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October 11, 2012

Amazon's Kindle Fire Tablets Get Even Hotter with 4G FCC Greenlight

By Steve Anderson, Contributing TMCnet Writer

Perhaps the only tablet out there that could be considered a match for the iPad is the Kindle Fire. It's had incredible success and is widely used – at least part of the reason Apple (News - Alert) even started considering the iPad Mini.

Now, the Kindle Fire is about to get even hotter thanks to recent FCC approval for Amazon to start selling Kindle Fire tablets complete with 4G connectivity.

Amazon had the upgraded Kindle Fire tablets ready to go since last month, but their release was contingent on FCC (News - Alert) approval, which only recently arrived. The FCC approval is necessary for any device that operates with a wireless connection to ensure two critical points: one, that the devices operate correctly; and two, that they don't interfere with the transmissions of other signals.

The newest versions of the Kindle Fire offer not only larger screens than their predecessors, but 4G LTE (News - Alert) connectivity on some models. For those interested in getting their hands on the newest devices, Amazon is currently accepting pre-orders on the devices with an expected ship date of November 20.

The whole situation is actually a bit unusual in that devices aren't normally introduced before receiving FCC approval. Many analysts and attorneys who were familiar with FCC procedures, however, didn't expect a rejection, and anticipated the approval process to go sufficiently more smoothly that the devices would clear FCC testing well before the ship date.

As we've seen with this newest announcement, that's proven to be just the case, but it was still something of a gamble even if it did pay off.

One of the biggest things in favor of the Kindle Fire, whatever size and options a user would ultimately decide to go with, is the ecosystem in which the Kindle Fire operates. Having the connection to Amazon's wide array of ebooks and videos provides a ready-made media environment for users with plenty of terrific options to enjoy, and that's given it a lot of edge in the market over many of its competitors – even the iPad.

The lower price tag (News - Alert) than many users may expect doesn't hurt matters either, so the sheer value of value itself can never truly be underestimated.

With the holiday shopping season coming on in earnest – new devices are shipping just three days ahead of Black Friday (News - Alert) – it will be exciting to see if Amazon can get an edge over the likely forthcoming iPad Mini, Apple's answer to the Kindle Fire.




Edited by Braden Becker
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