Amazon bolstered its position in the tablet market Thursday, showing 3 new Kindle Fire HD tablets including two with larger screens, close in size to the 9.7-inch iPad.
Two of the models sport 8.9 inch screens with either 16GB of storage at $299 or 32GB plus 4G LTE via AT&T at $499. Amazon also offers its users a special data plan of only $50 for a year of LTE service.
The entry level Fire HD, retains a 7-inch screen, and offers WiFi only and 16GB of storage at $199.
Amazon said the devices are faster and more responsive. They use 2 WiFi antennas and MIMO (Multiple In/Multiple Out) technology, permitting several antennae to work together for improved service. Plus the new HD models offer faster processors, longer battery life and more RAM.
The screens on the new devices feature 10-point multi-touch support. And they have a special laminated touch sensor that offers 25 percent less sun glare than the latest Apple iPad, Amazon said.
Amazon will also sell an updated version of the current Fire with improved battery life and a faster processor for $159. It ships September 14 while the other models ship November 20.
According to IHS iSuppli, Amazon had sold almost 6 million Fire tablets by mid-year and is expected to sell almost 2 million more in Q3. It grabbed 22 percent market share in only 9 months with the launch of the original Fire.
Amazon also launched new Kindle e-readers starting at $69.