Mobile and Wireless: Amazon's New Kindles Confront Apple, Google, Samsung in the Tablet Market
In what amounted to Amazon's biggest and most strategic connected-device announcement in its 18-year history, the online retailer and Web services provider Sept. 6 unveiled and demonstrated three new versions of its popular Kindle tablet PC. At a media event in Santa Monica, Calif., Amazon debuted an 8.9-inch, high-definition Kindle Fire with 4G connectivity, 32GB of storage and a bold new $49.99-per-year data services plan; a 7-inch Kindle Fire with double RAM, a faster processor and longer battery life; and a Kindle e-reader featuring what Amazon calls a Paperwhite display that enables users to read in the dark. Amazon has moved from the simple e-reader to a fully functional, high-performance tablet PC that competes head-on with Apple's perennially popular iPad, Google/Asus Nexus 7, and a number of other Android- and BlackBerry-powered devices. Here, eWEEK looks at some of the highlights from Amazon's event.