Amazon's new 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD is impressive enough in its own right, thanks to high-end features and a competitive price of $299. But at the Kindle press event today, CEO Jeff Bezos announced something truly groundbreaking: a Kindle Fire with a 4G LTE connection and an unprecedented data plan. For $499 (the price of the iPad 3, among many others) you get the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD, a 4G LTE data connection (almost certainly AT&T) and access to a $49.99-a-year data plan. That's twelve months of 4G LTE, with the unfortunate limit of 250MB a month.


Even with the tiny data limit, which somewhat undercuts Bezos' highlight of HD content, it's a compelling offer. An always-on connection is a major draw for a content-driven device like the Kindle. Users will also get 20GB of Amazon cloud storage and a $10 gift card, bringing the total price down to $39.99 for a year's worth of data.


The Kindle Fire HD 8.9" with Amazon 4G LTE includes all the features of the $299 model, including the 1080p screen, TI OMAP 4470 processor, an upgraded 32GB of storage, 5Ghz WiFi, and Amazon's new and improved Android-based software. It's available for pre-order today for $499 for the standard model and $599 for the 64GB version, and will ship on November 20th.

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SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sep. 6, 2012-- (NASDAQ: AMZN)—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 is excited to announce that it’s taking on the high-end with Kindle Fire HD—the next generation of Kindle Fire.

Kindle Fire HD (Photo: Business Wire)

The Kindle Fire HD familythe most-advanced tablets:

  • Ultra-fast 4G LTE wireless, powered by the latest generation 4G chipset, support for all 10 4G bands, and Amazon’s breakthrough 4G LTE data package—customers save hundreds of dollars in the first year compared to other 4G tablets.
  • Stunning custom HD display with in-plane switching, Advanced True Wide polarizing filter and custom laminated touch sensor for 25% less glare with rich color 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—7” Kindle Fire HD gets 11 hours of battery life.
  • Front-facing HD camera with custom Skype application for video calling from anywhere in the world.
  • New Amazon-exclusive features like X-Ray for Movies, X-Ray for Textbooks, Immersion Reading, Whispersync for Voice, Whispersync for Games, and Kindle FreeTime.
  • World’s best content ecosystem—over 22 million movies, TV shows, songs, apps, games, books, audiobooks 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’s top-rated, world-class customer service.

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, Marvel’s The Avengers in standard definition is 785 MB, but in HD, The Avengersis 2.97 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 neighbors’ Wi-Fi networks. Kindle Fire HD circumvents this congestion with state-of-the-art dual-band Wi-Fi. Kindle Fire HD can automatically switch 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 the latest generation iPad.

Latest Generation 4G LTE Wireless

The large-screen Kindle Fire HD is also available with ultra-fast 4G LTE, with download speeds as fast as Wi-Fi. To keep the 4G Kindle Fire HD just 8.8 mm thin, Amazon custom-designed its 4G wireless modem to be just 2.2 mm. Some 4G devices don’t support all of the non-4G bands—Kindle Fire HD includes support for 10-bands, so even if a customer doesn’t have perfect 4G coverage, the Kindle will fall back to the fastest available 3G speeds.

Amazon’s Breakthrough 4G LTE Data Package

The 4G Kindle Fire HD comes with the most affordable 4G tablet data package. Customers will have access to a 12-month data plan with 250MB per month, 20GB of Amazon Cloud storage, and a $10 credit in the Amazon Appstore for a one-time cost of $49.99. In fact, when you combine the cost of the device and the data plan, customers who purchase the Kindle Fire HD 4G LTE will pay over $400 less than latest generation iPad owners in the first year of ownership. Customers can also choose to upgrade to 3 GB or 5 GB data plans from AT&T directly from the device.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9" 4G LTE Pre-Order Page

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • fixxmyhead

    who's stupid enough to buy this one. the data plan is a joke

    • itznfb

      There is definitely a market for it. Just because you wouldn't buy it doesn't mean the people who would are stupid. It's not like there is a plethora of data capable tablets out there.

      • http://www.prosoftstudio.com/ Brandon Enriquez

        Agreed, it will work for some people, however for power users (or data-hungry users like me) we are better off staying nearby WiFi, and to be honest I only use power/data hungry apps when on WiFi at home or around work.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/LG5MGWENVF5AWU7PSRJBQU7ARQ Ron J

      If you bang most of your stuff out on wi-fi it worx. Fall back on 4G for 250MB a month isn't that bad.

  • itznfb

    Are there other data plan options? I wouldn't buy this but it would be perfect for some Kindle focused users I know.... 250mb is kind of useless though.

    • itznfb

      Amazon Kindle page is finally update with the new devices and there are two additional data plans... 3GB and 5GB not sure on pricing though. If it's as good of a value as the 250MB plan I might actually consider getting one with a 5GB plan.

  • Southrncomfortjm

    What can you do with 24mb a month? Seriously, just buy the cheaper version and use Wifi.

    • Aleks

      250 MB per month

      • Southrncomfortjm

        Indeed. I got my months and years confused. 250 is workable if all you do is check email and Pulse, play some Scamble and do some occassional web-browsing. I know because that's what I do and I use about 350mb a month.

        • http://twitter.com/RajAshish1 Raj Ashish

          Customers can also choose to upgrade to 3 GB or 5 GB data plans from AT&T directly from the device.

  • David Keith

    You guys do understand who the Kindle Fire is geared towards don't you? If you watched/listened to the Press Release there was a lot about kids and family and what not. This Tablet is not for anyone who go to this website.....

    It is perfect for what they are trying to do! If you want a Tablet to take with you all the time and surf the web when you are not around WiFi you wouldn't get this tablet anyways..

    my 2 cents anyway

  • andr3wjacks0n

    The iPad is officially obsolete.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    Pre-orders are live.

  • jammer

    Oh, it must download so much faster because it has a faster WiFi connection. I'm sure everyone who is going to buy this must already have video files on their local network.

  • Rob

    Don't see what people are complaining about, $50/year for 250mb/Month, that's only 4.17/month How much data are you currently using on your tablets? For $50/year it'll be nice to have a data connection when I'm away from wifi. Having already been an Amazon Prime user I'm am pretty tempted for the 8.9" wifi model.

    • Deltaechoe

      Seriously guy? With amazon touting all their media rich features and allowing the use of "4G" people are going to blaze through that data cap in record time. Most people don't use their phones for the data heavy apps, but as far as tablets are concerned, it's a completely different story

  • Freak4Dell

    I'd rather have seen a 3G version that included a higher cap, but this is still a great deal.

  • Bertram Moshier

    The 4G data plan is 250 MB, which isn't even an episode of an hour long TV series, per month. 250 MB isn't anything in today's usage of the Internet. Well, at least to my Son and I. We're on Sprint for our 4G LTE coverage and my Son typically uses 2 to 4,5 GB on Sprint per month for 3G and 4G per our bill. Cost: $0.00.