Amazon takes on iPad with Kindle Fire

Online retailer Amazon has launched a new tablet computer in competition with Apple’s best-selling iPad.

Two versions of the machine, the Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD, were unveiled at a press conference in the United States.

Previously only sold in the US, UK consumers on this side of the Atlantic will be able to buy the new HD version, which has a seven-inch screen, for Stg £159 while the second model goes for Stg £129.

The HD version has an 11-hour battery life, a camera and 16 gigabytes of storage and will have easy access to Amazon’s Kindle book service and the streaming service, LOVEFiLM, which is a subsidiary of the firm.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos said: “Not only does Kindle Fire HD feature the most advanced hardware, it’s also a service. When combined with our enormous content ecosystem, unmatched cross-platform interoperability, and standard-setting customer service, we hope people will agree that Kindle Fire HD is the best seven-inch tablet available anywhere, at any price.”

He also announced a new, smaller version of the Kindle e-reader which will sell for £69.

The battle for supremacy in the technology marketplace is hotting up.

This week also saw Finnish phone firm Nokia reveal details of two new phones which will run on Microsoft’s Windows operating system and next week, Apple is due to hold a “special event” – widely believed to be the launch of its iPhone 5.

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