technology

Amazon Unveils New Tablets for Kids, Readers, Businesses

Amazon.com Inc. introduced five new Kindle models, from a device aimed at children to a jumbo-sized version for office workers, as the Web retailer seeks to attract more media-consuming customers.

The new $99 Kindle Fire HD, which Amazon describes as the “most powerful tablet under $100,” was unveiled along with a $149 Kids Edition, which Amazon will replace even if it’s broken, the company said in a statement yesterday. The Seattle-based online retailer is also rolling out new models designed for reading books and the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9, which starts at $379 and comes with software for working on office documents.

The refreshed tablets are part of Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos’s investments in new businesses, including the Fire smartphone, Web-based computing services and expansion of warehouses. While Amazon reported revenue of $74.5 billion last year, its net income was $274 million, as Bezos pours money back into growing the company.

The new Kindle products were announced two days before Apple Inc.’s new iPhone models go on sale. Last week, Amazon cut the price of the Fire smartphone to 99 cents with a two-year contract through AT&T Inc., six weeks after it went on sale. Both companies are rolling out products in preparation for the holiday shopping season.

Amazon’s new Kindle lineup will go on sale next month.

New Products

The Web retailer also said it’s upgrading the software used to run the Kindle Fire with more features for finding books, movies, games and music. Family members will also be able to share content, a feature that Apple is also introducing.

While Amazon hasn’t disclosed tablet sales, it’s targeting all segments of the market. The Kindle Fire HDX has a faster chip, can handle digital documents and be paired with a keyboard. The Kindle tablet for kids comes in different colors and a rubber case. Amazon said it will replace the tablet if it’s broken by a child, for up to two years.

There are two new variations of the Kindle e-book reader. The $79 Kindle has a touchscreen and double the storage of its predecessor, while the $199 Kindle Voyage has a high-resolution display and is the company’s thinnest-ever model.

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