Amazon.com, Inc.(NASDAQ:AMZN)’s new Kindle Fires, unveiled on Thursday, could pose stiff competition to Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iPads.
The Internet retailer launched four new Kindles, including a top-end Kindle Fire HD, packed with features and with a whole lot of movies, music, apps and games available for download.
The advantage that Amazon's devices have, compared to Apple's tablets are, they are much cheaper. Both at the entry level as well as at the higher-ends there is substantial difference between the prices of the Kindles Fires and the iPads.
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The tablet market is expected to reach a value of $66. billion in 2012 according to market research firm NPD Display Research.
Analysts are seeing the launch by Amazon as a declaration of war against Apple and its domination of the tablet PC market in the United States.
The high-end Kindle Fire HD comes in two sizes - the 7 inch display for $199 or $249 and the 8.9 inch display for $299 or $369. There's another version for $499 or $599 that is equipped with 4G wireless technology.
Amazon shares were trading up nearly 3 percent in early trades on Friday. On Thursday the company's stock had reached a record high of $257.81 in intra-day deals.
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However Apple will also soon strike back. With an eye on a segment that’s looking for cheaper-priced tablets - where Amazon and Google have made inroads - Apple will be launching an iPad Mini, a smaller version of its tablet.