Amazon introduced the Kindle Fire late last year, as a response to Apple’s dominance of the tablet computer market. On Thursday, the Seattle, Washington based company moved to introduce the new Kindle Fire HD LTE for the same $499 the iPad sells for.
A 32GB Kindle Fire HD LTE is available for the same price of a 16GB WiFi only iPad. However, the company took it one step further and tacked on a $50/year data plan, far less than Apple’s data plans for the WiFi+LTE iPads. All of Apple’s cellular iPads all carry a $130 premium charge for the 3G and 4G LTE technology built inside.
This may give the iPad some competition, particularly with Amazon’s wise choice to introduce the new device before the holiday season. Amazon also introduced an 8.9 inch WiFi only Kindle Fire HD for $299, a 7-inch Kindle Fire HD for $199 and dropped the price of the current Kindle Fire to $159. Each Kindle Fire HD LTE comes with a data cap of 250MB of data for $50/year, 20GB of cloud storage and a $10 credit to the Amazon app store.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos made it a point to compare the Kindle Fire HD price points as well as the data plans to Apple’s iPad, noting that the average iPad owner with a data plan would pay over $959 in their first year of ownership. Amazon’s Kindle FIre HD LTE has the potential to make a rift in the tablet market, and is scheduled to arrive right before Thanksgiving and Christmas, on November 20.