Big tech week: Nokia, Motorola and Amazon release new products
Sep 08, 2012 17:07pm
It was a big week for gadget announcements as Amazon, Nokia and Motorola all tried to generate interest in their products before Apple's expected announcement of a new iPhone next Wednesday.
Amazon.com Inc.'s 7-inch Kindle Fire is one of the smaller tablets with decent sales. Starting next Friday, it will sell an updated version with a faster processor, more memory and longer battery life. It will also cut the price to $159, from $199, making it far cheaper than the iPad, which starts at $399 for the 2011 version still on sale. (The most recent ones start at $499.)
Amazon is also releasing higher-end models under the Kindle Fire HD line. A 7-inch one will go for $199, while an 8.9-inch one will go for $299. There's also a $499 model that can use the 4G cellular networks that phone companies have been building. A data plan will cost an extra $50 a year. The smaller HD model will start shipping next week, while the larger ones will be available November 20.
Amazon also refreshed its line of stand-alone e-readers, offering the Paperwhite, with its own light source. Tablets such as the iPad and the Fire don't work as well in bright light because they are lit from the back. Amazon says the light on the Paperwhite is directed down at the display.
On Wednesday, Motorola announced three new smartphones bearing the Razr name. Verizon Wireless started taking orders for the first of the new phones, the Droid Razr M. It's a cheaper, smaller phone than the Razr that Motorola launched last year. The $99 Razr M will be in stores next Thursday, the day after Apple's announcement.
Motorola will have two high-end models, the Razr HD and Razr Maxx HD, later this year. It's emphasizing long battery life - up to 21 hours of talk time for the Maxx HD, or 10 hours of video streaming.
Once-dominant phone maker Nokia Corp. has been struggling in the shadow of Apple and Android, and it's counting on the new Windows system for a revival. On Wednesday, Nokia and Microsoft unveiled two new devices under Nokia's Lumia brand - the 820 and the 920.