Amazon ships Fire early as competition heats up

Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:53am EST

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos holds up the new Kindle Fire at a news conference during the launch of Amazon's new tablets in New York, September 28, 2011. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos holds up the new Kindle Fire at a news conference during the launch of Amazon's new tablets in New York, September 28, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton

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(Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc began shipping its Kindle Fire on Monday, a day earlier than it expected and extending its lead time over Barnes & Noble Inc's rival Nook tablet.

Amazon's $199 7-inch entree into the tablet computer arena, which may give Apple Inc's costlier iPad some competition but competes most directly with the new Nook, ships a day before the latest Kindle Touch e-reader devices.

Barnes & Noble's $249 Nook tablet hits shelves later this week and, like the Fire, is expected to be a hot item over the holiday season. Amazon may sell 3 million to 5 million Fire tablets this quarter, analysts estimate.

The price-tags on both devices are expected to pressure profit margins in the short term but analysts say the gadgets are intended to make money on apps and other multimedia content from electronic books to videos.

Amazon said in a statement on Monday that the Fire tablet is the best-selling item on Amazon.com and added that it was increasing production.

"Based on customer response we're building millions more than we'd planned," Dave Limp, Vice President, Amazon Kindle, said in the statement.

(Reporting by Eddie Chan and Alistair Barr; Editing by Derek Caney)

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Comments (1)
“Book burning has never been easier introducing the new Kindle Fire.
I never believed that the Amazon business model would survive as long as it has but the launch of their electronic book marketing tool is the end.
The economy is in the dumps, credit card defaults are exceeded only by student loan defaults in the U.S. unemployment is nearly 15% and now a technology warehouse selling everything China can ship them is offering a $250.US book at a loss hoping to make up for the short term short fall by anticipating the surge in selling people apps that tell you how much money you lost on your 401K last week!
Sweet sign me up and throw in a couple Borders hats you’ve got lying around they make great stock stuffers so I can pad my portfolio too.

Nov 14, 2011 4:09pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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