Amazon To Offer $49.99 Tablet in Six Packs

A slew of new product announcements from Amazon -- including plans for a $49.99 tablet aimed at holiday shoppers -- confirm that the e-commerce giant is still actively committed to developing consumer devices in-house. The recent demise of its failed Fire Phone notwithstanding, Amazon clearly continues to have ambitious hardware marketing goals.

One of those goals is competing against Apple, which sold more than 225 million units of its iPad last year. While the least expensive iPad -- the 16-gigabyte iPad mini 2 -- retails for $269, Amazon plans to offer a buy-five-get-one-free six pack of its new Fire tablet for $249.95.

Other new products announced by Amazon yesterday include a Fire TV with support for 4K Ultra HD, a Fire TV Stick with voice remote, a "kid-proof" version of its Fire tablet and a Fire TV hardware package designed for gamers. The company also said it's releasing a higher-end Fire HD tablet, available with either an 8-inch or 10.1-inch screen.

Introducing 'Amazon Underground'

The new low-cost Fire tablet represents the next step in Amazon's mission to deliver "premium products at non-premium prices," said the company's founder and CEO Jeff Bezos in a statement. Featuring a quad-core processor and a new app store experience called Amazon Underground, the Fire "sets a new bar for what customers should expect from a low-cost tablet," he said.

Amazon Underground is a "a one-of-a-kind experience where apps, games, and in-app items are 100 percent free for customers, and Amazon pays developers based on the amount of time your Amazon Underground app is used," according to the company's online description of the program. Amazon is billing the feature as a new way for developers to monetize their own Android-based apps.

The new Fire tablets are built with Fire OS 5, which Amazon has dubbed "Bellini." A Linux-based...

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