With little pomp and circumstance, Amazon unleashed a huge lineup of new consumer tech products today, including a Fire TV geared towards gamers, a tablet for kids, and its cheapest Fire tablets so far.
These new pieces of hardware solidify Amazon’s stake in low-cost tablets and streaming content to TVs; they’re specifically built to be a means to access Amazon’s Prime online multimedia store, which offers streaming movies and TV as purchases and rentals. The tablets, like the new Fire tablet and HD 8 or HD 10, preload Amazon content based on what you previously watched and liked. The operating system itself — a variant, or “fork” of Android — has been redesigned to be less restrictive, but still offer every service that Amazon provides, from Mayday customer service to the child-oriented FreeTime.
This release comes just in time for the holiday buying season, where Amazon has traditionally fallen short against bigger brands like Apple, which also just announced a lineup of new tablets, and its own new Apple TV streaming box. Instead of competing on the top tier, Amazon is making the lower-cost options a cornucopia of “free” media, offering a free month of Amazon Prime membership with every purchase. Then, it’ll be $99 per year, where Amazon really makes its money.
The Fire tablets will be available September 30, but you’ll have to wait until October 5 to buy the Fire TV and Fire TV Gaming Edition, and October 22 for the Fire TV Stick.