Amazon unveils new Kindle devices as battle for the tablet market heats up

Online giant set to begin shipping new versions of e-reader device next month

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The Independent Online

Amazon has released two new tablets, including a special child-friendly version of its Fire HD device, as it aims to hit back at Apple in the increasingly competitive consumer electronics market.

The Seattle-based online giant announced new two versions of its e-reader device - the Kindle – which will start shipping in October, as well as a new Fire HDX tablet that is designed to compete with the iPad Air.

Amazon has already confirmed plans to bring both TV streaming box, Fire TV and the company's first smartphone - the Fire Phone - to the UK for the first time.

This latest move from Amazon comes at the end of a busy summer for consumer technology, with the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus hitting stores worldwide tomorrow, and Samsung having introduced a new version of its 6-inch smartphone, the Galaxy Note, that comes complete with a curved screen on one side, operating as a news ticker and notification bar. The Korean company's new devices start arriving in October.

Amazon also launched two new Kindle e-readers, including the Voyage, which the company says is the thinnest e-reader ever at 0.3ins (7.8mm).

The device weighs only 6.34oz (180 grams) and has been shown off alongside a new version of the original Kindle, which will have a touch display for the first time. The Voyage also has the clearest display Amazon has ever created, with it containing 300 pixels per inch.


E-readers have always been a key piece of hardware for Amazon, and senior vice president of devices David Limp said: "We want to continue to encourage people to read more. We believe society is a better place if we all read more."

The company also showed off three new tablets for the first time, including the new Fire HDX 8.9 - a size that puts it in direct competition with Apple's iPad. The HDX, which will start shipping in October, has 1 million more pixels on screen than Apple's device however, and is also lighter.

Amazon also squared itself off with Microsoft and their Surface Pro tablet by announcing their first Bluetooth keyboard to go with the tablet.

Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos said: "The team has packed an incredible amount of technology and innovation into the new Fire HDX-an incredible HDX display, a powerful quad-core processor, a 70 per cent faster graphics engine, exceptional audio, and faster Wi-Fi-and it's still startlingly light."

Additional reporting by PA