Amazon takes on Apple iPAD,launches larger Kindle Fire tablets

Amazon.com Inc unveiled larger Kindle Fire tablets challenging Apple Inc’s dominant iPad with lower prices and a trove of digital content that Amazon hopes will win it a bigger share of the booming tablet market.

Amazon launched the devices with price tags ranging from $159 to $599. The new tablets come with ads known as “special offers” that appear when screens are locked and in the corner of the home screen, helping Amazon keep prices low.

According to media reports, Amazon’s expanding lineup also intensifies a battle with Google Inc and Microsoft Corp, who this year entered their own competitors in the booming tablet arena.

The latest aggressive pricing move, and Amazon’s variety of gadgets, furthers its goal of getting Kindle tablets into the hands of as many buyers of its online content — from games and books to video — as possible.

Apple, by contrast, makes much of its profit from hardware sales. It sells a single-sized iPad often touted as best-in-breed, at costs ranging from $399 to $829, depending on storage capacity, screen resolution and wireless connectivity.

Amazon, which began as an Internet bookstore, will begin shipping on November 20 an 8.9-inch version with a high-definition screen, that works off either Wi-Fi or fourth-generation wireless broadband, known as 4G. The costliest version, at $599 for 64 gigabytes of storage, undercuts the top-of-the-line $829 iPad.

At the other end of the spectrum, the cheapest 7-inch WiFi-only Fire goes for $159. Apple’s lowest iPad price tag is $499.

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