Amazon.com first showed that it can use price to attract consumers to buy an e-reader, and then to buy a tablet device. Now, it is looking to demonstrate that it can sell tablets that are more technologically sophisticated, similar to what Apple has done with its iPad line.
This week, Amazon introduced its new Kindle Fire HDX tablets in two sizes, seven and 8.9 inches. Amazon's "powerhouse tablets" come with a new graphics engine, twice the memory and triple the processing power of previous models. Amazon says its displays have the highest resolution of any on the market. Oh, and because it is Amazon, the two models sell for $229 and $379 respectively. (The Kindle Fire HD sells for $139.)
"The third-generation of Kindle tablets mark another meaningful step forward, and increasingly differentiate Kindle Fire from the increasingly crowded tablet market," Colin Sebastian, an analyst with Robert W Baird, told Reuters.
Amazon has also updated software including its e-mail, calendar and productivity apps. Also included is X-Ray for Music, and Second Screen, which turns the tablet into a TV remote. Further, Amazon Prime members can now watch Instant Videos offline as well as streaming them.
Mr. Sebastian told Reuters that Apple and Google continue to hold a significant advantage over Amazon when it comes to apps.
One potential game-changer for Amazon is Mayday, a new customer service feature that enables Fire HDX to have an Amazon expert appear to help them with their issues at the touch of a button.
According to a USA Today review, "Mayday is the kind of knock-your-socks off feature that is not only sure to get attention, but that will play into (Jeff) Bezos' grand plan to cement Kindle's place in an excruciatingly competitive tablet market."
How likely is Amazon.com to gain major market share as the result of its new Kindle Fire HDX models?