Tablet sales were really strong the past couple of years but things have slowed down in the market. This is likely because many people now have a tablet and don’t see enough change in the devices to merit purchasing a new one. One segment that is still seeing strong sales though is low cost tablets. This is likely due to those consumers that are wary of spending such a large amount on a device that they are unsure of how much they might use it. The other likely reason is parents that are looking to get a device for their kids so they don’t have to share. Amazon introduced several new tablets specifically for these issues.
The $99 Fire HD 6
The most interesting Kindle Fire release from last night was the new Fire HD 6 with its starting price of just $99. This makes it one of the most affordable tablets on the market. The design does not look that much different from the other Kindle Fire tablets but just smaller due to the 6-inch display. In fact, the specs between the new Fire HD 6 and the revised Fire HD 7 are pretty much the same other than the display. Both use a quad core processor and feature front and rear cameras. Both even have the same 1280×800 display just with different sizes so that the HD 6 has a slightly more defined image because of its smaller pixel sizes. Of course the smaller size may mean less battery life from a smaller internal battery.
Now Amazon realizes that many of these affordable tablets are being purchased by parents for their kids. The downside is that kids can be extremely rough on their toys and tablets can break easily. Because of this, Amazon has released a Kids Edition of both of their Fire HD 6 and Fire HD 7 products. Essentially they are the same tablets sold at a higher price that include some additional features specifically for kids. For instance, the $99 Fire HD 6 jumps up to $149 for the Kids Edition while the $139 Fire HD 7 sells at $189.
Of course, Amazon is also trying to hook the kids into a service as well. With the purchase of the Kids Edition tablets, you also get a year of the Amazon FreeTime Unlimited. This provides access to over 5,000 books, movies and TV shows that are appropriate for children. Sadly, this subscription does not last for the full two years so after the first year, the service can be continued for prices ranging from $2.99 to $9.99/month depending upon if you have Prime already and the number of children in the service.