Amazon (AMZN) today unveiled a new tablet called the Paperwhite because of its extremely light screen. The retailer will sell the Kindle Paperwhite for $119 (Wi-Fi only), pricing it to compete with Google’s Nexus 7. The 6-inch screen is a little smaller than the Nexus’s, but Amazon says that at 212 ppi, the Paperwhite has a 62% higher resolution than the previous Kindle. The company also says the Paperwhite is faster than the iPad or the Nexus 7. Amazon will sell a 3G version of the Paperwhite for $179 and a basic Kindle for $79. In addition, Amazon announced an entire new lineup of Kindle Fire products, including a $499 LTE version that comes with 250 megabytes of data for $50 per month.
The Kindle Fire was the best-selling product in Amazon’s history, but it has had a hard time keeping up with Apple’s iPad, Google’s Nexus 7 and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab. According to IHS iSuppli, Amazon has just under 5% of the tablet market, while Apple has almost 65% and Samsung almost 10%.
Amazon’s stock hit an all-time high this morning ahead of today’s announcement. Wall Street analysts are paying close attention to Amazon’s tablet pricing plan, which some say may be subsidized by advertising on the slates. Tablets are classic loss leaders for Amazon, which can more than make up for the money lost on each one sold if it can sell users enough digital content to read and watch on their Amazon devices.
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