Amazon is refreshing its budget tablets — upgrading the hardware for its $50 Fire 7 tablet, dropping the price of its Fire HD 8 by $10 to $80, and expanding its lineup of kids tablets with a new $130 Fire HD 8 Kids Edition tablet.
The company is aiming to grab a larger share of what has been a declining tablet market. The industry saw a 10 percent drop in shipments in the first quarter. Amazon was able to grow its market share slightly to about 6 percent in the quarter, compared with the same period a year earlier. Apple’s iPad still leads the market, followed by Samsung’s Galaxy Tab devices.
Amazon says the Fire 7 is its best-selling tablet. The new version is thinner and lighter with a higher-contrast screen and up to 8 hours of mixed-use battery life, and improved WiFi connectivity. Both the Fire 7 and the Fire HD 8 come with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant.
The addition of the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition gives families a new 8-inch screen option in addition to a new version of the company’s 7-inch family tablet, now called the Fire 7 Kids Edition, which sells for $100. Both come with a “kid-proof case,” a 2-year replacement guarantee, and a one-year subscription to Amazon’s FreeTime Unlimited service for apps, shows and other content