Amazon Fire tablet

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Amazon Fire
Amazon-Fire-Logo.png
Kindle Fire web browser 05 2012 1430.JPG
Kindle Fire (7", 1st gen, 2011)
showing Wikimedia Commons main page
DeveloperAmazon Inc.
ManufacturerQuanta Computer[1]
TypeTablet computer & Smart speaker for latest model (by turning on show mode)
Release dateNovember 15, 2011 (2011-11-15) (US)
September 6, 2012 (2012-09-06) (Europe)
December 18, 2012 (2012-12-18) (Japan)
Units sold7 million (as of October 2012)[2]
Operating systemFire OS
System on a chipTexas Instruments OMAP 4 4430
CPU1.2 GHz dual-core Cortex-A9 (ARMv7)
Memory512 MB RAM (1st gen.)
1 GB RAM (2nd gen.)[3]
Storage8 GB[4]
Display7 inch multi-touch Gorilla Glass display, 1024×600 at 169 ppi, 16 million colors.[4] Capacitive touch sensitive.[5]
GraphicsPowerVR SGX 540
Sound3.5 mm stereo audio jack, top-mounted stereo speakers
CameraVGA front facing camera

2 MP rear facing camera

(Second-generation 7, 8 HD and 10HD)
ConnectivityMicro-USB 2.0 (type B)[6]
3.5 mm stereo socket[6]
802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi
Online servicesAmazon Prime, Amazon Cloud Storage, Amazon Cloud Player, Amazon Video, Amazon Silk, Amazon App Store, Amazon Kindle Store
Dimensions190 mm (7.5 in) H
120 mm (4.7 in) W
11.4 mm (0.45 in) D[7]
Mass413 g (14.6 oz)[8]
SuccessorFire HD
WebsiteAmazon Fire
Kindle Fire showing components, back cover removed

The Amazon Fire, formerly called the Kindle Fire, is a line of tablet computers developed by Amazon. Built with Quanta Computer, the Kindle Fire was first released in November 2011; it features a color 7-inch multi-touch display with IPS technology and running a custom version of Google's Android operating system called Fire OS. The Kindle Fire HD followed in September 2012, and the Kindle Fire HDX in September 2013. In September 2014, when the fourth-generation was introduced, the name "Kindle" was dropped. In September 2015, the fifth-generation Fire 7 was released, followed by the sixth-generation Fire HD 8, in September 2016. The seventh-generation Fire 7 was released in June 2017. The ninth-generation Fire 7 was released in June 2019.[9] On the later model, the Fire tablet is also able to convert into Smart speaker turning on the "Show Mode" options, which the primary interaction will be by voice command through Alexa.

History[edit]

The Kindle Fire—which includes access to the Amazon Appstore, streaming movies and TV shows, and the Kindle Store for e-books—was released to consumers in the United States on November 14, 2011, after being announced on September 28.[10]

On September 7, 2012, upgrades to the device were announced with consumer availability to those European countries with a localised version of Amazon's website (United Kingdom,[11] France, Germany, Italy and Spain).[12]

The original Kindle Fire retailed for US$199 in 2011.[13] Estimates of the device's initial bill of materials cost ranged from $150 to $202.[14][15] Amazon's business strategy was stated in 2011 as making money through sales of digital content on the Fire, rather than through sales of the device itself.[16][17][18]

As of October 2012, the Kindle Fire was the second best selling tablet after Apple's iPad, with about 7 million units sold according to estimates by Forrester Research[2] and as of 2013 Amazon's tablets were the fourth best selling.[19]

On September 6, 2012, the Kindle Fire was upgraded to the second generation, and its price was reduced to US$159, RAM upgraded to 1 GB and processor clock speed upgraded to 1.2 GHz. A more powerful and video-friendly version, the Kindle Fire HD (7 and 8.9 inch versions) was also made available, initially priced at $199 and $299.[20][21]

On September 25, 2013, the Kindle Fire HD was upgraded as the third generation Fire, priced at US$139, and the Kindle Fire HDX was introduced. The Kindle Fire HDX had an improved graphics engine, double the memory, and triple the processor speed of the previous model. The 7-inch and 8.99-inch versions were introduced at US$229 and US$379 respectively.[22][23]

In September 2014, the Fire HDX 8.9 and the Fire HD were upgraded to the fourth generation of Fire tablets, removing the "Kindle" adjective in the naming scheme.[24] There was also the Fire HD 6 that has a six-inch screen with a quad-core processor priced at US$99.[25]

In September 2015, Amazon announced the release of the Fire 7, priced at US$49.99 for the 8GB version that displays advertisements on the lock screen. As of March 2016 it was the lowest-priced Amazon tablet.[26] In June 2016, its price was dropped briefly to US$39.99.[27] This fifth generation tablet includes for the first time a micro SD card slot for extra storage.[28]

In September 2016, Amazon announced the release of the Fire HD 8 which includes the virtual assistant Alexa,[29] priced at US$89.99. Fortune reported that, "As with most of Amazon's devices, the aim isn't to make money off of the hardware but instead to sell digital content such as books, movies, and TV shows to users".[30]

A slightly improved Fire 7 was released in June 2017, keeping the US$49.99 price point.[31]

An upgraded model of Fire 7 was announced in May 2019, with a scheduled release in June 2019 and keeping the US$49.99 price point.[32]

Design[edit]

Hardware[edit]

The Kindle Fire hardware is manufactured by Quanta Computer (an Original Design Manufacturer), which also originally helped design the BlackBerry PlayBook, using it as a hardware template for the Kindle Fire.[33] First-generation Kindle Fire devices employed a 1-GHz Texas Instruments OMAP 4430 dual-core processor. The device has a 2-point multi-touch colour LCD screen with a diagonal length of 7 inches (180 mm) and a 600×1024-pixel resolution (160 dpi density). Connectivity is through 802.11n Wi-Fi and USB 2.0 (Micro-B connector). The device includes 8 GB of internal storage—said to be enough for 80 applications, plus either 10 movies or 800 songs or 6,000 books.[34][35] According to Amazon, the first-generation Kindle Fire's 4400 mAh battery sustains up to 8 hours of consecutive reading and up to 7.5 hours of video playback with wireless off;[36] later generations all offered around 7–8 hours[37]

Of the 8 GB internal storage available in the first-generation Kindle Fire, approximately 6.5 GB was available for content.[38][needs update]

The first-generation Kindle Fire has a sensor on the upper left-hand corner of the screen. This was widely considered to be an ambient-light sensor, disabled since an early software upgrade.[39]

Colour display technologies consume much more power than monochrome electronic paper (E-ink) types; Fire offer a typical battery life of 8 hours of mixed usage, while monochrome Kindles offer 15 to 30 hours' use without WiFi—"battery lasts weeks on a single charge"—with a much lower-capacity battery.[40]

Software[edit]

The first generation of Kindle Fire devices run a customised Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread OS.[41] The second-generation Kindle Fire HD runs a customised Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich OS.[42] Along with access to Amazon Appstore,[6][43] the Fire includes a cloud-accelerated "split browser", Amazon Silk, using Amazon EC2 for off-device cloud computation; including webpage layout and rendering, and Google's SPDY protocol for faster webpage content transmission.[44][45][46] The user's Amazon digital content is given free storage in Amazon Cloud's web-storage platform,[6] 5 GB music storage in Amazon Cloud Drive, and a built-in email application allows webmail (Gmail, Yahoo!, Hotmail, AOL Mail, etc.) to be merged into one inbox.[6] The subscription-based Amazon Prime, which includes unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows, is available with a free 30-day trial period.[6]

Content formats supported by the first-generation Kindle Fire were Kindle Format 8 (KF8), Kindle Mobi (.azw), TXT, PDF, unrestricted MOBI, PRC natively, Audible (Audible Enhanced (AA, AAX)), DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, non-DRM AAC, MP3, MIDI, OGG, WAV, MP4, VP8.[6][needs update]

Because of Amazon's USB driver implementation, the first-generation Kindle Fire suffered from slow USB transfer speeds. For example, transferring an 800MB video file may have taken more than three minutes in 2011.[47][needs update]

It is possible to convert a Kindle Fire to a tablet running standard Android, with some loss of Amazon-related functionality, and lacking features such as Bluetooth, microphone, camera, and memory expansion.[48]

Reception[edit]

Analysts had projected the device to be a strong competitor to Apple's iPad,[13][49] and that other Android device makers would suffer lost sales.[50][51]

In a 2012 review published by Project Gutenberg, the Kindle Fire was called a "huge step back in freedom from the Kindle 3"; the reviewer noted that Amazon introduced a "deliberate limitation" into the Fire that didn't exist in the previous version: it is no longer possible to download free e-books from websites such as Project Gutenberg, Internet Archive and Google Books and have them stored permanently in the same places where books from Amazon are kept.[52][needs update]

Sales[edit]

Customers began receiving Kindle Fires on November 15, 2011; in December 2012, customers had purchased over a million Kindle devices per week.[53] International Data Corporation (IDC) estimated that the Kindle Fire sold about 4.7 million units during the fourth quarter of 2011.[54]

The Amazon Kindle Fire helped the company beat their 2012 first quarter estimates and boosted the company's stock in extended trading.[55] As of May 2013, about 7 million units had been sold according to estimates.[2] Statistics for FY2014 or Q1&2 2015 are not yet available.[needs update]

Family[edit]

Up to the present, there have been eleven generations of Fire tablets, spread across three different feature design lines: Fire, Fire HD and Fire HDX.[56]

Beyond this usage, Fire is used for explicit phone devices and for TV add-on sticks.

Models[edit]

Overview on generations and models for all Fire tablet devices:[56]

Generation
(Model Year)
1st
(2011)
2nd
(2012)
2.5th
(2012)
3rd
(2013)
4th
(2014)
5th
(2015)
6th
(2016)
7th
(2017)
8th
(2018)
9th
(2019)
10th
(2020)
11th
(2021)
Display
Diagonal
6" Fire HD
7" Kindle Fire Kindle Fire,
Kindle Fire HD
Kindle Fire HD,
Kindle Fire HDX Wi-Fi,
Kindle Fire HDX WAN
Fire HD Fire Fire Fire
8" Fire HD Fire HD Fire HD Fire HD Fire HD,
Fire HD Plus
8.9" Kindle Fire HD Wi-Fi,
Kindle Fire HD WAN
Kindle Fire HDX Wi-Fi,
Kindle Fire HDX WAN
Fire HDX Wi-Fi,
Fire HDX WAN
10" Fire HD Fire HD Fire HD Fire HD 10,
Fire HD Plus

Note: Items in bold are currently available.

Detailed specifications for some of the 7" Fire tablets:

Generation
(within Amazon Fire tablets)
1st
(2011)
2nd
(2012)
5th
(2015)
7th
(2017)
9th
(2019)
Model Kindle Fire Fire Fire 7
Model Number "Kindle Fire"[57] KFOT KFFOWI KFAUWI KFMUWI
Release date November 15, 2011 September 14, 2012 September 30, 2015 June 7, 2017 June 6, 2019
Status Old version, no longer maintained: Discontinued Old version, no longer maintained: Discontinued Old version, no longer maintained: Discontinued Older version, yet still maintained: Available Current stable version: Current
OS Fire OS 2.4
based on Android 2.3.3
Fire OS 2.4(?)
based on Android 4.0.3
Fire OS 5
based on Android 5.1.1
Fire OS 5.3.6
based on Android 5.1.1
Fire OS 6.3.0
based on Android 7.1
System Version 6.3.4[58] 10.5.1[58]
Fire OS (latest) 2.4[57] 3.1[57] 5.6.8.0[58] 7.3.1.7[58]
Screen Size (diagonal) 7"
Resolution 1024 × 600
Density 169 ppi 171 ppi
CPU Maker Texas Instruments MediaTek
Kind Dual-core OMAP4 Quad-core
Model 4430 HS MT8127B[59] MT8163V/B
(in 32-bit mode)[60]
Cores ARM Cortex-A9
@ 1.0 GHz
ARM Cortex-A9
@ 1.2 GHz
ARM Cortex-A7
@ 1.3 GHz
ARM Cortex-A53
@ 1.3 GHz
Width 32-bit
GPU Designer Imagination Technologies ARM Holdings
Kind PowerVR Mali
Model SGX540 450 450 MP4 T720 MP2
Clock 304 MHz[61] 384 MHz[59] 600 MHz ? ?
Storage RAM 512 MiB 1 GiB
Internal 8 GB 8 GB or 16 GB 16 GB or 32 GB
External N/A At least up to
128 GB microSDXC
At least up to
256 GB microSDXC
At least up to
512 GB microSDXC
Camera Back N/A MP
Front 0.3 MP VGA 2 MP
Microphone N/A Yes
Bluetooth N/A Bluetooth 4.0 LE Bluetooth 4.1 LE
Wireless Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n 802.11 a/b/g/n (dual band)
+Cellular N/A
Location N/A Wi-Fi based
Proximity N/A
Compass
Light sensor N/A Yes
Accelerometer Yes
Gyroscope N/A
Barometer
Weight 413 g (14.6 oz) 400 g (14 oz) 313 g (11.0 oz) 295 g (10.4 oz) 286 g (10.1 oz)
Dimensions 190 × 120 × 11.4 mm
(7.48 × 4.72 × 0.45 in)
189 × 120 × 11.5 mm
(7.44 × 4.72 × 0.45 in)
191 × 115 × 10.6 mm
(7.52 × 4.53 × 0.42 in)
192 × 115 × 9.6 mm
(7.56 × 4.53 × 0.38 in)
192 × 115 × 9.6 mm
(7.56 × 4.53 × 0.38 in)
Battery Capacity 4400 mA⋅h 2980 mA⋅h[62] ? ?
Life (up to) ? ? 8 hours 7 hours
Legend:
Old version
Older version, still maintained
Latest version
Latest preview version
Future release

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

  • Fire HD, the 'mid-market' version of the Kindle Fire, with improved specifications, including higher resolution screens and improved processors running Fire OS since 4th generation and Android for the early models.
  • Fire HDX, the 'high-end' version of the Kindle Fire, the mostly highly specified Fire, with improved resolution and faster processors running Fire OS for all models.
  • Comparison of:

References[edit]

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  16. ^ Myslewski, Rik (September 30, 2011). "Amazon's Kindle Fire is sold at a loss". theregister.co.uk. The Register.
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External links[edit]