At an event in a Santa Monica, California airplane hangar Thursday, Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos introduced a family of new Kindle Fire tablets. While the devices included technologies that are already available in many other tablets, Amazon's new products stood out for their low prices, especially compared with Apple's popular iPads.
In particular, Mr. Bezos dropped the price of an entry-level Kindle Fire to $159 from $199. Apple's newest iPad starts at $499. He also introduced three versions of high-definition Kindle Fires at between $199 and $599. A $499 model, which includes 4G capability that enables a connection whenever there is a wireless signal and 32 gigabytes of memory is $230 cheaper than Apple's corresponding 4G iPad.
The new high-definition Kindle Fires are priced lower than competing tablets in part because of support from advertising. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Amazon was discussing ad-supported tablets.
Mr. Bezos rubbed in the price contrast by debuting a $49.99 annual data package for the Kindle Fire that includes 250 megabytes per month. A similar data plan for the iPad starts at $14.99 a month, or about $180 a year.
That means consumers with a new 4G Kindle Fire will snag "more than $400 in year-one savings" versus an iPad, said Mr. Bezos.