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Amazon announces $499 Kindle Fire HD 4G LTE with $50/year data plan

post #1 of 124
Thread Starter 
Amazon took a direct shot at Apple on Thursday when it unveiled its new Kindle Fire HD 4G LTE, with the same $499 starting price as Apple's current generation iPad. But the main selling point is a new $50-per-year, 250-megabyte-per-month 4G LTE data plan.

Though it has the same price as a third-generation iPad with Retina display, the new Kindle Fire HD with 4G LTE has a slightly smaller 8.9-inch display. However, Apple's entry-level third-generation iPad lacks 4G LTE — a feature that carries a $130 premium.

Amazon's new high-end Kindle Fire HD also has twice the capacity of Apple's entry-level iPad, packing in 32 gigabytes of storage for the $499 price. The next closest device in Amazon's revamped Kindle lineup is the $299 16-gigabyte Kindle Fire HD, which also has an 8.9-inch display but does not feature cellular connectivity. A 64-gigabyte Kindle Fire HD is also available for $599.

The biggest bombshell dropped by the online retailer on Thursday is the data plan for the new Kindle: it will offer 250 megabytes of data per month for just $50 a year, a price well below what carriers AT&T and Verizon charge for using Apple's iPad on their wireless networks.

The Amazon 4G LTE package features high-speed wireless connectivity capped at 250 megabytes per month, and also comes with 20 gigabytes of cloud storage and a $10 credit to the Amazon Appstore.

Kindle


Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos compared the new Kindle Fire HD with 4G LTE to Apple's third-generation iPad with LTE connectivity. He noted that an iPad owner will pay $959 with a data plan in the first year for an iPad, while the Kindle Fire HD will cost customers just $549.

Details on how the new data plan will work, including the cost when users go over the 250 megabyte cap, were not revealed as part of Thursday's presentation. When the first iPad launched, AT&T offered data plans starting at $15 per month, or $180 per year, for 250 megabytes of data.

Though it was announced on Thursday, the new Kindle Fire HD 4G LTE won't ship until November 20.

Amazon
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos at Thursday's press conference in California. Image via CNet.


Bezos said Amazon looked into making a tablet for $499, and the company decided 4G LTE connectivity is the "ultimate tablet feature." The company developed its own cellular modem that's smaller and supports all 10 wireless bands.

The 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD with 4G LTE will be the only Kindle Fire model with wireless cellular connectivity. Amazon also announced on Thursday a Wi-Fi-only 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD for $299, a 7-inch Kindle Fire HD for $199, and an upgraded version of last year's Kindle Fire for $159. The company also launched a new $119, e-ink-based Kindle Paperwhite with a backlight, and upgraded the display on its regular Kindle while lowering the price by $10 to $69.
post #2 of 124
Be interesting to see if downloading from Amazon is free and what the overage fee is over 250MB.
post #3 of 124

This is just the right kind of competition to force Apple to keep on it's toes and step up it's game. With a little maneuvering, I'm sure they can offer a similar data-only yearly package for their customers too.

 

I am interested to see how the 7" Fire model will compare to the rumored 7" iPad "mini".

post #4 of 124
If the YoY Kindle releases have taught us anything it's not to underestimate Amazon. This sounds like a great deal. I go on for hours about how the HW, usability, SW, ecosystem, etc. are inferior to the iPad but when you compare the general features and service this $499 Kindle Fire HD looks very attractive.

I really like the $50/year for 250MB of 4G LTE data. I pay Verizon $240/year and I've never come close to using 250MB in a month.

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post #5 of 124

The problem is that data plans don't make sense with the way they are currently designed. Giving a quota of 250MB for an LTE device just means you're wasting dollars on integrating LTE. It also costs battery life. You sure as hell can't get any benefit from having it be LTE.

post #6 of 124

Bold maneuver by Amazon ... essentially forces consumers to ask/answer, "Is the Apple ecosystem worth ~$400 more than the Amazon ecosystem?"  Amazon doesn't make money if they don't offer/deliver content people want.

 

The more entrenched you are with MacBooks, iPads, iPhones, Apple TVs, the easier it is to say, "No thanks, Amazon" ... but it'll definitely put the undecided to the point.

 

Good news: there is still competition despite all the doom&gloom surrounding the Samsung verdict.

post #7 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by focher View Post

The problem is that data plans don't make sense with the way they are currently designed. Giving a quota of 250MB for an LTE device just means you're wasting dollars on integrating LTE. It also costs battery life. You sure as hell can't get any benefit from having it be LTE.

I don't follow. How is there no benefit from having the option to use cellular data connectivity?

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post #8 of 124

Still no GPS?

Bezos doesn't care about making money on the HW because, in part, with the introduction of each new generation, support for the previous generation will get dumped. If Amazon charged much more, owners of the previous generation would become irate.

post #9 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


I don't follow. How is there no benefit from having the option to use cellular data connectivity?


 I think he meant there's no benefit to LTE specifically.  It could easily be 3G, if you are going to limit yourself to 250 MB/month.  I'm not sure I entirely agree, but it is a reasonable thought. 

 

If 3G gives you 4Mbps and LTE gives you  20 Mbps, you could use up the entire 250 MB in 500 seconds (8 minutes) on 3G and less than 2 minutes on LTE. 

post #10 of 124

Wild -- I wonder what carrier is being used, and if Amazon is somehow subsidizing the LTE coverage. If not, then Apple should go kick AT&T and VZ in the nuts and demand a better deal for iPad users. 

post #11 of 124

Wait… high-speed LTE, capped at only 250MB a month? That's 30Mb a day… I can burn through that much with some light news browsing...

 

And 20Gb of Cloud Storage? That doesn't add up…

 

You only get 3GB PER YEAR of data transfer @ 250MB a month… how can you make full use of a 20GB cloud drive?

 

It doesn't sound like a great deal to me, frankly… just because AT&T is grossly overcharging for mobile data doesn't make this deal that much better...

 

(AT&T charges $15 a month for 250MB a month… an outrageous fee. But then $30 for 3GB… monthly, but still $20 less than Amazon charges over a year for the same number of GB…)

post #12 of 124

So if you watch one HD movie how much data will you use on your 250MB plan?

post #13 of 124

Yeah I was wondering the same thing....are they paying all 10 carriers a fee to use their cell towers?

post #14 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by tribalogical View Post

Wait… high-speed LTE, capped at only 250MB a month? That's 30Mb a day… I can burn through that much with some light news browsing...
No. That's 8.3 MB per day...
post #15 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Proximityeffect View Post

So if you watch one HD movie how much data will you use on your 250MB plan?

 

The real question is: how many minutes of that HD movie can you watch before your 250MB is gone?  Enough to get past the opening credits I'd guess...

post #16 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


I don't follow. How is there no benefit from having the option to use cellular data connectivity?

I wasn't referring to cellular. I was referring specifically to using LTE (as opposed to 3G or even EDGE). If the data plan doesn't support using very much data, then a more costly and less power efficient cellular technology doesn't make sense.

post #17 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Proximityeffect View Post

So if you watch one HD movie how much data will you use on your 250MB plan?

The average video bitrate of an Amazon Unbox download equals 2500 kbit/s; this means that a two hour movie consumes roughly two gigabytes (2 GB) of storage space. (1) Therefore, you should be able to watch the first fifteen minutes.

1. Unattributed. No Published Data provided. Amazon Instant Video. Wikipedia.
post #18 of 124

Come on atleast compare it the same. an ipad 3 with lte is $729 with 32g compaired to $499 with lte amazon fire hd.   The included plan doesnt matter since its still so much cheaper then the ipad.  How low the price is you can add on a data package a month and be at the same price of an ipad lte 32 gig model without one.

post #19 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post

Still no GPS?

Bezos doesn't care about making money on the HW because, in part, with the introduction of each new generation, support for the previous generation will get dumped. If Amazon charged much more, owners of the previous generation would become irate.


This doesn't make sense. Amazon Prime will still be supported, so will Kindle books and I am assuming the internet will still be there, so how is one generation 'incompatible' with another?

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post #20 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by focher View Post

I wasn't referring to cellular. I was referring specifically to using LTE (as opposed to 3G or even EDGE). If the data plan doesn't support using very much data, then a more costly and less power efficient cellular technology doesn't make sense.

I guess they could include only 4G LTE with no support for any 3G or 2G* cellular technology but I've never seen such a device. Still, even if they do I don't see how 3GB for $50 is a bad deal over a year. As I stated earlier I pay $20 a month and never come close to 250MB on my iPad.

LTE doesn't use more data, it just loads faster so you can potentially get more completed faster. Sure, it gives the option of getting higher quality content in the same time frame than with a slower connection but if that is something to complain about then why aren't we up in arms about 3G, modern web pages, or data on phones in any regard. An email is an email. Regardless if it's dial-up or 4G LTE the file sent is the same size.


* 2G would only be relevant to GSM-based networks since CDMA is used for voice, not data.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #21 of 124

Hmm... interesting.  I didn't realize I was paying that much per year to use my 4G iPad 3!  Oh wait... sorry, I'm only paying for the 4G plan only when I need it, so that means I'm not paying that.

Would be interesting if Amazon gives the user the option to not pay for the 4G, unless they need it.  What market is Amazon shooting for with it?  I mean, a regular user would not want to use the wireless connection to stream a video / music without getting socked on overcharges.  The Kindle doesn't have the same kind of iOS ecosystem where perhaps an app for business connections would come into play.  So I don't think Kindle users would be getting much benefit out of it outside of "OMG, a new book came out that I just have to have while in the middle of nowhere with no WiFi connection.

I think it's more a curiosity than anything else.  Fandroids and iHaters just just lick up anything and pretend it's "healthy competition" for Apple.  Wutever.

post #22 of 124

Maybe this is a good competition against Samsung Note? If we factor in the cellular cost, the Note could probably cost much more per year than the Fire.
 

post #23 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by tribalogical View Post

Wait… high-speed LTE, capped at only 250MB a month? That's 30Mb a day… I can burn through that much with some light news browsing...

And 20Gb of Cloud Storage? That doesn't add up…

You only get 3GB PER YEAR of data transfer @ 250MB a month… how can you make full use of a 20GB cloud drive?

It doesn't sound like a great deal to me, frankly… just because AT&T is grossly overcharging for mobile data doesn't make this deal that much better...

(AT&T charges $15 a month for 250MB a month… an outrageous fee. But then $30 for 3GB… monthly, but still $20 less than Amazon charges over a year for the same number of GB…)

I have access to dozens of GB of online space between iCloud, Gmail, Dropbox, SugarSync and likely several others I'm forgetting. What does an online data locker size have to do with a cellular data cap limit? Are you replacing all that data per month? Does the Kindle Fire HD not have WiFi?

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #24 of 124

Looks like they are getting their 4G LTE from AT&T based on that logo.

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post #25 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by majortom1981 View Post

Come on atleast compare it the same. an ipad 3 with lte is $729 with 32g compaired to $499 with lte amazon fire hd.   The included plan doesnt matter since its still so much cheaper then the ipad.  How low the price is you can add on a data package a month and be at the same price of an ipad lte 32 gig model without one.

 

True, but the iPad has a better screen and better hardware overall. Also, if we look at Amazon's financial statements, we see that they don't really make any money, and never have. Eventually that will catch up to them (look at Dell and HP, which actually do make a little bit of money). I don't think Apple will keep 2/3 of the tablet market to itself forever, but I don't see Amazon as a big threat right now.

 

That said, apparently Amazon does a better job keeping secrets than Apple right now. Over the past month, most of the rumor mills had claimed that Amazon would not be releasing a 9" tablet (contrary to earlier rumors which said they would). I also like the 10-band modem. That, to me, suggests that Amazon will make this model available overseas eventually.

post #26 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by focher View Post

The problem is that data plans don't make sense with the way they are currently designed. Giving a quota of 250MB for an LTE device just means you're wasting dollars on integrating LTE. It also costs battery life. You sure as hell can't get any benefit from having it be LTE.
And then comes the up-sell.

If Apple could pull it off, it would be great. Essentially though it sounds like Amazon is becoming a MVNO, buying lowest-cost capacity, so it competes with Apple's main clients... the carriers.
post #27 of 124
Obviously, this 250MB plan isn't for people doing media streaming or otherwise power users. But, $4.16 per month for 250MB of mobile broadband is very reasonable. No one offers an affordable low tier data plan. In the past year, I've never gone over 200MB in a month. Only good plans for me are the prepaid plans (T-mobile $30 unlimited text/data, 100minutes). If I could have added 250MB to my voice plan for $5, I would have stuck with Verizon and got an iPhone 4S.

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1 Android Phone, 2 iPads, 1 Windows Tablet, 1 Mac Desktop, 1 Windows Laptop, 1 Linux Server, 1 Linux HTPC

 

They all are used regularly and each have their place. Competition is good.

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They all are used regularly and each have their place. Competition is good.

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post #28 of 124
I don't want another contract. I'll stick with my pay as you go iPad.

I like the Kindle Paperwhite though.
post #29 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by focher View Post

The problem is that data plans don't make sense with the way they are currently designed. Giving a quota of 250MB for an LTE device just means you're wasting dollars on integrating LTE. It also costs battery life. You sure as hell can't get any benefit from having it be LTE.

 

LTE is a more efficient technology on the backend than 3G (or HSDPA/HSPA+), which is one of the reasons why AT&T and Verizon are pushing LTE so hard. That efficiency is probably what's factoring into the cost of the data plan. So, in addition to faster speeds for users, it has benefits for the carriers. Battery life probably isn't much of an issue, since you won't be doing a lot of cellular surfing anyway with only 250 megabytes of data per month.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DethByUngaBunga View Post

Bold maneuver by Amazon ... essentially forces consumers to ask/answer, "Is the Apple ecosystem worth ~$400 more than the Amazon ecosystem?"  Amazon doesn't make money if they don't offer/deliver content people want.

 

The more entrenched you are with MacBooks, iPads, iPhones, Apple TVs, the easier it is to say, "No thanks, Amazon" ... but it'll definitely put the undecided to the point.

 

Good news: there is still competition despite all the doom&gloom surrounding the Samsung verdict.

 

Amen! The more competition, the better! =)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post

Still no GPS?

Bezos doesn't care about making money on the HW because, in part, with the introduction of each new generation, support for the previous generation will get dumped. If Amazon charged much more, owners of the previous generation would become irate.

 

Apple sells lots of Wi-Fi only iPads that do not have GPS, so it's probably not a factor for a lot of people. Also, existing Kindle Fire devices will continue to support all of the same services it did before, so nothing has been 'dumped.' Please don't spread a bunch of FUD.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tribalogical View Post

Wait… high-speed LTE, capped at only 250MB a month? That's 30Mb a day… I can burn through that much with some light news browsing...

 

And 20Gb of Cloud Storage? That doesn't add up…

 

You only get 3GB PER YEAR of data transfer @ 250MB a month… how can you make full use of a 20GB cloud drive?

 

It doesn't sound like a great deal to me, frankly… just because AT&T is grossly overcharging for mobile data doesn't make this deal that much better...

 

(AT&T charges $15 a month for 250MB a month… an outrageous fee. But then $30 for 3GB… monthly, but still $20 less than Amazon charges over a year for the same number of GB…)

 

The device also includes Wi-Fi, which is the way most people are going to use these devices. The 4G service is an add-on, much like on other tablets. You're not going to stream lots of HD movies even on an iPad, which has a bigger data plan at a higher cost. If the $49.99 per year/250 mB per month doesn't suit your needs, you'd be better off getting the cheaper $299 model and using your phone as a hotspot, or get different device that offers higher capacity (and higher priced) data plans, like the iPad.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

Hmm... interesting.  I didn't realize I was paying that much per year to use my 4G iPad 3!  Oh wait... sorry, I'm only paying for the 4G plan only when I need it, so that means I'm not paying that.

Would be interesting if Amazon gives the user the option to not pay for the 4G, unless they need it.  What market is Amazon shooting for with it?  I mean, a regular user would not want to use the wireless connection to stream a video / music without getting socked on overcharges.  The Kindle doesn't have the same kind of iOS ecosystem where perhaps an app for business connections would come into play.  So I don't think Kindle users would be getting much benefit out of it outside of "OMG, a new book came out that I just have to have while in the middle of nowhere with no WiFi connection.

I think it's more a curiosity than anything else.  Fandroids and iHaters just just lick up anything and pretend it's "healthy competition" for Apple.  Wutever.

 

A lot of people have service on their iPad all year round. Many users are still using the grandfathered AT&T $30 per month unlimited plan since 2010, which means they've been paying each month without interruption. When you consider that $50 per year is almost the same cost as 3 months on AT&T's cheapest plan ($45 vs $50), that means you'll be saving quite a lot of money each year, around $130, if you use less than 250 megabytes per month and want the convenience of having 4G at all times.

 

For a lot of people, that's a pretty compelling offer.

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post #30 of 124

250mb of download a month?  ..and what happens when I want to download a movie to watch that weighs in at 2.5 gig?  I'd be paying for the movie, and an extra $10 worth of data?  Stupid..

post #31 of 124
Code:
My initial reaction is to engage in some lighthearted trash talk against a genuine competitor. But it's just too refreshing to see a company compete against Apple with a coherent, straightforward strategy, while adding their own unique value and flavor, instead of merely copying as others do. It may take some sales away from Apple, but it will surely hurt the more traditional android makers, and take some meaningful* market share away from those classless, backstabbing googlers.. good job Amazon!

*In the qualitative sense, not quantitative (I realize Amazon uses a forked version of android).
Edited by PatchyThePirate - 9/6/12 at 1:34pm

   

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post #32 of 124

Ok so my thoughts are that android devices have issues with upgrading to the new android os.  The device becomes obsolete so quick that basically you are wasting your money.  At least the iPad 1st generation is still running the newest iOS.  That says something when comparing Apple against the Kindle Fire.  Maybe I am wrong.  Correct me if I am.  I am just a measly little Apple user.  

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post #33 of 124

Who is providing the LTE service, AT&T or VZ? or both. you like if either of these company are off loading bandwidth to Amaizon you can bet they will be throttling the service as well as not providing any guaranty.

 

but consumer are stupid and sheep will tempt to sue when the realize they did not get what they thought.

post #34 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by yuusharo View Post

LTE is a more efficient technology on the backend than 3G (or HSDPA/HSPA+), which is one of the reasons why AT&T and Verizon are pushing LTE so hard. That efficiency is probably what's factoring into the cost of the data plan. So, in addition to faster speeds for users, it has benefits for the carriers. Battery life probably isn't much of an issue, since you won't be doing a lot of cellular surfing anyway with only 250 megabytes of data per month.

You've pretty much made my point. Integrating LTE on the device makes no sense with that kind of data plan because 1) you won't be getting very much data over cellular and 2) the LTE capable radio does use more battery than a non LTE one.

 

I'm not arguing against LTE. It's great. I have it on my iPad and soon on my iPhone. My point is that the matching data plan, while a perfectly fine deal for the quota you get, doesn't match up with the need to have a high bandwidth capable technology like LTE. There's a mismatch. It's the equivalent of having FiOS with a quota based on a 56k modem utilization. I'm just saying Amazon is wasting money on its BOM because they're putting hardware in the device that people won't be able to leverage.

post #35 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wovel View Post

Be interesting to see if downloading from Amazon is free and what the overage fee is over 250MB.

I won't be shocked if Amazon totally counts as usage and there are no overage fees cause when you hit 250 it is just shut off for the rest of the month.

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post #36 of 124

I just need to know if the Fire HD, or the larger HD or the larger HD with 4G comes with:

 

- Swype

- GPS

- SD expansion

 

If yes to all, then a MUST pre-order.

 

If no to any, a LIKELY buy, but maybe not pre-order.

 

If no to all, I'll have to WAIT to play with it before committing.

post #37 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacVertigo View Post

250mb of download a month?  ..and what happens when I want to download a movie to watch that weighs in at 2.5 gig?  I'd be paying for the movie, and an extra $10 worth of data?  Stupid..

You'll likely end up getting an error that says that movies etc can't be accessed via cell data and you'll have to find some wifi to download it.

Or find out the overage is a lot more than just $10

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post #38 of 124

Well I think this September is going to be a real wakeup call. Its been coming for a while. You get the superb but expensive and non-upgradeable and ultimately disposable MBP Retina, no new Mac Pro for years, no Imac for over a year then the new iphone ( if the leaks are accurate ) looks like its a dog.  The ipad mini probably will be under-speced.

 

Instead of doing minor incremental updates and overpricing their products ( I can never believe when some forum members cheer about profit margins being 40% or over are they not consumers ?) maybe they will get their finger out and start delivering again.

 

The executive team seem too busy awarding themselves $50 million + in shares to notice that all their products are being equalled and surpassed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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post #39 of 124

Ok so a one year cost of $50.00.  If you go over you get charged extra?  Or do you just simply get locked out of any data usage till the next month.  I still think that a month to month plan is better.  If I want a larger plan next month because I am gonna be out of town and will be using more data I have that flexibility.  Instead of upgrading to a larger tier for the whole year.  Cmon.  This sounds like the old Cell Phone Company ploy to lock you into a contract.

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post #40 of 124

My only question is how are they getting the LTE? What service is it through....

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