Amazon UK sends word that the new Kindle Fire (second-generation) and Kindle Fire HD (7-inch) will be launching in the UK soon. Importantly, Amazon's bringing both devices to the British isles at highly competitive price points -- £129 for the basic Kindle Fire, and £159 for the 7-inch Kindle Fire HD (the 8.9-inch versions were not mentioned in today's press release). The move represents Amazon's first foray into the UK tablet space, as the original Kindle Fire was never released in the country.
The £159 price point puts the 16GB Fire HD in direct competition with the 8GB Nexus 7, and Amazon's offering comes with a compelling content package, which crucially includes music, something lacking from Google Play in the UK. British Kindle Fire owners will also get one month of free access to Lovefilm, the European movie subscription service owned by Amazon, as well as a free month of Amazon Prime. Both devices are due to land in the UK on Oct. 25, and are available to pre-order today.
Needless to say, the UK budget tablet market just got really interesting. And with Apple due to join the fray in mid-October, it looks like there'll be no shortage of competition for Google's Nexus 7 in the months ahead.
We've got Amazon's press release in full after the break. Also be sure to check out our continuing coverage of the new Kindle devices by directing your attention a few pixels down.
Kindle Fire Comes to the UK—Introducing the All-New Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire
All-New Kindle Fire HD—the world’s most-advanced 7” tablet, with a stunning customised HD display, the fastest Wi-Fi, exclusive Dolby audio, powerful processor and graphics engine, 11 hours of battery life, and 16 GB of storage—all backed by Amazon’s vast content ecosystem, the best cross-platform interoperability, and the best customer service—only £159
Kindle Fire—the #1 best-selling product on Amazon.com for the past year—now available in the UK with a faster processor, twice the memory, and longer battery life, at a breakthrough price—only £129
Both Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD offer instant access to Amazon.co.uk’s 22 million movies, TV shows, songs, apps, games, books and magazines
Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD customers will also enjoy a free month of Amazon Prime,
plus a free month of LOVEFiLM
September 6, 2012—Less than one year ago, Amazon introduced Kindle Fire—combining 15 years of innovation into a fully-integrated, end-to-end service for customers. Kindle Fire quickly became the most successful product launch in the history of Amazon.com, earning over 10,000 5-star customer reviews, remaining the #1 best-selling product across the millions of items available on Amazon since its introduction, and capturing 22% of U.S. tablet sales in just nine months. Today, Amazon.co.uk is excited to announce that the all-new Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD are coming to the UK.
Kindle Fire HD is the most advanced 7” tablet:
- Stunning customised HD display with in-plane switching, Advanced True Wide polarising filter and customised laminated touch sensor for 25% less glare with rich colour and deep contrast from any viewing angle.
- Fastest Wi-Fi of any tablet—dual antenna, dual-band, and MIMO—40% faster downloads and streaming, compared to the next fastest tablet.
- High-performance processor and graphics engine for snappy and smooth performance.
- Dual stereo speakers with Dolby Digital Plus audio—the standard in high-end audio—available for the first time on a tablet.
- Kindle Fire HD starts with 16 GB of local storage, enough to accommodate the larger file sizes of HD content.
- Exceptional battery life—over 11 hours.
- Front-facing HD camera with customised Skype application for video calling from anywhere in the world.
- Amazon’s vast content ecosystem—over 22 million movies, TV shows, songs, apps, games, books and magazines.
- Best cross-platform interoperability, with Amazon apps available on the largest number of devices and platforms so customers can access content anytime, anywhere.
- Amazon.co.uk’s top-rated, world-class customer service.
Amazon.co.uk is also introducing an all-new upgraded version of the best-selling standard definition Kindle Fire with a faster processor, twice the memory and longer battery life than the original Kindle Fire —all for an even lower breakthrough price—only £129. Meet the all-new Kindle Fire family at www.amazon.co.uk/kindlefirehd.
“Kindle Fire HD is the world’s most-advanced 7” tablet, with a stunning customised HD display, the fastest Wi-Fi, exclusive Dolby audio, powerful processor and graphics engine, 11 hours of battery life, and 16 GB of storage for all your HD content,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Founder and CEO. “Not only does Kindle Fire HD feature the most advanced hardware, it’s also a service. When combined with our enormous content ecosystem, unmatched cross-platform interoperability, and standard-setting customer service, we hope people will agree that Kindle Fire HD is the best 7” tablet available anywhere, at any price.”
World-Class Hardware - Stunning Customised HD Display
The Kindle Fire HD features a stunning HD display with 1280x800 resolution that delivers deep, detailed contrast and rich, natural colour. Kindle Fire HD also uses Gorilla Glass to provide superior strength and reliability. Kindle Fire HD starts with excellent resolution, but that is only the beginning—Amazon also added customised features that reduce glare and improve colour saturation at any viewing angle.
Most tablet displays are made up of two pieces of glass—an LCD on the bottom and a touch sensor on the top, separated by an air gap. This air gap allows light to come through the touch sensor and reflect off the LCD, which causes added glare for the user. Kindle Fire HD solves this air gap problem by laminating the touch sensor and the LCD together into a single layer of glass, creating a display that's easy to view even in overhead light, and reducing glare by 25% relative to iPad 3.
Like many tablets, Kindle Fire HD uses in-plane switching (IPS) to improve colour reproduction. However, displays that only use IPS still appear washed out at various angles, such as when laid sideways in bed, flat on a table, or propped up in a case. Kindle Fire HD features an Advanced True Wide polarising filter that is applied directly to the LCD panel. This results in a display that shows the same deep contrast and rich, detailed colour from any angle.
High-End Laptop-Quality Wi-Fi—40% Faster Downloads and High-Speed Streaming
HD content has much larger file sizes than standard definition content—for example, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy in standard definition is 1.83 GB, but in HD, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is 3.66 GB. Files of this size require the very latest in Wi-Fi technology to download or stream the HD content quickly and reliably—anything else results in buffering, slow downloads and dropped connections. Many Wi-Fi enabled devices only use the 2.4 GHz wireless frequency. This frequency is crowded since it is used by everything from other tablets to microwave ovens, baby monitors, Bluetooth devices, not to mention the neighbours’ Wi-Fi networks. Kindle Fire HD circumvents this congestion with state-of-the-art dual-band Wi-Fi. Kindle Fire HD can switch automatically between the 2.4 GHz network and the newer, less crowded 5 GHz network, resulting in better range and less interference. In addition, dual antennas and Multiple In/Multiple Out (MIMO) allow for higher bandwidth and longer range. The new Kindle Fire HD is the first tablet to market with all three of these latest generation Wi-Fi technologies—dual-band support, dual antennas, and MIMO. This is the first time this state-of-the-art Wi-Fi technology has been offered in a tablet, resulting in 40% faster throughput compared to iPad 3.
8 GB of Storage is Not Enough for an HD Tablet
Customers want to enjoy HD content if they have an HD tablet—and 8 GB of on-device storage isn’t enough for the larger HD file sizes. Kindle Fire HD is available with 16 GB or 32 GB of storage. This large on-device storage capacity is in addition to the free storage Amazon provides for Amazon digital content in the Amazon Cloud. Amazon digital content is automatically backed up for free in the Amazon Cloud’s Worry-Free Archive where it’s available anytime.
Powerful World-Class Processor—Snappy and Smooth
An HD display and HD content must be driven by a powerful processor and optimised software. Kindle Fire HD features a world-class processor and the new Imagination Technologies graphics engine for lightning-fast HD graphics and excellent fluidity. Combining the latest generation processors with significant customisation of the Kindle Fire software by Amazon engineers results in a snappy and smooth experience for the user.
Dual Stereo Speakers and Exclusive Dolby Audio—The New Standard for Tablet Audio
Customers shouldn’t need to wear headphones while watching a movie on a tablet to get excellent sound. Kindle Fire HD solves this by combining dual stereo speakers with the exclusive Dolby Digital Plus audio engine—the standard in high performance audio—to offer a world-class audio experience. Dolby’s audio suite for Kindle Fire HD includes technology used to adjust volume and deliver easier-to-understand dialogue in movies and TV shows. Kindle Fire HD optimises the audio profile automatically based on what a customer is doing, such as watching a movie, or listening to music, and also optimises it for headphones versus speakers. All of these pieces combine to create an exceptional audio experience that results in clearer, crisper and balanced sound quality.
11 Hours of Battery Life
Kindle Fire HD is optimised to deliver high performance without sacrificing battery life, delivering over 11 hours’ worth of battery life.
Thin and Light
Even with a customised display, a powerful processor, extra speakers and dual-band/dual-antenna Wi-Fi, the new Kindle Fire HD is extremely light and thin. In fact, Kindle Fire HD weighs only 395 grams and is just 10.3 mm thick. Kindle Fire HD is small enough to take everywhere and light enough to hold easily and comfortably in one hand.
Connect with Bluetooth and HDMI
Kindle Fire HD supports Bluetooth, enabling customers to connect their wireless Bluetooth headphones or Bluetooth speakers to listen to songs and videos. With Bluetooth connectivity, customers can also easily connect to a wide range of Bluetooth-enabled keyboards. HDMI out makes it easy for customers to connect the Kindle Fire HD to their big-screen TV to enjoy their favourite HD videos and photos.
Stay in Touch with Front-Facing HD Camera
The new Kindle Fire HD features a front-facing HD camera. Skype created a customised app tailored for Kindle Fire HD that is ready to use out of the box for free HD video calls at home and abroad. Kindle Fire HD makes it easy for the over 500 million customers already using Skype to get in touch with friends and family.
Beautiful Leather Covers
Covers for Kindle Fire HD feature a premium textured leather exterior in a variety of colours and a subtle woven nylon interior to provide the lightest and thinnest form of protection. The integrated magnetic clasp ensures the cover remains securely closed while in a backpack, handbag, or briefcase. The cover wakes Kindle Fire HD automatically upon opening and puts it to sleep when closed, making it easy for the customer to dive right back into whatever content they’re enjoying.
All New Features, Exclusive to Amazon - X-Ray for Books
One year ago, Amazon introduced X-Ray on Kindle Touch, and customers loved it. Amazon is extending X-Ray to books on Kindle Fire, making it easier than ever for customers to learn more about the content they love by exploring the “bones of the book.” With a single tap, readers can see all the passages throughout a book that mention ideas, fictional characters, historical figures, places or topics that interest them, as well as more detailed descriptions from Wikipedia and Shelfari, Amazon’s community-powered encyclopedia for book lovers.
X-Ray for Movies
“X-Ray for Movies”, coming soon to Amazon.co.uk customers, is a new feature that revolutionises the movie experience by bringing the power of IMDb directly to movies on Kindle Fire HD, accessible with a simple tap. Without ever leaving the movie, customers can look up any actor in the scene or movie, see what other movies they have been in, and view photos, biographies and more. X-Ray is offered only by Amazon and is exclusive to the Amazon ecosystem. IMDb, an Amazon company for 14 years, is the #1 movie website in the world with more than 160 million monthly unique visitors worldwide.
Ideal for Gaming
In addition to hardware that’s perfect for gaming, such as stunning customised HD displays, fast Wi-Fi and large on-device storage, the Kindle Fire HD also offers HD Games, gyroscope and accelerometer for full tilt and turn controls, as well as social gaming features including group leaderboards and achievements.
Whispersync for Games
One of the biggest frustrations of mobile gaming is that when customers switch devices or delete and re-install the game on the same device, they have to start a level over or go back to the beginning of the game. To solve this problem, Amazon extended its Whispersync technology to gaming with Whispersync for Games. Whispersync for Games syncs a customer’s place in the game and saves unlocked levels, so even if they get a new device, the progress is backed up in the cloud.
Cloud-Accelerated Silk Browser
The new Kindle Fire family uses a new version of Amazon Silk with the unique “split browser” architecture that leverages the computing speed and power of Amazon Web Services to deliver content faster. The new Amazon Silk browser has a completely re-engineered core Webkit engine that contributes to faster page loads. Customers can experience full-screen browsing, reading view, and improved browsing with most-visited, trending and recommended sites all available from a single screen.
All New Email and Calendar
The new Kindle Fire family features world-class Microsoft Exchange integration, with fine-tuned performance on many of the most critical e-mail functions. For example, typical Exchange accounts sync with the oldest emails first, ending with the most recent emails—Kindle Fire, however, syncs with newer emails first, then with older emails instead, giving customers faster access to the most recent emails they are looking for. Kindle Fire also features a new calendar app, making it easy for customers to stay connected and keep track of their schedules. The new e-mail client offers support for the world’s most popular email providers—including Gmail, Microsoft Exchange, Hotmail and more.
Photos Brought to Life
Customers’ favourite photos come alive in stunning high-resolution on Kindle Fire HD. Fire’s mosaic view arranges personal photos beautifully, and customers will be delighted to see their best shots on their TV with HDMI out. Kindle Fire lets customers easily import their photos from Facebook and because their photos are securely stored in Amazon Cloud Drive, they never have to worry about losing their favourite pictures.
New Latest Generation Kindle Fire—Only £129
Kindle Fire, the #1 best-selling product on Amazon.com for the past year, is now even better, with all the features customers love about the original Kindle Fire—all the content, seamless integration with the Amazon Cloud, Whispersync, and a brilliant 7” touchscreen—now with a faster processor for 40% faster performance, twice the memory and longer battery life.
Backed by the Amazon’s Vast Content Ecosystem, the Best Cross-Platform Interoperability and World-Class Customer Service
All the Content—Over 22 Million Movies, TV Shows, Songs, Apps, Games, Books and Magazines
Kindle Fire offers customers a vast selection of digital content, including thousands of exclusives:
- Amazon subsidiary LOVEFiLM, Europe’s leading film subscription service, will offer customers thousands of movies and TV shows available for streaming. Every Kindle Fire comes with one free month of LOVEFiLM.
- Instant access to the most popular apps and games, including Angry Birds Space HD, Cut the Rope HD and Fruit Ninja—each one optimised for Kindle Fire HD.
- Millions of songs from hundreds of thousands of artists. Customers can stream purchases from the cloud, download playlists for offline listening, and store their personal collection in the cloud for access anytime, anywhere.
- Over 1 million Kindle books, including the most bestsellers, and over 650,000 books priced at £3.99 or less. Plus, children's books, including ebook exclusives of the Mr. Men and Little Miss series, comic books and cookbooks from Britain’s best loved chefs, all available in rich colour.
- Over 150 magazines—including Vogue, Wired, Vanity Fair, GQ and Easy Living with glossy full-colour layouts, HD photography, and beautifully detailed illustrations.
Best Cross-Platform Interoperability with “Buy Once, Enjoy Everywhere”
With apps available on the largest number of devices and platforms, Kindle makes it easier than ever to access content anytime, anywhere. Customers can read and sync their Kindle books across iPad, iPhone, PC, Mac, Android phones and tablets and Windows Phones. Amazon MP3s are available on iPhone, iPad, Android phones and tablets, Sonos and web browsers with the Amazon Cloud Player that will soon be available for Amazon.co.uk customers. Apps from the Amazon Appstore for Android are available on all Android phones and tablets. No other company offers customers this level of flexibility with their content.
Free Month of LOVEFiLM
Every Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD comes with a free one-month subscription to LOVEFiLM, giving customers unlimited streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows, many in stunning high definition.
Free Month of Amazon Prime
Every Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD comes with one free month of Amazon Prime. With Prime, Amazon customers enjoy Free One-Day Delivery on millions of items from Amazon.co.uk.
Kindle Fire comes automatically pre-registered so customers can immediately start enjoying their digital content purchased from Amazon or shop for new content immediately.
Top-Rated, World-Class Customer Service
Whenever customers shop on Amazon.co.uk, purchase a Kindle Fire or Kindle Fire HD, or buy Kindle content, they know that they are also getting Amazon’s world-class customer service. Amazon.co.uk’s customer service ranked number one on the UK Customer Satisfaction Index earlier this year with a score of 92. This marked the first time in the history of the survey that an organisation achieved a score higher than 90. Customers have been shopping on Amazon.co.uk for almost 14 years, and they continue to do so because of the unparalleled, end-to-end customer experience.
The new Kindle Fire family comes with special offers that appear on the lock screen. These special money-saving offers that customers will enjoy could include offers on Kindle accessories or on our digital catalogue of Kindle books, apps, games and MP3, plus many more.
Pricing and Availability
The all-new Kindle Fire HD with a stunning HD display, the fastest Wi-Fi, exclusive HD audio with two stereo speakers and Dolby Digital Plus, 16 or 32 GB of storage and powerful world-class processor—all backed by Amazon’s vast content ecosystem, the best cross-platform interoperability and the best customer service is £159. Kindle Fire HD is available for pre-order starting today at www.amazon.co.uk/kindlefirehd and ships on October 25th
The new, latest generation Kindle Fire with a faster processor for 40% faster performance, twice the memory and all the new features is only £129, and is available for pre-order starting today at www.amazon.co.uk/kindlefire and ships on October 25th.