The Kindle Fire is a tablet computer developed by Amazon.com. Built with Quanta Computer, the Kindle Fire was first released in November 2011, featuring 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 adjective "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 Original 1st Generation Kindle Fire Tablet
|Release date||November 15, 2011
September 6, 2012 (Europe)
December 18, 2012 (Japan)
|Units sold||7 million (as of October 2012[update])|
|Operating system||Based on Android OS 2.3.3 Gingerbread (customized: 6.3.2_user_4110520) (1st gen.)
Based on Android 4.0.3 (customized: 10.5.1_user_5172420) (2nd gen.)
|System-on-chip used||Texas Instruments OMAP 4 4430|
|CPU||1.2 GHz dual-core Cortex-A9 (ARMv7)|
|Memory||512 MB RAM (1st gen.)
1 GB RAM (2nd gen.)
|Display||7 inch multi-touch Gorilla Glass display, 1024×600 at 169 ppi, 16 million colors. Capacitive touch sensitive.|
|Graphics||PowerVR SGX 540|
|Sound||3.5 mm stereo audio jack, top-mounted stereo speakers|
|Connectivity||Micro-USB 2.0 (type B)
3.5 mm stereo socket
|Online services||Amazon Prime, Amazon Cloud Storage, Amazon Cloud Player, Amazon Video, Amazon Silk, Amazon App Store, Amazon Kindle Store|
|Dimensions||190 mm (7.5 in) H
120 mm (4.7 in) W
11.4 mm (0.45 in) D
|Weight||413 g (14.6 oz)|
|Website||Amazon Kindle Fire|
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 15, 2011, after being announced on September 28.
On September 7, 2012, upgrades to the device were announced with consumer availability to those European countries with a localized version of Amazon's website (United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Spain).
The original Kindle Fire retailed for US$199 in 2011. Estimates of the device's initial bill of materials cost ranged from $150 to $202. 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.
As of October 2012[update], 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 and as of 2013[update] Amazon's tablets were the fourth best selling.
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.
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.
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. There was also the Fire HD 6 that has a six-inch screen with a quad-core processor priced at US$99.
In September 2015, Amazon announced the release of the Fire 7, priced at US$49.99. As of March 2016[update] it was the lowest-priced Amazon tablet. In June 2016, its price was dropped briefly to US$39.99. This fifth generation tablet includes for the first time a micro SD card slot for extra storage.
In September 2016, Amazon announced the release of the Fire HD 8 and a virtual assistant Alexa, 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".
The Kindle Fire hardware was originally manufactured by Quanta Computer (an Original Design Manufacturer), which had also helped design the BlackBerry PlayBook, using it as a hardware template for the Kindle Fire. First-generation Kindle Fire devices employed a 1-GHz Texas Instruments OMAP 4430 dual-core processor. The device has a 2-point multi-touch color 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. 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; later generations all offered around 7–8 hours
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.
Color 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.
The first generation of Kindle Fire devices run a customized Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread OS. The second-generation Kindle Fire HD runs a customized Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich OS. Along with access to Amazon Appstore, 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. The user's Amazon digital content is given free storage in Amazon Cloud's web-storage platform, 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. The subscription-based Amazon Prime, which includes unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows, is available with a free 30-day trial period.
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.[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.[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.
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.[needs update]
Customers began receiving Kindle Fires on November 15, 2011, and in December 2012, customers had purchased over a million Kindle devices per week. International Data Corporation (IDC) estimated that the Kindle Fire sold about 4.7 million units during the fourth quarter of 2011.
The Amazon Kindle Fire helped the company beat their 2012 first quarter estimates and boosted the company's stock in extended trading. As of May 2013, about 7 million units had been sold according to estimates. Statistics for FY2014 or Q1&2 2015 are not yet available.[needs update]
|Generation (within Amazon tablets)||1st generation (2011)||2nd generation (2012)||5th generation (2015)||7th generation (2017)|
|Model||Kindle Fire||Fire||Fire 7|
|Release date||November 15, 2011||September 14, 2012||September 30, 2015||June 7, 2017|
|OS||Based on Android 2.3.3||Based on Android 4.0.3||Fire OS 5|
|Resolution||1024 × 600|
|Density||169 ppi||171 ppi|
|Cores||2× ARM Cortex-A9 @ 1.0 GHz||2× ARM Cortex-A9 @ 1.2 GHz||4× ARM Cortex-A7 @ 1.3 GHz|
|GPU||Designer||Imagination Technologies||ARM Holdings|
|Clock||304 MHz||384 MHz||600 MHz||?|
|RAM||512 MiB||1 GiB|
|Storage||Internal||8 GB||8 GB or 16 GB|
|External||N/A||At least up to 128 GB microSDXC||At least up to 256 GB microSDXC|
|Front||0.3 MP VGA|
|Bluetooth||Bluetooth 4.0 LE||Bluetooth 4.1 LE|
|Wireless||Wi-Fi||802.11 b/g/n||802.11 a/b/g/n (dual band)|
|Weight||413 g (14.6 oz)||400 g (14 oz)||313 g (11.0 oz)||295 g (10.4 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)
|Battery||4400 mAh||2980 mAh||8 hours|
There have been seven generations of Kindle Fire tablets, spread across three different models: Fire, Fire HD and Fire HDX. There have also been different-sized tablets within the Fire HD and Fire HDX models. Items in bold are currently available.
|1st Gen (2011)||2nd Gen (2012)||2.5th Gen (2012)||3rd Gen (2013)||4th Gen (2014)||5th Gen (2015)||6th Gen (2016)||7th Gen (2017)|
|Fire||Kindle Fire (7")||Kindle Fire (7")||Fire (7")||Fire (7")|
|Fire HD||Kindle Fire HD (7")||Kindle Fire HD (8.9")||Kindle Fire HD (7")||Fire HD (6")
Fire HD (7")
|Fire HD (8")
Fire HD (10")
|Fire HD (8")||Fire HD (8")|
|Fire HDX||Kindle Fire HDX (7")
Kindle Fire HDX (8.9")
|Fire HDX (8.9")|
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- "Kindle Fire Device and Feature Specifications". Amazon Mobile app distribution. Amazon. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
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- Kindle Fire Amazon description Accessed: 11/23/2011
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- "Fire HD 6 - Amazon site". Amazon.com. Retrieved 7 March 2016. See "Compare Fire Tablets" section: New HD6, HD8, and HD10 all claim "Up to 8 hours of reading, surfing the web, watching video, and listening to music"; 7" Fire claims 7 hours. Google search <site:www.amazon.com "compare fire tablets"> for latest information.
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You can get free ebooks to the Fire too, but the process is so cumbersome that it isn't worth the trouble given the alternative of buying a Nexus 7, which handles free ebooks with ease. To be specific, there is no way to download free books from the web and have the Kindle Fire store them permanently or in the same places where your books from Amazon are kept. This was easy with the Kindle 3. No more.
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- Kindle Fire (1st Generation) Software Updates
- Kindle Fire (2nd Generation) Software Updates
- Kindle Fire (5th Generation) Software Updates
- "Device and Feature Specifications - Amazon Apps & Services Developer Portal". developer.amazon.com. Retrieved 2015-11-28.
- Amazon's Kindle Fire HD: Better; Can It Compete With The Nexus 7?
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