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:
$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
$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.