September 18th, 2014, 10:07 AM
Amazon releases family-friendly, low-budget tablets
Amazon announced its new tablet lineup Wednesday, catering to a wide range of users from the budget-conscious to tech-savvy children.
The line includes a refresh of its Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 and Fire HD 7, as well as a colorful $99 Kindle Fire HD 6, a high-end e-reader called the Kindle Voyage. The Fire HD 7 and 6 models are also available in Kids Editions, which include a chunky case, a 2-year warranty, and a free year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, a subscription service focusing on kid-friendly content such as apps, games, and videos.
Amazon is adding more variety to its line, creating a situation akin to Samsung's shotgun approach: make a bunch of tablets to fit every level of consumer and hope something sticks. Additionally, Amazon's banking on what's worked best for it, catering to parents who want a cheap tablet for their kids.
"Fire HD Kids Edition is a real tablet, not a toy," Peter Larsen, an Amazon vice president of devices, said in a press release. "Kids break things, so we added a 2-year, no-questions-asked, worry-free guarantee."
The e-commerce site has consistently catered to parents since it launched it tablet line. Offering a cheap but good-quality alternative to the iPad, Amazon's Fire tablets appealed to parents. The company also encouraged kids through Kindle FreeTime, a mode that allows for parental control settings on content and in-app purchases.
The colorful Kids Editions tablets take things a step further, as Amazon is specifically marketing the device for families. This certainly isn't a new idea. As mobile devices became more popular, so did kid-friendly devices, like the LeapFrog learning tablets, which cater to very young children, or Samsung's Kids edition for its Galaxy Tab 3.