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Amazon Fire tablet

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The Fire, formerly called the Kindle Fire, is a tablet computer developed by 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 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]

Amazon Fire
Amazon-Fire-Logo.png, Inc.
ManufacturerQuanta Computer[1]
TypeTablet computer
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-chip usedTexas 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

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,[10] France, Germany, Italy and Spain).[11]

The original Kindle Fire retailed for US$199 in 2011.[12] Estimates of the device's initial bill of materials cost ranged from $150 to $202.[13][14] 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.[15][16][17]

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.[18]

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.[19][20]

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.[21][22]

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.[23] There was also the Fire HD 6 that has a six-inch screen with a quad-core processor priced at US$99.[24]

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.[25] In June 2016, its price was dropped briefly to US$39.99.[26] This fifth generation tablet includes for the first time a micro SD card slot for extra storage.[27]

In September 2016, Amazon announced the release of the Fire HD 8 which includes the virtual assistant Alexa,[28] 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".[29]

A slightly improved Fire 7 was released in June 2017, keeping the US$49.99 price point.[30]

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.



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.[31] 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.[32][33] 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;[34] later generations all offered around 7–8 hours[35]

Of the 8 GB internal storage available in the first-generation Kindle Fire, approximately 6.5 GB was available for content.[36][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.[37]

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.[38]


The first generation of Kindle Fire devices run a customized Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread OS.[39] The second-generation Kindle Fire HD runs a customized Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich OS.[40] Along with access to Amazon Appstore,[6][41] 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.[42][43][44] 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.[45][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.[46]


Analysts had projected the device to be a strong competitor to Apple's iPad,[12][47] and that other Android device makers would suffer lost sales.[48][49]

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.[50][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.[51] International Data Corporation (IDC) estimated that the Kindle Fire sold about 4.7 million units during the fourth quarter of 2011.[52]

The Amazon Kindle Fire helped the company beat their 2012 first quarter estimates and boosted the company's stock in extended trading.[53] 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]


Generation (within Amazon tablets) 1st generation (2011) 2nd generation (2012) 5th generation (2015) 7th generation (2017) 9th generation (2019)
Model Kindle Fire Fire Fire 7
Release date November 15, 2011 September 14, 2012 September 30, 2015 June 7, 2017 June 6, 2019
Status Discontinued Discontinued Available Current
OS Based on Android 2.3.3 Based on Android 4.0.3 Based on Android 5.1.1 Based on Android 7.1
System Version 6.3.4[54] 10.5.1[55][56][57] 6.3.0[58]
Screen Size (diagonal)
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 MP
Front 0.3 MP VGA 2 MP
Microphone Yes
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)
+Cellular N/A
Location N/A Wi-Fi based
Proximity N/A
Light sensor N/A Yes
Accelerometer Yes
Gyroscope N/A
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 4400 mAh 2980 mAh[62] 8 hours 7 hours



There have been nine generations of 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) Gen 2.5 (2012) 3rd Gen (2013) 4th Gen (2014) 5th Gen (2015) 6th Gen (2016) 7th Gen (2017) 8th Gen (2018) 9th Gen (2019)
Fire Kindle Fire (7") Kindle Fire (7") 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 HD (10")
Fire HD (8")
Fire HDX Kindle Fire HDX (7")
Kindle Fire HDX (8.9")
Fire HDX (8.9")

See alsoEdit

  • Fire HD, the 'mid-market' version of the Kindle Fire, with improved specifications, including higher resolution screens and improved processors.
  • Fire HDX, the 'high-end' version of the Kindle Fire, the mostly highly specified Fire, with improved resolution and faster processors.
  • Comparison of:


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  2. ^ a b c Brian X. Chen (2012-10-19). "How Are 7-Inch Tablets Doing?". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-10-20.
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  7. ^ Kindle Fire Amazon description Accessed: 11/23/2011
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  18. ^ [1]
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  54. ^ Kindle Fire (1st Generation) Software Updates
  55. ^ Kindle Fire (2nd Generation) Software Updates
  56. ^ Fire (5th Generation) Software Updates
  57. ^ Fire (7th Generation) Software Updates
  58. ^ Device Specifications - Current Devices
  59. ^ a b "Tablet Device Specifications Fire Tablets". Retrieved 2018-10-29.
  60. ^ "Tablet Device Specifications Fire Tablets". Retrieved 2019-05-21.
  61. ^ Amazon's Kindle Fire HD: Better; Can It Compete With The Nexus 7?
  62. ^ "Macro photo of the Amazon Fire 2015 motherboard". Retrieved 2015-12-23.

External linksEdit