Amazon just announced that it would be dropping the price of the 8.9-inch version of its Kindle Fire HD. The tablet will now cost $269 for the Wi-Fi only version and $399 for the Wi-Fi and LTE version. The Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ is now available in the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Japan as well. Canada won’t get the device this time around.
The Kindle Fire HD was already available in Europe, but only the 7-inch version. With today’s news, Android tablets will become more widely available and could represent a bigger market share in Europe and Japan.
Amazon may have needed more time to ramp up production before releasing the Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ in other countries. Even though it is less popular than its cheaper brother, the tablet received a price cut as well. John Biggs found it a bit too big to use it comfortably.
Many Android tablet apps are still scaled-up smartphone apps. Developers need Android tablets to catch on in order to start considering it as a separate platform. IDC predicted that shipments of Android tablets may overtake those of the iPad in 2013. It could represent a turning point for mobile developers and startups.
While Amazon still hasn’t released its rumored smartphone, the company offers a wide range of tablets, from small form factors to bigger LTE tablets. Releasing an Android app in the Amazon Appstore is now an important step — Google Play isn’t enough if you want to target a large number of tablets.
As always, Amazon doesn’t release sales figures and it is difficult to predict whether the Kindle Fire product line is popular. If that is the case, it means that Google’s strategy with Android is not succeeding. Amazon forked Android to release its own tablet operating system, leaving behind many Google apps and services.