Amazon unveils Kindle Fire


Amazon today unveiled its Kindle Fire tablet computer which it hopes will challenge Apple’s iPad in the hand-held device sector.

The new tablet will be cheaper and smaller (with a 7-inch screen) than the iPad and will sell for approximately $199 (€150), according to Amazon executives.

While it doesn't have an embedded camera or a microphone, it does have Wi-Fi connectivity and will use Google's Android software.

The product is the latest to try to challenge the iPad after sales of tablets from Hewlett-Packard and Research In Motion fell short of expectations.

Since its introduction in 2010, the iPad has become Apple's biggest source of revenue after the iPhone and accounted for 68 per cent of all tablets sold during the second quarter of this year.

Sales of Amazon's electronic books, movies and music on the device may help make up for the narrower profit margins that are likely to result from the low price, according to Brian Blair, an analyst at Wedge Partners in New York.

Forrester Research predicts the tablet market will grow 51 per cent per year until 2015.