Amazon (AMZN) has unveiled its next generation line of Kindle tablets.
On Tuesday, CEO and founder Jeff Bezos showed off the new tablets, highlighting new features and new entry-level model pricing. The latest Kindle Fire tablets come up faster processors and higher resolution screens. Amazon is also introducing a “Mayday” service that will allow tablet owners to communicate directly with customer service representatives to obtain guidance, resolve problems or get app recommendations, the Associated Press notes.
Amazon also slashed the price of its 7-inch Kindle Fire HD tablet with 8GB of memory from $199 to $139, pricing its below many low-cost 7-inch competitors. The 8.9-inch Kindle HDX tablet starts at $379, while the 7-inch Kindle HDX starts at $229.
Consumers can begin pre-ordering the new Kindles on Wednesday. The tablets will begin shipping in October and November, depending on the model.
According to industry research firm NDP, Kindle tablets comprise about 17% of the overall market. That compares to about 48% for Apple‘s (AAPL) iPads. Apple is expected to release updated iPad and iPad Mini models next month.
Shares of Amazon fell slightly in Wednesday morning trading.