Amazon Launches New Fire Tablets With Built-in Alexa in U.S. and U.K.

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, May 18, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Amazon yesterday refreshed its low-cost tablet range and brought its Alexa voice assistant to Fire tablets in the U.K. for the first time.

    The new thinner and lighter $50/£50 Fire 7 boasts an improved 7-inch 1024x600 IPS screen with higher contrast and sharper text, up to 8 hours' battery life, and more storage than its predecessor. Meanwhile, the new $80/£80 Fire HD 8 features a larger 8-inch 1280x800 display and up to 12 hours of battery life.


    Both devices pack a quad-core 1.3GHz processor, 2-megapixel VGA front and rear cameras, dual-band WiFi, and Alexa voice assistant, which comes as a new feature for tablets sold in the United Kingdom.

    Amazon claims its new Fire models are more hard-wearing than Apple's iPads. Even so, the Fire 7 and Fire HD 8 are also available in Kids Editions, for £100/$100 and £130/$130 respectively, which come with a large rubber protective case and a two-year "worry-free" guarantee, as well as more storage, parental controls, no adverting or in-app purchases, and a one-year subscription to Fire for kids unlimited.

    With its low-cost, feature-rich offerings, Amazon has managed to buck the trend in a tablet market in which even market-leading brands like Apple have struggled to convince consumers to upgrade to the latest devices. While iPad sales have declined for 13 consecutive quarters, Fire sales have generally improved, seeing double-digit growth in its media-positioned tablets. The Fire 7 has proved particularly popular among parents who want a device for their kids but aren't willing to risk paying a premium price.

    The Amazon Fire 7 and HD 8 tablets are available to pre-order now and due to ship on June 7. Amazon will roll out Alexa to more of its Fire tablet devices in the U.K. in June through a software update.

    Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon.

    Article Link: Amazon Launches New Fire Tablets With Built-in Alexa in U.S. and U.K.
  2. pika2000 macrumors 68030

    Jun 22, 2007
    A trend that pretty much kills the Android tablet market.
  3. mlovergaard macrumors 6502


    Jan 28, 2011
    New York City
    I have to say I love what Amazon offers with their Fire tablets. The price is just unbeatable for what you get.
  4. sshambles macrumors 6502a


    Oct 19, 2005
  5. jadot macrumors 6502


    Apr 6, 2010
    For what most people tend to need a tablet for I'd say that there's absolutely no reason for people to get an iPad.

    I have an iPad Pro 9.7 and I use it to surf the internet, and check emails. It's amazing, and I love the design etc, but I don't need it.

    A Fire tablet is around a tenth of the price - that should be a no-brainer - even if I buy the 10" Fire it's going to come in a around a third of the price of the iPad.

    That's nuts when you think about it.
  6. deadoctopi macrumors member


    Oct 23, 2015
    Columbus, OH
    It really is. I use my iPad Pro 12.9 as a replacement for the MBP that was mobile overkill for me. But I make daily use of the Apple Pencil and some other creative apps, but I see your point, my sons $50 Fire tablet works quite well for 80% of what I'm online for haha.
  7. nwcs macrumors 65816


    Sep 21, 2009
    The fire tablets are not bad for the price. Obviously sold near cost. But I just don't like their flavor of android. Maybe I've used iOS too long? Even after putting Google Play on there (which helped a lot) the overall usability in performance and screen was just really poor for anything more than sedate user activity.
  8. Relentless Power macrumors P6

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    You do get a lot for the price point. But the build quality on the $50 Fire tablet is subpar at best and the display is horrible. Otherwise, you can't go wrong if you wanted to try one and Amazon made it highly affordable.
  9. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I have some friends that have them and they really enjoy it.
    In a way its very Apple like in what Amazon did. Provide a device that connects to content that they offer. This is why the Fire is succeeding when other tablets are failing. Tablets are content consumption devices and Amazon's rich content offerings provides the means for people to enjoy its tablet.
  10. brendu macrumors 68020

    Apr 23, 2009
    The fire tablet are great and Amazon wisely catered to the kid market knowing what parents are willing to pay and then making great kids software to ensure kids don't muck anything up or charge money to parents credit cards. My daughter has one and it works well for her. Having said that it's unbearably slow and the web browsing and email experiences are complete **** compared to iPad. I would never use a kindle as my primary computer. I do use an iPad as my primary computer even if it costs 10x as much.
  11. WBRacing, May 18, 2017
    Last edited: May 18, 2017

    WBRacing macrumors 6502a


    Nov 19, 2012
    Totally agree, though I would add to that list, the RightMove property search app. Despite it's design and functionality failings, it is still the best way to search for and view properties. When sharing with my other half it is the only reliable way I have found to get the images (via my ATV) to be fullscreen on the TV, for easier reviewing.

    I have tried it with my Nexus 7 and Chromecast but the mirror connection drops frequently and the app doesn't seem to run quite as smoothly. At least when I get a saved property search email through I can click the link and it takes me straight to the RightMove App, rather than Safari on the ipad...

    Pros and Cons to both but at the price, the current iPad for me doesn't offer enough extra bang for my buck to justify the upgrade price. If I was buying now, the iPad would be the less logical choice.
  12. jmh600cbr macrumors 6502a


    Feb 14, 2012
    This is the kind of device you get for free in a promo and give to a friend.
  13. Tapiture macrumors 6502

    Oct 1, 2016
    Really glad I just became a shareholder in Amazon. Bezos knows what he's doing. Most insightful CEO in the world currently.
  14. Blackstick macrumors 6502


    Aug 11, 2014
    Sunny South Florida
    For my toddler, it's a fantastic device. I'll keep my 9.7" iPad Pro, obviously no comparison (in features and ESPECIALLY price :p )
  15. bookcase macrumors member

    Sep 11, 2014
    Chicago, IL
    I love Amazon almost as much as I love Apple, but I can't stomach Android over iOS, so that's a deal breaker.
  16. satchmo macrumors 68000

    Aug 6, 2008
    But do we have actual Amazon year over year sales or is this just an opinion?

    That said, these new Fire tablets are great cheap alternatives that smartly leverages the popularity of Alexa.
  17. BruceEBonus macrumors 65816


    Sep 23, 2007
    Derbyshire, England
    Yes. Amazon may be a forward thinking and innovative company. But when did they last do a charity meal or right-on event like our Tim does? Something has to give somewhere. You can't do both. Or at least that's the message im getting.
  18. blackcrayon macrumors 68000

    Mar 10, 2003
    So if these new Fire tablets have Alexa... Then why would anyone buy that ugly Amazon Echo Show? Just get a Fire tablet with a cool looking stand & speakers... And then you can take it off and use it as a tablet if you want.
  19. Kebabselector macrumors 68030


    May 25, 2007
    Birmingham, UK
    I wanted to try one in store - but it was stuck in a store demo mode only!
  20. FelixDerKater macrumors 68020


    Apr 12, 2002
  21. jadot macrumors 6502


    Apr 6, 2010
    It's a conspiracy I tells ya!
  22. fhall1 macrumors 68040


    Dec 18, 2007
    (Central) NY State of mind
    I was thinking the same thing - I'll bet the big difference is in the microphones to pick up your commands across the room and/or filtering out extraneous noise to hear your command.
  23. Urban Joe Suspended

    Mar 19, 2012
    It's because, as Jeff said, Amazon doesn't sell its devices at a profit, rather at a small loss but they make it up through services/shopping etc. It's a different profit model but you're right, it does give the consumer the ability to get technology basically at cost. Can't fault Apple as that's been the traditional business model for decades across most product companies. Apple is trying, albeit struggling, to improve profits through services. Problem is Apple's been notoriously incapable, relatively speaking, to be a major player in services.
  24. doelcm82 macrumors 68040


    Feb 11, 2012
    Florida, USA
    For myself, I'd still get an iPad. I use Apple Mail, Apple Maps, etc., and I like the handoff features.

    For the kids (who've managed to break the screens on two iPads--older models with cheap rubberized cases), I'd choose the Fire Kids Editions. Other than having to auto archive almost daily, they're hassle free. I'll check the new ones out and maybe get one or four.
    --- Post Merged, May 18, 2017 ---
    Apple's services revenue has been growing steadily. I know, for Apple, if it doesn't sell like iPhones, it must be called a dismal failure (because 18% growth is meh). Apple hasn't had a "success" in more than a decade. They are doomed to a future of steady growth.
  25. NT1440 macrumors G4


    May 18, 2008
    Hartford, CT
    Not a fan Kindle's overall.

    That said, when I was working at best buy I was shocked at what you got with the Fire HD for something like $80. To see what you get today for $50...whew. If you're just looking for any old tablet for web browsing and reading, I don't think you can beat them.

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