Amazon Permanently Drops Price of 8.9″ Kindle Fire HD Tablets

Kindle Fire HD

Amazon just introduced new lower prices for the entire line of 8.9″ Kindle Fire HD tablets. They also finally released them in Europe and Japan.

Clearly the larger Kindle Fires haven’t been selling as well as Amazon had hoped. Amazon never releases Kindle sales figures, but the bestseller lists don’t lie. Amazon’s 8.9″ Kindle Fire HD tablets haven’t been nearly as popular as the E Ink Kindles or the 7″ Kindle Fire tablets.

Here’s how the new pricing structure breaks down:

Wi-Fi Models

$269 – 16 GB Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ with Special Offers

$284 – 16 GB Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ without Special Offers

$299 – 32 GB Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ with Special Offers

$314 – 32 GB Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ without Special Offers

4G + Wi-Fi Models

$399 – 32 GB Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ with Special Offers

$414 – 32 GB Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ without Special Offers

$499 – 64 GB Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ with Special Offers

$514 – 64 GB Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ without Special Offers

What’s interesting about the new prices is that Amazon only shaved $30 off the 16 GB Wi-Fi models, but the 32GB Wi-Fi models got a $70 price cut and the 4G LTE (cellular) models got a $100 price drop.

It looks like Amazon was careful not to drop the 16GB model too low with the 7″ Kindle Fire HD starting at $199. But now the 32 GB 7″ Kindle Fire HD sells for almost as much as the base 8.9″ model—that brings up some interesting choices, that’s for sure. Suddenly the larger Kindle Fire HD is looking more compelling.

There aren’t very many 9″ or 10″ tablets with screens and specs as good as the Kindle Fire HD under $300. A lot of open Android tablets, like the new Asus Memo Smart Pad 10, can match or better the specs, but there are very few that have screens with that high of resolution at 1920×1200 (254 ppi).

Four months ago when the 8.9″ Kindle Fire first started shipping, I would have thought there would be a lot more high-res Android tablets with similar screen sizes on the market by now, but there aren’t very many at all, especially in the budget category. Amazon may be able to capitalize on this with the new lower prices.

As someone who owns and uses a bunch of tablets from various manufactures, I will say that the high-res screens are clearly superior to their low-res cousins, and are definitely worth getting instead. I personally cannot stand using a tablet with less than 215 dpi anymore, and even on those smaller text is kind of fuzzy. Processors and overall speed don’t vary a whole lot between different brands nowadays; it’s how nice the screen is that makes the biggest difference.

8 Responses to “Amazon Permanently Drops Price of 8.9″ Kindle Fire HD Tablets”

  1. Gee, thanx for showing us the comparisons with “old” price — what happened? You just copied the PR text?

    • Actually no, smartass. They didn’t list the prices in the press release except for the 16GB Wi-Fi model and the base 4G model. I had to go back and check the bestseller list post to get the old prices. I don’t know what you’re complaining about anyway; I explained the price differences for all the various models directly below the list. It’s not my fault you can’t read.

  2. I just bought a Kindle Paperwhite and I’m amazed by it. It’s just for reading, of course. I guess a Kindle Fire is in my future. I was looking for an alternative TV source so I can give up my overpriced cable provider, and I gave Amazon Prime a try. Then I found out I could get lots of music and e-books, and now I’m a Kindle convert.

    My Paperwhite actually works better than the several e-readers I had before it. I wish the touchscreen would respond better, but maybe it’s in the way I tap it. The Paperwhite screen is known for having the visual defect of discoloration, but on my unit I found just a very slight shade of gray and purple along the edge, especially if the brightness is turned all the way up, and then only if my room is dark. In daylight or in a lighted room, I don’t see any discoloration at all. This imperfection is negligible, considering the 212 dpi sharpness, the units weight and shape, and its price.

    • I know what you mean about the touchscreen. It seems they had a lot of complaints with accidental page-turns on the Kindle Touch, so they made it less sensitive. I’ve noticed that if you swipe in the slightest it won’t turn the page; it has to be a specific type of tap with no dragging whatsoever.

  3. Nathan, thanks for reporting this. This is a good news and makes it very good deals across the whole line-up. Do you know if 8.9″ models are rootable and have custom ROMS? If so, it would make it a very sweet deal for the hardware alone and then opening it up with some open Android ROM.