May 23, 2023 - Technology

Amazon eyes iPad turf with higher-end Fire tablet

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A picture of Amazon's Fire 11 Max tablet, with keyboard case attached, on a kitchen table

Image: Amazon

Amazon on Tuesday debuted a higher-end model of its Fire tablet line as it looks to move beyond its niche in the ultra-low end of the market.

Why it matters: Amazon is the No. 2 player in the U.S. tablet market, but most of its sales have come in the sub-$100 segment.

Details: Amazon's $229 Fire Max 11 is said to be 50% faster than Amazon's current fastest tablet.

  • It features an aluminum casing, an 8-core MediaTek processor and a 2000-by-1200 pixel, 11-inch display and offers an optional stylus and magnetically attaching keyboard case.
  • Amazon is now taking pre-orders, with devices shipping next month.
  • The new tablet puts Amazon in closer competition with Apple's iPad line, which starts at $329.

Between the lines: Although Amazon's tablet business has largely focused at the low end, devices VP Kevin Keith says that more people have been going for its bigger-screen models in recent years, with sales of its 10-inch model doubling over the past couple of years.

  • Amazon has also expanded its line of Kindle e-readers in recent months with the addition of the larger-screen Kindle Scribe, which also supports handwriting via a stylus.
  • The Scribe is getting the latest in a series of free software updates, Keith said, noting that sales and customer feedback for the device have been great and that the Kindle business overall "is continuing to grow."
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