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Amazon Announces New Kindles

New Kindle Fire Product Shot - P 2012

The company introduced three Kindle Fires, including a larger-screened HD model, a 4G model with a $50-a-year data plan and three new e-readers.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos introduced six new Kindles today at a press event in Santa Monica. 

With these Kindles, Amazon is showing it clearly has its eyes set on beating the iPad.

Headlining the announcement were three new Kindle Fires, the company's budget-priced multimedia tablet competittor to the iPad, including two HD display models. 

The new larger-screen Kindle Fire HD features an 8.9 inch high-resolution display.

Bezos touted the display on the new model as having less glare and improved viewing angles. It comes with a higher-powered processor, Dolby stereo speakers and better wifi reception.

The company is also introducing an HD model with a 7-inch display, which also features a smaller version of the new high-resolution screen.

Bezos emphasized the improved wifi reception as a selling point, emphasizing its increased speed and comparing it directly to the iPad and Google's new Nexus 7. The Kindle FIre HD comes with 16 GB of storage and will cost $199. It ships on Sept. 14.

The large-screen model is $299 for 16GB. It ships on Nov. 20.  A KIndle Fire HD with 4G wireless connectivity priced at $499. The company is also offering a data plan for the 4G offering 250 MB of bandwith a month for just $50 a year. 

The base Kindle Fire, which retains the original's 7-inch screen, now comes with double the ram and longer battery life. It is priced at $159 and will be available on Sept. 14.

Bezos also previewed a new social media componnent to Amazon's movie viewer app called "x-ray for movies" that incorporates IMDB (which Amazon also owns) to allow users to touch the screen to call up information about a particular actor or movie.

He also talked about improvements to the company's cloud service, including a new email app, a custom Facebook app and the ability to sync games across devices. The company also introduced three new e-readers.

The new models introduce the Paperwhite display a higher resolution, higher contrast, backlit (for reading in the dark) touchscreen.

The new Kindles also feature a tweaked case design that includes a move to darker plastic, a redesigned bezel and the removal of the home button.

Bezos touted that the new Kindle can last eight weeks on a single charge, even with the light on.

The new Kindle Paperwhite is priced at $119 for the wifi model and $179 for the 3G-equipped model. The models are available for pre-order and will ship Oct. 1. 

A slightly improved version of the existing base model with a slightly better screen is priced at $69, a $10 drop from the existing price.  

The company also introduced the new Kindle Serial publishing program, allowing authors to publish books in installments for one price.