Amazon announced the latest upgrades to its lineup of Fire HD 8 tablets on Wednesday, promising thinner, lighter and faster models with increased battery life and more.
In the race against other tablet makers, Amazon saw significant year-over-year growth of 26.9% in market share in the second quarter of 2022. Amazon trails Apple and Samsung, according to statistics compiled by the research firm IDC.
Worldwide tablet shipments reached 40.5 million units during the second quarter, IDC reported. Prime Day in the U.S. was credited with giving Amazon better-than-expected numbers — 5.5 million units shipped, up from 4.3 million in Q1.
The new Fire HD 8 features 30% faster performance than the previous generation with 2GB RAM, according to Amazon, with up to 13 hours of battery life and USB-C charging. The tablet starts at $99.99.
Fire HD 8 Plus has 3GB RAM and improvements to the 5MP rear-facing camera. Priced at $119.
The Fire HD 8 Kids is geared toward kids ages 3 to 7 and includes a one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+ and thousands of books, games, videos, and apps. It also has a kid-proof case for banging around. Priced at $149.99.
Fire HD 8 Kids Pro is designed for kids 6 to 12 and also includes the kid-friendly case and the subscription to Amazon Kids+, as well as access to a digital store where kids can discover eBooks and apps, or add games — with permission from parents. Priced at $149.99.
A Disney Design Bundle of the kid tablets includes Disney Mickey and Disney Princess cases, priced at $159.99.
Amazon also announced that “Tap to Alexa” is now available on Fire tablets, enabling customers to use Alexa via touch instead of voice. The feature improves access for people with speech and mobility disabilities.
All of the new Fire HD 8 tablets will be available for pre-order starting today, and begin shipping next month.
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