With Samsung and Apple, along with a handful of local manufacturers, cashing in on the India's love for tablets, their global rival Amazon has decided to launch its popular Kindle Fire HD series of tablets in the country. A release from the company said the seven-inch and 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD models will be available in India from June 27 through Amazon.in.
Indicating that Amazon is now serious about the opportunity in India, the company is also bringing its Kindle and Kindle Paperwhite ebook readers as well as the Kindle store to Amazon.in the same day. The fifth generation Kindle ebook reader will be available for Rs 5,999, while the high-end will cost Rs 10,999 for the Wi-Fi only model and Rs 13,999 for the Wi-Fi + 3G option.
Incidentally, Amazon opened up its e-tailing store just last week with books and movies. Access to these books and movies will be one of the USPs of Amazons tablets, which runs an operating system based on Android Ice Cream Sandwich. So instead of Google Play, users will have access to the Amazon App Store that has over 1.9 million apps and games along with the world's largest collections of ebooks.
"Not only does Kindle Fire feature advanced hardware, it's also a service. The combination of the leading apps, the largest book selection, great email and browsing and top rated customer service, we hope our customers in India will agree that Kindle Fire HD is the best tablet for a great price," Amazon Kindle vice-president Dave Limp said in the release.
Manasi Yadav, Senior Market Analyst - Mobile Phones and Tablets, at IDC said the Kindle Fire HD seems to have great hardware and a "congruous pricing for the Indian market". "Also, it has a service-led approach with a melange of leading apps and a huge book selection for consumers," she added.
Along with the HD display and Dolby audio, the tablets come with dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi and over 10 hours of battery life. It is powered by an OMAP4 4470 processor and Imagination SGX544 graphics engine. Along with the 16 GB or 32 GB of internal storage, which is augmented by free cloud storage, the 8.9-inch tablet weighs 567 grams and is just 8.8 mm thin. The seven-inch tablet will be available at a suggested retail price of Rs 15,999 and Kindle Fire HD 8.9'' will be available at Rs 21,999. The devices will also sell through top retailers across the country.
According to research firm IDC, the overall tablet market in India reached approximately 2.66 million units in 2012, growing 901 per cent year-over-year from 2011. Low-cost seven-inch tablets account for 78 per cent of the numbers in India. IDC predicts that at this rate close to 6 million units will be sold in 2013. As per IDC figures, Samsung is India's top tablet vendor with 15.76 per cent share, followed by Micromax at 13.33 per cent and Apple at 9.92 per cent.