TECHNOLOGY

Kindle Fire HD, Kindle Paperwhite intrdoduced by Amazon

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SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) - Amazon is updating its Kindle Fire tablet computer as it steps up competition with Apple's iPad.

Amazon is also expected to roll out an updated Kindle Fire as well. Photo: Associated Press

It will cost $159, down from $199 for the old model. It will start shipping Sept. 14.

Amazon also refreshed its line of stand-alone e-readers.

The Fire is an effort to take a larger share of a tablet computer market dominated by Apple's iPad. It could help Amazon.com Inc. boost sales of digital goods such as e-books and movies.

The announcement was made at a former airplane hangar in Santa Monica, Calif.

Amazon has pursued the strategy of selling lower-priced tablets at razor-thin, if any, profit margins in order to boost sales of digital items from its online store. The Kindle Fire has a smaller screen than the iPad.

A new e-reader, dubbed the Kindle Paperwhite, promises 25 percent more contrast. Bezos said "the whites are whiter, and the blacks are blacker."

The Paperwhite has a light source. Bezos says the device is "perfect in direct sunlight." Tablets such as the iPad and the Fire don't work as well in bright light because they are lit from the back. Bezos says the light on the Paperwhite is directed down at the display.

The device promises eight weeks of battery life, even with the light on.

It costs $119 and starts shipping Oct. 1. Amazon says it will start taking orders Thursday. There's also a model with 3G cellular connections for $179.

Consumer electronics makers are trying to generate interest in their products now, before Apple announces a new iPhone and possibly a mini iPad next week.

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