Amazon to unveil cut-price Kindle Fire with ads, says report

Amazon to release 5 or 6 new tabletsAs already reported, Amazon is holding an event next Thursday in Santa Monica where it’s widely expected the e-commerce giant will unveil its next-generation Kindle Fire tablet, and possibly a brand new e-reader, or updated Touch.

The latest news, reported by the Wall Street Journal, is that the company will apparently launch not one but two Kindle Fire tablets next week – one regular model, and one ad-supported model, sold at a price even more competitive than the original Fire (ie. under $199).

The ad-supported ‘Special Offers’ platform has been a feature of its range of e-readers for a while now, allowing buyers of the device to make a saving in exchange for having ads displayed on the screen. The basic ad-supported Kindle e-reader can be picked up for $79, that’s $30 less than the no-ads model.

Cnet reported on Friday that the upgraded Kindle Fire will incorporate “more hardware improvements, including a faster processor, a camera, physical volume controls, and an HDMI port. It will also have larger storage capacity, but it will still not be expandable.” This according to “a person who has seen the products.”

Google’s recently released 7-inch Nexus 7 tablet, also priced at $199 like the Fire, has caught the eye of many consumers, and so with its second-generation tablet Amazon will hope a cheaper ad-supported device with more bells and whistles will help it to regain the initiative at the lower end of the tablet market.

In other news, talk of a 10-inch Fire to compete with Apple’s 9.7-inch iPad appears to be fading, with Cnet reporting that plans for a larger device have been shelved, at least for now.

With Apple also expected to unveil an iPad Mini in the coming weeks, consumers on the hunt for a tablet this holiday season are certain to be spoiled for choice. Would an ad-supported Kindle Fire for, say, $169 be of interest to you?