The online retailing giant began taking pre-orders for the tablets Thursday. They will come in two screen sizes — seven inches and 8.9 inches — and can be loaded with 16 GB or 32 GB of memory. The seven-inch, 16 GB model will sell for $214.
The devices run on the Android operating system and offer all the standard features tablet users have become accustomed to, including a touchscreen, a front-facing HD camera and a dual-band Wi-Fi connection.
Amazon said Kindle Fire users have access to one million apps, games and books through the online Kindle Store and can expand their storage by storing content in the Amazon Cloud.
Only Paperwhite and basic Kindle available to date
Canadians have been able to buy the basic Kindle e-reader and the Paperwhite model but not the popular tablet that offers access to the online entertainment that is dominating portable devices more and more.
- Amazon launches Paperwhite in Canada
The Kindle Fire, which was launched in 2011, was initially positioned as a cheaper alternative to Apple's iPad but has since had to compete against tablet offerings from Google, Samsung and BlackBerry. Analysts have predicted that 2013 will be the year that Android tablets like the Kindle Fire and Google's Nexus overtake Apple in terms of market share.
Kindle products have been late in reaching Canada ever since Amazon introduced its first e-reader in 2007. It started shipping Kindles to Canadian customers in 2009 (although with import fees) but only launched a Canadian ebook store in December 2012. Prior to that, Canadian Kindle owners had to buy content through Amazon.com.