The Tech News Blog

June 3, 2013

Amazon Offering $20 Kindle Fire HD Discount for Father’s Day

8.9-Inch Kindle Fire HD

Looking for a Father's Day present more creative than a new set of monogrammed golf balls or another tie? Amazon today launched a Kindle Fire holiday promotion just in time for June 16.

Through Saturday, June 8 (or until supplies run out), customers can save $20 on a Kindle Fire HDKindle Fire HD 8.9-inch (pictured), or Kindle Fire 8.9-inch 4G by entering the code "DADSFIRE" at checkout.

With the discount in place, you can get the 7-inch Kindle Fire HD (16GB) for $179, the 8.9-inch Fire HD (16GB) for $249, the 8.9-inch Fire HD 4G (32GB) for $379, and so on. The offer applies to all iterations of the tablet, which regularly retail for between $199 and $399.

Customers in more than 170 countries can take advantage of the offer, since Amazon expanded its reach last month to countries around the world, including Ireland, Gibraltar, Austria, Luxembourg, and Monaco.

Amazon offered a similar promotion for Mother's Day last month, though mom got $30 off instead of $20.

January 28, 2013

Kindle Fire Nabs 33 Percent of U.S. Android Tablet Market


The U.S. is dominating the Android tablet race, and consumers here seem particularly enamored with Amazon's Kindle Fire.

Approximately 59 percent of the Android tablets equipped with Localytics-intregrated apps are from the U.S. Of those, 33 percent are Amazon Kindle Fires, the firm said in a new report. The Nook follows in second with 10 percent, the Samsung Galaxy in third with 9 percent, and the Nexus 7 in fourth with 8 percent.

About 5 percent of Android tablets were based in Great Britain, while Korea and Spain had 2 percent of the market each. Localytics assigned the additional 31 percent to the "other" category.

Despite its popularity in the U.S., though, the Kindle Fire doesn't really register overseas, though it's only been available in select international markets for a short time. Eighty-nine percent of the Kindle Fire tablets logged by Localytics were from the U.S., with "most of the rest" in the U.K. "After those two, no other country has even one percent of worldwide Kindle Fires," Localytics said.

"Should [Amazon] get the distribution part right, their US success suggests they could quickly dominate the Android tablet market worldwide," Localytics said.

January 3, 2013

Post-Holiday Web Traffic Sees iPad Dip, Kindle Fire Boost

New iPad vs. Kindle Fire: Which Tablet is Right for You? Santa's sleigh was heavy with iPad devices this holiday season, but it appears he also had a few Kindle Fire tablets tucked in there.

According to stats from mobile ad firm Chitika, iPad Web usage saw a dip in the U.S. and Canada in tne days after Dec. 25.

Based on the smartphone and tablet impressions made across Chitika's network between Dec. 1 and Dec. 27, all iPad models saw a 7.14 percent drop after Christmas. The only other device that saw a drop in Web usage was Research In Motion's BlackBerry Playbook, which dipped 0.02 percent to 0.68 percent of the tablet market.

"The tablet which brought the product category into the mainstream, Apple's product has long been the king of the market," Chitika's report said. "However, this Christmas marked a serious diversification in tablet shares."

Still, the iPad had 78.9 percent of the market, down from 86 percent. Amazon made some gains, with the Kindle Fire up 3.03 percent after Christmas to 7.51 percent of tablets. Samsung Galaxy tablets were up 1.38 percent to 4.39 percent, and the Google Nexus tablets jumped 0.92 percent to 2.04 percent.

Chitika predicted that the iPad would return to the 80 percent Web usage range, "albeit lower than pre-holiday levels."

Price sensitivity likely worked in the favor of everyone but Apple this season, since the Kindle and Google Nexus tablets cost significantly less than the iPad.

January 2, 2013

8.9-Inch Amazon Kindle Fire HD Gets $50 Price Cut for Students

8.9-Inch Kindle Fire HD

Amazon on New Year's Day launched a new promotion that cuts $50 off the 8.9-inch version of its Kindle Fire HD tablet for college students.

The deal runs through the end of the month, but is only available to Amazon Student members who have a Prime account. The service is free for the first six months and $39 a year after the trial period when signing up with an ".edu" email address. Those who aren't a Prime member can sign up today to take advantage of the deal.

The discount applies to the Wi-Fi and 4G LTE versions of the device, according to SlashGear. With the discount, the large-screen tablet will set you back as little as $249 for the 16GB Wi-Fi-only version. For comparison sake, that's the same price as the 7-inch 32GB model Kindle Fire HD.

November 15, 2012

Amazon Now Shipping 8.9-Inch Kindle Fire HD

8.9-Inch Kindle Fire HD

Check one more gift off of your techie friend's wish list: The Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9-inch begins shipping today — five days earlier than previously announced.

The large-screen version of the HD tablet is available today for $299 online, and starting tomorrow at Best Buy, Staples, Radio Shack, and other retailers. The 4G version will ship next week.

"With the holiday season upon us, we're excited to make our $299 Kindle Fire HD 8.9" available early," Kindle Vice President Dave Limp said in a statement. He confidently added that customers are going to love to browse the Web, send emails, play games, watch TV shows, and read magazines on the "large, stunning HD screen, with fast Wi-Fi and exceptional audio."

The 8.9-inch tablet sports a 1,920-by-1,200 resolution display, plus dual antenna and dual-band Wi-Fi for faster streaming and downloading, and the latest-generation Texas Instruments OMAP 4470 processor.

The larger tablet sports Dual Dolby Digital Plus stereo speakers and 10 hours of battery life, as well as a front-facing HD camera, and the Amazon-exclusive X-Ray for Movies feature.

September 6, 2012

Amazon Reveals Refreshed Kindle Fire, 8.9″ Kindle Fire HD w/1920×1200 Display

As the only company that has released a tablet that has managed to take a dent out of Apple's iPad sales (the Kindle Fire accounts for 22% of U.S. tablet sales), many people are looking forward to seeing what Amazon's next generation Kindle Fire has in store. The first generation Kindle Fire made a splash with a $199 price point and 7" form-factor, but Amazon is looking to expand the lineup’s appeal with second generation the devices.

The first up is a refreshed 7" model. It keeps the same look as the original, but includes a faster processor and twice the RAM. In addition, the price has been slashed from $199 to $159. It's hard to argue with faster performance and a cheaper price tag.

But the big announcement is the Kindle Fire HD. This new tablet has an 8.9" IPS display (1920x1200) with 254 ppi. The tablet is only 8.8mm thick and weighs just 1.25 pounds. Powering the Kindle Fire HD is a Texas Instruments OMAP 4470 processor.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos even took at a dig at the Apple iPad by announcing that the Kindle Fire HD comes with dual stereo speakers that feature Dolby Digital Plus technology. The Kindle Fire HD also includes dual Wi-Fi antennas an MIMO compared to a single Wi-Fi antenna on the iPad and Nexus 7. Bezos says this allows its new 8.9” tablet to outperform all competitors in Wi-Fi bandwidth tests.

August 31, 2012

Report: Amazon Kindle Fire 2 to Include Nokia Navigation

Kindle Fire 2 Nokia Maps

Amazon will reportedly include Nokia's mapping services in its next-gen Kindle Fire, which could close the gap between Amazon's device and its Google Nexus 7 competitor.

Citing unnamed sources, Reuters reported that at least one new version of the popular tablet will be released on Thursday with location capabilities that require a GPS chip or Wi-Fi triangulation.

Mapping services are popular features on tablets, Reuters said, citing street maps, local business information, and occasional traffic updates, plus navigation instructions, a tool the Google tablet already carries.

A lack of navigation services hasn't stopped Amazon, which announced on Thursday that its first-generation device had completely sold out.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

August 23, 2012

Amazon Sends Invites for Sept. 6 Event—New Kindle Fire on Tap?

Amazon on Wednesday sent out invites for a Sept. 6 press event that will likely include the launch of the next-gen Amazon Kindle Fire.

The event kicks off at 10:30 a.m. Pacific in Santa Monica, Calif. Amazon did not provide any details on what the press conference might entail. The invite simply says "Please join us for an Amazon press conference."

There have been several reports this summer about Amazon prepping an update to its Kindle Fire $199.00 at Amazon tablet, which hit store shelves in November. Some suggested that the new device would be released between July 31 and Aug. 7, but those dates came and went without a new Kindle gadget.

Last month, All Things D, which cited sources familiar with Amazon's plans, said the new Kindle Fire will have a built-in camera, similar to its Google rival, the Nexus 7. The updated Amazon tablet will also sport a much-improved display with 1280-by-800-pixel resolution, bigger than the current 1024-by-600 screen. There will also be an entirely new width-to-height ratio, again following the Nexus 7, ATD said.

July 23, 2012

Report: Amazon Prepping Five or Six New Tablets

Amazon Kindle Fire

Internet retail giant Amazon is gearing up to expand its tablet lineup with the addition of five to six new slate devices, an executive at retailer Staples, which sells the Kindle Fire, has revealed.

The new Amazon tablets will come in a range of sizes, including a 10-inch model, Reuters reported on Monday, citing Demos Parneros, president of U.S. retail for Staples, as well as other analysts, developers, and retail partners. Amazon, the world's largest Internet retailer, is reportedly looking to broaden its mobile device offerings beyond its existing e-readers and the Kindle Fire tablet to help the company sell more digital goods like MP3s, movies, TV shows, and apps.

An Amazon spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the company's rumored plans.

While Amazon is said to be prepping several new tablets, that doesn't necessarily mean each device will be a completely different product, SlashGear pointed out. The retailer could, for example, launch 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB versions of a 10-inch Kindle Fire. It could also launch some Wi-Fi-only models and others with the option of WiFi + 3G/4G.

Amazon currently offers just one tablet — the Kindle Fire, which boasts a 7-inch color touch screen, 8GB of internal storage, but no 3G/4G cellular data connection or built-in camera. Rumors that Amazon is looking to update its tablet offerings began cropping up months ago.

May 2, 2012

Amazon ‘Mother’s Day’ Deal Knocks $30 Off Kindle Fire

Nook Tablet and Kindle Fire

Perhaps in response to discounts on the Nook the day before, Amazon today launched a one-day Mother's Day deal of sorts on its Kindle Fire.

The e-tailer's Gold Box Deal for Wednesday is a refurbished Kindle Fire Android tablet, normally priced at $169. The refurbished deal knocks off $30, to $139.

Amazon's deal is for one day only, however, while the Nook offer remains in effect until the day before Mother's Day, May 12. B&N said Tuesday that the company will knock off $20 on the Barnes & Noble Nook Color and Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch for Mother's Day, and throw in a gift bag, to boot.

Barnes & Noble's discount cuts the price for the Nook Color from $169 to $149, while the Nook Simple Touch price is now $79, down from $99. Barnes & Noble said that the $79 price point was its lowest ever for a Nook e-reader. That makes the Nook Simple Touch the same price as the original Kindle.

Should you get Mom a product that someone else has used, and discarded? While PCMag has not tested the refurbished version of the Kindle Fire, a number of commenters in the comment thread attached to the deal have vouched for the refurbished Kindle Fire's quality. Amazon also apparently doesn't ship the Kindle Fire in a box that indicates the device has been refurbished, they said.