New e-readers: Amazon brings the Kindle Fire for the first time to Germany


As of October 25th, the smaller version of the new Kindle Fire HD will be available in Germany. With this, Amazon is also picking up the price war in the booming tablet business in this country. The price will be 199 euros for the model with 16 gigabytes of memory and 249 euros for the 32-GB variant, as the responsible Europe manager Jorrit van der Meulen said. In addition, a refreshed version of the Kindle Fire from last autumn will be available here for 159 euros on the following Wednesday. These tablets have a screen size of 7 inches (18.8 cm).

Users have access to the Amazon music offering as well as films about their daughter Lovefilm via the Fire tablets, which run on an Amazon-modified Android. The number of book titles in German has now grown to 110, 000, said Germany boss Ralf Kleber. Also, the "Cloud Player", with which you can upload his music on Amazon's server and play from there, will soon be available.

Amazon ushered in a broad-based offensive with new devices, which also targets the iPad from Apple - today's top dog. In the US, there will now be a larger version of the Fire tablet with a screen size of 8.9 inches (22.6 cm), as Amazon boss Jeff Bezos announced in Santa Monica, California. Thus, the screen is only slightly smaller than the iPad. The resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels is about as high as an HD TV. The larger Kindle Fire HD costs $ 299 in the US.

For $ 499, there is the larger version with 32 GB of memory even with fast LTE data radio. Amazon offers an LTE rate with a monthly data volume of 250 megabytes for $ 49.99 per year. However, this data reserve is not particularly high for the LTE tempo.

People no longer wanted devices but services, Bezos explained the philosophy behind Amazon's Kindle business model. Therefore, the many tablets with the Google Android operating system had so far had little success. The prices keep Amazon low, because the group does not want to earn money when selling the devices, but when customers use them and buy content. Already since the first Fire it is assumed that Amazon has to pay for this device price. However, the group benefits from direct access to the content in its offer, which the tablets offer.

Bezos also introduced a new e-book reader from Amazon's Kindle series. The model with the nickname "Paperwhite" (paper white) has a particularly bright screen. The battery will last for eight weeks, even when the lights are on, the Amazon boss promised. The prices start in the US at $ 119. This device will initially not be available in Germany. Amazon lowers the price of the classic Kindle Reader from 99 to 79 euros.

Amazon launched the first generation Kindle Fire last November in the US only. The device with a screen diagonal of 7 inches (18.8 cm) made at that time headlines with its low price of $ 199. Meanwhile, competitors with newer devices in this price range are present, most recently about Google with the built by Asus "Nexus 7". For Apple this fall, a first smaller version of its iPad is expected.

Amazon has never released figures on Kindle hardware sales. According to IDC market researchers, the Fire tablets reached a market share of five percent over the past quarter, with 1.25 million units sold. Apple dominated the business with 17 million iPads sold and a market share of 68 percent.

With the new Fire Kindles Amazon also drives the dovetailing with his audiobook subsidiary Audible on. The devices now support "Whispersync for Voice", in which the user can fly between e-book and audiobook and always keep reading there or read to him, where he last stopped. Also new is the "Immersion Reading" - the e-book runs parallel to the audiobook and the currently read text is highlighted. Whether and when these features - which are currently available in the US for around 15, 000 audiobooks / e-book station wagons - will also be available at the German offshoot, is not yet known.

Contrary to rumors in the run-up Bezos announced yesterday, by the way, neither an Amazon smartphone nor a streaming box à la Apple TV. In the interview with the US technology blog "All Things D", the company founder hinted that Amazon had more devices in the pipeline. (Dpa / tc)