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With Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) announcement of the latest in the Kindle Fire line today, the tablet market is getting hot. Amazon is releasing an updated version of the Kindle Fire for just $159, which undercuts competitors like Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Nexus 7 at the $199 price point. Amazon also revealed larger, HD versions of the tablet ranging from $199 to a $499 model with 4G LTE capability, which are meant to compete more directly with Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad. It is widely rumored that Apple will be released an iPad Mini which will more closely compete with the smaller Fire tablet.
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Amazon’s event saw the stock hit a high of $252.15 per share today. The company is pushing its tablet out in hopes that it will gain an edge against Apple and Google. With about 20% of the tablet market, Amazon is banking on a low price point for its basic model to drive sales. Better email apps and integration with Skype and Facebook may also make the Fire more appealing, but Apple is sitting on over 66% of the market, and Google’s Nexus 7 may still offer more bang for the buck.
Amazon is looking to its e-book and other media offerings to bring in customers. Along with the new tablets, Amazon touted its publishing group, and will be offering eight new serialized novels for just $1.99. Kindle Direct Publishing services are a lure for those who see Amazon as the future of literature distribution and publishing. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has emphasized that he’s not interested in making money selling the Kindle devices, but more interested in making money on how people use the device.
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