Here’s a Surprise for Kindle Lovers

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Although the tablet was originally scheduled to go on sale on November 20, Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) new 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD has already begun shipping. In a press release issued Thursday morning, the retailer announced that its device was available for purchase on its website starting today.

Despite the short notice, the new Kindle has already sold out and is backordered until December 3, according to Amazon.

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“Kindle Fire HD has been Amazon’s best-selling product worldwide since launch, and that was before we even started shipping the best tablet we’ve ever built, said Dave Limp, the Vice President of Amazon Kindle, in a press release.

While the company gave no explanation for the product’s earlier-than-expected release, Limp indicated that the company wanted to take greater advantage of the holiday shopping season to boost sales. He said, “With the holiday season upon us, we’re excited to make our $299 Kindle Fire HD 8.9 available early.”

But there may be another reason as well. Since Amazon’s new line of Kindle tablets were debuted in early-September, the tablet market has become even more crowded; Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) fourth generation iPad and iPad mini were released early this month, and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) launched its $399 10-inch Nexus 10 in late October. However, Finvista Advisors analyst Sameer Singh has said that Amazon’s low-pricing structure will soon start chipping at the hold the Apple tablet has on the market, and so far the slightly cheaper Kindle is experiencing strong demand.

While the device is sold out on Amazon.com, the Kindle will go on sale at Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) on Friday and at Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS) and RadioShack (NYSE:RSH) in the coming weeks.

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