, X-Ray is available to use for a number of popular TV shows on the Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD, and the Amazon Instant Video app on the Wii U.
Device rumor follows recent price drops
Amazon has denied rumors that it is building a sub-$100 version of its 7-inch Kindle Fire HD. A report stated that the retailer would be putting the tablet, complete with a 1280x800 resolution and TI processor like the existing 7-inch Kindle Fire uses, into production and ready to ship later this year, something that Amazon claims is not happening.
Wi-Fi version sees $30 cut, 4G model slashed by $100
On the heels of an announcement expanding the availability of the Kindle Fire, Amazon has said that it is cutting the price on the 8.9-inch version of the tablet. The Wi-Fi only version now costs $269, a $30 reduction. The 4G wireless model now begins at $399, a $100 cut from the previous $499 retail.
Promotion requires Amazon Student Prime membership
Amazon is offering a discount on its large Kindle Fire HD 8.9 for students, ahead of the winter term. The offer, lasting for the entire month of January, grants Amazon Student Members with an active Prime account a discount of $50 off the tablet, the same as a one-day deal the retailer held in mid-December.
Kindle products are top sellers on Amazon
Amazon released information on its sales during the holiday period on Thursday, noting that the e-retailer had claimed the top spot in customer satisfaction for holiday shopping. Amazon also noted that its Kindle products -- particularly the Kindle Fire HD devices -- were the best selling products on the site once again, though the retailer declined again to provide specific sales figures. Amazon's other Kindle products -- the Kindle and Kindle Paperwhite -- were among the retailer's top selling devices as well.
Stylus-enabled new Note tablet could take on iPad mini
Rumors that Samsung is preparing to roll out a 7.x-inch version of its line of Galaxy Note devices received a boost today, as a device with those specifications showed up in the logs of GLBenchmark. The benchmarking site's logs show a Samsung device with the codename GT-N5100. That device appears to run on a 1.6GHz Exynos 4412 processor, with a screen resolution of 1280x800.
Child-friendly walled garden FreeTime Unlimited support also added
Amazon has updated its Kindle Fire HD 7-inch tablet to include a number of new features. Swipe support, the camera app that previously appeared on the 8.9-inch version, and the addition of the child-friendly Kindle FreeTime Unlimited service have been put into the latest over-the-air upgrade, putting the handheld's operating system at version 7.2.2
Air Patriot for mobile, SmartGlass for Xbox on iOS
While it is not uncommon for companies that compete with Apple to release apps for its wildly successful iOS platform (for example, Google's many iOS apps), it was still something of an odd coincidence that two other would-be Apple rivals in the mobile space, particularly in the tablet segment -- Amazon and Microsoft -- both released new apps for iOS today. Amazon has brought its own in-house game Air Patriots to iOS and Android (along with a slightly different version for the Kindle Fire HD), and Microsoft has unveiled SmartGlass for Xbox on iOS.
Amazon effectively calls iPad mini pricing 'ballsy'
[Update: Amazon's front page no longer features the comparison] Amazon is taking the fight to Apple, using the front page of its popular site to call out Apple's new iPad mini as overpriced for the features it delivers compared to Amazon's Kindle Fire HD. Visitors to Amazon's front page will now see a quote from a tech blog calling Apple "ballsy" for pricing its 7.9-inch iPad mini as much as $130 more than competing seven-inch devices. Below, a small chart compares the features of the two devices and pronounces the Kindle Fire HD as the device that delivers "much more for much less."
Timing suggests consumers waited before buying
Amazon has revealed that it saw increased sales for the Kindle Fire HD after Apple presented the iPad mini on Tuesday. Sales of the $200 device rose dramatically on the Wednesday after the Apple event, to a level that caused a spokesperson for the retailer to confirm it as the "biggest day of sales since launch."
FreeTime prevents access to unsuitable content, limits usage
Amazon has released an update for the Kindle Fire HD. Alongside the optimizations to performance and functionality included in a usual software update, the change to version 7.1.5 adds in the Kindle FreeTime mode, a walled garden interface designed for children to use without the need for parental supervision.
Amazon said to be in serious talks with TI over mobile chip business
Amazon is reportedly in Ďadvanced negotiationsí with Texas Instruments to buy out its mobile processor business, according to TNW. If the report is accurate, such a deal could be said to be in the Ďbillions of dollards,í but would help Amazon gain more control over the design of future devices. Amazon is TIís largest customer and uses its mobile processors throughout its Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD tablets.
Kindle hardware sold at cost, so Amazon breaks even
E-retail giant Amazon makes no profit on the sales of its Kindle Fire HD tablet or its Kindle Paperwhite e-reader. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos confirmed this in an interview with the BBC today, making a point to highlight the differences between Amazon's device strategy and that of tablet market leader Apple, as well as most manufacturers of Android-powered tablets. The company's sales strategy for its hardware is in keeping with Bezos' goal, stated when Amazon unveiled the new devices, that Amazon wants to make money when people use their devices, not when they buy them.
Despite the Amazon skin, new Kindle Fire impresses
At AT&T's Unwrapped event, Electronista got to spend a little bit of not-quite-hands-on time with the Kindle Fire HD 8.9, the bigger brother to the Internet retailer's Kindle Fire HD 7. The new line of Kindle Fires are Amazon's attempt at realizing CEO Jeff Bezos' goal of having "the best tablet at any price." They don't quite get there, but Amazon has managed to produce a sleek and powerful device that's sure to satisfy its customers, if not those looking for a bit more control over their tablet experience.
Amazon takes on Google Nexus 7
After dominating the e-book reader market and making a successful foray into the Android tablet arena, Amazon recently expanded its mobile device lineup. Price was arguably the most significant factor driving Kindle Fire sales, however the budget tablet has since been overshadowed by competing devices with superior specs for the same price. Is the new seven-inch Kindle Fire HD "the best tablet at any price," as Amazon claims? We'll attempt to find out in our full review.
New Kindle Fire accounts for 11 percent of Kindle traffic
Just a week and a half after it began shipping to customers, Amazon's Kindle Fire HD accounts for 11 percent of all Kindle web traffic. This according to Chitika Insights, which conducted a traffic study for the older Kindle Fire, the Kindle Fire HD, and Google's Nexus 7. While the new Kindle Fire appears to be off to a fast start, Google's 7-inch tablet seems to have outpaced both of Amazon's offerings.
Over half would switch to iPad Mini if released
A survey claims that nearly half of Americans are "unimpressed" by the Kindle Fire HD. The study of 2,103 people conducted by CouponCodes4U saw 45-percent dismissing the updated tablet, while 55-percent claimed to like the look of it. Of the unimpressed, 45-percent preferred a "larger screened tablet", 39-percent said it didn't match up to competitors, and 11-percent claimed it was the lack of apps.
Barnes & Noble roll out light weight tablets, with Android ICS
Barnes & Noble has launched the latest salvo in it ongoing e-reader and tablet war with Amazon by releasing its new Nook HD+ and Nook HD tablets. The Nook HD+ is aimed at tackling the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD with a 9-inch display. The new Nook HD shares the same 7-inch screen dimensions as Amazonís 7-inch Kindle Fire HD. Both sets of devices from the two companies also share the same dual-core Texas Instruments OMAP 4470 processor.
iPad-sized tablets to ship 74.3 million units
Seven-inch tablets like Amazon's Kindle Fire HD and Google's Nexus 7 are expected to see significant shipment increases this year, which if translated into actual sales could see non-Apple slates taking almost a third of the overall tablet market. This according to IHS iSuppli, which announced its estimates for the 2012 tablet market today. Apple's iPad is still expected to dominate the market on the whole, but iSuppli's estimates indicate that the Cupertino company is likely to face mounting competition as the sector expands.
Dissection shows cleaner internal layout, unimproved battery
The seven-inch version of the Kindle Fire HD has been found to be a reasonably repairable tablet. The teardown of Amazon's latest tablet iteration by iFixit was shown to be internally different to the non-HD Kindle Fire, and with most components being relatively easy to access and replace, scored 7 out of 10 for repairability.
Revamped Amazon tablet optional for next day delivery
Amazon has begun shipping the 16GB model of the 7-inch version of its new Kindle Fire HD tablet. The e-retail giant's product page for the 7-inch tablet shows the 16GB model as in-stock and available for delivery as early as tomorrow. The 32GB model, according to the product page, will not be available until October 25.
Amazon offers users opt-out option on ad-supported Kindle Fire HDs
Amazon has backtracked on its decision to include non-removable ads and special offerson the lock screen and home screen of its new Kindle Fire HD tablets. Following a negative reaction to its decision to include the ads without an opt-out option, the company has reversed course and decided to allow users to opt out of the ads for a $15 fee.
Fire HD should make November 20 release date, assuming no issues
According to preorder confirmation emails, Amazon's Kindle Fire HD 8.9-inch 4G tablet has yet to be approved by the FCC for sale. FCC approval is required for all wireless communication products, to assure safe operation that does not interfere with other devices, or broadcasts nearby on the spectrum. Amazon its accepting pre-orders now and is anticipating shipment on November 20.